Health and Wellbeing

Health & Wellbeing Advice

Nine Tips to Get a Fulfilling Night’s Sleep

Advice by Dr Marilyn Glenville

Feeling as though you’ve ‘woken up on the wrong side of the bed’ and the hustle and bustle of your commute is more of a bug-bare than normal? If you get even a couple of hours less sleep than usual, then this could be a reason why you’re feeling more grumpy, according to research from the Iowa State University.

To prevent feeling cranky and having a ‘shorter fuse’ try and include these health tips into your daily routine, to help you get a fulfilling night’s sleep.

1. Night sweats are not to be ignored

“If you find yourself waking with night sweats you want to be clear whether you have woken because you are sweating, or if you have woken up and then started to sweat. If the sweat wakes you up then you may be having a menopausal night sweat and should look into ways of reducing this, such as eating healthy foods little and often. However, if you wake and then you start to sweat, or get other symptoms like palpitations, or just feel wide awake then this is most likely caused by an adrenaline surge because your blood sugar has dropped during the night.

“If this is the case, then it’s important to keep your blood sugar in balance during the day. One way you can help do this is by having a small snack of complex carbohydrates, such as an oatcake, half a slice of wheat or rye bread, about an hour before bed. This will stop your blood sugar dropping overnight, and prevent adrenaline from being released into your bloodstream and causing you to wake,” recommends Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of The Natural Health Bible for Women, www.marilynglenville.com

2. Take note of timings

“Keep to a sleep routine, if possible setting your alarm to wake you up at the same time each day, regardless of the time you finally fall asleep. It is also a good idea to TRY and be in bed by 10pm – although this is not always easy!” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville.

3. Use relaxation or visualisation techniques

“If you find that your mind will not shut off then you need to retrain it to calm down as you go to bed. Sometimes the easiest way to do this, especially if you have an active mind, or are a ‘worrier’, is to get your mind to think of something else. Take yourself off to a wonderful beach, or a beautiful garden, and let all your senses become involved. Hear the sounds on that beach, smell the flowers in the garden, feel the sand through your toes, picture the blue sky and really make the place come alive. Each night that you do this, you will find that the time it takes to go to sleep will get shorter and shorter because going to this beautiful place signals to your brain that this is the time for sleep,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville.

4. Stay clear of a restful night’s sleep by eating broccoli

Why not make it part of your new year’s resolution to include sleep-friendly foods in your diet? itsu’s brand new dish ‘No Meat Mondays’ (itsu, £7.99), contains steamed broccoli that is not only packed with B vitamins, which are essential to support your brain health, but broccoli is also rich in tryptophan, which plays a key role in creating serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s associated with sleep and melatonin levels (a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycles).

5. Soothing smells

When you go to bed feeling relaxed you’re more likely to fall asleep easily and quickly. Dr Marilyn Glenville suggests incorporating scented oils into your bedtime routine. “Try using aromatherapy oils such as bergamot, lavender, roman chamomile and marjoram in a warm bath, just before bed. A few drops of lavender oil on your pillow at bedtime can also help.

6. Up your magnesium

Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ as it helps to relax our muscles, which in turn can help us fall into a peaceful sleep. “Try and include plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables. I’d also recommend taking KalmAssure Magnesium Powder, by Natures Plus (£24.50, www.naturesplus.co.uk

This is a naturally chelated magnesium which means it is very easy to absorb and easily delivered to the tissues,” explains Nutritionist Cassandra Barns

7. Write things down

“Write down what you need to do the next day at least an hour before bed.  The aim is to stop the dialogue in your head which can end up stopping you from getting off to sleep, or else waking you up in the middle of night remembering something that has to be done the next day,” advises Dr. Marilyn Glenville.

8. Cut out the night cap

You might think that enjoying a glass of wine before bed is one of the easiest ways to get to the land of nod, but it could actually leave you waking up feeling less than refreshed. Dr. Marilyn Glenville explains, “Avoid alcohol. Not only does it affect blood sugar levels causing adrenaline and cortisol to be released, but it also blocks the transport of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is important because it is converted into serotonin, the calming and relaxing neurotransmitter.”

9. Keep your bedroom comfortable and restful

“Pay attention to the temperature in your room and make sure it’s not too warm and not too cold. Cooler is better than warmer. Keep the room restful: a quiet, dark, cool environment sends signals to your brain that it is time to wind down. Invest in a good bed: If your bed or mattress is uncomfortable or more than ten years old it may need replacing,” recommends Dr. Marilyn Glenville.

Weight Loss Story

Bespoke Over 55 Gym Membership Helped Pauline Lose 3 Stone

Pauline Worthy loses three stone with Anytime Prime gym membership

For over 50 years, Pauline Worthy has suffered with being overweight. The lifelong Newbury based single parent has regularly attempted various diets but failed to achieve sustained results and success. On top of her weight issues, Pauline was having to balance raising a young son while working part-time at the local Wilko store.

