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General Wellbeing

  • Best Supplements for Men's Health

    As with all of us, having a healthy lifestyle by eating well and maintaining a regular exercise schedule is important for all men at any age. However, all of us sometimes need a little extra help with getting all the vitamins and minerals we need and therefore turn to supplements to give us the boost we need.

    For men, this is often focused on supplements that help maintain and boost testosterone levels, help certain body parts remain standing tall when needed, keep the prostate healthy and cholesterol in check. Experts agree that maintaining healthy levels of testosterone is vital to men's health through all stages of life.

    Here are a few supplements especially aimed at helping the menfolk keep healthy at all stages of life.

    Tribulus Extract

    Tribulus terrestris is a fruit-producing plant high in a compound called Saponins that grows in many places including Europe, Asia and Africa. Our Tribulus Extract, formulated especially for men, also contains Zinc which contributes to the maintenance of normal testosterone levels in the blood alongside other benefits such as reduced tiredness and fatigue.

    Tongkat Ali

    Tongkat Ali (which translates as Ali’s walking stick) is derived from the roots of a tree known as Eurycoma Longifolia Jack. It has been used for thousands of years in Indonesia and other parts of Asia for its aphrodisiac properties. It has recently been introduced to the rest of the world and has been transforming the health and sex lives of thousands of couples.

    Saw Palmetto (for men)

    While studies offer mixed results, Saw palmetto, a type of palm native to the south-eastern United States, is commonly used by many men as a natural way to help with prostate health and improve side effects associated with an enlarged prostate, balance hormone levels, and prevent hair loss.

    Montmorency Cherry

    Montmorency cherries are a variety of Sour Cherry, grown in Europe, Canada and the United States that are known for their bright red colour and are naturally high in a family of polyphenols known as anthocyanins. These popular cherries are bursting with essential vitamins and nutrients and are naturally high in dietary fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Antioxidants.

    Plant Sterols

    Plant Sterols are naturally occurring compounds found in a variety of plants such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, and legumes and help stop normal cholesterol being absorbed into the blood and small intestine - therefore helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. With a high enough dose, it can also lower levels of the "bad" LDL cholesterols in our bodies.

  • Benefits of Multivitamins

    Multivitamin supplements contain a combination of different vitamins and minerals that are usually found in food and other natural sources. However, many of us struggle to meet our needs through diet and lifestyle alone, and therefore take a daily supplement to help improve our overall health, compensate poor eating habits, and even reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases.

    Here are a few of the key ways they can help.

    Increase Energy Levels

    When our bodies don’t get the correct level of vitamins and minerals, we may feel tired, weak, and lethargic. A daily multivitamin can help you keep your energy levels up.

    Maintain Muscle Strength 

    Muscle related problems can be caused by free radicals – common nasties found in our day-to-day environments. Luckily, these free radicals can be kept in check by antioxidants found in multivitamin supplements.

    Heart Health 

    It comes as no surprise that heart is one of our most vital organs and keeping it healthy is essential. Various studies suggest that taking high-quality multivitamins may reduce cardiovascular diseases and help to keep the old ticker running smoothly! Vitamins B1, B2, B6, K1, Niacin, and magnesium which are all present in most multivitamins, all play a role in cardiovascular health.

     Eye Health 

    Losing our eyesight is one of the main worries of aging for most. Vitamin A can help improve our eyesight and reduce age-related macular degeneration that may cause permanent eye damage.

    Improve Brain Function 

    Keeping our brain fit and healthy is key to helping us deal with day-to-day life and the challenges it may throw at us. Vitamins such as vitamin B12, herbal supplements such as Ginkgo Biloba, and omega-3 fatty acids help restore brain function, keep the fog away and lift our mood.

    Reduces Stress & Depression 

    Life can be challenging as we have all experienced more than ever in the recent years. The vitamins and minerals in our multivitamins can help reduce stress and depression symptoms. Vitamin B6 helps regulate the body's serotonin and norepinephrine levels – both of which directly affect mental stability, mood, and our ability to cope with stress.

    Helps Keep Skin & Hair Healthy

    Keeping the outside healthy from within is important for our skin and hair. Vitamins & minerals help keep our skin and hair healthy and shiny by providing essential vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin B, and vitamin C.

