Healthy living & eating

Healthy Christmas Cookies & Treats

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Dr. Chandra is a Harvard & Yale trained psychiatrist committed to improving outcomes in psychiatry. She specializes in integrative & functional medicine approaches.

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“Cookies” and “healthy” aren’t usually found in the same sentence. Still, one of the lessons that I try to teach my patients is that it’s possible to eat healthy and delicious foods all year-round – even during the holiday season.

This Christmas, try your hand at these gluten-free cookies filled with yummy ingredients that will treat your brain and body as much as your taste buds. Enjoy the delicacies of this season along with the health benefits of ingredients like cocoa powder, peppermint, and warm winter spices. All of these recipes are gluten-free, paleo, and dairy-free.

1. Peppermint Chocolate Cookies


chandramd-chocolate-peppermint-cookies

Relax and get cozy with these chocolate cookies filled with peppermint, which can act as a muscle relaxant to reduce headaches and improve sleep. A group of researchers also found that peppermint may help increase focus and memory recall.

2. Almond Flour Paleo Gingerbread Cookies


chandramd-christmas-gingerbread

These soft and chewy gingerbread cookies are made with blackstrap molasses, which contains a variety of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, and calcium. Compare this with other sugars or sugar substitutes that have little to no nutritional value. Researchers also think molasses can help to boost bone health, lower blood pressure (thanks to its lower glycemic index), and protect the brain from aging.

3. Paleo No Bake Christmas Cookies


chandramd-christmas-paleo-cookies

You can get the kids involved in the cookie-making process with these easy, no-bake Christmas cookies. Let them pick their favorite nuts – studies have found that they can lower cholesterol, reduce blood clotting, and more. Walnuts in particular may improve memory and cognition, as well as reduce the risk of brain-based disorders like Alzheimer’s, depression, and Parkinson’s.

4. Triple Fudge Coconut Flour Brownies


chandramd-paleo-brownies

Knowing the benefits of the cocoa powder and chocolate will help ease your conscience when you steal an extra bite or two of these brownies on Christmas. Preliminary research shows that the antioxidants in chocolate can help protect your brain against aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and strokes.

5. Sugar & Spice Almond Flour Cookies


chandramd-glutenfree-cookies

Adding a dash of cinnamon enhances both the festive flavors and health benefits of these sugar cookies. With its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, cinnamon can help reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other infections.

References

  1. 12 Science-Backed Benefits of Peppermint Tea and Extracts” Healthline (2018)
  2. When you drink molasses every day, this is what happens to your body” Mashed (2020)
  3. Why nutritionists are crazy about nuts” Harvard Health Publishing (2017)
  4. Beneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain Health” Nutrients (2020)
  5. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (2013)
  6. 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Cinnamon” Healthline (2018)

The information and any products mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the relationships with your physician(s). Before initiating any conventional or integrative treatments, please first consult with a licensed medical provider.  Please review references cited at the end of article for scientific support of any claims made.


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Throughout my work as a physician, I've seen how patient education can make a true difference in healing. These lessons inspired me to start this library, where patients can learn about the science behind their conditions and learn to advocate for themselves and their loved ones.

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