$5 Fixes: Stress Less, Sleep Well and Lose Weight
It doesn’t take an expensive spa day to help ease your everyday stress. And you don’t need an pricey mattress or personal chef to get a better night of sleep or a more trim physique. Try these extra-affordable tools and tricks to living a healthier life.
Pool Noodle, Cost: $2
You can use pool noodles for an at-home massage. Lying down on a noodle can break up the stiffness from the day.
Mediterranean Red Wine, Cost: $4.49
Alcohol helps you relax by inhibiting the movement of the neurotransmitters responsible for stress. Click here for more information on the benefits of red wine.
Skullcap Tea, Cost $5
This tea’s high flavonoid content will help you relax. With nearly 300 active compounds, skullcap tea has been used for hundreds of years to treat stress problems and epilepsy.
Sea Salt and Noni Baths, $5
Open your pores, cleanse your body and relax by spending 15 minutes in a warm sea salt and noni bath. The sea salt will absorb built up acids and the noni will leave you feeling refreshed.
Just 1 tablespoon of this hero plant of the rainforest will help regulate stress all day long by managing the flight or fight response.
Scalp Massager, $4
Clinical trials have shown that scalp massagers prompt the body to produce serotonin and endorphins, chemicals that will make you feel relaxed and happy.
White Noise, Cost: $0.99
Try downloading the sound of crackling fire, which you can get for less than $1. White noise acts by masking external noises and removing anything in the environment that may wake you.
Cool Down, Cost: Less than $5
Put ice packs in your pillow. They lower your body temperature, which will help you sleep.
Liquid Melatonin, Cost: $4
Try adding 18 drops, which is about .5 mg, of liquid melatonin to chamomile tea two hours before bedtime. Melatonin is a sleep hormone, and as you age, your body produces less. Chamomile tea is a natural tranquilizer and sleep inducer.
Boost Your Diet
Salad Bowl, Cost: $4.99
Look for a salad bowl that has a separate 2-ounce compartment for your salad dressing to help limit your portions.
Psyllium Supplement, Cost: $5 (online)
Psyllium will help you feel full longer and reduce your hunger cravings. Take it with 8 ounces of waters to prevent gas and constipation. Click here for a smoothie recipe you can make with pysllium.
Superfoods for $5 or Less
Get the most nutritional value for your buck. Dr. Oz reveals the 4 super-value superfoods you can get at your supermarket for $5 or less. What’s even better – they’re everyday foods that you may already enjoy eating.
Super Value Superfood: Eggs
Studies have shown that eating 6 eggs a week can reduce your risk for macular degeneration – the leading cause of blindness in the world. Egg yolk contains vision-protective carotenoids. For those worried about cholesterol, studies have also shown that an egg a day will not significantly affect your cholesterol levels. A half-dozen eggs cost about $1, or approximately 17 cents a day.
Super Value Superfood: Onions
Eating a half an onion a day can decrease your risk of many cancers, including breast and colon cancer. At about 69 cents a pound, onions are one of the cheapest superfoods in the produce aisle. For an even better bargain, opt for red onions and conventionally grown onions. Onions aren’t treated with as many pesticides as other vegetables, so there’s no need to buy organic varieties.
Super Value Superfood: Chickpeas
One cup of chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, a day gives you 50% of your daily fiber intake, which helps to regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Many legumes have the same health benefits, but at about $2 for a bag of dried chickpeas, they are the best value. A bag of dried chickpeas will give you 7.5 cooked cups, while a can will only provide a 1.5-cup serving of chickpeas.
Super Value Superfood: Popcorn
Popcorn contains polyphenols, the powerful plant compounds that have been shown to fight heart disease and cancer. Popcorn has 4 times more polyphenols than the average amount found in fruits! Air pop your popcorn and you can pinch even more pennies. In addition to being cheaper than microwave popcorn, a 32-ounce bag of kernels costs about $2 and makes about 135 cups of popcorn, the air-popped variety is better for you, too. Microwave popcorn contains hydrogenated oil, which raises LDL, or bad cholesterol, levels.