Pauline’s then mildly active lifestyle consisted of infrequently walking her dog and occasionally experiencing the gym. This negative approach resulted in Pauline indulging with bad food habits which led to her seeking the guilty comforts of junk food.

Nevertheless, hope was in sight when Pauline received invaluable motivation from her son and Anytime Fitness Newbury Manager, Matt Worthy. He encouraged Pauline to join his fitness club where they were trialling ‘Anytime Prime’, a bespoke membership created by Anytime Fitness to engage members over 55 years of age.

Matt explained how she could be part of a welcoming, safe and social environment, meeting with like-minded people while enjoying special ‘Prime’ classes which focus on low impact and recovery activities. This proposition strongly appealed to Pauline and subsequently decided to trial the membership.

Despite previously feeling intimidated whenever entering a gym, Pauline’s working hours enabled her to visit the club during its quietest hours to build her confidence. Before too long, her initial fears were quickly dismissed as Pauline built up strong rapport with Fiona, an Anytime Fitness Newbury ‘Anytime Prime’ Personal Trainer.

Fiona supported Pauline’s transition from starting out on the treadmills and cross trainer to actively participating in a tailored group exercise class dedicated to Prime members to help her mobility and stretching.

This ongoing commitment has resulted in Pauline training at Anytime Fitness Newbury at least four to five times per week, achieving a fantastic weight loss of over three stone. After initially combining the cardio machines’ virtual tours whilst watching TV when exercising, Pauline also now enjoys using several of the weight machines and highlighted how she is feeling about her transformation.

Pauline says, “I am delighted with my weight loss and am determined to continue my journey. I feel much healthier and my self-confidence has improved dramatically. Prior to joining Anytime Fitness Newbury I had occasional back ache and my knees were giving me problems. My training and weight loss helped me considerably and I now don’t suffer from either of these problems.”

Pauline concludes the positive impact that ‘Anytime Prime’ has had on her lifestyle and the membership has also attracted her friends’ interest: “My enthusiasm has encouraged friends to join as Prime members and it is fun to exercise as part of a small group or alone. All of the Anytime Fitness Newbury team are very friendly and encouraging, nothing ever seems to be an issue for them!”

If you’re inspired by Pauline’s story and want to trial Anytime Prime and get your free club trial membership pass, find an Anytime Fitness club near to you at www.anytimefitness.co.uk/2019

Fidget Tool Kit for Dementia

Fidget Widget Toolkit Provides Meaningful Activity for Those Living with Dementia

An Alzheimer’s Society and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) funded innovation has created five tactile wooden tools – the Fidget Widget toolkit. The Fidget Widgets provide meaningful activity for those living with dementia, who may experience fidgeting behaviours and have difficulty with words. 

The Fidget Widget improves the wellbeing of people with dementia by tapping into the psychological need to feel occupied, engaged and included in an activity of their choice. Feedback from carers suggests this can help people with dementia feel calmer and more relaxed.

Carol Benabda, a Dementia Support Worker who has worked with people affected by dementia engaging with the toolkit says, “‘It was very much a wow moment, big smiles on faces.

“A lady with dementia immediately began to interact and engage with the Fidget Widgets – she was laughing with a big smile on her face and spent a long time exploring the tools.

“The family of a lady told us that, when they collected her from the day centre at the end of the day, often she was cross but when she had spent some time using the tool she was different. She was happy and it lasted throughout the evening.”

The specially designed widgets, which use touch, feel and repetitive movements, each with a particular motion; spin, slide, twist, turn and roll, are intended to be unrecognisable, removing any need to rely on memory or words to use them. Manufactured by Active Minds, the tool means users are free to get creative, playing and interacting with the tools as they wish, with no right or wrong way of using them.

The idea was developed by industry experts, Judith Bower, Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Adviser, and Jane Souyave, Senior Graphic Design Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire. After speaking to numerous carers where fidgeting and repetitive movement was often the subject of conversation, they realised that there was a gap in the care market.

Judith Bower says, “Carers often described fidgeting as a negative and disruptive behaviour. We wanted to create something that would tackle this idea, while, at the same time, creating something engaging that people with dementia could benefit from.”

The creative duo applied to both Alzheimer’s Society’s and the University of Central Lancashire’s Innovation funding schemes, which support innovative research that could better help people with dementia live better. Provided with advice and support by the charity, the duo tested their tools in day centres, care homes, and in people’s homes over a two year period. They found that both men and women engaged with the tools equally, and that families were keen to be involved in using it with their loved ones.

The Fidget Widget toolkit is one way in which Alzheimer’s Society is leading the way in rebalancing investment between biomedical and care research. We have invested £5.6 million in three Centres of Excellence across the UK, and as a founding funder of the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI), are supporting the investment of £20m for a care and technology work stream.

