Vitamin D & Why You Need It

vitamin dVitamin D is more commonly recognised as the sunshine vitamin, as the main way to get it is through being exposed to the sun.

However, if you are in a country where the sun often refuses to shine or is blocked by clouds it can be difficult to get enough of it.

Thankfully however, there are foods that also contain Vitamin D, such as some types of fish, cod liver oil and egg yolks, and it is often added to things such as yoghurts and cereals.

Yet, for a vitamin that is a little more tricky to add to your diet than say, Vitamin C, Vitamin D has a lot of health benefits, and without it, it can lead to different bone and muscle weakness as well as other health issues.

The main thing that Vitamin D is known for is how it helps to absorb the bodies calcium intake so that the calcium can then go on to strengthen bones, teeth and hair.

Without Vitamin D, the calcium may not be absorbed properly into the body leading to deformities of the skeleton, for example rickets and can lead to osteoporosis.

However, as more and more research gets underway Vitamin D is also being looked at as a possible preventative measure against illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and glucose intolerance.

Vitamin D is also being looked at more closely in terms of the immune system, and although it is not completely understood how yet, it is thought that it can help to stop you getting sick before you’ve even realised that getting sick is a possibility.

It will be fascinating to see the research on this vitamin, however, for the bone strength it’s still extremely worth adding it to your diet and getting out a little when the sun is shining (just remember to take the sun cream!)

Can Music Reduce Your Stress Levels?

musicIt is difficult to go outside without seeing people plugged into their earphones, be it on trains, buses or even just walking around. This is because everyone is consistently plugged into there music, and it has become portable in a way that has revolutionised how we see it.

These technological advancements are not just arbitrary either. We often listen to music when we want to distract ourselves, meaning that although it is now portable and more readily available through MP3 downloads, the health benefits are still effective.

Now, when you think of music, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t usually the health benefits that it has. Instead, it’s thought of as entertainment, something to keep you amused on the commute to work and to energise you in the morning.

However, for years it has been heralded as a way in which to heal your mental chakra, to tap into memories, and to promote healthy relationships with certain things (i.e overcoming certain fears and phobias).

Music is thought to be healing as it is able to tap into our brains through the melody, pitch, timing and the beat of what is being played.

These things can potentially all work together to provide calm to both your mind and your body, particularly when the right type of music is being played.

This calm that the music delivers is important in fighting off things like stress.

Stress can weaken your immune system and leave you more open and susceptible to viruses and sickness, and so if you work in a high-pressure environment listening to calming music may be extremely beneficial.

Not only can music promote calm, but it also has physical effects and can actually influence your heart rate and reduce blood pressure.

Of course, the types of benefits that music may have does depend on the type, and music can not be used to solve every health issue, but it can help particularly when you are under huge amounts of stress.

What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Coffee?

coffeeIt’s not unusual to wake up in the morning and grab a cup of coffee before heading out the door, or at least waiting until your on your way to work and then picking up a cup at your favourite coffee shop.

In fact, in most TV shows, this is part of the ordinary routine of characters, but what does caffeine actually do to your body? And, what are the after effects of drinking this stimulant?

 Well, when you drink a cup of coffee the caffeine that is present in the coffee beans takes effect within minutes.

When the caffeine takes affect it starts to block the chemical signals in your brain which tell you that you are feeling sleepy, which is why its such a handy pick-me-up in the morning before work. However, it also has other affects too.

The coffee itself will take 3-5 hours to break down completely. In this time it is perfectly reasonable to assume that you may have had another caffeinated beverage.

When you drink too much caffeine however, the body starts to react. These reactions include but are not limited to, an increase in heart rate and blood flow, restlessness, insomnia, tremors, dehydration and digestive problems.

These reactions are due to the fact that caffeine is a stimulant, a word readily associated with drugs. Often seen as a legal high, caffeine affects your body and mind in many ways, yet in moderation it can be a handy tool for getting through modern life.

One of the main things to remember when drinking coffee however is that moderation really is the key.

Drinking it every morning for an extended period of time can lead to dependency.

