Connect with us

Health

Healthy Candy for Halloween Trick-or-Treating

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

healthy candy for trick or treating

In case you’re wondering if you’ve got the right blog, never fear… no, I don’t think there is such a thing as healthy candy!

By “healthy” I just mean “better than the alternatives,” meaning made from real food ingredients and without artificial dyes, preservatives, and all the other junk found in typical candy.

I still prefer to opt for candy-free gifts or experiences whenever possible, even at Halloween. But thanks to companies making candy with better ingredients, our family can take part in neighborhood trick-or-treat festivities (without resorting to handing out seaweed snacks… although I happen to think those are also delicious!).

Wait… Is Healthy Candy Good for You?

Given the negative health effects of sugar… no, definitely not!

I’ve taken some flack for my stance on sugar. (But hey, I can’t help what the science says.) There were quite a few years we even skipped parties and trick-or-treating altogether.

We’ve experimented with different approaches to Halloween (the ultimate candy-palooza) over the years. As our kids got older, we decided that rather than opt out, we could use Halloween or other special events as a chance for our kids to practice making good food choices.

Now that more companies are making better candy options (with ingredients I can actually recognize), I’ve been able to find some favorites that my kids love and I can live with. Mixing these in (sparingly) with plenty of non-candy alternatives makes for a fun, creative, and healthy Halloween that I think is better than the original tradition!

Healthier Candy (& Non-Candy) Alternatives for Trick-or-Treating

I usually make my own candy or chocolate when we are going to have it, but that won’t fly for trick-or-treating. If you’re looking for healthier store-bought candy, here are the ones that passed the test for us.

Of course you won’t find many of these in your local grocery store, so I use my Thrive Market membership to stock up. The prices are low, it’s convenient, and I love the selection.

All of the following treats are economical (.15-.50 cents each on average) and individually wrapped for trick-or-treating. Bonus, the neighborhood kids will probably like them better than the junky stuff!

Spooky Fruit Snacks

These gummy and jellybean packs get their color and flavor from real food ingredients like pear juice and carrot juice. A far cry from most store-bought candies, these are also GMO and gluten free. (Case in point: the price on Thrive is about $6 for a bag that contains 20 individually wrapped packs, and the same bag on Amazon is about $10.)

Really Peely Fruit Tape

Remember these from the school lunch days? Something about the shape just makes this fruit leather more fun. This version uses real fruit and skips the corn syrup.

Ghost and Skull Lollipops

Not only are these fun for Halloween, these festive pops are also organic, non-GMO, and contain no artificial coloring or flavors. These are also a friendly choice for kids with nut or gluten allergies. Plus, with Thrive market pricing these are super affordable for the whole neighborhood at about 10 cents each.

Mini Nut Thins Cheddar Crackers

Give kids a break from all the sweet treats with these yummy grain-free cheese crackers. They’ll never know they’re nutritious to boot. These are also individually wrapped for easy trick-or-treat distribution.

Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chip Packs

Who doesn’t love chocolate chips? No more sneaking from the bag… kids can have their own! These mini packs are as good as it gets with only 3 ingredients: organic sugar, chocolate, and cocoa butter. They are also vegan, nut-free, and perfect for trick-or-treating at only 40 cents each.

Popcorn Snack Packs

We don’t do popcorn often, but when we do we choose organic and non-GMO. Kids and grown-ups alike will love the “buttery” goodness of coconut oil and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt.

Yum Earth Organic Sour Twists

This is another candy brand I can get behind for the occasional treat, and kids love the tart flavor and fun twisty shape. The colors look a bit like candy corn too, but come from natural sources like black currants and turmeric.

Grape Fruit Strips From Stretch Island

Moms have long been a fan of these natural fruit leather bars. The ingredients are just “apple puree concentrate, pear puree concentrate, grape puree concentrate” and I guarantee they taste a lot better than some other popular (artificially) fruity candies.

Peanut Butter Cups (Without Peanut Butter)

No Halloween trick-or-treating list could be complete without peanut butter cups. These Dark Chocolate Sun Cups are perfect since they’re nut-allergy friendly and (in my opinion) an improvement on the classic treat.

Torie & Howard Chewie Fruities

These chewy fruit candies look exactly like the popular Starburst candies, but use mostly organic and natural ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors. Plus, their creative flavors will tempt even grown-ups: meyer lemon & raspberry, pomegranate & nectarine, and blood orange & honey.

