Are You Suffering From Anemia?

beta glucanIf you’re on this page then you may be concerned about your health and worried that you or someone that you know has anemia.

Whilst this blog post can act as a guide to anemia, if you are worried that you are suffering from it be sure to visit your GP or a health professional as many of the symptoms discussed can also be applied to other illnesses.

Remember, the Internet is a great resource, but it doesn’t stand in as a substitute for a check-up!

What is anemia?

Anemia is simply another way of saying that you have a deficiency in iron.

Iron is a mineral that our bodies need to carry oxygen around the body.

This is why when people suspect that they have anemia one of the first things that they say is a symptom is paleness.

What are the other symptoms?

As the lack of iron means that our bodies are essentially carrying less oxygen around the body.

This results in symptoms such as tiredness, lack of energy and even dizziness, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.

If you are feeling a combination of these things, or even one or two, the next step is a visit to the doctors. There they will take a blood sample and be able to diagnose it in no time.

What can you do about it?

The main way to combat anemia is through diet change, and adding in foods that have high iron content such as spinach.

However, once it has been confirmed that you have anemia your doctor will probably also recommend that you take iron supplements.

Iron supplements can have side-effects though, so if you really want to be back to normal and feel energized instead of sleepy, try to tackle the problem at it’s root.

This way you will be getting a lot more than just an increase in iron.

Choose Health

beta glucanWe all know that it’s important for us to exercise. The government have even given out guidelines that specify exactly how much exercise we should all be doing.

However, deep down, we already know what the government is telling us. We know that the more regularly you exercise, the healthier you are, the more energy you have and the more resilient you are when it comes getting sick.

Yet, when work and family and one hundred other commitments get in the way it can be a lot more difficult to fit in exercise, or anything else for that matter. So, what can you do?

Apart from the obvious, (taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting off of the bus a stop earlier and even swapping the bus commute for a bike commute instead), there is another option. Choose to exercise.

It sounds ridiculous, but when you actually make time for exercise, regardless of all of your other commitments, it is actually proven to boost not only your health and well-being, but your happiness levels too.

By taking time out, and actually focusing on your health it will help you to de-stress and help you to get back to your own personal equilibrium.

By choosing to exercise you are not just saying that exercise is the most important thing that you can do, but you are giving yourself an opportunity to look after yourself, admit that your health is important and to promote self-care.

Self-care is important as whatever else goes on in your life that may hinder your progress, if you take on the responsibility for looking after yourself and making yourself feel good you will be able to make these good emotions last longer.

Obviously exercising and looking after yourself isn’t going to guarantee a lifetime of happiness, but it certainly helps. Sometimes looking after yourself is your bodies best defence.

Insomnia

beta glucanWhen you don’t get a good night’s sleep you can find yourself becoming irritable, rundown and generally ‘off’.

However, what if it was not just one night’s sleep that was missing?

What if, like 30% of the current population of the UK right now, you suffered from insomnia.

Insomnia, according to medical definitions can include anything from 7 days to three weeks of sleepless nights, or nights where sleep is continuously disturbed without the full sleep cycle being completed.

After this period, professionals usually start to recommend medication to help you to sleep.

Primarily this is because sleep is needed for your body to operate properly.

Without sleep, insomnia can lead to relationship breakdowns, emotional issues and the increased likelihood of illness.

When you look at the statistics, 30% doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you think that this applies to 1 in every 10 people that you meet, and that they haven’t slept properly in around three weeks, the seriousness of insomnia is apparent. However, there are some things that can help.

Before doctors give out medication, they usually try other things, and ask you to try other things too.

Some things are as simple as asking you to create a sort of bedtime ritual, so that you do the same thing every night before getting into bed.

This helps your brain to get ready for bed, the same as your body, and is a lot more effective than watching TV right before sleep and then expecting to fall into a deep slumber.

In fact, cutting out any TV/ computer/ phone use for an hour before bed is also recommended.

Sometimes our brain really does need to just switch off. Cognitive behavioural therapy may also be used to treat insomnia, to override whatever it is that is stopping you from sleeping.

Sleeping is an important function, and plays an important part in our bodies’ immune system.

The more sleep that we get, the healthier we are, and the more living we can actually do!

Sun Safety

beta glucanI have to admit. I am usually the first to suggest an outing when it is sunny outside. Even if it is freezing cold and the middle of winter, the sight of the sun makes me want to run over hills and take in the fresh air.

However, with summers in the UK heating up, it is important to take our health into consideration before running outside and bathing in the sun. The reasons for this are twofold.

