How to Tame a Mid-Life Belly

How to Tame a Mid-Life Belly

An increase in fat around the waistline during our 40's is common even if there has been no change in your diet or lifestyle and can lead you to feeling frustrated that your previously successful weight-loss tactics are no longer effective.

However the good news is that our bodies undergo changes in hormone levels, muscle mass, etc. that require us to rethink our relationship with our diet, lifestyle, exercise and levels of stress.

Why does this happen in women? 

Declining oestrogen levels require the body to look elsewhere for oestrogen – namely fat cells, which produce a weak form of oestrogen.
The body tries to create a reserve of oestrogen in fat cells – and this reserve is mainly around the middle. 

 

Oestrogen and Insulin

Declining levels of oestrogen also slow down metabolic rate and insulin resistance may occur.
 
Menopausal women respond differently to glucose (sugar) and are at greater risk of becoming insulin resistant – insulin is the hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy.
 
This can then cause weight gain and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
 
Low oestrogen levels have also been shown to be associated with low vitamin D levels, which can increase fat storage.
As a woman transitions through menopause, the adrenal glands take over from the ovaries to produce a little oestrogen – however, as the adrenals also produce stress hormones – if a woman is dealing with a lot of stress in her life, the adrenals will shift to “survival mode” and away from producing oestrogen.
 
This encourages the body to store fat, especially around the middle and puts the brakes on any weight loss tactics.

 

Why does this happen in men?

Testosterone plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight by helping to build muscle, speed up metabolism and maintain insulin sensitivity.
 
However, as men hit their 40s and testosterone levels start to decline, this encourages the body to store fat, especially around the middle and is associated with a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Human Growth Hormone is another crucial hormone in men, which enters rapid decline as men enter their 40s causing a reduction in muscle mass.
Muscle tissue is the largest consumer of glucose (sugar) in the body, so the loss of muscle mass results in less glucose being used up and this excess is then converted into body fat and stored around the middle. 
The reduction in muscle mass also means that the body does not process carbohydrates efficiently, so eating too many sugary and starchy foods such as biscuits, cakes, sweets, pasta, potatoes, crisps etc triggers weight gain which is harder to shift.
Of course both men and women have these hormones in greater or lesser quantities and these levels also fluctuate based on gender and ethnicity.

The impact of poor sleep

High stress levels and disrupted sleep can add to the weight gain and insulin resistance.  

Research also shows that lack of sleep, will increase appetite and hunger hormones alter, making us more hungry and prone to cravings.

Loss of muscle mass

Muscle mass diminishes with age, whilst fat storage increases – losing muscle mass slows your metabolism, making it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Low testosterone levels and poor thyroid function can also slow down metabolism, causing fatigue and making it harder to shift fat.

Here are our tips to help you tame unwanted weight gain:

  • Blood-sugar control is key (check out our book recommendations below to help you). Aim to reduce the amount of carbs you consume, especially rice, pasta, bread, cakes, alcohol and sugary foods. These peak sugar and encourage a sugar roller coaster.
  • Include protein with every meal and essential fatty acids (omega 3s).
  • Fasting overnight (12-14 hours) be aware of underlying health conditions that may mean fasting is not a safe option for you.
  • Regular and consistent exercise, especially resistance training to build muscle mass, resistance bands for example are portable and easy to use. Regular exercise snacks are better than weekly exercise bingeing!
  • Be aware of your stress levels as this will effect how your body metabolises food and nutrients,  daily de-stressing activities could be a 10 minute walk outside, 5 minutes of breathing, journalling, regular 2 minute cold showers.

 

Can Supplements help?

SAFFROSUN WITH B12– has been proven to promote restful sleep, balance the stress response and enhance energy levels.

 

Saffrosun with B12 

SAFFROSUN WITH MARINE MAGNESIUM - includes all the benefits of Saffron if your thyroid is sluggish, or are suffering from brain fog with added iodine,  vitamin D3 and will provide you with balanced energy.

 

Saffrosun with Marine Magnesium

 

Saffrosun with Marine Magnesium

BERGATONE – can help in your weight loss journey by binding to bad fats in the gut and prevent them being used in the body. Studies show that it can substantially reduce belly fat when taken for 3 months.