Click here for more information on superfoods.
$5 Heartburn Healers
Heartburn occurs when your esophagus is irritated by backed-up stomach acid. Normally, when you swallow, food passes down your throat, through the esophagus and then past the sphincter, which acts as a “door” into the stomach. Next, the sphincter closes and the stomach releases acids to help break down the food. Heartburn is caused when the sphincter opens too often or does not close tight enough. Then stomach acid backs up, which causes the painful, burning sensation.
If chronic heartburn is ignored, the esophagus can become red, thick and scarred. Additionally, persistent heartburn can raise your risk for esophageal cancer. See a doctor if you have heartburn more than twice a week; this may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Over-the-counter medications for heartburn can run up a pricey tab. Below are $5 healers for your heartburn:
- Antacids: 1 box of dissolvable antacids will cost you about 99 cents. Chewable tablets will also neutralize acid.
- Sugar-Free Lozenges: Sucking on lozenges increases saliva production, which may help to clear and neutralize stomach acid. One bag is around $3.
- Crunchy Foods: Eating crunchy fruits and veggies like celery, apples and carrots increases saliva production and neutralizes acid.
Avoid these heartburn triggers:
- Peppermint and Chocolate: Despite their deliciousness, these candies contain caffeine, which stimulate the regurgitation of acids.
- Garlic: Can cause acid to pass back up through the sphincter.
- Belts: Compression of the stomach and sphincter may contribute to acid backup.
- Control Top Underwear: The tight compression literally squeezes the acid into the esophagus.
Other heartburn tips:
- Do Not Eat 3 Hours Before Bed: If your heartburn ever keeps you up at night, gravity may be playing a role; lying down may slow the contractions of your stomach. Make your last meal 3 hours before bed.
- Books Under the Bed: Use books under the legs of your bed to keep your head elevated; 6 to 8 inches is ideal. This incline helps prevent acid from backing up.
$5 to Look 5 Years Younger
Instead of your department store’s pricey cosmetics counters, turn to your local drugstore and kitchen cabinets to keep your pockets fat and your face looking fresh and young. Click here to learn more about what you can do to age gracefully.
Fight Wrinkles - Mineral Clay Firming Mask, Cost: $4.29
Clay contains the minerals calcium and potassium, which help promote healthy skin. It deep cleans and tightens skin, improving the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Combat Oily Skin - Witch Hazel Towelettes, Cost: $4.99
The witch hazel acts as a natural astringent, fighting blemishes by removing oil from the surface. Aloe vera soothes and rejuvenates your skin, reducing redness.
Get a Fresh Face - Egg White and Carrot Juice At-Home Face Mask, Cost: About $5
A mix of egg whites and carrot juice will freshen your face. Egg whites contain proline, an amino acid which helps build collagen. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which acts as a retinol – a form of vitamin A that reduces the signs of aging.
3 eggs white
3 tbsp carrot juice
Directions: Mix ingredients together. Pat on mask with cotton swabs. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse off.
Fix Your Most Embarrassing Problems for $5 or Less
From bad breath to razor burn and nail fungus, Dr. Oz has the cheap solutions for the common health and body woes that ail you.
Problem: Bad Breath
Solution: Green tea acts as a disinfectant and deodorant; its components inhibit the bacteria in your mouth from making the sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. A box of 20 tea bags will cost you about $5.
Problem: Razor Burn
Solution: Pure aloe vera gel soothes and helps to heal inflamed and broken skin. You can find it at your local drugstore for about $5.
Problem: Nail Fungus
Solution: Lavender oil has antifungal properties and may inhibit fungal growth; place a few drops underneath the nail bed. Make sure to use lavender essential oil (not just the scent or fragrance). Find it online for about $5. Click here for more information on beating nail fungus.