Whilst you need the sun to provide you with Vitamin D, too much exposure to direct sunlight in one go can make you feel very ill very quickly.

Sunstroke is a very common occurrence in the summer as people forget to cover up, stay hydrated and keep out of the sun when it’s at its hottest.

These things are easy to remember when on holiday, but when you are just going about your everyday routine, it can be difficult to take these things into consideration.

It has been discussed and debated for years, but scientific evidence has linked levels of sun exposure to different types of skin cancer.

Nobody can ever stay out of the sun completely (and doing so would be incredibly unhealthy), however, taking the proper precautions such as wearing suntan lotion and covering up using light layers can help.

Other skin concerns include burning and peeling (which don’t look great in holiday snaps!) and premature aging.

So before you run outside, or decide to skip the suntan lotion this holiday and replace it with an oil instead, remember that you’re body is what keeps you going and that you need to look after it to help it work as well as it can.

Besides, nobody wants to look like a lobster in their summer albums, do they?

Pre Holiday Health Boosts

holidayMany of us will fly to a far-flung destination this summer. However, when we are getting into ‘holiday mode’ and forgetting the 9-5 routine, health considerations seem to just fly away.

Now, we have already covered how to stop yourself from getting sick whilst you are on holiday, but did you know that there are also things that you can do before you go away to ensure that you have a fantastic trip?

These things are simple changes that you can make pre-holiday to make sure that your health is not affected whilst away, either through late nights and unhealthy food that lowers the power of your immune system, or the flights and the micro-bacteria that may be present on food tables and arm rests.

Eat Healthily

If you know that you will be ditching the usual 5 portions of fruit and vegetables whilst away, for chips and burgers then make sure that you eat healthily beforehand. This does not include a pre-holiday diet. To help achieve a stronger immune system before you fly, you need to eat a balanced diet. Cutting out major food groups before you fly may help you ditch a couple of pounds, but it will do nothing to strengthen your immunity.

Get Enough Sleep

Whilst away, time ceases to become an issue. Usually this is a good thing. It helps us to re-navigate our natural body clocks and whilst we are relaxed and chilled in the day, our nights become longer too. However, lack of sleep can lower your immunity, and going on holiday exhausted will only exasperate the problem. Not only that, but it will take you longer to un-wind and enjoy your holiday.

Try Taking Our Beta Glucan 500

 Beta Glucan 500 activates your immune system, helping it to work at its optimal level. Due to this, your body is more ready to fight off infections before you even know that you have them.

What tips do you have for pre-holiday preparations?

Staying Healthy When Travelling Abroad

travellingTravelling abroad is the one thing that people look forward to the most in the summer however, with all the excitement it is easy to forget health considerations which can lead to upset stomachs, sunstroke and more, leaving you with unpleasant memories instead of the relaxing fun ones we all want to bring back home.

Fortunately there are precautions that we can take that will save us from a nightmare holiday and that will insure that the stories that are brought back will leave everybody green with envy.

If you can, order your drinks without ice.

We know that most beach holidays are hot and you want to cool yourself down as quickly as possible by guzzling large amounts of liquid with ice, but in some countries tap water isn’t considered clean enough to drink, particularly if you are used to drinking bottled water.

In some restaurants and bars however, they use tap water to make the ice as the locals are used to it, but if you drink it you may be at risk of an upset stomach.

Following this,

Stick to bottled water: For the same reasons as above, if you are not 100% certain that the water that you are drinking is clean, or if you are used to drinking bottled water, it is best to stick to what you know and avoid any illness or complications.

Make sure that you cover up to avoid sunstroke or heat exhaustion: The sun is amazing, particularly when you spend all of your time in an office, but it can also be the downfall of a great holiday. By wearing suntan lotion and popping on a hat, you can save yourself from awful burns and pealing to high temperatures, headaches and more.

Be prepared: Make sure that you go prepared. Bring painkillers, anti histamines, plasters and any medication that you may already be on so that if the worst does happen, you can be prepared and don’t have to go through the agony of getting a doctor and using up all of your travel insurance money.

Repetitive Strain Injury(RSI) and What You Can Do About It

RSIRepetitive strain injury is an injury that you have sustained through carrying out an action repeatedly over a long period of time.

Usually the muscles that you are using become stiff and painful and it can be difficult to understand why, particularly if the action that is causing it is part of your every day routine. Unfortunately, for many people the reason that they develop this illness is that it is.

When mobile phones first started to become commonplace many health professionals were warning about using the text feature too often.

It was thought that using your thumbs to press the keys would lead to muscle strain and repetitive strain injury, particularly in teenagers and children who’s bodies were still developing.