Fiona Carragher, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, says: “The Fidget Widget toolkit addresses an unmet need for people with fidgeting behaviours, a group which can be overlooked or labelled ‘difficult to manage’.

“Dementia is a devastating condition, and while our funded researchers are hard at work to find a cure, it’s great to see the brilliant ideas that we have helped make a reality, being employed to help people with dementia right now.”

Jane Souyave, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), says, “In collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society and Active Minds, the Fidget Widget Toolkit is the result of eight years of research and development and provides an opportunity for those with advanced dementia to be engaged in meaningful activities that enhance personal wellbeing.

“The results of our product testing, in people’s own homes, day centres and Lancashire County Council care homes, confirm that the toolkit supports psychological needs. Users feel occupied, engaged and included in a meaningful activity of their choice. Caregivers also reported that there was an ongoing and lasting well-being effect.”

Ben, Founder and CEO of Active Minds says, “We are delighted to be partnering with the Alzheimer’s Society and UCLan to bring the Fidget Widget to market. Active Minds have spent the past 8 years creating products to make people with dementia feel valued and included. As it is often those with moderate and advanced dementia that are harder to reach, we are excited to now be able to offer more to those customers. We have already secured pre-orders from care groups and international partners as many have recognised this meets a need for those with more advanced dementia”

Jackie Pool, Director of Memory Care, Sunrise Senior Living UK, “We are delighted to have the Fidget Widget Toolkit in all of our Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare Homes. Having these evidence-based, specially designed resources will support our residents to be engaged and relaxed – and they are beautifully made, tactile objects that everyone can enjoy.”

The full Fidget Widget Toolkit is available at alzheimers.org.uk/shop priced at £59.99 for the complete kit of five tools, or you can buy each tool for £12.98 each.

Natural Oxygen

Boost Your Oxygen

Oxygen is vital to our bodies’ strength and vitality as it directly fuels 90% of all body and mind functions. The human body must have oxygen to convert fuel (the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in our diet) into heat, energy, and life. Conditions that can reduce the body’s oxygen levels are air pollution, poorly ventilated living and working spaces, intense workouts, sports activities, demanding lifestyles, stress and alcohol consumption. Boost Oxygen is a natural solution to the negative effects of low oxygen levels such as low energy, a lack of concentration and exhaustion. A few deep breaths of Boost Oxygen will help you stay at your best.

Used by celebrities such as Kayne West and Khloe Kardashian it’s defiantly an A-Lister’s must have item. Not only used by A-listers a large number of athletes are using Boost Oxygen as part of their regular training programme. During times of strenuous physical activity, the body simply exhales more carbon dioxide than it admits in oxygen. The body’s response to maintain blood oxygen levels is to obviously breathe more heavily to increase oxygen intake.

Anaerobic respiration can also occur. This is when the body starts to use internal sources for its oxygen, as it is not receiving enough from the outside air. Muscle fatigue and cramping occur when glycogen in oxygen-starved blood turns into lactic acid. Adding oxygen to the blood inhibits the production of lactic acid and helps the body clear out any lactic acid that is already present. Recovery is easier with supplemental oxygen. Supplemental oxygen allows the athlete to train harder, train longer and to recover faster.

Breathing increased oxygen has also been shown to improve cognitive performance. The brain is the largest consumer of oxygen out of all the organs in the body using over 20% of the oxygen the body takes in. By using pure oxygen you are helping your brain concentrate better.

Boost Oxygen is Natural and costs £19.99 from https://boostoxygen.life for 9 litres.

Volunteer in your Retirement

Volunteer for Paul Newman’s Charity
for Children

Paul Newman celebrates 20 Years with Over the Wall Charity

Over the Wall, the children’s charity that provides free residential camps for children with serious illness, has opened up its volunteering opportunities in a bid to attract more retirees. 

The charity, originally founded by the Hollywood legend, Paul Newman, is this year celebrating 20 years since the actor launched the organisation. It’s 20th anniversary will see a record number of free camps for children with serious illnesses, which need to be facilitated by volunteers across the UK. 

Ordinarily, volunteers are required to stay onsite, however this year, in a bid to attract more retirees to volunteering positions, the charity has introduced a new role of ‘Daytime Volunteer’. This has been introduced to appeal to retirees allowing them to participate in all the fun and excitement of camp- but go home at the end of the day.

The camps which take place in various areas across the UK and require around 700 volunteers a year to help create an unforgettable Camp experience for young people with serious illnesses, and their families.

Over The Wall’s camps aim to enable children  to reach beyond the perceived limitations of their illness and rediscover a whole new world of possibilities, helping to build their confidence, self-esteem and social skills.  