This dependency can cause coffee withdrawal symptoms that manifest themselves through headaches, drowsiness and a loss of concentration that leads you to believing that you need more coffee to function.

Coffee is an easy solution, however remember, a balanced healthy diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle can often give you the same effects in a much healthier way.

Can Owning a Pet Improve Your Wellbeing?

petAnybody that owns a pet will probably tell you how having that pet in their life, be it a cat, a dog or a guinea pig, boosts their mood, but did you know that having an animal that you look after is thought to reduce your stress and therefore may be able to enhance your immune system?

It’s true, the wonders of the human body never cease to be amazing, yet it is ultimately what takes us out of ourselves and helps us to feel for another human being or animal that helps us through life and enables us to attain high levels of wellbeing and health.

Having a pet does this as when you have one you are responsible for it, much like you are when you have a child.

However, unlike a child with a pet the love that they give you is unconditional and they will always need you to look after them, and do things for them.

Having this in your life enables you to better fight off mental health problems such as depression, and the calming effect that even looking at fish swimming in a fish tank can have is amazing.

In addition to this, talking specifically with regards to dogs and larger pets such as horses, the health benefits are a lot more tangible.

The physical fitness that you get from riding a horse, or going for walks with your dog is incredibly important as it helps you maintain your cardiovascular health, and helps you to stay active.

Sometimes, when you don’t have any excuse to go outside, it’s easy to stay at home in bed and watch the television, but when you have a pet that needs walking this is no longer an option.

Come rain or shine this pet needs you to go out, and so you do, and this is where you interact with other people.

Getting outside with your pet opens up conversations, and we need this interaction to help boost confidence and boost our moods.

Thus, having a pet won’t turn you into a world class athlete, but it will help you feel less stressed and could enable you to become more active!

Jazz Night Fundraising Event for ESTHER

fundraisingGuess what? We have another very exciting event to announce!

On the 26th of June 2014 we will be holding a very special fundraising event at La Bodeguita restaurant (Elephant and Castle, SE1 6TE) complete with special speakers, jazz music, and steak. All proceeds from the evening will be donated towards ESTHER, a not for profit organisation that supports women from all walks of life, and helps victims of domestic violence.

ESTHER is a Slovakian organization that is very close to our hearts, and that is currently working very hard to combat violence and psychological abuse against women. As part of Nature & Life’s ethos, we really want to give back to the community, so what better place to start than with a not for profit organisation that are doing such great work to help women in the very place that we sourced the raw ingredient for our Beta Glucan 500.

Tickets are on sale now via Eventbrite, and are £25.00. The price of the ticket includes a glass of wine, dinner and entertainment. Of course, you are more than welcome to donate more to the cause if you so wish and there is an option for that when you buy the tickets, as there will be on the night. If you wish to buy tickets on the door, please remember that they will be priced at the slightly higher price of £30.00, however all money will be heading straight to ESTHER.

The event itself will start at 6.30 PM and will end around 11.30 PM. As well as the jazz music and entertainment, there will also be speakers throughout the evening. These speakers will be talking about human dignity and values, and reflecting upon how we as a society can help stop domestic violence and give women the power to talk about there experiences.

It will be a really great event, for an amazing cause, and we hope to see some of you there!

To buy tickets please click here: Esther Fundraising Night

Summer Fruits – What’s in Season?

summer_fruitsWhen the sun comes out, all I can do is think of fruit. Lovely, juicy fruit that’s just screaming out to be eaten.

But, what fruits are best to eat in the summer, when the heat is on and you just don’t fancy a huge meal? Well, in-season summer fruits are probably a good start!

In the UK a majority of the fruits that are in-season are berries.

As such, we thought that we would compile a list of our favourites alongside their most important health benefits, so that not can you enjoy the best summertime fruits, you can feel good about it too.

Strawberries: Strawberries are a fantastic summer fruit, and very a “British” summer fruit at that.

Regardless of if they are eaten fresh or frozen, they contain a large amount of antioxidants, and are particularly high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important, not only for eye health but also for skin health too.

Without Vitamin C, the skins elasticity and resilience is lessened, which makes way for wrinkles, however, lots of vitamin C can help with this, meaning that strawberries can indeed make you look younger!