Best Buy: Natural Lollipops

I know shopping for natural or organic products can mean a real bite out of the budget, but this time there’s no excuse. I saved the best for last with these natural assorted lollipops… 40 organic and real-fruit flavored pops in a bag for less than 15 cents each!

Non-Candy Goodies for Trick-or-Treating

Again, I offer these only as occasional alternatives for special occasions where candy is unavoidable (like Halloween), not as weekly/daily foods for kids.

To keep candy from being the center of the holiday, mix in plenty of non-edible treats and prizes. They are still inexpensive and kids love them! Here are 26 ideas of what to give out at Halloween besides candy.

Other Healthy Halloween Snacks & Treats (Kids Like!)

One strategy for limiting candy consumption is to offer kids plenty of nutritious food before heading out the door to trick-or-treat. Rather than our usual dinner, we make some Halloween-themed appetizers to share and make sure they are heavy on protein and fiber (and low on sugar).

While there are a million ideas for healthy Halloween party food, I’ve only tried ones that seemed very simple and easy to prepare (because I am not Martha Stewart), but I’m happy to report most of these turned out very well with little time and effort. In most cases, the kids were begging to take over and make them themselves. (I let them!)

Here are some favorite Halloween party snacks and treats we’ve tried:

  • Homemade chocolate or fruit snacks (make in a Halloween-themed candy mold for extra fun)
  • “Candy” apples dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in chopped nuts
  • Deviled eggs topped with a green olive “eyeball” or if you’re really creative, black olive “spiders” (here’s a picture)
  • Clementine oranges served whole and peeled with a spring of green on top for a pumpkin look. Check out this recipe with cute banana ghosts dipped in chocolate as well!
  • Cut-up veggies and fruit arranged in the shape of a skeleton, with a bowl of real-food ranch dressing as the head/skull (see what’s possible here)
  • “Witches Brew” smoothies (otherwise known as a cucumber lime smoothie on less spooky occasions)
  • Chocolate chia seed pudding cups (the dirt) topped with gummy worms and a cookie “tombstone”

I also keep some homemade treats along with some non-candy prizes on hand for after trick-or-treating. The kids cash in some of their less ideal candy for fun Halloween jewelry, trinkets, or toys. They usually have no problem with this and in fact look forward to it.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Bottom line, sharing in community with our friends and neighbors is a top priority for us. These options are about as close to healthy candy as you can get, and they’ve made participating in the trick-or-treating possible for our family. By providing some better alternatives to the usual Halloween candy-fest, we hope our kids will have a positive outlook on healthy eating and get to focus on just having fun!

What do you hand out at Halloween? Have you found candy with better ingredients? Please share!

Many thanks to Thrive Market for sponsoring this post. For a limited time, as a Wellness Mama reader you can receive an extra 25% off your first order + a free 30-day membership! Get the details here.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Health

Sweet! Here are 7 reasons to eat sweet potatoes

Editor

Published

on

By

(Natural News) Sweet potatoes may not be as popular as regular potatoes, which is too bad — since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of sweet potatoes can provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A. It’s also rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Both purple and orange varieties contain antioxidants that can protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Eating sweet potatoes is beneficial for your health

Sweet potatoes are brimming with micronutrients and antioxidants —  making them useful to your health. Below is a list of reasons why you should incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

They improve brain function

The purple variety of sweet potato contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have revealed that anthocyanins are effective at improving cognitive function. Moreover, the results suggest that purple yams can help protect against memory loss. Antioxidants from the purple variety safeguard the brain against damage from free radicals and inflammation.

They aid digestion

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. This macronutrient prevents constipation, diarrhea, and bloating by adding bulk and drawing water to the stool. In addition, fiber keeps a healthy balance in the gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria.

They slow down aging

The beta-carotene in orange sweet potatoes can help reduce damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. This is especially true for people diagnosed with erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitive diseases. Sweet potatoes also contain antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals are not only linked to diseases but also premature aging.

They boost the immune system

Orange and purple sweet potatoes are loaded with a good number of antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful molecules that cause inflammation and damage DNA. This, in turn, protects the body from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

They can prevent cancer

Eating sweet potatoes can help protect against various types of cancers. The compounds in sweet potatoes restrict the development of cancer cells. Test tube studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent cancers in the bladder, breast, colon, and stomach.

