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Root Veggies are good for blood sugar control
When it’s cold outside, root vegetables make good comfort foods, and some are especially good at controlling blood sugar and warding off diabetes. According to research that tracked diets of more than 340,000 Europeans, such underground superfoods include carrots, radishes, celeriac, turnip, beetroot, and two less common ones—salsify, which looks like a skinny parsnip and tastes like an artichoke, and rutabaga, a cross between cabbage and turnip that makes a great lower-carb alternative to potatoes.
Vitamin D Clue: Your Shadow
The low UV index of winter sun makes it difficult, if not impossible, for us to make vitamin D, increasing the odds of colds, flu, and feeling blue. To tell if the sun is strong enough to make any vitamin D at all, look at your shadow, suggests the Linus Pauling Institute. If your shadow is the same height as you, or shorter, you can make some vitamin D. But if it’s longer, you’re out of luck. In both cases, the institute recommends getting 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, from food and supplements, to maintain optimum levels. Before supplementing, however, it’s best to get your vitamin D levels checked with a simple blood test that’s usually covered by health insurance.
1.2 Million Work Days
The United States loses the equivalent of 1.2 million workdays, and $411 billion in productivity each year because people don’t sleep enough, according to research by the nonprofit RAND Corporation. And those who usually sleep less than 6 hours have a 13-percent higher risk of death.
Cinnamon Is a Surprising Immune Booster
Beyond delivering flavor, cinnamon has antiviral properties that can stave off cold, flu, and other viruses, according to lab research at the New York School of Career and Applied Studies. “The results validate our belief that a diet that includes a tablespoon of cinnamon once or twice a day can be effective in eliminating or preventing viruses from infecting humans and causing sickness, such as colds, flu, and even herpes,” said researcher Milton Schiffenbauer, PhD. Ceylon cinnamon, validated in the study, is less common and higher priced than cassia cinnamon, but the Ceylon variety is generally recommended for health benefits, as cassia can be toxic at very high doses. Adding Ceylon cinnamon to coffee can be a tasty, low-calorie alternative to sugar, cream, or other calorie-rich flavoring.
Low Thyroid? Try the Herb Ashwagandha
A go-to remedy for low thyroid function in ancient Ayurvedic healing, ashwagandha really does work, according to a study of 50 people published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Those in the study had “subclinical hypothyroid,” meaning thyroid function that is not low enough to be diagnosed as disease but is, nevertheless, not optimum. The effective dose was 600 mg daily of a proprietary ashwagandha extract, KSM-66, which is available in certain brands of supplements such as Jarrow Formulas Ashwagandha.