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LOOKING AFTER YOUR LIVER OVER CHRISTMAS…

We all tend to over indulge over Christmas and with the year we have had this year we may be tempted to over do our drink and eating so I thought this handy guide from VeganCity might remind us to take it easy.

According to a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it’s thought that nearly double the amount of people in the UK drank “high-risk” amounts of alcohol in the first lockdown—that’s a whopping 8.4 million people—let alone what the stats will show from the second lockdown. Add this to the fact that liver disease is now the third biggest cause of death in those aged between 18 and 65 (despite 90% of the cases being preventable), and how alcohol already costs the NHS billions every year2, it’s no doubt that the UK is set to see big fallout health issues from COVID-19 long term.

Here, Simon Bandy of natural health specialists Veganicity, explains why the best gift you could give your liver this Christmas is some TLC, and offers his top tips to combat the festive (or all year in 2020’s case) indulgences:

  1. Try to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet – the liver considers caffeine as one of the toxins it needs to deal with and remove from the body. If you really can’t live without your daily fix, try having it with food to give your body a better chance of breaking it down in the digestive process.
  1. Consider taking supplements – they are a good way of ensuring that your body and liver get good quality nutrients, that are essential for the repair process and may be lacking in the food we eat. Remember that nutritional products are a supplement to the diet and not a replacement. But always make sure products contain lots of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, flavonoids, B vitamins, and amino acids.
  1. Keep hydrated – it is the liver’s job to cleanse the body. An obvious but important tip is to drink water on a regular basis to help flush away waste and toxins. Adding a slice of lemon further helps enhance the liver detoxification process.
  1. Add variety into your diet – there are several foods that are great to eat to help your liver such as:
  • Beetroot: rich in plant flavonoids and beta carotene, which stimulate healthy liver function.
  • Turmeric: a source of curcumin, which helps cleanse carcinogens.
  • Garlic: rich in allicin to encourage liver enzyme activity.
  • Green Tea: rich in antioxidants contributing to a liver flushing function.
  • Grapefruit: high in the antioxidant vitamin c, take either as juice or fruit
  • Leafy Greens: spinach, kale and lettuce all help with bile production and are also rich in plant chlorophylls which naturally help liver detoxification.
  • Avocado: high in amino acids, especially glutathione for detoxification.
  • Artichoke: a fibrous plant, rich in Caffeoylquinic and Cynarin, both phenolic acid compounds which help maintain proper bile production and distribution, encouraging the removal of toxins and the repair of the liver.
  1. Take a break – the liver’s job is to detoxify alcohol and eliminate harmful waste products. The more alcohol that is in your system, the harder the liver has to work to keep you healthy. Excessive drinking can cause a build-up of triglycerides which can lead to fatty liver disease. If you give your body a break from the booze, the liver will repair itself, providing there is no permanent damage.

Simon said: “There is no question that 2020 has seen us all face exceptional circumstances and, as such, some of us have certainly upped our alcohol intake. Our concern is, with the public already drinking more than normal, and then Christmas naturally being a time for over-indulgence, what effect it will have on our bodies, and already strained NHS, long term. With just a few simple steps people can really help their bodies – the liver is an incredible organ that, in most circumstances, can repair itself, so a bit of TLC is the best gift we can give ourselves this year.”

Veganicity offers Liver Kind – a comprehensive unique vegan combination of key lipotropic nutrients, helping people safeguard their nutrient intake and protect the health of the liver. It’s high in vitamins, minerals, artichoke and key amino acids, which help detoxify the body and eliminate harmful chemicals. Products are available from www.veganicity.comwww.amazon.co.uk and all good independent health shops nationwide.

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A GUIDE TO CBD PRODUCTS FOR PAIN…

It is often said that CBD can help with chronic pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. We explore the different types of CBD products that you might consider using for pain.

Why do people use CBD for pain?

Many people have found that CBD helps them to manage their pain, and research also backs up these experiences. A 2008 scientific article looked into using cannabinoids for managing difficult to treat pain and found that they had analgesic properties, meaning they were similar to drugs used to relieve pain.

More recently, a 2020 review article concluded that CBD ‘presents an opportunity for the treatment of intractable chronic pain for which primary treatments are insufficient or not possible’.

What are the different CBD product types?

You might be interested in giving CBD a try for pain, but which product should you use? We’ve put together a brief guide to the CBD product types and how you can use them for pain.

CBD oil

CBD oil is perhaps the most common. If you have not taken CBD before, it is advised that you start with a relatively low dosage. However, you might want to build this up to a stronger dosage if you are using CBD for pain. Most CBD brands offer oils in a variety of strengths, meaning there are options for beginners and more experienced people.

To take CBD oil drops, you simply place the required amount underneath your tongue and hold them there for around 30-90 seconds before swallowing. This allows the CBD oil to diffuse into the blood through the tissues under your tongue. You can also apply CBD oil topically to specific painful areas if you prefer.