They lower blood sugar

Despite its relatively high glycemic index, studies have shown that the regular intake of sweet potatoes can help lower blood sugar, thanks to the presence of dietary fiber. While fiber falls under carbohydrates, it is digested differently, compared to starchy and sugary forms of carbohydrates. Interestingly, insulin doesn’t process fiber (unlike other types which get turned into glucose), and it only passes through the digestive tract.

They promote healthy vision

Orange sweet potatoes are rich in a compound called beta-carotene, an antioxidant which transforms into vitamin A in the body. Adequate intake of vitamin A promotes eye health. Conversely, deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to a particular type of blindness called xerophthalmia.

Sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into your everyday meals. They are best prepared boiled but can also be baked, roasted, or steamed — they can even replace other carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, and toast. (Related: Understanding the phytochemical and nutrient content of sweet potato flours from Vietnam.)

Continue Reading

Health

Frostbite: What it is and how to identify, treat it

Editor

Published

on

By

Manitoba’s temperature has plummeted to its coldest level this season, triggering warnings about the extreme risk of frostbite.

Oh, we know it’s cold. We can feel Jack Frost nipping at our noses. But what about when he gnaws a little harder — what exactly does “frostbite” mean?

People tend to underestimate the potential for severe injuries in the cold, says the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. We laugh off the sting of the deep freeze, rub our hands back from the brink of numbness and wear our survival proudly like a badge.

That’s because, in most cases, frostbite can be treated fairly easily, with no long-term effects.

But it can also lead to serious injury, including permanent numbness or tingling, joint stiffness, or muscle weakness. In extreme cases, it can lead to amputation.

Bitter cold can cause frostbite in just minutes. Here’s how to recognize the warning signs and treat them. 0:59

Here’s a guide to identifying the first signs, how to treat them, and when to seek medical help.

What is frostbite and frostnip?

Frostbite is defined as bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and colour in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes — those areas most often exposed to the air.

Cooling of the body causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, slowing blood flow. In temperatures below –4 C, ice crystals can form in the skin and the tissue just below it.

Frostnip most commonly affects the hands and feet. It initially causes cold, burning pain, with the area affected becoming blanched. It is easy to treat and with rewarming, the area becomes reddened.

Frostbite is the acute version of frostnip, when the soft tissue actually freezes. The risk is particularly dangerous on days with a high wind chill factor. If not quickly and properly treated, it can lead to the loss of tissues or even limbs. 

Signs of frostbite

Health officials call them the four P’s:

  • Pink: Skin appears reddish in colour, and this is usually the first sign.
  • Pain: The cold becomes painful on skin.
  • Patches: White, waxy-feeling patches show when skin is dying.
  • Prickles: Affected areas feel numb or have reduced sensation.

Symptoms can also include:

  • Reduced body temperature.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters.
  • Areas that are initially cold, hard to the touch.

Take quick action

If you do get frostbite, it is important to take quick action.

  • Most cases of frostbite can be treated by heating the exposed area in warm (not hot) water.
  • Immersion in warm water should continue for 20-30 minutes until the exposed area starts to turn pink, indicating the return of blood circulation.
  • Use a warm, wet washcloth on frostbitten nose or earlobes.
  • If you don’t have access to warm water, underarms are a good place to warm frostbitten fingers. For feet, put them against a warm person’s skin.
  • Drink hot fluids such as hot chocolate, coffee or tea when warming.
  • Rest affected limbs and avoid irritation to the skin.
  • E​levate the affected limb once it is rewarmed.

Rewarming can take up to an hour and can be painful, especially near the end of the process as circulation returns. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help with the discomfort.

Do not …

There are a number of things you should avoid:

  • Do not warm the area with dry heat, such as a heating pad, heat lamp or electric heater, because frostbitten skin is easily burned.
  • Do not rub or massage affected areas. This can cause more damage.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not walk on your feet or toes if they are frozen.
  • Do not break blisters.

Seek immediate medical attention

While you can treat frostbite yourself if the symptoms are minor — the skin is red, there is tingling — you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency department if:

  • The exposed skin is blackened.
  • You see white-coloured or grey-coloured patches.
  • There is severe pain or the area is completely numb.
  • The skin feels unusually firm and is not sensitive to touch after one hour of rewarming.
  • There are large areas of blistering.
  • There is a bluish discolouration that does not resolve with rewarming.

Be prepared

The best way to avoid frostbite is to be prepared for the weather in the first place.

Wear several loose layers of clothing rather than a single, thick layer to provide good insulation and keep moisture away from your skin.