The camps also focus on the families and siblings of children living with serious conditions, acknowledging the impact that their illnesses can have on family life.  

Zoe Grant, Director of Volunteering for Over The Wall explains, “We are looking for more retired people to join as volunteers as we feel that our camps need a diverse range of people, and a variation of age groups.

“Retired people often have the life skills that we need at camp, that parenthood, grand-parenthood, or life experience may have taught them – that many of the younger volunteers may not have. Having a range of generations volunteering helps to offer campers a rich and balanced experience at camp.” 

Daytime volunteering opportunities exist at all Over The Wall camps across the UK, to find out more about the camps, volunteering and how to apply go to www.otw.org.uk  

Or call 02392 477 110. 

Daisy First Aid

Paediatric First Aid Classes Endorsed
By A-Listers

Daisy First Aid offer fun and fear-free first aid courses designed specifically for parents and child carers. Recommended by various celebrities, their aim is to educate people in a way that makes them feel both confident and comfortable in emergency situations.   

Offering two-hour sessions, which take place in attendees’ homes or a local venue, the world of emergency first aid is explained and demonstrated in an engaging and simple way. Families and carers can interact and learn the important skills needed to save a life and treat the most common paediatric accidents and emergencies. 

Daisy First Aid was founded in 2014 by former police officer Jenni Dunman, who experienced a vast number of first aid emergencies during her time in the force. The idea to launch Daisy First Aid came when her friend’s daughter began to choke on a cookie.

Thankfully, as an advanced first aider, Jenni knew exactly what to do and she quickly stepped in to successfully remove the blockage, and the little girl recovered with no injuries. It was then that Jenni realised first aid was not something that was typically offered to new parents, and many might not be aware of the basic skills needed to safely save their child’s life.

In just four years Jenni has grown her business into a multi award-winning company (with franchises across the UK) and is a leading paediatric first aid expert in the UK. She dedicates a great deal of time volunteering at national charity events and has a huge celebrity client portfolio including Russell Brand, Christine Lampard and Rochelle and Marvin Humes.

Jenni Dunman comments, “We teach paediatric first aid to thousands of parents each year. It’s both rewarding and emotional when you get that call to say a parent saved their child’s life thanks to Daisy First Aid.

“We are so passionate about the importance of first aid and absolutely love what we do. We are continuing our work in 2019 on an even bigger scale to educate more people on the simple steps than can so easily save a life.”

Classes with Daisy First Aid are £25.00 per attendee and further information can be found at www.daisyfirstaid.com

Health Benefits of Tea

What’s Special about Your Daily Brew?

Spotlight on the top healthy
ingredients of a cup of tea

Tea is the nation’s favourite drink and for good reason: it not only tastes great, but it’s good for our wellbeing.

The health-enhancing flavonoids obtained from just two cups of tea a day reduces the risk of death from all-cause mortality by 40%, according to research published in the American Journal of Nutrition.

Studies have found that drinking tea is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammation — which is recognised as a factor in many age-related health issues. Research shows it may even aid weight control and influence fat distribution.

Now an exciting new report, compiled by the Tea Advisory Panel, Who Brew Knew That? For Good Health, It’s Always Tea Time, explores the science and latest studies around the health benefits of tea. The report reveals in detail many of the ingredients – and their biochemical properties – that have been found to bring significant health benefits.

Dietician and a member of the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), Dr Carrie Ruxton says, “Tea is the ultimate superfood as it provides around 80 per cent of the flavonoids in the UK diet and 70% of our dietary fluoride unlike other expensive superfoods with questionable claims and supposedly packed with antioxidant flavonoids.”

Laboratory studies show that just one cup of tea delivers the same flavonoid activity as two apples, 3.5 glasses of orange juice or ten glasses of long-life apple juice. Another, which focused on the oxidative stress which has a role in making arteries harden, found the flavonoids in tea were more potent antioxidants than vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene.

Professor Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology within Medicine at the University of Southampton and a guest advisor to TAP says, “Tea and other tea herbal infusions are such familiar friends, we often overlook the number, and range, of health benefits they bring to the table.

“Two of the biggest drivers for illness and age-related physical and cognitive decline are oxidation and inflammation, and tea helps combat both. It’s no wonder that drinking tea on a regular basis reduces the risk of so many health issues and barely a month goes by without fresh evidence of the benefits of a brew.”

What’s in a cuppa?

Black tea, which is the one we drink most often in the UK, and green tea more common in Asian countries are both produced from the same plant – Camellia sinensis – as is Oolong tea. Their distinctive flavours and flavonoid profiles stem from the fact that they are processed differently, and this may explain the different health benefits of different teas.

Scientists estimate that tea has around 4,000 bioactive compounds, with a third coming in the form of polyphenols, a family of natural plant composites which protect plants from ultraviolet radiation, bacteria, viruses and other damaging microorganisms. Polyphenols account for between 30% and 42% of the dry weight of tea and many have proven health-enhancing activity.

