Tag Archives: healthy

Top 10 Spring Health tips

With the Spring season well and truly under way, you’ll find new and exciting ways to reinvigorate yourself and jump back into action. With weather never a certainty, the post-winter blues can still be affecting some of us. Below is a short-list of the top 10 things you can do this season to put the spring back in your step!

1. Seaweed Bathing – A new trend to hit the UK by storm is seaweed bathing. Available to do in the comfort of your own home from as little as £25.00, get the ultimate detoxifying experience by bathing in vitamin enriched seaweed. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – Home kits start from as little as £25.00 from most spa retailers.

2. Wheat grass – Renowned as the ultimate detox ingredient, wheat grass is the key to many of the commercially available detox regimes. Wheat grass boosts the metabolism and energy levels in the body, whilst releasing high levels of vitamins and minerals. Available from most health food stores.

3. “Perricone” Powder – Derived from a combination of berries including theraspberry, blueberry and acai berry, this organic powder offers a potent dose of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Although relatively new in the health world, celebrities are already incorporating it into their personal healthy regimes.

4. Active Abdominal Cleanse – Typically started with a simple foot massage, followed by an algae body wrap & herb poultice finished with an abdominal massage, this treatment is designed to aid muscle tone and break down fat. What better way to start Summer right?

5. Pro biotic Supplements – This season has demonstrated a significant increase in the sales of pro biotic supplements, designed to be taken daily amongst a balanced diet. Proven to increase energy levels and aid in weight loss, it’s worth trying if you haven’t already.

6. Fire & Ice massage – Utilising a treatment of hot and cold stones, the cold stones are designed to constrict blood vessels and stimulate the nervous system, whilst the hot stones work to expand vessels and draw out toxins. Available from most spa treatment places.

7. Digital Detox– This season will see the introduction of the first UK Digital Detox hotel, a trend that has taken the US by storm. Calming spa treatments are paired up with a hotel that’s completely devoid of all gadgets. One for the IT addicts amongst us.

8. Organic Pharmacy Kit – New blends of super vitamins are now becoming the “go-to” supplement when compared to standard multivitamins and tonics. Everything from Detox capsules designed to help your body cleanse to A&B complex supplements to help balance hormones.

9. Botanical Night Complex – Designed to be applied at night, this season has seen the arrival of a detox treatment that works whilst you sleep. Made from a combination of essential oils including chamomile extract, rosemary and sage you can guarantee to feel like a new person each time you wake up!

10. The Sushi Diet – Known for being naturally low in calories, sushi is known as the go to meal for those wanting to eat out whilst on a diet. Taking the Japanese staple to an entirely new level, a company in London is now offering door-to-door sushi for those looking to chow-down whilst on the go. Now there’s really no excuse for you not to eat well all the time!

There’s a few ideas for you to sink your teeth into – Are there any treatments that you swear by during the Spring season? Leave your comments below or follow us on Twitter @healthyhideout !

Spruce up your Spring eating!

With the official first day of Spring now behind us (March 20th for the UK readers), the season of blossom is truly in full swing.  With a new season comes new crops, including a whole host of tantalising spring foods that shouldn’t be ignored.

Spring offers some of the most versatile foods packed with vital nutrition that can add huge benefits to any diet. Here are just some of the best spring foods that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Asparagus – Not only does it look great on a plate, asparagus carries fantastic nutritional properties that not many other vegetables can offer. Known as a wonder tonic for kidney health, asparagus is a diuretic which helps the body get rid of unwanted toxins making it an ideal companion for dieters. Asparagus is packed with vitamin C & K, fibre, protein, iron, folic acid, manganese and potassium – That’s a whole host of good stuff!
  • Peas – Spring offers some of the best green vegatables available in the supermarket, and don’t be fooled by the tiny size of the petit pois! Peas are great when used in soups and because they’re low calorie, rich in fibre and protein, and a good source of antioxidant vitamins, you’d be silly not to add a portion to every other meal.
  • Strawberries – Does anyone have memories of picking strawberries with their parents when you were younger? The delicious strawberry has a high water content containing vitamins B, C, E potassium, calcium, zinc and iron – all the good stuff! These antioxidants will help to boost your immune system whilst helping to fight the signs of ageing.
  • Mackerel – Packed with vitamin B12 & D along with high levels of phosphorus, magnesium and selenium, this fish isn’t to everyone’s tastes! But eating three portions of oily fish a week can help to maintain the recommended levels of omega 3 in the body, improving bone and skin health. Make the switch from salmon or sardines, as mackerel isn’t considered an endangered species – It’s relatively cheap too.
What healthy food tips can you offer to our readers? Are their annual changes that you make as soon as the Spring season arrives? We’d love to hear from you – just post in the comments below or tweet us at @healthyhideout.

