Stock up on cherry juice for winter

Acerola Cherry - great for Vit C
Acerola Cherry - great for Vit C

We are officially now in the lead up to winter and no doubt coughs and colds will soon be rife.

A good boost to the immune system can be gained from a juice rich in vitamin C and Biona Acerola Juice contains plenty of this!

It is a pure juice containing no added sugar, made simply from the acerola cherry fruit that has a vitamin C content 20 times richer than an orange or lemon. It is also a good natural source of antioxidants, vitamin A, iron and calcium.

As a superjuice containing melatonin it has also been known to serve as a natural sleep aid.

Tart Cherry - good for arthritis
Tart Cherry - good for arthritis

Biona Tart Cherry Juice is another organic fruit juice not made from concentrate.

Known to help promote a healthy heart, joints, muscles, and the immune system, this juice offers a multitude of health benefits particularly against inflammation caused by gout and other forms of arthritis.

As a bottled juice the nutritional benefits of cherries are available in a form that is easier and tastier than taking supplements.

More Vitamin D could protect you from disease

Vitamin D works with your cells to protect you from a number of diseases. In fact the list of illnesses it is known that Vitamin D can help with is still growing.

Multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancers, rheumatoid arthritis – all of these can now be conected to a deficiency in Vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin is also known to help, in some cases significantly, with osteoporosis, immunity, muscular pain, coronary illness and depression.

As an anti-depressant, Vitamin D can reduce depression and enhance your mood, sociability and overall sense of wellbeing. Yet more than half the UK population is deficient in this vitamin.

If you live north of Birmingham you won't get enough Vitamin D from the sun in the winter
If you live north of Birmingham you won't get enough Vitamin D from the sun in the winter

And, this is interesting, if you live roughly north of Birmingham (above 52 degrees north) your body will not be able to make Vitamin D in the winter because of the lack of sunlight. In fact, a key reason why so many people developed rickets during the industrial revolution was because everywhere was covered in dense smog.

So how do you get more of the vitamin?

As well as sunlight Vitamin D can also be gained from fish and shellfish, and a little from eggs, dairy produce and green vegetables. But there are calls for the RDA of Vitamin D to be increased because it is such a significant health-giving nutrient.

But, given that so many people suffer from a lack of this sun-sourced friend, it’s useful to take Vitamin D in tablet form. A good vegan source of Vitamin D can be found in Viridian Vitamin D2.

Nutritionally us ladies may be a little lacking…

ladies need mineralsAre you female and ever get leg cramps, foot pain or muscle ‘twitches’? Insomnia, migraine headaches or lack of energy? Chances are you could be deficient in magnesium.

Are you female and find you are prone to hair loss? Or maybe you have  poor skin, frequent diarrhoea; your sleeping is irregular and listless and your wounds take quite a while to heal properly? If any of this sounds familiar chances are you may have zinc deficiency.

I don’t want to be alarmist but recent published research by the dietician Dr. Carrie Ruxton & researcher Dr. Emma Derbyshire of Manchester Metropolitan University shows that if you are female the likelihood is that you have several nutritional deficiencies. Here is the low down:

The results show that in 11-18year olds –

50%  are short of magnesium (stored in our muscles and needed for , energy production, muscle function, bone formation, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also assists in the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, adrenals, brain and nervous system)

25% lack zinc (Zinc is essential for cellular metabolism, for a good immune system [hence you take a little if you have a cold], our bodies use of protein, wound healing, cell division, normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence and is required for proper sense of taste and smell)

30% are short of potassium ( maintains the water and acid balance in our blood and tissue cells, assists in muscle building, and transmits electrical signals between cells and nerves. If you have deficiency you may have muscle weakness, fatigue and slow reflexes. )

16% are short of iodine (iodine is the thyroid mineral, so feeling tired, lack of energy? mmmmm could it be lack of iodine?)

50%  lack iron (that’s an awful lot of us who may be anaemic)

In the 19-30 age group-

20%  lack iron

11% are short of vitamin B2;

80% of women are short of vitamin D.

Over 65’s

60% of the over 65s are short of vitamin D.

All in all I’m off to get myself a good all in one nutritional boost. But that is not the total answer, our western diets mean that we consume too much salt and saturated fat at the expense of fibre, fruit and veg and foods that give us omega oils. There is never any replacement for eating a good and varied diet crammed with all that is good for us – fruit and veg, oily fish, nuts and seeds. These should form the foundation of our diets, but even then, poor soils and pollution mean even our fruit and vegetables can be nutritionally starved. So, what with that and our busy lives, maybe a little boost is needed. It certainly is for me.

Take a look at the range of mega multi vitamins and minerals available Free Delivery

Cherry Active is a winner

CherryActive Concentrate and capsules are well known for their benefits to sports people for joint mobility and muscle recovery, as well as aiding regular sleep patterns. CherryActive is, in fact a firm favourite and has been a well established nutritional supplement and well acclaimed anti-oxidant for a while.

Tart Cherry Juice

So what is the news?  Cherry Active has recently been voted the best supplement for 2009.  Acclaimed for the things mentioned above, CherryActive is made from the Montmorency Cherry, or Tart Cherry. It is processed using special techniques which optimise their powerful antioxidant properties. These tart cherries are such a rich, natural source of anti-oxidants and flavonoids that just 30ml of Cherry Active has been shown to have the antioxidant capacity of over 20 typical portions of fruit and veg. No wonder it was a winner.

