Lifestyle Tips

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 20 October 2021

To help bring awareness to World Mental Health Day, we thought we would share  9 simple ways to help look after your Mental Health.⠀⠀

🌸Be physically active⠀

🌸Talk about your feelings⠀

🌸Eat Well⠀

🌸Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night⠀

🌸Try something new⠀🌸Practice mindfulness⠀

🌸Keep in touch with friends and family ⠀

🌸Preform acts of kindness ⠀

🌸Ask for help⠀

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 1 October 2021

Breast cancer is a scary thought and all too many women assume that it won’t happen to them.  However the fact is, every 10 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer & it is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women that are diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50 but younger women also get breast cancer. 1 in 8 women are diagnosed during their lifetime. If breast cancer is discovered in its early stages, there is a great chance of recovery. This is why it is so crucial for all women to check their breasts on a regular basis and have their routine Mammograms.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer: Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumpsare not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by your doctor.

You should also see your GP if you notice any of the following:
🔴Change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
🔴Discharge from any of your nipples which may be streaked with blood
🔴A lump or swelling in either of your armpits
🔴Dimpling on the skin of your breasts
🔴A rash on or around your nipple
🔴A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
🔴Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

Even if none of these symptoms present themselves, a doctor should be visited to be sure. All women in the UK are invited for a Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram) every 3 years. A mammogram examination can  often detect cancer before any symptoms arise. 

Reducing your risk of Breast Cancer:

Cancer is often unpredictable and the causes of cancer are not fully understood, but there are things everyone can do to help reduce their cancer risk or improve their chances of beating the disease if they do get it. These lifestyle habits changes can also help lower your risk for other serious diseases & boost your odds of living a longer, healthier life.

💖Maintain a Healthy Weight
💖Exercise regularly
💖Have a low intake of saturated Fat
💖Limit your intake of Alcohol & Don’t smoke
💖Limit dose and duration of  Hormome treatments.

Organic September

Organic September

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 20 September 2021

This year has brought more changes to our world than anyone could have foreseen. In the face of climate change, diet related ill health and a widespread decline in wildlife, the need to change our food systems has never been greater. Organic September aims to bring awareness to these issues and encourage people to take the steps to a more organic lifestyle. By becoming part of the organic movement, you can help make a world of difference. 

How your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment. Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally-grown counterparts and people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods.

So what is organic?  If foods are classed as organic, the soil where crops are grown must be inspected and shown to be free of most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and the crops cannot have been genetically modified. Animals raised on organic farms do not receive antibiotics or growth hormones, are given feed that has been grown organically. Processed organic foods must not contain synthetic additives. 

By getting involved in Organic September, you are helping to support:
💚Biodiversity and wildlife
💚Helping to combat climate change
💚The highest standards of animal welfare
💚Reduced exposure to pesticides
💚Food as it should be, and food you can trust to put into your body

If you want to ‘Go Organic’ but find the thought of changing all your everyday products too daunting, then why not make a pact to replace just one of your everyday items each month with an organic one instead? As well as food items, you could also replace beauty products, household cleaning goods, and even clothing.

It’s easy to get involved, just look for the organic logo on the product that you buy or why not even about growing your own! 

World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 31 August 2021

5 Habits to Protect Your Brain and Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 40 million people globally. Science suggests that thedisease develops gradually over time. However, the disease is not an inevitable part of aging. Research offers hope for building a better brain as you age and preventing dementia. By adopting certain lifestyle changes, you can help protect your brain and reduce your risk of developing Alzheimers.

Here are five key habits to protect your brain:

BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE– Exercise helps activate brain plasticity (the brain’s ability to change its own structure as a result of experiences) and positive growth of connections in the brain while decreasing inflammation. Each week, you should aim for either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as jogging, fast swimming or riding a bike up a hill. 

MOVE IT OR LOOSE IT– Learn new skills and keep your mind active.Research shows that engaging in mentally stimulating activities is an important element in strengthening cognitive reserve, which is the brain’s resilience and capacity to function even when there is damage to brain cells. Stimulating the brain on a regular basis boosts cognitive pathways between neurons and builds resiliency in brain function. Try to find something that you like doing that challenges your brain such as learning a new language, games and crossword puzzles. 

DEVELOP GOOD SLEEP HABITS -Getting regular, adequate sleep is necessary for good brain health. Without adequate sleep, humans experience cognitive deficits of many kinds, including attention issues and declines in the ability to learn and process information.  Aim for 7 to 8 hours per night.  

EAT A BALANCED HEALTHY, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET– The food you eat can enhance brain function, prevent disease, and improve memory. Although each person is unique and has specific nutritional needs, eating a variety of healthy foods in their whole-food forms provides your body with essential nutrients that protect and nourish your brain. 

STOP SMOKING– Smoking does a lot of harm to the circulation of blood around the body including the blood vessels in the brain. Smoking contributes to a higher risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Studiesshow that people who smoke are at a higher risk of developing all types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

14 Healthy Staples to Keep Stocked in your Fridge

14 Healthy Staples to Keep Stocked in your Fridge

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 5 July 2021

A really important part of healthy eating is keeping your kitchen stocked with some essential healthy staples. By having these simple ingredients on hand, it will help make throwing a quick nutritious meal together a lot easier and encourage healthier choices. You can set yourself up by keeping a number of long lasting healthy foods in your fridge, pantry and freezer and use them to make quick nutrient rich snacks and meals.  