Now however, keypads are a lot more commonplace, with many people now working behind computer screens and tapping away at their keyboards meaning that a lot more people are experiencing nerve pain and repetitive strain injury from every day tasks that are unavoidable.

However, the good news is that there are ways around this.

The main ways that you can avoid repetitive strain injury yourself is to recognise what actions that you are doing for a long period of time and then make a conscious effort to take regular breaks.

Of course, this is not always possible yet relaxation techniques can also help to relieve symptoms. Furthermore, If you know that you are developing repetitive strain injury it is important to seek help from a medical health professional.

You may think that it isn’t that serious, but pain, particularly nerve pain can be serious.

Your doctor may advise that you go to physiotherapy sessions to help build up strength in the muscles, or give you anti-inflammatory drugs to help you cope with the pain.

It is important to realize that repetitive strain injury can be caused by anything and that it’s not only your phone and laptop that you have to be careful of.

Anything that you do that involves a repetitive action can lead to it, so be aware of your body and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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!

Eye Strain: What Causes It & What You Can Do About It

eye strainEye Strain is no longer an ailment that is reserved for bookworms and university professors.

Due to the rise in our use of technology, the frequency with which we are glued to screens of some sort or another, and the lack of real breaks in between periods of use, more and more people are experiencing varying levels of eye strain.

Now, we all know that when computers first became something that everyone had access to we were told that after 20 minutes we should have a 5 minute break from our screens and then come back to it.

However, with a majority of people’s work being on computers these days, having a 5-minute break every 20 minutes is simply inefficient, and thus, nobody really sticks to it.

In offices, many people are staring at their screens for hours before looking up and taking a break, and even then, on their break from work, they may be on their phones checking their Facebook feeds or updating their Twitter.

I don’t know if it’s the demand for an acknowledgement as soon as you post something, or email someone, the feeling that you’re going to miss something, or the addictive nature of being plugged in, but it’s making our eyes work twice as hard leading to eye strain.

Technology is therefore having the same effect as reading small text in low light for a prolonged amount of time.

So, what can we do about it?

Maybe taking a break from your computer every 20 minutes is inefficient and not really doable when you’ve got lots and lots to do, however, looking up isn’t.

Taking a break from your computer screen doesn’t have to mean getting up and walking away from your work. Simply closing your eyes for 10 seconds, or looking in another direction for a minute or two works wonders.

Make sure that you are going outside on your breaks.

Too much artificial light and not enough natural light isn’t great for our eyes (or for your general wellbeing), so make sure that you take a step outside and embrace the sun every now and then.

Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep is really important for lots of our bodies functions, not least our eyes.

When we lose out on sleep our eyes become overly sensitive to light and can therefore become more painful and strained than normal if we aren’t taking breaks or looking after them!

Do you have any tips to share?

Do You Want Healthy Hair and Nails?

hair and nails

Your hair and your nails are probably the two parts of your body that you change the most, with haircuts, colours, nail polish and more.

Therefore, it’s not too far of a stretch to imagine that your hair and your nails are the two parts of your body that you pay the most attention to, and that you want to be glossy and shiny, long and strong.

Of course, we believe in natural solutions to natural problems, which is why we have shortlisted our favourite 3 foods that you can use to boost your hair and nails (and that you can use as treatments as well as treats!)

Blueberries

Blueberries get raved about all of the time, and for good reason!

They are absolutely full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K (important for blood clotting and bone health), manganese (great for your skin and hair growth), and vitamin C (which is great for hair and nail growth).

What is more, like purple shampoos are meant to take away the brassy tones from dyed blonde hair, blueberries, when applied as a hair mask (usually alongside Greek yoghurt and almond oil) can help preserve colour!

Coconuts and Coconut Oil

Delicious, and great for your hair and nails, coconuts and coconut oil are a fantastic natural option to shop brought remedies.

Packed full of vitamin E which when ingested promotes the flow of blood around the body, which in turn helps hair and nails to grow more quickly!

It’s also a great cheap and easy remedy for tired looking hair.

All you have to do is pop it on in the evening, leave it in over night and wash off when you wake up to leave your hair feeling silky smooth. What is more, the coconut oil can be used to remove dandruff!

Avocados

Avocado’s are a fantastic fruit, and work from the inside out to promote beautiful skin and nails!

Containing lots and lots of biotin, the avocado helps to make both hair and nails stronger and longer, and the omega 3 of which the avocado contains high-levels also helps your locks to stay shiny. What more could you want?

What natural remedies to you swear by to keep you looking and feeling good?