9 Healthy gifts for looking after your body and mind
Give the gift of a healthy lifestyle this Christmas with these health-conscious food ideas and relaxing activities, which give your loved one a wellness boost
Research has shown that they can reduce allergy symptoms, remove asthma triggers such as dust, pollen and animal dander, and improve air quality in your home. Some studies have even shown they improve cardiovascular health.
Look for purifiers with more than one filter and, especially, a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
A fabulous bottle of extra virgin olive oil not only makes a delicious salad dressing but has amazing health benefits too.
It’s high in healthy mono-unsaturated fats and antioxidants, giving it anti-inflammatory properties and protective effects against chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
Putting pen to paper to record your thoughts, hopes and fears has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood and even lower blood pressure.
It gives you perspective and helps you process your emotions and find solutions to problems.
A beautifully bound book makes a lovely as well as a helpful gift.
Another great de-stressor—and perfect for the festive season when you’re likely to have family around—is a board game.
Playing is a convivial activity with huge scope for laughs, which boost feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Regular participation improves cognitive skills and memory, and may help guard against dementia.
Science is waking up and smelling—well—coffee’s health advantages. Various studies have pointed to its effect in reducing the risk of skin cancer, depression and stroke in women, and of men dying of prostate cancer.
One review of 56 studies found a powered toothbrush resulted in a 21 per cent reduction of plaque and an 11 per cent reduction in gingivitis after three months, compared with a manual toothbrush.
It’s also a fun way for children to look after their dental hygiene.
Who doesn’t love to be pampered? While the main benefits are being able to relax, which has a positive effect on your mental wellbeing, a spa might also relieve aches and pains, improve blood pressure and promote more restful sleep.
Nothing screams Christmas quite like chocolate, and the good news is that dark chocolate is associated with several health benefits.
Small amounts of this sweet treat may lower the risk of heart disease, improve brain function and give your immune system a boost, potentially reducing inflammation.
Quality time spent with your nearest and dearest is completely free, but the most precious gift you could give them.
If you’ve been too preoccupied of late, determine to put aside more hours to do fun things together, or if you have time to devote to others outside your immediate circle, consider volunteering with Age UK as a befriender to an elderly person.
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