 

Note: It’s been a while since the Healthy Hideout has offered a decent post with some “meat on the bone” for our wonderful followers to sink their teeth into. We’d like to thank all of our readers for their ongoing commitment to the blog, and can confirm that we are back up and running for the time being.

 

Do not bring us the Figgy Pudding!

Christmas is a notorious time for overindulgence and expanding waistbands. Research suggests that weight gain over the 4 week Christmas period can be as much as 2kg, which is an awful lot of mince pies! Whilst most people do not maintain this level of overindulgence throughout the year (not to mention the New Years resolution to shift those creeping pounds) there are a few festive foods for the health conscious, which are packed with nutrition and can be enjoyed (nearly) guilt free!

1. Clementines– A popular fruit at Christmas, this little gem is packed with vitamin C, thiamin, potassium and dietary fibre. They are naturally high in sugar but swap a few mince pies for these when you crave something sweet, at only 35 calories each they are a saintly snack.

2. Chestnuts – Often overshadowed by their popular counterpart-the Brussels sprout, this nut contains high levels of vitamin C, lower fat content than other types of nut and high levels of minerals, in particular potassium. Potassium is highly rated for helping lower blood pressure (often running high in the stressful Christmas season) and heart rate.

3. Carrots– Rudolph’s preferred mid-present delivery snack. From the taproot family of vegetables, high in vitamins, minerals and beta-carotene. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body which helps with visual function and frontline bodily defense against infections and diseases. These will help keep away the dreaded ‘Christmas colds’ and other festive spirit-dampening ailments.

4. Turkey– Trussed and carved, the ultimate centrepiece for any Christmas Dinner table. Turkey is a lean meat which is low in saturated fat but high in protein and phosphorus which is essential for bone and teeth growth, not to mention it is a main component of every body cell.

5. Brussels Sprouts – Either love them or hate them, this Christmas dinner Brassica is without doubt full of good things (even if they smell somewhat suspect). Sprouts contain a whole host of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin K can be found in each one of these little green machines, which has been found to help limit neuronal damage and even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s!

6. Parsnips – This taproot is a classic Christmas dinner vegetable. High in fibre( but also natural sugars) this vegetable contains folic acid, vitamin b-6 and pentathenic acid which is known for it’s stress busting properties. Perfect after slaving away in a hot kitchen with hungry mouths to feed!

7. Cranberries – This berry is often sidelined to a table sauce at Christmas, which is high in sugar but the berries themselves are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They contain Manganese, a mineral known for health benefits such as maintaining healthy bones and sugar levels, promoting optimal functioning of the thyroid and for helping the body absorb other key nutrients.

8. Cinnamon – this fragrant spice is full of antioxidants, essential oils and minerals. It has been used for centuries in medicine for its antiseptic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory qualities. It has the highest anti-oxidant level for all natural foods, combating nasty free-radicals. Cinnamon has also been found to have anti-clotting properties, helping reduce the risk of strokes and coronary disease.

9. Smoked salmon – This cured fish is a popular choice for a celebratory brunch or Christmas Party canapés. High in omega-3, this food can help with brain function, cell function and improved cardiovascular function. Other benefits from Omega-3 include improved joint operation and some research has shown it to help alleviate symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis.

Easy steps to a Healthy Heart

Many people believe that in order to maintain a healthy heart, you’ll need to take on board high levels of exercise or even purchase endless medicines & diet books. The fact of the matter is, you can maintain a healthy heart by making simple lifestyle changes that can have a lasting long term effect. Several research studies have already shown the healing benefits of having a positive attitude whilst enjoying life at every possible opportunity. This can be as simple as partaking in your favourite physical activity or relaxing with family & friends.

