Feeling good

Effortless ways to feel fantastic!

For a better night’s sleep
Try a magnesium salt bath

“If you struggle to sleep or you can’t switch off in the evening, then try using magnesium before bed,” says Catherine Jeans, nutritional therapist with The Family Nutrition Expert (www.thefamilynutritionexpert.com). “You can either take a supplement of around 200mg of magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate (avoid oxide as it’s poorly absorbed), about 30 minutes before bed. Or you could try a magnesium salt or epsom salt bath. It’s a great way to relax and unwind before bed, and brilliant for anyone who gets restless legs at night. If you don’t have a bath, just put a handful of the salts in a washing up bowl and fill with warm water and let your feet soak in it while you watch your favourite TV programme!”

For enhanced hydration
Add cucumber to your water

“What could be more effortless than adding cucumber slices or ribbons to water?” says nutritionist Claudia Norris, creator of the Happy In Body programme (www.happyinbody.com). “Not only will your water taste more refreshing, but it will also enhance your hydration. Cucumbers contain electrolyte compounds and vitamins such as C and K that will transform your water into a rejuvenation tonic! Cucumber slices have long been used for reducing swelling around the eyes. When you drink water with cucumber, the cucumber acts a natural diuretic which flushes excess fluid and toxins from the body. This can help you look and feel less bloated and reduce puffiness.”

For more energy
Slip some herbs and spices into your diet

“The liver is the storehouse of energy in the body and when it is not performing at its best, one of the most common early symptoms is fatigue,” explains nutritionist, author and fat loss mentor, Fiona Kirk (www.fionakirk.com). “The good news however, is that this exceptionally hard-working organ loves herbs and spices! They ease the burden by giving it a helping hand to not only reduce the effects of the daily toxic load we are exposed to but also by encouraging it to safely and efficiently excrete harmful toxins from the body. Add herbs and spices (both fresh and dried) to soups, stews, casseroles, salads and smoothies.”

For a circulation boost
Try skin-brushing before you shower

“Lightly brushing the skin with a dry brush stimulates the circulation, removes dead skin cells, promotes elimination and is a great way to feel effortlessly fantastic first thing in the morning!” says Fiona Kirk. “Before you shower, start brushing at your feet and brush towards the heart, then brush from the fingertips up to the shoulders and toward the heart. Don’t forget the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands. Use small strokes and a gentle pressure – you’re not brushing the dog! Avoid the face and neck area and any damaged or bruised skin. Jump into the shower and have a good rinse to get rid of the dead skin cells before soaping.”

For improved gut health
Stock up on fibre and probiotics

“Fibre and probiotics are key to improving gut health and are found naturally in food,” explains Isabel Butler, nutritionist at Spoon Guru (www.spoon.guru). “Probiotics can help increase the ‘good’ bacteria naturally found in the gut and fibre is used as a fuel source for this bacteria. The bacteria help to aid digestion in your gut and improve gut health. We should all be having 30g of fibre per day and while most of us are below these levels – don’t fear – it is easy to improve. Fibre is in wholegrains, found in bread, pasta and cereals or fruit and vegetables. Try an autumnal vegetable soup using broccoli and lentils or a blackberry fruit crumble topped with oats. For probiotics the main source in food is yogurt and other fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut. A great combination of fibre and probiotics would be having a yogurt with fresh berries and oats!”

For better brain health
Top up your omega-3 intake

“Brain health is vital to our wellbeing and is often overlooked,” says Isabel Butler. “Studies have shown low levels of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and found in oily fish, nuts and grains. Salmon with vine tomatoes and rice is a tasty dinner and has omega-3 and antioxidants which help support a healthy brain. Eggs are high in B vitamins, which have been linked with reducing the risk of stroke. So why not make an omelette, as they are simple to make and can be filled with cheese, tomato or ham. Two other easy ways to improve brain health are by doing simple mental exercises or physical exercise. Try adding up your food shopping as you go round the supermarket or doing a brisk 10-minute walk every day.”

For a stronger immune system
Drink a strong cuppa!

“A great way to naturally improve your immunity is to drink tea in the morning,” says Frida Harju-Westman, in-house nutritionist at the health app Lifesum (www.lifesum.com). “Both black and green tea are packed with flavonoids (great antioxidants), as well as amino acids which improve your body’s production of germ-fighting compounds. If you have an impending cold, then a great way to fight it off is to make yourself a strong cup of tea and add one clove of pressed garlic, one slice of lemon or orange, a tablespoon of honey and some grated ginger.”

For balanced blood sugar
Step away from the refined carbs!

“Try to avoid refined carbohydrates such as jacket potatoes, white bread and fast food because your body wastes energy digesting these foods, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired, “says Frida Harju-Westman. “Instead, substitute these foods for foods such as spinach which is rich in iron, and helps to boost oxygen flow to the brain, or sweet potatoes, as the energy you gain from these is released slowly, meaning that you won’t experience a slump in energy later in the day. Replace foods such as cakes and sweets, which contain refined sugar, with snacks such as bananas. Bananas are made up of three different types of sugar which get absorbed into your blood at different speeds, keeping your blood levels steady and preventing a sudden energy slump.”

Read previous Your Health articles here...

Read articles from our latest issue here...

A top buttonTop