The outer garment should breathe but be waterproof and windproof, with an inner thermal layer. Retain body heat with a hat and scarf. Mittens are warmer than gloves because they keep the fingers together.

Be sure your clothing protects your head, ears, nose, hands and feet, especially for children.

Wind chill and frostbite rates

Wind chill: 0 to –9.
Frostbite risk: Low.

Wind chill: –28 to –39.
Frostbite risk: Moderate.

Exposed skin can freeze in 10-30 minutes

Wind chill: –40 to –47.
Frostbite risk: High.

Exposed skin can freeze in five to 10 minutes.

Wind chill: –48 to –54.
Frostbite risk: Very High.

Exposed skin can freeze in two to five minutes.

Wind chill: –55 and lower.
Frostbite risk: Extremely High.

Exposed skin can freeze in less than two minutes.
 

NOTE: In sustained winds over 50 km/h, frostbite can occur faster than indicated.

Source: Environment Canada

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Health

Awkward Flu Jabs Attempted at Golden Globes

Editor

Published

on

By

In what can only be described as a new level of propaganda, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh featured a flu shot stunt during the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. They told the audience to roll up their sleeves, as they would all be getting flu shots, while people in white coats stormed down the aisles, syringes in hand.

Most of the audience looked thoroughly uneasy at the prospect of having a stranger stick them with a needle in the middle of an awards show. But perhaps the worst part of the scene was when Samberg added that anti-vaxxers could put a napkin over their head if they wanted to be skipped, basically suggesting that anyone opposed to a flu shot deserved to be branded with a proverbial scarlet letter.

The flu shots, for the record, were reportedly fake,1 nothing more than a bizarre gag that left many people stunned by the Globe’s poor taste in turning a serious medical choice into a publicity gimmick.

Flu Shot Stunt Reeks of Desperation

Whoever came up with the idea to turn the Golden Globes into a platform for a public health message probably thought it was ingenious, but the stunt only serves as a seemingly desperate attempt to make flu shots relevant and in vogue. During the 2017 to 2018 flu season, only 37 percent of U.S. adults received a flu shot, a 6 percent drop from the prior season.2

“To improve flu vaccination coverage for the 2018-19 flu season, health care providers are encouraged to strongly recommend and offer flu vaccination to all of their patients,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote. “People not visiting a provider during the flu season have many convenient places they can go for a flu vaccination.”3

Yet, perhaps the decline in people choosing to get vaccinated has nothing to do with convenience and everything to do with their dismal rates of efficacy. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.4

The 2017/2018 flu vaccine was a perfect example of this trend. The overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B virus infection was just 36 percent.5

Health officials blamed the flu season’s severity on the dip in vaccination rates, but as Dr. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told USA Today, “[I]t is also true that the vaccine was not as well matched against the strains that circulated.”6

But bringing flu shots to the Golden Globes, and calling out “anti-vaxxers,” is nothing more than “medical care, by shame,” noted Dr. Don Harte, a chiropractic activist in California. “But it was entertaining, in a very weird way, including the shock and disgust of some of the intended victims, notably [Willem Dafoe],” he said, adding:7

“This Hollywood publicity stunt for the flu vaccine is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen from celebrities. But it does go with the flu shot itself, which is, perhaps, the stupidest of all the vaccines available.”

Did 80,000 People Really Die From the Flu Last Year?

The CDC reported that 79,400 people died from influenza during the 2017/2018 season, which they said “serves as a reminder of how severe seasonal influenza can be.”8 It’s important to remember, however, that the 80,000 deaths figure being widely reported in the media is not actually all “flu deaths.”

According to the CDC, “We look at death certificates that have pneumonia or influenza causes (P&I), other respiratory and circulatory causes (R&C), or other nonrespiratory, noncirculatory causes of death, because deaths related to flu may not have influenza listed as a cause of death.”9

As for why the CDC doesn’t base flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that list influenza, they noted, “Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease … Additionally, some deaths — particularly among the elderly — are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias).”10

In other words, “flu deaths” are not just deaths directly caused by the influenza virus, but also secondary infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, as well as sepsis.11

According to the CDC, most of the deaths occurred among those aged 65 years and over, a population that may already have preexisting conditions that makes them more susceptible to infectious diseases. As Harte said of annual flu deaths, “[M]ost if not all, I would assume, are of people who are already in very bad shape.12

CDC Claims Flu Vaccine Reduces Flu Deaths in the Elderly — But Does It?