Cherry Active product range is quite varied to suit all needs:

Cherry Active Juice 946ml

Cherry Active Juice concentrate 473 ml

Cherry Active OAD caps 30 c

Cherry Active OAD caps 60 c

A good night’s sleep (with a cherry on top)

My battles with sleepless nights continue. One option is to try CherryActive juice which has high levels of melatonin, the hormone which regulates sleep. As we get older melatonin levels tend to decline until by our 60s most montmorency cherry has been put to much scientific research – results suggest that regular consumption of the cherry antioxidants may help reduce inflamation, cholesterol and fatigue, maintain muscular strength, increase joint health and normalise uric acid levels (reducing the affect of gout). It’s fantasticly high antioxidant content is also likely to look after your brain’s grey-matter and general health for a longer time.

Green tea heals body and soul

My friend recently got into green tea. He was reading a self-help book on how to reduce stress, took the hint and is now practically addicted to the stuff. (It makes for neat little gifts to him: green tea and nettle, green tea with orange and lotus flower, green tea with interesting red bits…)

Because green tea is steamed rather than fermented, like the more familiar black tea, that is what holds its antioxidant and anticancer properties. The latest report out this month is that drinking five cups a day would reduce your risk of getting blood and lymph cancers by over 40%. In fact so well documented is the healing effect of green tea that 1000s of studies now exist into its benefits. My friend thinks he’s drinking something to help him de-stress but he could be helping to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, osteoporosis and weight-gain. Not bad for a cup of green stuff.

Incidentally, green tea contains half the caffeine of coffee and slightly less than black tea, so you can drink it before bedtime. Since it aids digestion and cleanses the pallet it is also good to drink after a meal or in the afternoon as a pick me up. It is best made with spring or filtered water and usually brewed for only a short time. Personally, I like to drink it before the evening begins as it really does help clear away the day’s stress. If you’re anything like me (or my friend) you’ll find it will help relax you, giving you composure for the twilight hours.

Autumn care

Autumn is my favourite season. Red leaves to kick about, eerie misty mornings, trees laden with apples, walking out in the fine crisp air, warm fires – it’s not difficult to see why.

It’s a great time for warming foods like apple crumble and pumpkin pie. And there’s a lot of goodness in the seasonal foods. Apples keep you full and lower your cholesterol. Beetroot helps reduce blood pressure, and it’s full of folate (crucial for cell growth), as are brussels sprouts and parsnips. Brussels have Omega 3 and lots of vitamin C and parsnips bring potassium and fibre (good for the heart). Cranberries also come packed with vitamin C and are a renowned antioxidant. Chestnuts are low fat, high in vitamin C and folate. And as for the infamous pumpkins, they do have lots of beta-carotine (vitamin A) which is thought to boost the immune system.

Immunity is certainly needed when autumn comes on. My asthma gets worse at this time of year, and my friend says her dad’s psoriasis is always more difficult in autumn too. What’s the reason?

In autumn the air dries out and dust and spores are blown about, I know this affects asthma and it seems the dry air affects psoriasis too. Both the skin and lungs are affected by dryness, so drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated (ginger tea is supposed to be very healing). Other illnesses like arthritis and eczema, not to mention the common cold and swine flu will get worse too.

Whatever ailment you live with the pestilent seasons are always more likely to cause trouble. But all those seasonal foods are going to be a great start in the fight against autumnal change, and make sure you still exercise and sleep well too – a brisk walk in the autumn air is great for both. Gain some contingency by investing in the health benefits of cider vinegar and echinacea; and selinium, vitamin C supplements, multivitamins or other immunity boosters, no doubt, will be useful too.

Some people might dread autumn as a sign that everything is dying, but for others it is a clarion call to the fight for life. Trees draw back in their sap and squirrels horde for the winter months – it’s a final chance to witness nature in all its glory before we too must wait through winter for new things to come. Everything is thrilling but the inner inclination is to withdraw and be close to those you love.

However you come through this autumn, make sure you wrap up warm, keep well and enjoy yourself!

Joint pain – 80% is from straight forward wear and tear

I have had recent trouble with my knee. Compounded I think, by trying to up the distance I can run without dying – I can only manage a mile (don’t laugh!). With my increased determination to break my 10 minute mile  my knee became more ‘squeaky’ and eventually painful. So, to the research books!

Certain parts of our bodies wear out before others, and one of the most common parts of our bodies for wear and tear is our joint linings. Normally the linings replace themselves, but excess wear and tear  means that our bodies  cannot keep up the replenishment process fast enough.

My research took me to a joint nutrient, Glucosamine. Glucosamine is made in our bodies from our nutrient intake, the glucosamine is then itself made into glycosaminoglycans. These then bond together with proteins to make collagen and you guessed it, the collagen makes the joint lining. So by taking additional  glucosamine as a supplement we give our body the extra materials it needs to lay the foundations for healthy and strong joint tissue. As we age our body is not able to make as much as they once did, so we can give it a little help by taking more.

This type of wear and tear problem is at the root of 80% of joint problems, so as a prevention or a cure, Glucosamine seems worth a try.

For my knee I tried the Optima ActivJuice, Juice for joints.  By the end of my first bottle my pain has totally disappeared. I have continued to take it and am part way through my second bottle for good measure. It makes a really refreshing orange drink too.