Real Christmas Trees Are Better for Blood Sugar, Health

The debate over real vs. artificial Christmas trees can be contentious in families. There’s talk about the smell of a real tree vs. the cost-saving benefits of using the same artificial one year after year. There’s talk of nostalgia vs. just how convincing artificial trees have become. There’s talk of pine needles making a mess vs. the environmental impact of plastic.

One thing most people don’t consider is health. There are health benefits to choosing a real tree. Artificial trees are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVS contains toxins including lead. The lead in the trees can become lead dust and get onto surfaces. It can also pose a problem for young children or pets that might put their mouths on the tree. PVC also contains phthalates that disrupt the endocrine system. Phthalates have been linked to many health problems, including asthma, cancer, obesity and blood sugar concerns. Phthalates leech out easily from PVC and can be inhaled.

On the other hand, natural trees act as air purifiers. Even after they are cut, they pull ammonia, nitrogen oxides, ozone and sulfur dioxide out of the aid and trap them in their leaves and bark. It should be noted that real trees can have mold spores. If you can shake the tree before bringing it inside, you decrease your risk. However, allergy sufferers might be better off with a fake tree. If you have ever thought you were allergic to Christmas trees, it’s probably been mold!    

Beyond the pleasant smell a real tree brings to your home, there are actual benefits. Christmas trees are either pines or cedar. Pine trees help your breathing. They protect against sinus infections while clearing out mucus and phlegm. They also help eczema and psoriasis while boosting the immune system. They also have antifungal and antiviral properties that help keep your air clean. Cedar aids the nervous system and can help ease stress, anxiety and tension. It can lower blood pressure, aid sleep and help chest colds and bronchitis. Plus, insects hate the smell of cedar, so it can help keep your home pest-free.

While the question of real vs. fake is personal and has many facets, there is a clear winner when it comes to health. A natural tree is king of the Christmas decorations. But we don’t recommend cutting one down yourself unless you know what you’re doing; otherwise, that’s a recipe for an injury and an unhappy Christmas.    

Banner image: Any Lane via Pexels

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