    In essence, a multivitamin is a little like an insurance policy, ensuring that we get the vitamins and minerals we need by filling in the gaps that may be present from our diet alone.

  • Seasonal Supplements: Summer

    Like the seasons, our bodies also change throughout the year. Now that summer is on its way, our supplement routines may need to change a little in line with our more active lifestyles and the warmer weather - to keep us feeling energized, healthy, and glowing this summer.

    Here is our guide to the best supplements to consider for the summer months: -

    Vitamin C

    While we all love it when the sun is shining, we must be careful and protect ourselves from sun exposure. Vitamin C can be helpful in preventing and treating sunburn – although a good suntan lotion is also needed. Vitamin C can also help support the immune system and help with histamine responses to those pesky seasonal allergies, which is especially important as we tend to spend more time outdoors and are exposed to more pollutants during this season.

    Vitamins A & E  

    Protecting your skin against sun damage is very important as the sun's ultraviolet light can cause major damage to the skin. In addition to sunburn, there are more long-lasting effects such as reduced skin elasticity causing wrinkles that need to be considered.  Antioxidants are nature’s answer to reducing the impact of UV exposure on the skin.  Taking antioxidants will not stop you burning but they can help to reduce the damage done by the sun. Vitamins A and E are excellent antioxidants and have long been used topically in face creams. Taking these nutrients internally will be more effective in maintaining the long-term health of your skin as internal consumption gets nutrients into every layer of the skin as opposed to only the top few layers.

    Vitamin D

    We hear you asking, ‘Why do I need the sunshine vitamin in the summer’? There are several reasons while you still may need to top up vitamin D during the summer months, depending on your lifestyle. It’s important to note that although we maybe outdoors more in the summer months, we use suntan lotion to prevent sunburn or we cover up to protect ourselves, so we aren’t always exposed to the amount of sunlight we need for our daily dose of Vitamin D.

    Collagen

    The summer months can be harsh on the skin. Collagen is great for repairing damaged tissue throughout the body and can help sun-damaged skin heal faster, especially for the older folk amongst us as collagen production slows as we age. In addition, collagen also aids joint recovery which may be a great help if you are more active in the summer months.

    Skin, Hair & Nail Gummies

    Summer can be extra hard for our hair, skin, and nails due to the dehydration effects of the sun. Dehydrated hair causes damage to its protein structure, which means it can break much more easily than usual. The best supplements to take to keep your hair hydrated should contain the essential mineral - zinc, which keeps hair follicles nice and strong. Our amazing gummies are formulated to support the healthy appearance and strength of your skin, hair, and nails. With biotin, selenium, zinc and vitamin C for normal collagen formation, they are a perfect addition to your summer supplementation.

  • Keep Movin' Movin'

    Exercise is the natural miracle cure we have always had, but for many of us we rarely take our recommended dose despite the multiple health benefits it offers – both mentally and physically. No matter what age you are, there's solid scientific evidence that being physically active can help us lead a healthier, happier, and even longer life.

    People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, as well as boosting self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and our energy levels. Exercise can also help reduce your risk of / help improve effects of stress, clinical depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

    According to the UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines, on GOV.UK, we need to try to be active every day and aim to do at least 150  minutes of physical activity per week (we can round this to 21 mins a day on average), through a variety of activities.

    This does not mean we all have to rush out to join gyms or sign up to run a marathon! For the activity to benefit our health, we need to be moving quick enough to raise our heart rate, make us breathe faster and feel warmer = moderate intensity activity. At this level, we should still be able to talk. Depending on our level of fitness some of us will reach this level of activity with a simple walk around the block or by cleaning the house.

    The most common excuse for not exercising is ‘I don’t have the time’! Therefore, the best way to get moving is to make activity part of everyday life e.g., walking to the local shops instead of using the car, take the stairs instead of the lift, go for a walk around the block in your lunch hour, incorporate exercise into your evening / weekend routine.

    The important thing to remember is that every little helps; exercise when and how you can. Getting into a routine and finding things that are fun will really help you keep movin’ movin’.

