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Holiday gifting can be wearisome and costly, particularly if you have lots of friends and family. Trying to decide who will like what is a chore in itself, let a lone keeping within budget and giving meaningful presents. There’s a gift that fits all, that is delicious and healthy holiday treats! Give your loved ones’ nutritious goodies that will warm-up their hearts and home this holiday season!

7 Nutritious Holiday Gift Ideas

1. Peppermint chocolate granola – Share love this holiday with delicious homemade granola. Mix nuts, dried cranberries, raisins, cinnamon, peppermint, dark chocolate chips, and seeds with oats. Then bake in the oven for a delicious granola treat! Oats are high in fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and aids in digestive health. Nuts and seeds also add omega fatty acids and vitamins to the granola mix for a nutritious snack. For recipe details please click here.

The Oldways Whole Grains Council comments on nutritional benefits of oats:

Researchers at Colorado State University randomly assigned thirty-six overweight middle-aged men to eat either an oat or wheat cereal daily for twelve weeks. At the end of the three-month period, the men eating the oat cereal had lower concentrations of small, dense LDL cholesterol (thought to be particularly dangerous) and lower LDL overall, compared to those in the wheat group, while their HDL (“good”) cholesterol was unchanged.” 

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Most of us are familiar with the importance of consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. It sure is healthy and nutritious! Yet, are you familiar with properties that make fruits and veggies a must in your diet? No one fruit or vegetable contains all essential vitamins and minerals needed for healthy living. Essential vitamins and minerals are obtained through the consumption of nutritious foods. Try being adventurous, adding tasty and colorful fruits and veggies to your meals! Nature offers a variety of foods with nutritional properties waiting to be discovered.

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Considering a new diet plan? You may want to look into the Mediterranean diet. Along with traditional food choices in most diet plans like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, the Mediterranean diet also encourages healthy fats and moderate intake of wine. Research continues to support the benefits of consuming a Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular health. The Mayo Clinic shares insights on the Mediterranean diet noting, “A meta-analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality as well as overall mortality.”

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You’ve likely heard the importance of eating whole-wheat foods and limiting intake of refined grains. Yet do many understanding the benefits in fiber-packed foods for colon health? Fiber is naturally found in whole wheat, oats, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. Since fiber is not absorbed in the small intestine it promotes bulky stools aiding the passing of bowel movements. According to the Mayo Clinic a high-fiber diet helps lower the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticular disease and also decreases likelihood of constipation. 

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Glycemic Index (GI) is used to determine the influence of carbohydrate-rich foods on blood glucose levels. The Glycemic Research Institute mentions how GI reflect amounts of carbohydrates in edible agents and the metabolic response once digestion takes place. High glycemic foods increase blood glucose, results in greater release of insulin, and stores as fat if not burned. High glycemic foods produce an energy spike followed by energy depletion resulting from a surge of insulin in the blood. More insulin is released as the body attempts to stabilize elevated blood glucose and bring equilibrium. Low glycemic foods provide gradual increases in blood glucose resulting in longer periods of continued energy. This in turn promotes healthy weight, balances blood glucose, and maintains sustainable energy.

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