We only get the gift of life once, so we may as well take full advantage of it!

The following tips are simple changes that anyone can make, whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not spending a great deal:

Enjoy every minute of life

Many studies have shown how individuals who laugh more have lives filled with lots of activity, greatly reducing the risk of falling victim to any heart conditions. As we age, the day will come when we decide to “fly the nest,” leave our parents’ homes and sign our very own mortgage agreements. Adult responsibilities such as these tend to result in the fun & games coming to a sudden stop, one that you must be prepared for. Try to maintain your inner child by having some “childlike” fun in your everyday lives – It’ll help your health and wellbeing, whilst maintaining a healthy heart.

Don’t underestimate the power of relaxation

As we get older and our lives begin to progress through the natural stages of “getting older,” it can be very easy to forget about relaxation. Life quickly begins to gather uncontrollable pace as more needs doing, time is spent with different people doing different things, and sometimes stress levels can grow at an alarming pace. Stress increases the risk of heart disease – something that nobody needs. As the world revolves around you at a seemingly blinding speed, a speed that you can’t control, forgetting about yourself is easily done. Try to dedicate a time in the day to get away from it all in order to relax your mind. Whether its yoga, reading your favourite book, or going for a wander around the block, just be sure to give yourself time to gather and rearrange your thoughts.

Perhaps a glass of red?

Recent studies by the British Heart foundation (http://www.bhf.org.uk) have demonstrated how people who choose to drink a glass of wine with their evening meal could drastically lower their chance of heart disease risk by at least 30 per cent. There’s some truth in believing that a small amount of alcohol enjoyed each day with food or as a way to relax, may be better than practising abstinence. Of course drinking alcohol in this way is a lot better than drinking excessive amounts. Red wine in particular is associated with helping to maintain a strong and healthy heart.

Make your very own home spa haven

Knowing that spending time relaxed as opposed to being stressed can almost halve heart disease risk, so why not create your own relaxation haven in the comfort of your own home? Ensure there’s plenty of natural light, perhaps some soothing music topped with a large abundance of fresh flowers. These are just a handful of possible ideas that may work for you, but if you’re lucky enough to have a larger budget you could look into installing a personal sauna or steam room. Be sure to have a dedicated quiet space in your home to ensure you have a place to think without distraction.

Settle your soul

Believing in yourself can drastically help to keep you mentally grounded, whilst effortlessly helping to maintain a clear focus on what matters. Many studies have shown that people who utilise positive words such as “hope” and “joy” tend to outlive pessimistic counterparts by almost a decade. Why not try to embrace all the good things in your life, rather than focusing on the negatives – Without stating the obvious, being a state of happiness is better for your mental state than one of anger.

Enjoy others and party!

Our state of mind is far healthier when in the company of family and friends that we know and love. Don’t be one that makes excuses by not having enough time for others by surrounding yourself with family and friends. By helping yourself to be in a healthy mental state, your body will feel relaxed so your heart doesn’t have any extra strain.

You’ll do wonders for your state of mind and wellbeing, without even making an effort.

 

 

5 top tips for better skin

At this cold time of the year, it can be very difficult to get enough Vitamin D into our bodies to help our skin look it’s best. Of course, there’s an abundance of perfectly acceptable creams that can transform your skin from desperation into dazzling within a few minutes.

But here at the Healthy Hideout, we like to do things a little differently. Instead of spending money on some of the best make-up products available in the marketplace, why not spend your money on some super skin improving foods. The following short-list contains just a few examples:

1. Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is now over and the pumpkins are starting to look a little sad. We certainly hope that you’d kept the pumpkin seeds from the carving stage, as they are packed with pro-skin nutrients. Bland bird food for people who don’t understand them, pumpkin seeds have been known to be packed with high levels of zinc. Zinc is very important for fighting infection and speeding up the skin healing process. Pumpkin seeds also contain essential fats which can help keep the skin feeling soft & supple whilst helping to reducing acne.

