Spring is often the time we look at revising a few things, like spring cleaning our homes or sorting out our wardrobes as we look forward to warmer months. With the recent changes in our lifestyles and more of us working from home, now might be a good time to ‘spring clean your selfcare’ as well, and we wanted to share some tips and ideas to help support you.
Drinking more water is perhaps one of the easiest positive lifestyle changes to make and yet it’s something that many of us struggle with. Our bodies are made up of two-thirds water and it’s essential for our bodies to function properly. Ideally as adults we should be drinking 1.5 – 2.0 litres a day - that’s around eight large glasses. Water is important as it helps transport nutrients and oxygen around your body, helps get rid of waste products, helps control your temperature and is important in the function of your digestive system. Drinking enough water will also help to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
The world of exercise has moved online in recent weeks! There’s a host of creative and innovative ideas online to try as alternatives to the gym. It’s also an opportunity to get the whole family exercising together and having some fun! Why not give our playlist of at-home workouts a go?
The plus side of being more home-based is that many of us now have the time to plan our meals and cook fresh. Now more than ever we are appreciating the importance of our health and incorporating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. Fruit and vegetables provide many of the valuable daily vitamins and minerals that we need to maintain optimum health.
Vitamin A helps your body's natural defence against illness and infection (the immune system) work properly, it also helps keep the lining of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy. Good sources of Vitamin A include cheese, eggs, oily fish, fortified low-fat spreads, milk, yoghurt and liver.
Vitamin C helps to protect cells and maintain healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage. It also helps in healing wounds. Good sources include oranges and orange juice, red and green peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and potatoes.
Vitamin D helps to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Vitamin D is made naturally in the body when our skin is exposed to sunlight. During the winter, or periods where we are not spending much time outside, we may need additional sources which include oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fortified foods such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals.
Vitamin B12 is involved in making red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy and releasing energy from food. Good sources include meat, salmon, cod, milk, cheese, eggs and some fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin B12 is not found naturally in fruit, vegetables or grains, so vegans may find it helpful to take a supplement to ensure they get enough of it.
Iron is important in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. Good sources include liver (but avoid this during pregnancy), meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit such as apricots, wholegrains such as brown rice, fortified breakfast cereals, soy bean flour, most dark-green leafy vegetables such as watercress and curly kale.
Calcium has several important functions, including helping to build strong bones and teeth, regulating muscle contractions, including your heartbeat, and making sure blood clots normally. Sources of calcium include milk, cheese and other dairy foods, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, soya beans, tofu, soya drinks with added calcium, nuts, bread and anything made with fortified flour.
Want more healthy nutrition tips? Why not check out our podcast with nutritionist Gillian McKeith to learn more about gut health, the importance of what we put into our bodies, and how aloe vera can have an impact.
The above list of vitamins and minerals is by no means exclusive in terms of the nutrients our bodies need on a daily basis. Check out the NHS website as a reliable source of further information. The Council for Responsible Nutrition says, “Food supplements are not a substitute for a well-balanced diet. Rather, they are designed to support the daily diet, helping to ensure that the levels of intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are maintained at an optimum level, particularly on the days where temptation rules and our diet might be less balanced. Supplements may be used to correct nutritional deficiencies or maintain an adequate intake of certain nutrients.”
We each are the best judge of what our lifestyles and diet might need by way of supplementation. Popular staples used by many from Forever’s extensive range include:
Forever Daily - This powerful daily multivitamin delivers 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of essential vitamins and bio-available minerals and nutrients. Forever Daily combines fifty-five perfectly balanced aloe-coated nutrients including vitamins A, C, D and B12, iron, calcium and zinc. Take with the Forever Aloe Vera Gel for best results.
Forever Kids - These fun, delicious, chewable multi-vitamins provide children with the nutrients needed each day, including vitamin A, C, D and B12, calcium, iron and zinc. They contain no aspartame, no artificial colours or preservatives, and adults will love them too.
Forever B12 - This time-release formula packs a punch of vitamin B12 and folic acid. These elements are beneficial to women wishing to conceive or who are in the first three months of pregnancy. B12 is also essential to include within vegetarian or vegan diets as it’s normally obtained from animal sources.
Forever Arctic Sea - The human body cannot naturally make the omega-3 fatty acids which are commonly found in fish. Forever Arctic Sea’s blend of natural fish, calamari and oleic olive oil contains the perfect balance of essential fatty acids EPA – which contributes to the normal function of the heart – and DHA – which contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function.
Increasingly we are understanding more about how our mental and physical health are linked, so spring cleaning our selfcare need not stop at nutrition. Now might just be the opportunity to dust off some of the things we used to enjoy but no longer spend time on. Arts and crafts, playing a musical instrument, dancing or developing a new skill are great mood-boosters. It’s important to remember that sometimes it’s good to do something we enjoy simply for enjoyment’s sake - and what better time than now?
What changes in your daily lifestyle have you made recently? Why not share your tips in the comments - we’d love to know.