CBD capsules

This can be a more appealing option to those who are used to taking other tablets or supplements. CBD capsules contain a measured amount of CBD in each tablet and you simply take it with water as you usually would with other tablets.

They can take longer to take effect because you must digest them first, and some believe the effects aren’t as strong as with CBD oil as they don’t have direct access to your bloodstream. These aren’t always recommended for pain for that reason, but they can be useful to have when you’re on the go or travelling.

CBD topicals

A big area of the CBD market for those who suffer from pain is CBD topicals. These are most commonly in the form of balms or muscle rubs, but can also come as creams or lotions. The idea of these products is to directly target the area that is causing pain, rather than diffusing CBD throughout the whole body.

They are usually combined with other natural and relaxing ingredients which creates a formula great for everyday use. You simply take some of the product on your hands and massage it into any painful areas.

CBD edibles and drinks

A final product type you may want to consider for pain is CBD edibles and drinks. These aren’t necessarily considered to be as strong as CBD oils or topicals, so might need to be combined with another option, but they are a fun and tasty way to get a dose of CBD!

CBD gummies, which are a type of edible, will also come in different strengths much like oils or capsules so make sure you check when you buy.

This article was written by James Storie-Pugh, the co-founder of mellow store, the UK’s curated CBD marketplace which stocks high-quality CBD brands, including a product selection specifically for pain.

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ARE YOUR ENDLESS LISTS AT THIS TIME OF YEAR CAUSING YOU STRESS AND ANXIETY?…

At this time of year we find ourselves with lists for so many things that are going on in December, but are they causing you more stress and anxiety?

Can to do‘ list’s cause anxiety? Appointments, dinners, errands, we’re all juggling a million things at once and ‘yes’ some experts say that ‘to do lists can cause anxiety.

Psych Central say that ‘If you make a to-do list, carefully look at each item. How much emotional energy will you need for each one? If you tend to have the most energy in the morning, then pencil in the high-energy tasks first thing. Also, decide that you will not feel guilty for anything on your list. For example, if you want to set aside 20 minutes to folding laundry tomorrow, then give twenty minutes of your whole heart to folding laundry. Know that you are doing something of value, and don’t waste one bit of energy wishing you were doing something else.’

I am a typical ‘to do list person and I can appreciate that it can cause anxiety as I get really anxious if I don’t manage to get through what I have on my list. I also add to the list constantly which doesn’t help me to get through the list but I do get a buzz from crossing off what I have listed on it. Personally, I think the opposite as I always feel great when I have written everything down and more anxious when I have lots of things going through my mind.

Flex Jobs wrote that 50% of people are feeling “moderately stressed” and suffering negative effects on their mental health because of their never-ending to-do lists.

Some people like to write everything down. I actually love writing my to do list and have endless books I can write them in. There are endless pads and books you can buy to put your to do list onto which I have put on my Christmas present list !!! This simple Today Daily Planner Notepad for £4.40 is simple and easy to have around.

Another one I like is Organise Chaos Planner for £8. It has have everything you need to get organised in this Pastel Patter themed organiser, the perfect size to pop in your bag and carry with you.

Presented with Pastel Patter illustrations, there are four tabbed sections titled Planner, Notes, To Do List, Addresses, and a plastic zipper wallet for keeping papers, receipts etc.

The hardback folder and elasticated closure provides protection for the pages and the wire bounding makes it easy to flip between the sections.

Another option is to download an app Build A Wellness Blog writes about an app called the 24me. This app to keep you organized is essentially a calendar, to-do list, notes, and reminders – all in one place. It integrates with Google Calendar and shows any of your calendar events within the 24me app, so you can see everything in one spot. She suggests how you can use this app.

Here are some ideas:

  • You can set reminders to pay bills, and include a link to that company’s website so you’re able to quickly pay when the reminder pops up.
  • Link it to your social account like Facebook so you don’t lose track of friend’s birthdays. (Note – I was never able to get mine to link properly, but maybe you’ll have better luck).
  • Add tasks to sections for “the upcoming week” and “later”.  Both of these are really helpful when you’ve got tasks that need to get done at some point, but aren’t urgent.  It’s a way of getting items out of your brain and into some sort of queue so they actually happen at some point.
  • Set reminders to email people (contacts are available from your email accounts) for follow up with potential clients, brands, etc.

24Me can also send alerts to remind you of your daily to-do list. It helps get you organized in life from daily to-dos to personal finances, and everything in between.

You could also just go to Pinterest and tap in ‘to do‘ list and you will be shown a page full of free to download ‘to do‘ lists just ready to start filling in and I am quite sure you will not feel in the least bit anxious about writing it, in fact some say daily ‘to do‘ lists can help productivity. Do you write a ‘to do‘ list and if so what on?