Since people aged 65 and over are those most at risk from flu complications and death, the CDC has been vocal in their claims that the flu shot significantly reduces flu-related deaths among this population. The research, however, says otherwise.

Research published in 2005 found no correlation between increased vaccination rates among the elderly and reduced mortality. According to the authors, “Because fewer than 10 percent of all winter deaths were attributable to influenza in any season, we conclude that observational studies substantially overestimate vaccination benefit.”13

A 2006 study also showed that even though seniors vaccinated against influenza had a 44 percent reduced risk of dying during flu season than unvaccinated seniors, those who were vaccinated were also 61 percent less like to die before the flu season ever started.14

This finding has since been attributed to a “healthy user effect,” which suggests that older people who get vaccinated against influenza are already healthier and, therefore, less likely to die anyway, whereas those who do not get the shot have suffered a decline in health in recent months.

Journalist Jeremy Hammond summed up the CDC’s continued spreading of misinformation regarding the flu vaccine’s effectiveness in the elderly, as they continue to claim it’s the best way to prevent the flu:15

[T]here is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claim that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among the elderly.

The types of studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited due to their systemic ‘healthy user’ selection bias, and the mortality rate has observably increased along with the increase in vaccine uptake — which the CDC has encouraged with its unevidenced claims about the vaccine’s benefits, downplaying of its risks, and a marketing strategy of trying to frighten people into getting the flu shot for themselves and their family.”

Death of Vaccinated Child Blamed on Not Getting Second Dose

In January 2019, the state of Colorado reported the first child flu death of the 2018/2019 flu season — a child who had received influenza vaccination. But instead of highlighting the vaccine’s failure and clear limitations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment blamed the death on the child being only “partially vaccinated.”

“It’s an unfortunate but important reminder of the importance of two doses of influenza vaccine for young children who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who is the state communicable disease epidemiologist, said in a news release.16 For those who aren’t aware, the CDC notes that one dose of flu shot may not be enough to protect against the flu. Instead, they state:17

“Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season …

The first dose ‘primes’ the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.”

Not only may the flu vaccine fail to provide protection against the flu, but many people are not aware that other types of viruses are responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory infections during any given flu season.18 The flu vaccine does not protect against or prevent any of these other types of respiratory infections causing influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms.

The chance of contracting actual type A or B influenza, caused by one of the three or four influenza virus strains included in the vaccine, is much lower compared to getting sick with another type of viral or bacterial infection during the flu season.

Does Flu Vaccine Increase the Risk of Influenza Infection, Contribute to Vaccine Shedding?

There are serious adverse effects that can come along with annual flu vaccination, including potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). They may also increase your risk of contracting more serious flu infections, as research suggests those who have been vaccinated annually may be less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.19

Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego also revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.20

There’s also the potential for vaccine shedding, which has taken on renewed importance with the reintroduction of the live virus vaccine FluMist during the 2018/2019 season. While the CDC states that the live flu virus in FluMist is too weak to actually give recipients the flu, research has raised some serious doubts that this is the case.

One recent study revealed not only that influenza virus may be spread via simple breathing (i.e., no sneezing or coughing required) but also that repeated vaccination increases the amount of virus released into the air.21

MedImmune, the company that developed FluMist, is aware that the vaccine sheds vaccine-strain virus. In its prescribing information, they describe a study on the transmission of vaccine-strain viruses from vaccinated children to nonvaccinated children in a day care setting.

In 80 percent of the FluMist recipients, at least one vaccine-strain virus was isolated anywhere from one to 21 days following vaccination. They further noted, “One placebo subject had mild symptomatic Type B virus infection confirmed as a transmitted vaccine virus by a FluMist recipient in the same playgroup.”22

Are There Other Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season?

Contrary to the CDC’s and Golden Globe’s claims that flu vaccinations are a great way to prevent flu, other methods exist to help you stay healthy during the flu season and all year, and they’re far safer than annual flu vaccination. Vitamin D testing and optimization have been shown to cut your risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu, in half if you are vitamin D deficient, for instance.23,24

In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best respiratory illness prevention and optimal health strategies available. Influenza has also been treated with high-dose vitamin C,25 and taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory illness can also be helpful.

Following other basic tenets of health, like eating right, getting sound sleep, exercising and addressing stress are also important, as is regularly washing your hands.

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending