The clock's ticking as Mother's Day nears, and many of us are guilty of being in a frenzy to find the last-minute gift for mom.
This year, it may be time to think outside the box and give your mom the gift of good health. Sound corny? At the very least, you don't have to splurge on a treadmill, weights, or a gym membership. Skip the flowers, candy, and the trip to Tiffany's too.
According to a survey by the research firm NPD Group for Child's Play Communications, 14.6 percent of 2,123 American mothers polled prefer handmade gifts, 13.6 percent want a day off, and 12.9 percent want a spa day. The most conventional gifts they expect? 25.6 percent expect handmade gifts from their children, 31.9 percent expect greeting cards, 19.6 percent expect flowers, and 15.5 percent expect dinner.
Dare to be different? Surprise mom with these five last-minute healthy gifts to help her stay on track to a healthful and happy life.
1. Tea gift set.
Does your mom love tea? An assorted variety tea gift set can provide numerous health benefits that date back to thousands of years ago. Research shows that tea can do more than just warm our bodies. Tea contains catechins, the antioxidants polyphenols that have been associated with the human body being cancer-free. Camellia sinensis (green tea) can prevent gastric, pancreatic, bladder, and ovarian cancers due to its olyphenols that have cancer-fighting properties, according to Mayo Clinic. The benefits of this tea include protection from cardiovascular disease, cavities, and Parkinson's. Camellia theifera (black tea) is linked to the reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
Gift: Teavana Tea Gift Set $69.95.
2. Healthy chocolate.
Mom has a sweet tooth? Satisfy her taste buds with mouthwatering dark chocolate. Cocoa, the main ingredient found in chocolate, has been linked to the reduction of risk factors for heart disease. Why dark chocolate? Flavonoids are more present in dark chocolate than milk or white chocolate and have been shown to help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function.
Researchers in Australia conducted a study that found the consumption of 100 grams of dark chocolate daily aided the participants who had metabolic syndrome and served as a preventative measure for cardiovascular disease
Gift: Godiva Dark Chocolate Gift Box $36.00.
3. Yoga gear.
Be your mother's personal aid and lower the stress and anxiety levels in her life and improve heart function. Yoga, a cultural phenomenon that has been practiced by teens to seniors, has proven to be a mind-body exercise that unites the physical and mental components to develop a healthy core. In a study at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., researchers reviewed over 100 studies to see the correlation between yoga and depression, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sleep problems, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and problems with cognition. Results showed that yoga has numerous health benefits for people who suffer from these conditions. It can even relieve chronic pain.
"If the promise of yoga on mental health was found in a drug, it would be the best-selling medication worldwide," said Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, author of the study and a professor of psychiatry and medicine at the university.
Gift: Hotdog Yoga Rollpack $89.95.
4. A good night's rest.
Add instant luxury to your mother's bedroom with the purchase of satin sheets this Mother's Day. Sleeping on satin sheets provides health benefits to the skin and hair. The fabric satin helps the skin maintain its natural moisture while fighting signs of aging. It can prevent creases and wrinkles and will allow your mother to feel younger and rejuvenated.
A better sleep for mom also means a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. In a study at the University Of Chicago Department Of Medicine, researchers found a link to sleep loss and the increased risk of diabetes. The data suggested that sleep duration and quality should be used as an intervention to improve glucose control in people who have type 2 diabetes.
Gift: Satin Luxury Extra Deep Sheets Sets $99.00 - $119.00.
5. Quality time.
Don't see mom as much as you would like? Spend some quality talk time with her this Mother's Day to keep her rejuvenated. Strike conversation while you do her laundry, pick up her meds, or drive her some place. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that quality talk time with mom could help to lower stress. The group of seven- to 12-year-old girls who were participants in the study experienced increased levels of oxytocin when they spoke to their mothers and within an hour, they were just as calm.
A mother's voice has the same effect as a hug.
Gift: Conversation priceless.