Here are some healthy staples that everyone should have in their kitchen:

Beans– Loaded with dietary fiber and protein. They’re also rich in vitamins, minerals & antioxidants. You can throw them in soups, pastas, salads, burritos and more.

Oats – Packed with protein, iron, potassium & magnesium, oats are filling, versatile &incredibly nutritious. You can use them in backed goods or even to make a healthy breakfast with your favourite nuts, seeds & dried fruits.

Nuts & Seeds –Nuts & seeds are full of protein, fiber, vitamins, healthy fats & minerals. They make a healthy snack and make a perfect topping on yogurts, salads or oats. 

Oils & Vinegars– These are the backbone of many recipes. They’re necessary for cooking, salad dressings, pan sauces & more. Try to use healthy oils such as Olive, Avocado and Canola oil. Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the healthiest vinegars to consume and is perfect for salad dressing! 

Fruit & Vegetables – Whether frozen or fresh, always keep your kitchen stocked with your favourite fruit & veggies as they are full of the healthy goodness your body needs.

Pure Maple Syrup & Raw Honey–These are healthy natural sweeteners, perfect for homemade marinades and salad dressings.

Greek Yogurt– Greek yogurt makes a great low-cal and low-fat substitute in recipes for mayo & sour cream.

Quinoa– One of the most nourishing and versatile whole grains and also one of the speediest grains to cook. 

Eggs– One egg contains six grams of essential protein for only 70 calories

Dried Herbs & Spicesare packed with antioxidant rich goodness not to mention, they add quick, easy and wonderful flavours to any meal. 

Garlic – Not only is garlic super healthy but it allows you to add flavour to your dishes quickly and easily. 

Lean meats – Whether it’s chicken, beef, turkey, or fish, lean meats are an excellent source of protein. When prepared healthily & paired with other nutrient-rich foods like veggies, lean meats contribute to a great meal that is low in fat and calories. 

Fish –A diet rich in fatty fish will give your body the Omega-3 fatty acids that it needs to promote optimum health.

Men’s Health Week

Men’s Health Week

By Tiffany in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 18 June 2021

This week the world celebrates Men’s Health Week. This is a time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men and to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems. Men’s health week focuses on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop and gain the courage to do something about it.

Many of the major health risks that men face can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle: regular exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking, stress reduction, and alcohol consumption in the moderate range. Regular checkups & screening tests can spot disease early, when it is easiest to treat.

As a simple guide, these are 7 numbers that all men need to know:

✅37 – a waist size of 37 inches or above puts you at increased of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
✅150 – men should aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.
✅5 we should aim to eat 5 portions of fruit & vegetables  a day.
✅14 – maximum 14 units of alcohol a week.
✅10 – cigarette smokers die 10 years younger on average than non-smokers.
✅120/80 – normal blood Pressure.
✅75 – 75% of suicides (3 out of 4) are by men.

Screening Tests & Health checks that every man should get to safeguard their health: (To find out more, speak to your GP.)

1.) Cholesterol Levels -The American Heart Association recommends that all adults over the age of 35 have their cholesterol checked every 5 years. 2.) High Blood Pressure – If your blood pressure is high, you may require medication to control it.

3.) Prostate Cancer – Talk with your doctor about your risks for prostate cancer & whether a digital rectal exam should be part of your physical.

4.) Testicular Cancer – By doing a testicular self-examination regularly means you soon get to know what feels normal for you.

5.) Colorectal Cancer Screening – According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer in men. Routine tests start at age 50.

6) Skin Cancer Checks- checking your moles regularly for abnormalities.

7.)Diabetes Testing – Blood pressure higher than 135/80 may be a symptom of diabetes.

National Walking Month

National Walking Month

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 27 May 2021

Did you know that May is National Walking Month? After this last year, most of us are appreciating the chance to get out of the house for a walk more than ever! And now that the evenings are staying lighter for longer, it makes it a perfect time to get out and get walking. Walking has a ton of health benefits that will hopefully motivate you to lace up those shoes and get moving.

Exercise is crucial to the mind and body. Not only for burning fat and keeping us fit, but also for our mental health! The simple act of brisk walking can do the world of good and help you to live a longer, healthier life. Studies show that women who walked more quickly had a life span of about 87 years compared to 72 years for women who walked slowly. Men who walked quickly had a life span of about 86 years compared to 65 years for men who walked more slowly. 

Here are some of the Amazing Health Benefits of Brisk Walking:

❇️Helps maintain a healthy weight

❇️Increased cardiovascular health – stronger heart and lung health. 

❇️Reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease

❇️Stronger bones and muscles

❇️Improved balance and coordination

❇️Helps to manage and prevent various conditions such as high blood pressure & high cholesterol. 