Depending on their chemical structure, the polyphenols in tea fall into two main groups: flavanols such as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate or epigallocatechin-3-gallate), EGC, (epigallocatechin) and ECG (Epicatechin gallate) and other catechins; flavonols such as quercetin, kaempferol.

Tea scientist, Dr Tim Bond and a member of TAP says, “Plants have developed these polyphenols to protect themselves from a variety of threats, and there is clear evidence that many of these plant chemicals have potent bioactive properties which help protect human health, too.

“We know that many of the polyphenols found in tea are incredibly effective at removing excess reactive oxygen species [ROS], chemical messengers which are involved in DNA damage, inflammation, and many age-related diseases, when levels are too high.”

Laboratory tests have found the flavonoids in both black and green tea have far higher antioxidant activity against peroxyl radicals — which promote inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases — than are found in vegetables such as garlic, kale, spinach and Brussels sprouts, which are considered anti-carcinogenic.

Dr Chris Etheridge from TAP, and a leading Medical Herbalist says, “A number of flavanols and other plant chemicals present in tea have proven health properties, but there is also evidence that synergistic interactions between these compounds are responsible for some of the health benefits of tea. And as different teas are associated with different polyphenols and health benefits, it makes sense to break out of your routine and try a new brew.”

Tea catechins

The most abundant and biologically active catechin in tea is EGCG, which is known as epigallocatechin gallate or epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Laboratory tests have found that EGCG is not only more effective at killing cancer cells than 5-fluorouracil, a widely used chemotherapy drug, it also inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

EGCG and the catechins EGC (epigallocatechin) and ECG (Epicatechin gallate) — which have found anti-cancer activity (laboratory tests) — look and behave like molecules known as chaperones, which may help protect against cancer and have been tipped as the future of cancer therapy. They have also been shown to be potential DNA intercalators which could be another mechanism of action.

But the benefits of these catechins extend far beyond cancer prevention. A recent review confirmed that EGCG, inhibits hardening of the arteries, thickening of heart muscle and damps down inflammatory markers and other factors which increase the risk of heart attacks and diabetes. There is also evidence it can head off the vascular damage associated with diabetes and dementia.

Quercetin a flavanol found in tea has a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action and helps regulate immune response and reduce allergic reactions. Like the catechins in tea, quercetin protects against hardening of the arteries and exhibits anti-cancer activity. It’s thought that quercetin and catechins could have a synergistic effect when combined, as they are in tea.

Kaempferol is another constituent of tea with proven anti-cancer activity. This stems from signalling pathways associated with inflammation, which often paves the way for cancer; programmed cell death, or apoptosis, which gives rise to cancer when it goes wrong; angiogenesis, which allows cancers to grow, and metastasis which allows them to spread around the body.

Kaempferol has also been shown to prevent and reverse ventricular fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction, providing an experimental basis for clinical treatment on ventricular fibrosis.

Caffeine acts on a number of messenger chemicals in the brain to improve memory, alertness and mood and combat fatigue. A number of studies have shown it can improve physical performance. But too much caffeine — more than 400mg in one serving — is associated with insomnia, irritability, nervousness and headaches.

Tea has half the caffeine of coffee – less than 50mg per mug – and more importantly it has other active ingredients such as L-theanine which blunt the stimulation of caffeine and introduce feelings of calm concentration. 

Fluoride – tea is also one of the best sources of fluoride, necessary for strong teeth. A mug of black tea contains around 1.2mg of fluoride, so four servings achieve the recommended intake of 3.5mg.

L-theanine is an amino acid which is found almost uniquely in tea. It is a relaxant which blocks the vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels, associated with caffeine. This may explain why drinking a lot of tea won’t produce the same jitters, headaches, raised blood pressure and heart palpitations associated with heavy coffee drinking.

Dr Etheridge from TAP says, “We have clear evidence of the bioactivity, modes of action and health benefits of many of the plant chemicals found in both black and green tea, but we are probably just scratching the surface when it comes to identifying and understanding all their health-enhancing properties.”

Dr Tim Bond from TAP adds, “We all instinctively know that tea is good for us, simply because it gives us such a lift. But as scientists continue to explore the different actions and interactions of its chemical components, we are beginning to unravel the secrets behind its proven health and benefits.”

The Tea Advisory Panel

The Tea Advisory Panel is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the UK Tea & Infusions Association, the trade association for the UK tea industry.

The Panel has been created to provide media with impartial information regarding the tea. Panel members include GPs; chemists; nutritionists; dieticians; dentist and herbal medicine doctors.