2. Oily Fish

Cold weather can leave the skin feeling dry and “shrivelled” – keeping it covered with hats and scarfs isn’t great for it either. Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish have been shown to contain a compound called astaxanthin which can help skin feel conditioned and supple. Find it abundant in salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines – don’t overdo it though. Nutritionists believe that eating oily fish at least two to three times a week is plenty.

3. Green Tea

Drinking green tea should already be part of your everyday diet, and if it isn’t we highly recommend you look into it. The health benefits from green tea are endless, helping to boost metabolism, improve skin condition and can combat heart disease. Green tea contains flavenoids, a class of antioxidant that really benefits the skin, providing protection from dangerous UV radiation and sunburn whilst helping to maintain skin structure.

4. Tomatoes

Is it a fruit or a vegatable? Well, it is infact a fruit, and a pretty clever one at that. Found in pretty much everything from salads to pasta dishes and stews, it tastes great both raw and cooked. Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene – a powerful carotenoid antioxidant found in all red fruits and vegatables which helps promote a clearer, softer skin texture. Lycopene becomes more potent when cooked, so don’t be afraid to throw your tomatoes under the grill before eating!

5. Blueberries

Very well recognised as a super food that’s worth picking up when you’re in the supermarket, blueberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants amongst fruits and vegetables. They also contain a high level of anthocyanidins which help to keep skin feeling plump and fresh. High levels of vitamin C also help toward skin healing as well as providing a huge boost for your immune system. Be sure to drop a few in your cereal tomorrow morning!

 

7 tips to fight the common cold

The cold snap is just around the corner, arriving at a pace we’d rather not get in the way of. This is the time of the year in which colds, coughs, sore throats and runny noses are running rampant, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re well prepared from any potential attacks on your body!

Remember, it takes just one little cough or sneeze from an “infected stranger” to put you out for 2 weeks. The following Top 7 tips for preventing the common cold are worth their word count in gold – it could be the difference between you making it through this cold season unscathed or being ill for 50% of it:

1. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep

During the colder months, you may find it increasingly difficult to get out of your warm cosy bed, ready to face to cold outdoors. On average, we sleep just 6 1/2 hours according the UK Sleep Council. This simply isn’t long enough in order to maintain a strong immune system – Keep you body healthy by grabbing at least 7 to 8 hours of shut eye each night.

2. Eat Fruit & Vegetables!

Unhealthy comfort food such as chocolate and baked goods can be the easy fix for nutrition whilst the snow falls outside. Try and substitute this habit for plenty of fresh fruit and veg. If you’re in desperate need for a sugar fix, try going for an in season satsuma or a handful of plump raisins. Root vegetables are also in harvest, so getting hold of suede, turnips, pumpkin and squash is an easy task. Affordable too!

3. Milk And Cookies!

OK maybe not so much the cookie part, but all dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt are great sources of vitamins A and B12 – important weapons in your immune system arsenal. The calcium found in dairy also helps to keep bones strong.

4. Keep exercising

You’ve got 80% more chance of getting a cold in the winter than any other time of the year – That’s why you want to make sure you’re as fit as possible to defend against any unwanted viruses. Aim to do around 120 minutes of aerobic or cardio exercise each week to help strengthen your immune system, and help you feel more energetic.

5. Start your day properly

You can’t beat the warming sensation that porridge can provide on a cold winter morning. It’s not every one’s cup of tea, but porridge boosts your intake of fibre for the day helping you feel fuller for longer. A few slices of fresh fruit in addition to a healthy dose of honey makes for the perfect start to any day. Read more about porridge in another one of our articles: 10 ways to kick start your day

6. Keep your hands clean

If you use public transport, are out and about throughout the day or generally handle a lot of items during the working day, you could in potential danger of picking up a dormant bug from a surface. Aim to wash your hands before every meal and after you use the bathroom in order to minimise coming in contact with any viruses – Scrub for at least 30 seconds people!

7. Multi-vitamins can help

During the winter months, get hold of an easy to swallow multi-vitamin tablet that you can introduce into your morning routine. It’ll help to keep your vitamin reserves topped up whilst your venture around the great outdoors.

Go any tips you’d like to add to this list? Leave us a comment below.