By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 05 June 2020
The end of next month is International Day of Friendship (30th July 2019) and when it comes to your best friends it IS your business to want him or her to be healthy and happy. We all know someone who’s in need of a healthy support system to get them going on their wellbeing journey.
But, with this being a touchy subject we’ve asked our experts to provide subtle ways in which you can help your bestie lead a healthier lifestyle.
Take them on a sushi date
Going for lunch with your best friend is probably a regular occurrence, however being more mindful when deciding where to go could result in choosing a nourishing meal that your body actually wants over a fast food option that your body could do without.
Nutritionist and Fitness Instructor Cassandra Barns recommends Sushi. “Sushi can be really good for us because fresh raw fish such as salmon and tuna are packed full of nutrients. Both are rich in B vitamins – especially B12, which is essential for energy and for keeping our brain focused!
They’re also high in protein, which helps us to feel fuller for longer.” Be demanding – tell your friend you’re going for Sushi.
Top tip: Try the Sushi Festival (RRP £5.99, www.itsu.com), this delicious box contains an impressive amount of sushi which are all jam-packed with salmon – and with 20.7g of protein you’ll both be feeling satisfied!
Guilt trip them into going to a class with you
Let them know how much you’d love to go to a gym class with them – they may hate you to begin with but give it a few weeks and they’ll be asking you to go! “Exercising on your own, whether it’s working out in the gym or going for a run, can be a joyless experience.
But exercising with others in a class can be motivating and much more fun, especially if there’s great music too. When you try a class, give it two or three chances before you decide whether you want to continue or move on to something else: sometimes it takes a few weeks to start to learn the moves, feel comfortable and really get to love it,” explains Cassandra.
Let them know they need a better Instagram picture
Taking a good ten minutes, as it is obviously crucial, to get the perfect snap of your food before digging in may not actually be as ridiculous as it sounds!
Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Dieting (www.marilynglenville.com) explains why, “Researchers suggest that taking a photograph of food just before you eat, concentrates the mind to eat not only healthier foods but also less of it. The photographs seemed to deter binges.” So, try and delay them as long as possible by persuading them they could take a better one!
Mentally and physically fit – win win!
Sign them up to the new mindfulness toolkit, ThinkWell-LiveWell (RRP: £8.00, www.thinkwell-livewell.com). ThinkWell-LiveWell has numerous programmes including their well in body programme. TWLW explains weight control isn’t about diet: it’s about changing your relationship with food and exercise.
Happiness isn’t a number on a scale, it’s your ideal combination of lifestyle and body shape. Control isn’t just about eating: it’s about when, where and how you buy and cook your food. It’s about situations and challenges you face in your everyday life! If this mindset rings true to your friend, point them in the direction of TWLW ‘s ‘At your happy weight’ programme for a thorough weight-control package! It takes 21 days to form a new habit so encourage them to sign up to ThinkWell-LiveWell for a month!
Their mental health is just as important
We talk to our friends in confidence about things we wouldn’t usually discuss with other people. With over 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK this topic has never been so important. Hemp, the sought-after natural ingredient, continues to hit headlines thanks to its highly nutritious health benefits.
Hemp contains phytocannabinoids, which are the natural substances present in the cannabis sativa plant that contain the nutritional and medicinal properties associated with the plant.
“When we absorb phytocannabinoids, they interact with our nervous system, brain and immune system. They do this by mimicking – or helping to increase – the activity of natural chemicals produced in our own body known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids have effects on many systems and processes in our body, including digestion and appetite, mood, stress response, sensations of pleasure and pain, our immune system and reproduction.
So, phytocannabinoids from cannabis sativa are thought to have beneficial effects in these areas. Phytocannabinoids have been researched for their benefits in protecting against the effects of stress, helping with depression and anxiety, supporting heart health and protecting the brain, amongst many others,” explains Cassandra.
So if your friend confides in you about their anxiety recommend a hemp product. Cassandra recommends Natures Plus HempCeutix Complete Capsules (£39.95,naturesplus.co.uk). These capsules help to harmonise both your body and mind, assist in managing your stress levels, aid in better sleeping patterns, support your immune system and help to boost your energy levels.
If you feel you are struggling to support your friend, let them know they could benefit from speaking to someone at Anxiety UK (07537416905, www.anxietyuk.org.uk).