For further information please visit www.teaadvisorypanel.com   

Personal Care Range

Aroma Care Solutions Develops Unique Range for Home Care

A new range of personal and home care products is set to revolutionise the health and wellbeing industry by providing a touch of luxury for people receiving care whilst offering a practical solution for carers.

Designed by Aroma Care Solutions, the range is aimed at elderly, sick or disabled people and their carers. It combines nurturing natural ingredients and exquisite aromatherapy to create practical, effective solutions banishing daily indignities such as incontinence or accidents.

Created by experts with backgrounds in aromatherapy and industrial cleaning, Aroma Care Solutions uses long-lasting fragrances, making life easier for the carer and giving a boost to people in their care.

The extensive range is the first of its kind on the market, encompassing both personal care and care around the home.

Its launch comes at a time when the care industry is reaching crisis point with the number of carers set to rise from seven million to over 10 million within the next 12 years with more than a million people over the age of 65 needing round-the-clock care during the next 20 years, according to recent research by Newcastle University and the LSE.

The Aroma Skincare Solutions range is ethical and gentle, with fragrances to help calm, soothe and uplift spirits. The premium products include the Hand and Nail Barrier Formula, Nose Guard Aromatic Balm, English Florals Hair and Body Wash, Fresh Green Handwash, English Florals Hand and Body Lotion, Organic Rose Water Spritz and English Florals Hand Sanitiser.

The Aroma Homecare Solutions range comprises ethical, gentle products designed to revive the body and mind while keeping the home clean and protected.

Within the range is the ground-breaking Bio-Enzyme Odour Management Formula, which not only manages but eradicates malodours caused by bodily fluids on textiles, sinks, baths, showers, plug holes and wet rooms; the Antibacterial Hard Surface Cleaner, which leaves surfaces around the home hygienically clean with an exquisite fragrance; Protective Loo Guard, an antibacterial, fresh-smelling liquid leaving the loo thoroughly cleaned; Absorbent Aromatic Granules, which help with the clean up of bodily fluid spills, and Deodorising Powders for Carpets, a floral scented solution.

Aroma Care Solutions is the brainchild of co-founders Julie Foster and Quentin Steele. An expert aromatherapist and perfumer, Julie had spent a considerable amount of time caring for a close relative with a terminal illness.

During this time, she was surprised at the lack of products which could enhance the experience of carers, and to help maintain the dignity and self-respect of people being cared for. She felt much more could be done to provide a pleasant-smelling environment for patients and surroundings alike, cutting out the associated medical odours.

It was by chance that Julie later crossed paths with London businessman Quentin Steele who has a pedigree of 30 years in the cleaning industry with specific expertise in hygiene and odour management. Between them they identified a much needed niche in the market and Aroma Care Solutions was formed.

Quentin says, “We know there is a need for the home and personal care range but the problem here in the UK is that it is not within our nature to talk about our problems. So, if someone asks how your mother is, you naturally say OK and leave it at that. It would be very un-British for us to expand on the problems we face in looking after her.

“Therefore, dignity and discretion are at the very heart of our solutions and this gap in the market has never really been identified. Our beautiful fragrances are the sort you would expect in high quality creams and lotions, giving individuals a treat whilst solving a practical problem.”

Julie adds, “Many of us would never expect to find ourselves having to care for someone, but the reality is there are millions of us looking after relatives or close friends. And this number will continue to increase.

“It is well documented that our population is growing older. And with ever increasing care home fees and rising property prices, more and more of us are choosing to keep our loved ones at home with us, expanding our properties to build an annex, rather than spend £1,500 a week on care.”

For further information about Aroma Care email info@aromacaresolutions.co.uk

Or visit the Aroma Care website at www.aromacaresolutions.co.uk  

Reduce your Salt Intake

Five Ways to Manage Your Salt Intake

Advice from Dr Sarah Jarvis on ways you can have a healthier 2019

Springtime  is the perfect opportunity to make health changes, and LoSalt and GP Dr Sarah Jarvis have come up with five top tips and delicious recipes to help you make better choices and improve your overall health and wellbeing in 2019.

Excess salt in the diet is a major health issue, because too much salt (sodium chloride) can increase the risk of high blood pressure, which, in turn, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. According to a recent statement from Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, salt intake has fallen by 11% in under a decade, but if salt intake fell by a third it would prevent 8,000 premature deaths and save the NHS over £500 million annually.

Despite health care professionals advising adults to keep their overall salt intake to a maximum of 6g a day (just one teaspoon), research by LoSalt, the UK’s leading reduced sodium salt, shows that a worrying 86% of people don’t even know about the recommendation.

Well known TV Doctor and LoSalt advisor Dr Jarvis comments, “As a nation, we are still consuming far too much salt and are regularly exceeding the recommended daily allowance. This worries me greatly as excess salt in the diet raises our blood pressure, which is known as hypertension, and this is one of the biggest causes of heart attacks and strokes in the UK today.

