By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020
A – Anxiety
Nutritionist Alix Woods explains how CBD oil could help support you when you feel anxious. “Studies show that CBD oil has a stabilising effect on mood. For its mood enhancing effects it indirectly stimulates the 5-HT1A serotonin, ‘happy hormone’ cannabinoid receptors and exerts an anti-anxiety, happy mood effect. The cannabinoid receptors targeted are the same receptors that anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications target but without the side effects.”
Opt for high quality CBD oil like that from CannabiGold and using a capsule form is a simple way to incorporate CBD into your life as a daily supplement. If you struggle with the earthy taste of cannabidiol, CBD oil capsules could be a great choice for you! CannabiGold Smart Soft Gel Capsules (RRP £9.90, cannabigold) are easy to swallow and break down quickly in the stomach. They also offer superior shelf life profiles when compared to other hemp products, oils or vapes – since they’re completely sealed and air-tight.
Psychologist and Psychotherapist Corinne Sweet working in association with ThinkWell-LiveWell, the new mindfulness toolkit for practical people (www.thinkwell-livewell.com) explains why we’re struggling to slow down and relax, “We are finding it hard to slow down and relax due to the increased pace of life at work, home and socially. Constant social media updates, 24/7 news feeds, shops open all hours. Flexible working and zero hour contracts mean old boundaries have melted and we are ‘on’ continuously. To prevent burnout we need to pace ourselves on a human scale. We need to eat well, sleep adequately, wind down, take exercise, moderate addictive pulls (limit alcohol, caffeine), and learn basic mindfulness techniques to live more in the present.”
Top tip: Try ThinkWell-LiveWell
ThinkWell-LiveWell aims to meet people’s real needs in a practical, accessible way. Its innovations in personalisation and multi-disciplinary experiences take people through a complete process of change and development at the emotional, awareness and behavioural levels – in much the same way as face-to-face counselling or coaching would do. The ThinkWell-LiveWell ‘Mindfulness and More’ toolkit draws on it’s founder Mick’s own multi-modular approach as a therapist to add and combine leading techniques such as cognitive work, NLP, hypnotherapy, guided meditation and dream-work, delivered in both online and offline forms.
C – Cholesterol
“Cholesterol in its own right is not dangerous; it is when it has been damaged by free oxidising radicals that problems occur. Free oxidising radicals are natural by-products of energy production but these molecules can be neutralised by the presence of anti-oxidant nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C. It is therefore very important to make sure you include fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily diet or consider taking a good anti-oxidant supplement,” advises the UK’s leading nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com).
For those who are aware that they need to achieve healthier cholesterol levels, Nutritionist and Fitness Instructor Cassandra Barns, explains why it is so important to invest in a red yeast rice supplement. “Red yeast rice is a natural substance created by fermenting red rice with a type of yeast called Monascus Purpureus. The fermentation process produces a substance called Monacolin K, which has been found to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It may help lower both total and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. Red yeast rice supplements are a popular choice among those who are trying to lower their cholesterol in a more natural way than via medication. Natures Plus Source of Life Garden Red Yeast Rice (www.naturesplus.co.uk, £22.95) is a great organic and high quality option.”
D – Diet
In her latest book, Natural Alternatives to Dieting, Dr Marilyn Glenville uses in-depth research to shed light on trending diets that don’t work and what you can do that really does work. Marilyn shares her expertise on how you can take more effective and realistic steps, through not dieting; in order to become your healthiest version and feel comfortable in your own skin.
Natural Alternatives to Dieting is available on Amazon, (£9.77, www.amazon.co.uk)
E – Elasticity
If your skin is feeling like it has lost it’s elasticity, indulge in the Loss of Elasticity Skin Renewer from D’alchemy. A breakthrough therapy combining advanced ingredients to reverse visible signs of skin ageing. The formula provides a cumulative effect of lifting up, nourishing, thickening and firming of the skin, leaving it elastic and toned. It fills up, smoothens and reduces the depth of wrinkles, eliminates fine lines and unevenness, and neutralizes free radicals responsible for skin ageing. Provides optimum hydration from within, protecting the epidermis against moisture loss and reducing the unpleasant feeling of tight skin. The skin is left perfectly smooth, elastic and firm, filled with vitality and youthful energy. Especially recommended for dry and sensitive skin.
If you’re sweating out at a spin session, perfecting your shoulder bridge at Pilates or pounding the pavements on a run – it’s important to make sure your body has the fuel it needs. “To perform your best in your workout, I’d say the quality of your diet as a whole is more important than what you eat directly before or after a workout. The food you take in on a daily basis has to give you the vitamins and minerals to convert your food to energy, the protein to support muscle repair, the carbohydrate stores to fuel your muscles, and the antioxidants to help bring down inflammation and support recovery. So, a diet based on whole, real foods is key,” explains Nutritionist & Fitness Instructor Cassandra Barns.
