Wellness Weekend: The Ticket to a Healthy Holiday Season

Here in Sonoma County, you know that fall is near when the majestic trees and foliage start to change colors, the days start to get shorter and there is a slight chill in the air. It also means that the dreaded cold and flu season is coming up and that allergy season is just around the corner. This makes it the perfect time for Oliver’s Fourth Annual Wellness Weekend!

That’s right! This Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 19-21) is Wellness Weekend here at Oliver’s Market. That means that all Vitamins, Herbal Supplements and Natural Body Care are a minimum of 25% off the regular retail price…that’s a great savings! So, come on down to your neighborhood Oliver’s Market and sample new products, win free prizes and stock up on Vitamins and Supplements. As always, our very knowledgeable Wellness Department staff is here to help you with any questions you may have.

Also, sign up for our email newsletter to receive an extra 5% off – that’s 30% off the regular retail price!

With so many items on sale, we asked our Wellness Department staff to pick out four items that they felt were key to keeping you cold and flu-free this season. These are the four they selected:

Garden of Life Turmeric Gummies, 120 ct. Bottle, $18.99

Ever wonder what gives mustard its neon yellow color? It’s turmeric! Turmeric is related to ginger and has been used for centuries as a spice and as a natural food color. Though it has been used in Asian medicine traditions for centuries, it has recently become popular in the West for its proven health benefits.

The compound that gives turmeric its bright yellow color is also what makes it a health powerhouse. It makes turmeric a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, which in turn can improve function of the entire body. Turmeric has been proven to help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, the signs of aging, and even cancer; additionally, it’s fantastic for reducing inflammation due to arthritis or any other illness which causes chronic inflammation.

Unfortunately, turmeric root itself only contains a small amount of this compound, so the best way to reap the benefits of turmeric is by taking it as a supplement a few times per day.

Himalaya Ashwagandha, 60 Capsule Package, $12.99

Ashwagandha is related to tomatoes and is native to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. Its name in Sanskrit means “smell of a horse”, supposedly because it gives the user vigor similar to that of a horse – more likely, it’s because the plant smells like horse sweat when fresh.

Ashwagandha has long been used in Indian medicine, but it has only recently begun to be recognized in the West. It has become well known as an adaptogen, something which helps the body to adapt to stressful situations by promoting the overall health and immune function of the individual. It has also shown promise as a natural treatment for anxiety, insomnia, depression, and other disorders affecting mood.   Ashwagandha has potential as a supplement in diabetes management after studies showing its abilities as a blood sugar regulator.

When choosing Ashwagandha supplements, look for ones made only from the root, as the leaves and stems do not contain all the medicinal qualities.

Inner Eco Berry Coconut Kefir, 15 oz. Bottle, $14.99

Kefir is a fermented beverage with a sour taste similar to yogurt; it is frequently made from dairy but can also be made from non-dairy substitutes such as coconut milk, coconut water, and even plain water. Like other fermented products, it starts by combining the chosen liquid with enzymes and bacteria. These cultures then grow into colonies of bacteria numbering in the billions by “eating” naturally occurring or added sugars.

It’s these probiotics that give kefir its health benefits. Our digestive track naturally contains helpful bacteria which contribute to the digestion of food as well as immune function. Taking probiotics regularly can help control diseases and disorders which affect the G.I. track, such as ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome, and can also help control occasional bouts of diarrhea and intestinal inflammation. Probiotics have also been proven to help with other ailments, including eczema, allergies, and even the common cold. It is recommended that people who have recently taken antibiotics take probiotics to help rebuild gut health.

Nature’s Way Sambucus Syrup, 4 oz. Package, $10.99

Sambucus, commonly known as elderberry, is a small, dark berry with a fairly bitter flavor when raw; the berries and flowers, known as elderflowers, are known for being both delicious and nutritious. They are native to North America and Europe, and they have been traditionally used as a health aid by Native Americans.

Elderberry is best known for its use in immune support, having been shown to significantly shorten the length of colds and the flu while also helping to prevent infection in the first place. Because of their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory elements, elderberries have been linked to heart health, diabetes prevention and treatment, and cancer prevention. They are packed with vital nutrients like Vitamin C and are tremendous sources of dietary fiber, though this varies depending on variety, ripeness, and environment.

Consuming elderberries raw is not recommended, as they are known to contain cyanide – yikes! Though there isn’t enough to cause serious harm, there is still enough to cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and other negative effects. Cooking eliminates any traces of cyanide in the berries, though children under eighteen should still not be given elderberry.

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