Spice up your life: allspice or no spice?

An alternative to cinnamon Cinnamon has many health benefits as we all know. But some people are allergic to cinnamon! If you’re one of those unfortunate people, don’t fear! Allspice is a great alternative with many health benefits as well. I’m here to tell you why you should spice up your life, especially during this…

Spice up your life: allspice or no spice? was originally published on Self Evolve

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An alternative to cinnamon

Cinnamon has many health benefits as we all know. But some people are allergic to cinnamon! If you’re one of those unfortunate people, don’t fear! Allspice is a great alternative with many health benefits as well. I’m here to tell you why you should spice up your life, especially during this holiday season.

Allspice benefits

  1. Digestive Benefits. Allspice may benefit digestion. The eugenol components of allspice’s fruit not only provide an unusual aroma but can also ease digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Also, allspice may be gas-reducing. This spice acts as a relaxant to aid stomach cramps and conversely acts as a stimulant to aid digestion.
  2. Anti-Bacterial Benefits. Recent research studies have revealed that a kind of traditional preparation made from a mixture of allspice oil, garlic extraction, and oregano can combat against E.coli, Salmonella and L.monocytogenes infections.
  3. Good source of minerals. Minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, copper, selenium and magnesium are found in allspice. Iron is essential for red blood cell production in the bone marrow. Potassium helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is utilized in the human body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  4. Good source of vitamins. Vitamin A, B-6, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C are all found in allspice. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant.

Spice up your lifespice up your life

Some great ideas to add allspice to your diet include the following:

  • Adding the berries when making glühwein or chai tea.
  • Sprinkle a pinch on roasted vegetables.
  • Add to sweet dishes when you want a bit more spiciness (i.e. gingerbread, apple pie, or dark chocolate desserts).
  • It’s a great addition to stews, curries, and soups.
  • Jerk chicken recipe using ground allspice.

What are your favorite allspice recipes?

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Spice up your life: allspice or no spice? was originally published on Self Evolve

Embracing nature

To organic or to not organic? That is the question. What do you do? Do you go out of your way to buy organic, or do you just grab whichever is more convenient? This can go multiple ways, but today we’re going to try to focus on two product types: deodorant and sunscreen. Two essentials…

Embracing nature was originally published on Self Evolve

To organic or to not organic? That is the question. What do you do? Do you go out of your way to buy organic, or do you just grab whichever is more convenient? This can go multiple ways, but today we’re going to try to focus on two product types: deodorant and sunscreen. Two essentials while working out, especially while working out outside (i.e. running or attending my weekly strength and conditioning class).

For natural deodorant, what does that look like? Ideally, at the very least, deodorant without aluminum. Why not aluminum? While aluminum is used for things like cans of soda, it is not ideal on our skin. First of all, you may have an allergy to aluminum. A good amount of people break out in a rash when using antiperspirants. Also, aluminum may cause other issues outside of just a rash, i.e. it can interfere with your hormones. Aluminum isn’t the only thing to avoid, triclosan could be a stronger endocrine disruptor than propylene glycol, so try to avoid it as well.

The tricky part about going natural is finding a deodorant that stands up to sweat sessions, i.e. that super humid run or when you’re doing planks at the gym. The deodorant that I use and find effective is Arrow Protect Natural Deodorant by Birchbox. It smells good and stands up to my tough workouts. Which one do you use?

As for sunscreen, it’s important to read the ingredients on the bottle as well. Many sunscreens claim to be natural, but are they? Ingredients to avoid for SPF include chemicals such as oxybenzone, octinoxate  and homosalate. There are other chemicals to watch out for. Ideally, you want to reach for the organic option that uses mineral filters rather than chemical filters.

Mineral sunscreens are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, usually in the form of nanoparticles. There is good evidence that little if any zinc or titanium particles penetrate the skin to reach living tissues. Thus, mineral sunscreens tend to rate better than chemical sunscreens. What sunscreen do you use? Do you read the ingredients before buying sunscreen or just grab the most convenient sunscreen at the store? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

Embracing nature was originally published on Self Evolve