“I’d recommend itsu’s Lean Satay Chicken Zero’ Salad (£5.49, www.itsu.com), which is a good choice for a filling and healthy mid-afternoon meal before strength training or when keeping carbs low, or to have after your strength training workout if you’ll be waiting a few hours until your next meal. Plenty of protein to feed your muscles and fill you up,” adds Cassandra.
G- Gut Health
“People with gut issues suffer from a wide array of symptoms, from cramping and pain to bloating and gas or strong food intolerances. Looking at gut inflammation and at improving gut environment to promote healthy flora is key for long-lasting results,” adds Nutritionist at Natures Plus, Martina Della Vedova (www.naturesplus.com),
Try GI Natural Powder by Natures Plus (£33.75, www.naturesplus.com), which contains 4000 mg of L-Glu
tamine to help strengthen and repair the mucosal lining of the entire digestive tract. Highly active probiotics, whole food enzymes, prebiotic fibre and other essential co-factors, deliver powerful synergistic activity to ensure total digestive wellness.
Top Tip: “This formula works very efficiently if taken before bed with half glass of warm water: when your digestion is at rest and you are having a temporary fasting, then the ingredients in GI Natural powder work their magic,” explains Martina.
If you’re feeling worse for wear after a big night – hydration is key! Leading London Nutritionist Lily Soutter (www.lilysoutternutrition.com) advises, “Alcohol is a diuretic, and if fluid levels are not replenished symptoms of dehydration can occur. If you’re suffering with dryness in the mouth, dizziness, weakness or even headaches then you may be dehydrated. Water can also aid with the elimination of acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product that is produced from the breakdown of alcohol, which ultimately may help to improve hangover symptoms. Stay hydrated with water rich foods such cucumber, watermelon, celery and strawberries.”
I – Iodine
Iodine is vital for thyroid function. “Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found in your neck. It may be small, but it plays a huge role in governing your metabolism and thus affects how vibrant you feel,” explains Nutritional Therapist Fiona Lawson. “Seaweed is a true superfood. It is a rich source of iodine perfect for those on a vegan diet or cutting out salt, which may lead to iodine deficiency and seaweed is full of protein too!”
For a seaweed-fuelled scrumptious lunch try itsu’s Mixed Sashimi (£9.99, www.itsu.com).
It turns out that there is some truth to the phrase, ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Marilyn explains, “having a laugh is one of the best remedies for stress – it triggers healthy changes in our body. Many studies show that laughter boosts our energy, decreases stress hormones, improves immunity and diminishes pain. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed.”
K- Keep Things In Perspective
Achieving a good work/life balance can be tricky at the best of times, but to avoid feeling overwhelmed try to prioritise what actually needs to be done and then what can wait – everyone needs some time out! “There is nothing in your life right now more important than your health. Learn to say no if you feel that you have taken on too much. Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is or is not a priority and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life,” suggests Marilyn.
L – Libido
Certain nutrients and herbs can be extremely helpful if your sex drives needs a boost. Zinc is essential for hormone balance and sex drive, hence the old wives’ tale of using oysters (which contain high amounts of zinc) as an aphrodisiac. The amino acid l-arginine is important for good blood circulation in those areas, which are important for a healthy sex life. Vitamin B3 helps to reduce fatigue if you feel too tired to have sex. Try NHP’s Libido Support (www.naturalheallthpractice.com, £27.77). This botanical combination contains herdamiana, maca, l-arginine, Siberian ginseng, n-acetyl cysteine, l-histidine, vitamin B3, ginger and rhodiola to increase energy levels, protect against stress and improve sexual performance.
Chilly weather can definitely knock your motivation. When it’s cold (and especially wet), it can be hard to drag yourself out for a walk – but the endorphins from this active and social pass-time can help give you that extra boost! Persuade your best friend to go with you or join an online community for support. Being with others who share the same interests, goals and hobbies, helps to keep you motivated and creates the often-needed sense of accountability. There are tons of social media groups that you can join, where you can meet likeminded people, share your progress and challenge others.
N- No energy?
If you’re often feeling zapped of energy it could be down to a lack of iron! A supplement like Natures Plus Hema-Plex can help! These chewables are a convenient way to promote your blood’s health. Iron contributes to the normal formation of blood cells and normal functioning of the immune system. Iron can also support energy yielding metabolism, reduction of fatigue and normal cognitive function- making this chewable iron ideal for the time poor! This supplement is also gluten free and suitable for vegans (RRP £10.95, www.revital.co.uk)
Ditching the milk chocolate in favour of raw cacao can have a big effect on curbing your sugar hits. Cassandra says, “Cacao itself is actually a super food – it’s high in minerals such as magnesium and, particularly in its raw form, is rich in antioxidant flavonols too. And if you go for a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao, it’s relatively low in sugar. OMBAR’s 90% raw cacao bar (RRP £1.99, Ocado) gives you a little lift without the sugar rush.”