“High blood pressure is often known as ‘the silent killer’ because it frequently has no symptoms, so you may not even know you have it, and it affects approximately one in four adults.

“So one of the easiest and quickest ways to lower your blood pressure is to reduce your salt intake. All salt, whether its table salt, rock salt, sea salt or pink Himalayan rock salt, is 100% sodium chloride and it’s the sodium which is linked to high blood pressure. If you have to use a salt, going for a reduced sodium salt alternative like LoSalt can be considered.”

Dr Jarvis shares her top tips and advice for cutting down salt

1. Try to cut down on processed food as this is where the majority of salt in our diets comes from. Ready meals, ready-made sauces and soups are often high in salt.

2. Keep processed meats to a minimum. Bacon, ham and sausages contain salt.

3. Don’t be duped into thinking posh gourmet sea and rock salts are better for you.

4. The best way to control your salt intake is to cook from scratch. To boost flavour, add spices, herbs or lemon juice to dishes rather than salt.

5. Tinned veg counts towards your five a day, but it can add to your salt intake. Look out for no added sugar (or salt) varieties, and if you do buy tinned vegetables (or tuna) with salt, rinse before cooking.

LoSalt ambassador, Sally Bee 

Sally Bee also knows first-hand the importance of a low sodium diet, after experiencing problems with her own health.

In 2004, aged 36, The Lorraine Show’s chef suffered three heart attacks and doctors advised her husband to prepare to say his goodbyes.

But miraculously Sally survived and credits her passion for healthy eating with saving her life.

“I realised very early on that the food I ate affected my health, when I fed my body with good nutrients, it reacted in a positive way,” she said.

“As a passionate foodie and cook, I know how a little salt is sometimes essential to bring out the delicious flavours in food but with the issue of high blood pressure in the UK on the rise, it’s important to remember that continuously cooking with salt can create health problems.

“Using reduced sodium alternatives like LoSalt means I can continue to develop delicious tasting recipes without the guilt – it can be used in exactly the same way as regular salt whether it’s seasoning, cooking or baking so there’s no limit to the range of tasty recipes I can whip up.”

Why not get creative in the kitchen this month by rustling up one of Sally Bee’s recipes – including delicious favourites such as Roast Spring Ratatouille and Red Lentil Soup!

Roast Spring Ratatouille

Ingredients

1 aubergine
1 courgette
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
Sprinkle of dried chilli flakes (optional if you like a little kick!)
Sprinkle of garlic powder
400g tin chopped tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of LoSalt
Handful fresh basil

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, fan 180˚, or gas 5

2. Slice all the vegetables into similar sized wedges, and pop in a large bowl. Drizzle over the olive oil, dried mixed herbs, LoSalt, garlic powder and dried chilli flakes if using. Stir well then pour out on to a large baking sheet.

3. Pop into the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until starting to colour around the edges.

4. Next decant into an ovenproof dish, add the tinned tomatoes, some black pepper and fresh basil.

5. Put back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, stirring half way through.

Serves 6

Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Onions, finely chopped
2 Celery Sticks, finely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
2 teaspoon Curry Powder
150g Red Lentils,
1 ½ litres Low Salt Vegetable Stock,
120ml Tomato Juice,
Black Pepper, freshly ground
Pinch of LoSalt

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the onions, celery, carrots and LoSalt. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft.

2. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook, stirring, for a further 1 minute, then add the lentils, stock, and tomato juice.

3. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. 

4. You can either whizz this up with a hand blender or liquidizer or just leave it slightly lumpy – your choice!

5. Season with freshly ground black pepper, and serve hot.

Serves 6

Turkey Burgers with Pea Guacamole

Ingredients for the Mince & Burger

200g turkey mince
2 tbsp red onion, very finely chopped
2 tsp chipotle paste
2 tbsp, coriander chopped
2 slices emmental cheese
2 wholegrain buns
Salad, to serve

Ingredients for the Pea Guacamole

100g frozen peas, blanched
1 tbsp onion, roughly chopped
¼ red chilli , chopped
Small handful fresh mint
¼ tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp natural yoghurt 2
Juice of one lime
Pinch of LoSalt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. To make the burgers, put the turkey mince, red onion, chipotle paste and coriander in a bowl. Mix well and form into 2 patties.

2. To make the pea guacamole, put the blanched frozen peas, onion, red chilli, coriander, ground cumin, black pepper, LoSalt, natural yoghurt and a squeeze of lime in a small food processor and whizz until blended.

3. Cook the burgers in a non-stick pan for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden. Add a slice of emmental cheese, and heat until melted. Serve in buns with the pea guacamole and salad.