Blackberries: Blackberries are a wonderfully lovely summer fruit that can be baked in cakes or pies.

Able to reduce inflammation, destroy free radicals in the body and retaining cardiovascular benefits, they are packed full of vitamin C and contain an array of health benefits.

Raspberries: Raspberries are a very juicy and colourful summer fruit that studies have shown may help go some way in helping with weight loss.

According to researchers, there is something in raspberries, which increases the enzyme activity in the body that breaks down fats enabling you to lose weight quicker.

Blueberries: Blueberries are renowned for their antioxidant properties, and recent research has found that they can even be used to help boost memory and help to maintain nerve cells!

Not only this, but they have also been said to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Which fruit is your favourite?

Processed Milk vs Unprocessed Milk

processed milkMilk isn’t really the most controversial of foods, although when asked if people prefer processed or unprocessed milk, everyone seems to have an opinion, although most people agree that the health benefits of unprocessed or “Raw” milk outweigh that of processed milk.

Namely, this is because of the array of different methods that the milk has to go through when it is being processed, particularly with focus on the pasteurisation of the milk.

Before even getting to the supermarket shelves, processed milk has been through cooling, testing, pasteurisation, homogenisation, separation and micro filtering, processes and, in some cases ultra-pasteurisation.

The testing is put in place to test the milk fat content, protein content, cell count and bacteria content of the milk, and if it doesn’t pass the accepted levels of each criteria at this point it never goes into production.

With the pasteurisation, the milk is heated and then cooled again, ultra-pasteurisation and micro filtering taking place after this where the milk is heated to an extreme temperature, and in relation to homogenisation, the milk is pushed through an atomiser which forces the milk fat content to be dispersed throughout the milk so that a thick layer doesn’t form on top.

After it has undergone all of these various processes, the milk is then chilled in fridges until use, many arguing that there is little goodness left in the milk itself after undergoing so many changes and that the cooking and heating of the milk destroys much of the nutritional value that we still place upon it.

This argument could be important, as studies have shown that raw milk can actually strengthen the immune system, and after it has been processed, if the heating and cooking of the milk destroys or lessens the nutritional value, then the benefits to the immune system are decreased.

Of course, it is important to note that the condition of the cows and what they are fed on is equally as important as how it is processed by us.

The production of healthy milk by cows relies heavily on nutritional feeding, good living conditions and health of the cow, however, lots of cows are being fed artificial feed, hormones and antibiotics.

This doesn’t always lessen the nutritional value of the milk, however it may not be as natural as you think.

As always, it is important to make informed decisions as to what you put in your body, and although processed milk may have less nutritional value than unprocessed milk, there are lots of other things that you should think about!

Don’t Miss Out!

beta glucanWe have some exciting news to share!

The Nature and Life team will be at Sogim Pharmacy in East Dulwich (115 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HU) on Saturday the 14th of June to meet all of you lovely readers that are interested in Beta Glucan 500 and boosting your immune system!

At the event we will be talking about immunity and how the product works, and will be answering any questions that you may have regarding your current health situation and if it would be a good fit for you!

What is more, the event is completely free. All you have to do is turn up and ask away.

Saturday the 14th is the perfect opportunity to ask us more about our fantastic Beta Glucan 500 two-week challenge, a challenge that is set to make you feel healthier and more energetic without having to rely on chemical filled energy drinks or caffeine.

When taking for a longer period, it is also a much healthier and longer-term solution for fatigue and general wellbeing.

Our Beta Glucan is able to be a longer-term health solution because it is a completely natural Beta Glucan extract, and with a 97% purity of extraction rate, it is the purest Beta Glucan on the market.

We know that this is the purest Beta Glucan on the market today as the method that we use for extraction has been patented and passed down through generations, and nobody has, as of yet, come up with an alternate method for extracting the Beta Glucan as cleanly as we have.

The 14th of June will be a really special day for us as it’s marking our first official product launch in a UK outlet, and as such it would be really great if you could join us there too!

The event will be held between 1 pm and 3pm, so please make sure that you pop in and help us to celebrate!