“Pumpkin’s rich source of vitamin A means that it is the perfect vegetable for glowing skin. Vitamin A is a key nutrient required for supporting the daily replacement of skin cells, and is critical for the formation of healthy skin. It’s precursor beta-carotene is an antioxidant found in abundance in pumpkin, and has been shown to play a role in protecting skins cells from sun damage, which is critical for the prevention of ageing skin”, explains Lily.
Q – Quit Sugar
Sugar provides no nutritional value and is essentially just empty calories. If you need a little natural help cutting down on those sugary treats, try Natures Plus KetoLiving Sugar Control Capsules (£29.95, naturesplus.co.uk), which help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, minimising the chances of experiencing any peaks and dips that can lead us to temptation.
R- Realistic goals
Wanting to lose weight? Set a goal. “Decide and write down how much weight you want to lose and in what time frame – a fitness instructor or trainer can help you work out a realistic goal. Take measurements at the beginning of your journey, take ‘before’ photos as well as recording simple body weight on the scales. Then take new measurements every two weeks so you can see how you’re progressing towards your goal,” advises Cassandra.
An element that can elude us when we’re stressed but is essential for our health is sleep! Nutritionist Cassandra Barns explains, “A good night’s sleep can be a great stress-reliever. Unfortunately, of course, sleeping well can be easier said than done when you’re already stressed or anxious. Do what you can to get to bed early enough to get seven to eight hours’ sleep, make sure your bedroom is a calming environment, and set up a good wind-down routine in the evening, such as taking a warm bath. Take a magnesium supplement in the evening too. Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ as it’s associated with calming and relaxing properties – it may help you sleep as well as cope better with stress. Try Natures Plus KalmAssure Magnesium Powder (RRP £24.50, www.revital.co.uk).
T- Take Control Of Type 2 Diabetes
For those with Type 2 Diabetes it’s crucial to balance your blood sugar levels!
“Some GPS may be willing to support you taking herbal medicines that can improve glucose levels, such as CuraLin (£59, www.curalife.co.uk) – a blend of 10 traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herbs, including Bitter Melon, Fenugreek, Amla fruit and Turmeric. These herbs are prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors to help support balancing your glucose levels. It’s interesting that CuraLin, as a herbal medicine, has very few side effects and that’s because it has very low levels of ten different herbs in it, so rather than having a high amount of one [ingredient] which is more likely to cause side effects, it has low levels of ten and together they work in several different way to improve glucose control.” explains Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin, the type 2 Diabetes supplement (www.curalife.co)
U- Up your protein
After water do you know what is the main constituent of our body? Protein! It has such an important role in the body, ranging from muscle growth and repair, creating hormones and enzymes that regulate the metabolism, support the immune system and more! Include eggs, yoghurt, almonds, fish, chicken, lentils and chickpeas into your everyday diet.
The Vegan trend has quadrupled since 2012[i] and we predict that this popular trend is set to continuously increase with the rise in plant-based alternatives. Customers are now attracted by the Vegan certification on packaging and supplement brands that have been around for years, like Natures Plus, who have worked hard to earn the loyalty of millions of satisfied consumers, are adapting to this need by earning the all important vegan trademark. For example the popular Natures Plus Source of Life Gold Liquid (RRP £34.30, www.revital.co.uk), which provides a complete daily vitamin profile of 13 vitamins and 8 minerals in one 30ml dose a day, has just been vegan certified!
W- Workplace Wellness
According to Lily Soutter, “Our workplace diet can significantly impact our health”. Lily states that when you eat the right food, you create positive energy, which sets the right conditions to succeed. Lily believes the key is to meal plan. Batch cooking such as soups, curries and casseroles, is key to making healthy eating much simpler and you can take it to work with you and avoid over-processed convenience foods. “Batch cooking saves time not only with planning, but prepping and even cooking!”. You can also freeze your dish to enjoy it later as a healthy frozen ready meal.
X– X marks the spot
Experiencing a breakout? Reach for a
n avocado to help banish those spots. “Avocado is a good source of vitamin E, which is thought to have several roles in skin health. Like vitamin C, it works as an antioxidant so may protect the skin cells against damage from free radicals, which in turn helps to keep your complexion looking refreshed and revitalized,” explains Marilyn.
Support a healthy heart with a good dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. Nutritionist and fitness instructor Cassandra Barns explains why sushi is a great choice to support your heart health. “Sushi can be really good for us because fresh raw fish such as salmon and tuna are packed with nutrients. Salmon in particular is high in those super-healthy omega-3’s, which are great for our heart and brain.” itsu’s most popular dish is the super salmon light and for good reason! Not only is the super salmon light ideal for supporting heart health due to it’s high omega-3 content, it is also high in protein and low in calories. (RRP £6.19, available at itsu stores nationwide)
If you feel like your immunity needs a little boost, why not incorporate more vitamin C into your diet? Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of the immune system. Opt for an alkaline form of Vitamin C like NHP’s Vitamin C Support (RRP £16.77, www.naturalhealthpractice.com) which allows for maximum absorption and effectiveness, unlike cheaper more acidic ascorbic acid which is more difficult for the the body to absorb and can act as an irritant!