Serves 2

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms on Toast with Pesto

Ingredients

20g butter
275g portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 large slices sourdough bread
2 cloves garlic, grated
170ml low fat crème fraiche
Handful watercress to serve
Shop bought red or green pesto
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of LoSalt

Method

1. Melt the butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and cook the sliced mushrooms for 10 mins, meanwhile toast the soda bread.

2. Add the garlic to the mushrooms and cook for 1 min. Next add the crème fraiche, black pepper and pinch of LoSalt. Stir through to warm, but then take off the heat.

3. Pile the mushrooms on top of the toast with some of the creamy sauce and a big dollop of the pesto, finally top with a lovely clump of watercress.

Serves 2

For more information about LoSalt visit www.losalt.com/uk

Drinking Water for Health

Hydrate Your Way
to Happiness

To help combat the winter blues, water filter experts Aqua Optima has created a Happy H2O Guide to Happiness, to encourage people to drink more water and so improve their mood.

Qualified university research reveals that being hydrated can improve your mood, increase levels of concentration and reduce the occurrence of headaches. It also indicates that dehydration can have a negative effect on productivity and when hydrated we perceive activities to be less difficult.

Aqua Optima commissioned its own research with over 2000 respondents which highlights that the majority of the UK (65%) admit to feeling dehydrated every week. 25-34 year olds are suffering the most, with 80% reporting weekly dehydration side effects, such as tiredness, headaches and low concentration.

Joe Wicks, the fitness sensation and recipe book author, supports these claims, saying that he sees staying hydrated as critical for training and mental clarity. He says, “I have to start my day with a few glasses of water; then I make sure I’m taking on 2-4 litres each day. By starting early, and having a few glasses before you train, then sipping throughout the day it makes your mind clearer, your performance better and you have much more energy.

“Even your skin will really improve when you keep doing it. If you don’t like water on its own, just add some lime, or lemon or other fresh fruit into it, it’s just so good for you.”

Top 10 Tips for Happy H2O Hydration

1. Start early by trying to sip a glass or two of water before having breakfast, this will help you to feel more satiated and less hungry after a night’s sleep.

2. Sip regularly throughout the day by getting into a pattern of drinking little and often.

3. Flavour your water to make it more exciting to taste and to look at, by adding fresh cucumber, mint, lemon or other fresh fruit.

4. Keep a reusable bottle nearby so that you know how much you have sipped and how much more you should be drinking to achieve your daily target.

5. Drink then sweat to hydrate well before training and maximise your performance and focus.

6. Drink water with every meal to remind you to enjoy water during your three meals of the day.

7. Create a new habit to help you to remember to keep drinking water such as having a glass after you’ve been to the bathroom or whilst preparing a meal each day.

8. Drink filtered water to maximise the taste

9. Drink then think by preparing a bottle or glass of filtered water on your desk before you sit down to work, because staying hydrated helps to improve concentration and our perception of how difficult an activity can be.

10. Chill your H20 by popping it in the freezer briefly as chilled water can feel more invigorating and refreshing.

Aqua Optima is a leading water filtration brand in the UK. Water filter jugs and cartridges products can now be found in the majority of UK supermarkets, including Tesco, ASDA, Argos, Boots and Amazon.

For more information about Aqua Optima click on www.aqua-optima.com

Healthy Eating and Vitamins

Six Reasons to Eat More Beetroot

Ever wondered what health benefits beetroot could provide? Nutritionist, Alix Woods shares the top benefits of this nutrient dense superfood

Prevent winter sniffles

Beetroots are full of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and protects cells from inflammation and free radical damage. It promotes collagen production, wound healing and aids iron absorption.

Cut the cramps

Beetroots are packed with minerals especially potassium, which is an essential electrolyte mineral for nerve and muscle function. It helps keep the heart beating rhythmically, stops muscles cramping and weakness.

To get your daily dose of Beetroot, as well as Acai Berry and a number of other Superfoods try the brand new sense for Busy Lives Superfood Supplement Powder (RRP £21.99, Boots). This can be added to your favourite smoothies and juices, or stirred into food.

Good for gut health

Beetroot is one of the richest sources the amino acid glutamine, which is essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract, especially if the immune system is under attack when ill. Glutamine is essential for the immune cells and having regular servings of beetroot helps maintain levels.

Can support weight loss

Beetroots are a low calorie, fat free vegetable, full of energy promoting nutrients that can help give one a lift. They have been found to increase plasma nitrate levels, which increases stamina and physical performance and this can help one to lose weight. Beetroots can be added to smoothies and or juices!

Boost brain health

Nitrates in beetroot juice increase blood flow to all parts of the brain and a study found that older people who regularly drank beetroot juice had better blood circulation in the frontal lobes of their brains.

Blood Pressure

Beetroot juice has been found to help lower blood pressure as the nitrates are converted to nitric oxide and help widen and relax the blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow with ease.

For more information about Sense visit https://senseproducts.co.uk

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