  • Tips for Managing Stress

    At some point in our lives, many of us face challenges that can be stressful and overwhelming. Most of the time, these challenges are beyond our control - as we have seen over the past couple of years. However, we can manage how we react to the challenges and the emotions that may come with those reactions.

    High stress levels and/or extended periods of stress can have a negative impact on your mental, and even, physical well-being. And while it may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress; you have a lot more control than you may initially think.

    Effective stress management can help you break the hold that stress has on your life, helping you be happier and healthier. Feeling emotional, overwhelmed, nervous or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to helping relieve stress, here are some tips to help you deal with stress naturally.

    Identify the cause of stress

    While there are common causes of stress, we all have different triggers. It is important to find out what is causing you stress and to also understand how you may be allowing it to happen. E.g.

    • Do you always dismiss your stress as temporary even though you can’t remember the last time you weren’t stressed and took a breather?
    • Do you define / accept stress as an integral part of your work or home?
    • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

    It’s important to really understand what is causing the stress in your life, and how you react to make sure you can help address the causes from the right angle.

    Avoid Stressors

    This may seem obvious, but many people accept that their stressors are part of modern life, this doesn’t mean you can’t avoid them or reduce the impact they have on your life. E.g. don’t listen to the news, turn off social media, learn to say ‘no’ more, try to avoid people that add to your stress or reduce the face-to-face time you have with them. See how you can change your routine to reduce your triggers – maybe a different commute to work or grocery shopping on-line. All the small changes matter.

     Take care of yourself

    Again, another obvious one but many of us don’t put ourselves first and put everything / everyone else first. To be the best us we need to look after ourselves – this includes, eating healthy, exercising, sleeping well, and allowing yourself some ‘me time’ to unwind and recharge.

    Connect

    Never underestimate the power of spending time with a special friend or loved one that makes you feel calm, safe, and understood. Lunch with a good friend or a quiet country walk with your partner can have a massive positive impact on your mental well-being.

    Supplements

    There are a variety of natural supplements that may help you to reduce,  or alleviate some of the side effects of stress: -

    • Seromax-5HTP - 5-HTP or 5-Hydroxytryptophan is a type of amino acid that naturally occurs throughout the human body. It is a chemical precursor of the vital neurotransmitter known as serotonin – which is responsible for that feeling of wellbeing and happiness we sometimes experience.
    • CBD Oil – When cannabinol is mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil‚ CBD Oil is created and this harbours an incredible amount of wellbeing properties, including helping reduce anxiety and improving sleep.
    • Energy Gummies – These juicy gummies are packed with vitamins including vitamin A, D3, E and C, along with vitamin B complex which contributes to energy metabolism and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
    • Ashwagandha - Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, which is a traditional form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. People have used ashwagandha for thousands of years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration.

    Recognise when you need more help

    While all these tips may be useful, it is also important to recognise when you may need some professional help by consulting a doctor, social worker, counsellor, or psychologist.

  • Sleep Soundly

    Sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, allowing our mind and bodies to repair and recharge. Without enough sleep, we can experience a number of negative mental and health effects from weight gain and weakened immune system to reduced brain function impairing our abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and even process memories.

    The amount of sleep we need varies with the individual and is often relative to age and activity, but most adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. However, it is the quality of sleep that’s of most importance.

    There are many factors that can affect the quality and quantity of our sleep such as anxiety, stress, and depression, eating late, fatty foods, drinking, medical conditions and sleeping environment.

    Here are some top tips to help you sleep better: -

    • Identify the reasons you may not be sleeping as well as expected – this will help you determine what steps are needed to improve your sleep
    • Manage / reduce stress - try to relax and clear your mind before going to sleep
    • Limit naps to 20 minutes or less in the day and try not to nap at all after 3pm
    • Routine! Try to go to sleep at a similar time each night and get up at a similar time in the mornings. Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep e.g. reading or a relaxing bath
    • Ensure your bedroom environment is comfortable, dark, and quiet
    • Regular exercise but not within 3 hours of going to bed
    • Don’t eat heavy meals or drink caffeine late at night
    • Limit alcohol intake
    • Supplement aids can help you relax and get a better quality of sleep
      Ginkgo Biloba – taken 30 to 60 minutes before bed this supplement may help reduce stress, enhance relaxation, and promote sleep
      Seromax-5HTP - is a type of amino acid that naturally occurs throughout the human body. It is a chemical precursor of the vital neurotransmitter known as serotonin – which is responsible for the feeling of wellbeing and happiness
      Magnesium - relaxing properties may be partly due to its ability to regulate the production of melatonin. Magnesium is known to relax muscles and induce sleep

    We can all benefit from improving the quality of our sleep from time to time and luckily, for many of us, it may simply be a case of making small lifestyle adjustments to help us sleep better and truly benefit from the power of a goods night sleep.