❇️Eases joint pain

Try to set yourself a walking goal every day and aim for at least 30 minutes a day. Whether it’s getting off the bus a stop earlier or walking to your local store and carrying your groceries home. Try to find ways to walk briskly every day to increase your heart rate. If you can, try doing 30 second intervals of jogging and walking. This will help to improve your cardiovascular health immensely. For even more health benefits, aim for at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. 

Ovarian Cancer Day

Ovarian Cancer Day

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 17 May 2021

Today is World Ovarian Cancer Day. It is the one day of the year we globally raise our voices in solidarity in the fight against ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer’ is not a singular diagnosis, rather it is an umbrella term for a multitude of different types of cancer that affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the primary peritoneal cavity. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of the female cancers for which there is no reliable screening test, and every women is at risk.  With delays in diagnoses due to this lack of screening and because symptoms are often confused with other, less severe, illness, most women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making it more difficult to treat. 

Below are some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. These can also be symptoms of other, less serious, conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome so if you’re experiencing them it doesn’t necessarily mean you have ovarian cancer. Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer Include:

✳️Bloating – Increased abdominal size / persistent bloating that doesn’t go away

✳️Eating complications – Difficulty eating / feeling full quickly

✳️Pain – Pain in pelvic or abdomen area

✳️Urinary Symptoms – Urgent or frequent urination   Occasionally, there can be other symptoms, such as:

✳️Changes in bowel habits

✳️Back Pain

✳️Abnormal bleeding – Any post-menopausal bleeding should always be checked your primary health care provider or doctor.

✳️Extreme fatigue

✳️Unexplained weight loss

There is no routine, simple screening test to accurately detect ovarian cancer. Contrary to popular belief, cervical screening (i.e. Pap smear) will not detect ovarian cancer. Cervical screening is effective in early detection of cervical cancer, but it is not a test for ovarian cancer. That is why being aware of ovarian cancer and its symptoms are important. If you have signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, speak to your doctor. The pathway to diagnosis includes:

*Pelvic exam

*Transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound

*CA-125 blood test

What Are Nutrients?

What Are Nutrients?

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 29 April 2021

We often hear about nutrients but do we actually know what they are?

Nutrients are the essential compounds that the body needs in order to stay healthy. Nutrients must come from food and they’re vital for helping our body repair and grow, providing us with energy and also preventing disease. 

Nutrients are broken down into 2 categories- Macronutrients & Micronutrients.  

Macronutrients are the essential building blocks of our diet and are consumed in large amounts. These include protein, carbohydrates and fat, which provide your body with energy. Micronutirients come from vitamins and minerals and are consumed in small doses. However, their impact on the body’s health is critical, and deficiency in any of them can cause severe and even life-threatening conditions.

There are six main groups of essential micronutrients and macronutrients.

1.) Protein–Your body needs protein to help fuel energy and carry oxygen throughout your body. It is essential for keeping the muscles, bones, hormones and tissue in your body healthy and functioning properly.  

2.) Carbohydrates – Good complex whole carbohydrates fuel your body with energy. They are also high in fibre, metabolism boosting and can help you feel fuller longer.

3.) Fats– Healthy fats help to aid hormone function, protect your heart, your memory and the absorption of specific nutrients. 

4.) Vitamins– Our bodies rely on vitamins to function properly, ward of disease and to stay healthy. There are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs to function properly, including vitamins A, C, B6, and D. 

5.) Minerals – Minerals are crucial for many body functions, including building strong bones and teeth, regulating your metabolism and staying properly hydrated. Some of the most common minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc.

6.) Water –Water is crucial for the functionality of every system in your body including your heart, brain and kidneys. It also helps flush out toxins, carry nutrients to cells and hydrate your body.

The best way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs, is through a varied diet with plenty of fruits & vegetables, healthy proteins, fats and whole grains. 

National Stress Awareness Month

National Stress Awareness Month

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 6 April 2021

Millions of people around the world are experiencing high levels of stress during these very challenging times.  For some of us, it can be debilitating and often damaging to our health.  Stress is a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems. Stress is a normal part of human existence and nobody is immune to it. Therefore, it is important that we take care of our mental health and arm ourselves with the  knowledge of how to recognise the onset of stress and also learn skills on how to cope with it when it arises.  

Since April is officially National Stress Awareness Month, we thought we would share some helpful tips on how to reduce stress during these very difficult times.   

  • Meditate— Since your immune system responds to both negative & positive thoughts, meditation creates a positive mental environment for the immune system to flourish. It also creates a deep state of rest that triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters that enhance feelings of wellbeing.  
  • Breathe — Doing some slow, belly breathing can calm the mind, which in turn strengthens the immune system. When we slow down the breath, we calm the stress response that can weaken the immune system. Try counting to 4 or 5 with each inhalation and exhalation to slow down your breathing. 
  • Sleep— Sleep has been known to boost T-cells which help us fight disease, especially viral diseases. Get at least 7-8 hours of natural, restful sleep.
  • Eat well – Eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables are vital for our immune system as the vitamins, antioxidants and micronutrients that they contain keep our cells healthy, like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, zinc and other trace elements needed to support our immune system.
  • Get regular exercise — Exercise can contribute to overall good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.