  • Allergy Season: Prepare for Battle

    While many of us look forward to the beauty of Spring, for allergy sufferers it is probably the most annoying season of the year as the runny noses, puffy watery eyes, sneezing and itchiness starts.

    With the official start of Spring only a few weeks away, let’s look at how you can prepare your body to help fight off, or at least reduce the effects associated with seasonal allergies naturally.

    Our top 5 weapons are: -

    Natural supplements: Natural supplements boost your immune system and may reduce the need for common over-the-counter allergy medications, such as anti-histamines and decongestants.

    Vitamin C: The most common complaints during allergy season, such as watery eyes, sniffing, itchy throat and sneezing, are caused by one bad guy - histamine. Histamine is a natural chemical produced by the body's immune system that causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as the red, itchy bump after a mosquito bite. Vitamin C is histamine's natural foe because it prevents its formation.

    Probiotics: Probiotics are "good" bacteria that live in our guts. Taking a broad-spectrum probiotic supplement can increase your immunity and decrease the likelihood of experiencing allergy symptoms.

    Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are fats commonly found in oils from marine animals and plants, such as salmon and flaxseed. They have been shown to support good health in a variety of ways. They can also help you beat allergy symptoms! Omega-3s reduce inflammation in your sinuses and strengthen your immune system so that your body is ready to fight off allergens more effectively.

    Water: Staying hydrated can do a lot to relieve allergy symptoms. Dehydration triggers the body to release histamine (a nasty). Drinking around eight glasses of water every day is an easy, healthy way to feel better during allergy season.

  • 10 Ways to Beat Bloating

    Bloating is very common and is generally caused by a range of dietary, lifestyle, and health factors. Although it is extremely uncomfortable for anyone that has experienced it, the good news is that it can be prevented and alleviated with relative ease in most cases. Here are our top ten tips to help you prevent and ease bloating.

    1. Try and identify the source of bloating. Do you only get bloated after eating certain foods or is it more on an on-going problem that may need investigation?
    2. Drink lots of water. Water flushes waste out of your system helping bowel movement if you are constipated.
    3. Limit certain foods. Many vegetables and fruits such as sprouts, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, prunes, pears and peaches contain natural sugars that can be challenging for some people to digest.
    4. Eat more fibre. Fibre prevents constipation by adding bulk, which helps everything flow through your intestines more quickly.
    5. Eat with your mouth closed. This helps prevent you swallowing too much air when you eat - one of the biggest causes of bloating.
    6. Take small bites. Take more time over your meals and try to avoid drinking too much while eating.
    7. Increase probiotic intake. This ‘friendly’ bacteria helps to encourage good digestion and regulate bowl movements which can ease bloating. They can be found in certain foods such as yoghurt, kimchi and miso or taken in supplement form.
    8. Try peppermint. Peppermint has a long history as a digestive aid and can help ease discomfort as well as helping to reduce bloating and flatulence.
    9. Exercise! A quick ten-minute walk can relieve bloating and exercise overall helps move the contents of the gut and allows gas to pass through the digestive tract more quickly.
    10. Keep ‘regular’ – many of the tips above are aimed at helping keep your bowel movements regular as constipation is a major cause of bloating as well as other unpleasant side effects.
  • Varicose Veins

    If you have achy, tired legs or swollen ankles these could be an early warning sign of varicose veins, which affect around 1 in 2 adults in the UK. While they aren’t dangerous, they can be uncomfortable for those that suffer with them.

    What are Varicose Veins & Why do we get them?

    They are dilated veins under your skin in your legs and are caused by increased blood pressure in the veins. Our blood moves towards the heart by one-way valves in the veins and when the valves become weakened or damaged, blood can collect in the veins. Pregnancy and being overweight both increase the risk of varicose veins as pressure bears down on the veins in the groin area.

    Are they Harmful?

    While they aren’t deemed dangerous as such, they can cause discomfort and lead to other problems. The pressure in the veins, especially when standing, can lead to pain, swelling, eczema and even ulceration. In some cases, they can cause a clot (thrombosis) to develop causing the vein to become red, hard, and tender - known as “phlebitis”. If they get knocked or injured, they may cause bruising or occasionally bleed.

    Are there any Treatments?

    There are a variety of things you can do to help reduce the chances of getting varicose veins and help improve your condition if you already have them. These include:-

    • Exercise is important as the natural working of the leg muscles massages veins keeping them working well. While walking, running, cycling and swimming are all beneficial, walking is the simplest to do and really helps improve circulation.
    • Elevate your legs whenever possible. Putting up your feet for 10 minutes several times a day or adding a wedge or pillow under the bottom of the mattress at night can help. While elevation will be beneficial, if you can raise the feet above the level of the heart (chest) this will be particularly beneficial.
    • Avoid crossing your legs or standing around all day. If you do need to stay standing, do discrete exercising rising on to your toes several times to exercise calf muscles and raise your leg when on breaks.
    • If you are overweight, try and reduce your weight to get nearer to your ideal weight range.
    • Support stockings can help to keep legs comfortable and reduce the progression of the problem.
    • Good nutrition will help!  Blood flow can be improved by eating oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines) two or three times per week. Garlic is another potent agent to help improve blood flow - and garlic, onions and ginger also help to break down scar tissue in varicose veins. Drinking enough water is also beneficial – aim for around 1.5 - 2 litres of water daily.

    Can Supplements Help?

    There are several supplements which help to support leg vein health. It is important to take the early warnings of varicose veins seriously and to ward off any future damage as prevention is always better than a cure.

    • Vitamin E has potent blood thinning properties, reducing platelet ‘stickiness’ which helps to keep blood flowing.
    • Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is involved in making cellular energy and has been shown to reduce spider veins.
    • Ginkgo Biloba has been used in Chinese medicine for 3,000 years to improve blood flow to the extremities. Research has shown that Ginkgo reduces blood thickness, is an anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant effects important for blood vessel health.
    • Bilberry contains powerful dark-purple-coloured anthocyanins, a group of flavonoids, which help to strengthen blood vessels and prevent collagen breakdown to improve capillary fragility.
    • Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties help prevent cell damage, helps build collagen and strengthens blood vessels – helping to prevent varicose veins from worsening.
  • Beat the Blues

    Now we have packed away the last bauble and firmly put the fun and frolics of the festive season behind us, January can leave us feeling a little glum.  Here are a few basic tips to beat the January blues and embrace the New Year feeling more upbeat.

    Don’t set unrealistic resolutions

    While making plans to better yourself is a good thing, make sure these goals are realistic and achievable. Unrealistic goals are likely to end in failure and this is never a good feeling – don’t set your self up to fail. If you have set yourself a challenging resolution, set mini goals so you can get a sense of achievement along the way. This should help keep you motivated to stay on track.

     Try something new

    Look to find a new hobby or introduce something new into your routine. Getting passionate about something new can help relieve stress and gives you something to look forward to – a great way to lift your mood.

    Have a little me time

    Christmas and New Year is often fun but exhausting! Take some me time and relax. This could be anything from a simple bath, curling up for an hour with a good book, going for a walk or booking a spa treatment - just make sure you have some you time away from the stresses of daily life.

    Healthy eating

    Most of us ‘overdo it’ in December and feel a little heavier and more sluggish in the New Year. Take time to focus on enjoying a healthy diet and keep hydrated. Try to have a diet rich in wholegrains, lean meat, oily fish and at least 5 portions of varied seasonal fruit and vegetables. Not only will you feel better physically, your mood will also improve as you start to feel better.

     Exercise

    You don’t have to rush out and join a gym like everyone else in January! A simple 30-minute walk can boost your mood, raise your heartbeat and release endorphins – lifting your mood!  Regular exercise can increase energy and increase overall physical and mental health.

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