 

Bergatone

 

 

 

 

Books you may wish to read to support your weight loss journey:

MenuPause by Dr Anna Cabeca – gives 5 unique menu plans to break through menopause weight loss resistance

Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspe – a great reference book on blood sugar control (check out @glucosegoddess on Instagram)

Upgrade your Muscle Recovery with Natruflex Turmeric

Upgrade your Muscle Recovery with Natruflex Turmeric

Whether you are a novice or competitive athlete, when you undertake any exercise, you want to take preventative measures to reduce muscle damage.  

During exercise the two leading causes of muscle damage are inflammation and oxidative stress.

The natural bioactive polyphenols of the spice turmeric called curcuminoids have been shown to counteract both inflammation and oxidative stress caused by exercise.

Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) leads to the onset of an inflammatory response that is associated with a decrease in the ability to generate muscle strength, decreased range of motion, localised swelling, delayed onset muscle soreness and increased muscle proteins in the blood (such as creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase and myoglobin).

Inflammatory responses are always linked to oxidative stress and both are directly involved in EIMD.

The Science Bit

A 2020 review showed that supplementing with turmeric extract at a dose between 150mg – 1500mg per day before and during exercise and up to 72 hrs post exercise improved performance by reducing exercise-induced muscle damage and reducing inflammation caused by physical activity. Read PubMed Article 

Another review showed that participants who supplemented with a turmeric extract demonstrated reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, decreased pain and muscle damage, superior recovery and muscle performance and improved gastrointestinal function. The review concluded that curcumin supplementation appears to be safe and beneficial for sport and exercise in humans. Read Review

Natruflex Turmeric 

Our supplement Natruflex Turmeric contains 800mg turmeric extract (curcuminoids) per 2 capsules.

It is combined with black pepper for better absorption and naturally sourced marine magnesium, which further supports nerve function.

Taking curcumin is much gentler on the body than taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, which can cause adverse effects such as heartburn and stomach ulcers.

 

 

If you’re looking to further enhance your stamina and exercise performance:

  • Try adding 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet. These tiny seeds are super packed with protein, omega 3 and omega 6 oils, calcium, iron, zinc and rich in antioxidants. When mixed with water and allowed to soak, these seeds release a form of gelled water that hydrates more slowly and effectively than just drinking liquid alone.

The Aztecs so treasured chia that they used to gift it to their king in homage and Aztec runners used to chew on the seeds as they went into battle. 

Chris McDougall’s book “Born to Run” describes how the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons – known to be ultra-runners, running hundreds of miles without rest and enjoying every mile of it, fuelled themselves with a beverage containing chia seeds called Iskiate’ and you can add a Natruflex Turmeric opened capsule an you have the perfect natural drink for recovery and fuel.

 

Natruflex Turmeric

 

Why taking a natural probation would be beneficial

Why do I need a broad-spectrum probiotic?

Digestion and good gut health are governed by the gut microbiome (a community consisting of bacteria, yeast and fungi).
 
Keeping this community of bugs as abundant and diverse as possible is vitally important for optimal health.

When gut health is good, you’ll feel balanced – when it’s off, you may experience a variety of symptoms and this imbalance can also affect your emotional health, your immune system and skin health.
 

Signs you could benefit from taking a probiotic?

  • You’ve taken a course of antibiotics
  • You eat a lot of refined sugar
  • You’ve taken a course of antacid medfication
  • You experience bloating
  • You have a lot of gas
  • You suffer from loose stools/diarrhoea
  • You regularly get constipated
  • You have skin issues triggered by certain foods

 

 4 Facts about the Gut

 

50% of our stools are actually bacteria that have been living in your gut – therefore these bacteria need replacing everyday.

So how can we replace these wonderful hard working bugs?

  1. Plant-based fibre - helps our gut bugs thrive aim for ideally around 30g per day, ensuring vegetables and fruits of all the colours of the rainbow are included in a week.
  1. Fermented foods can boost the number of friendly bacteria in your gut, Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles (in salty brine), tempeh, natto, unsweetened yoghurt
  1. Prebiotics : these are like fertiliser for our new and current gut flora and include:
  • Baobab fruit
  • Moringa leaf
  • Chicory root
  • Dandelion greens
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Garlic, Onions, Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley, Oats
  • Apples (with the skins)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Flaxseeds (also known as linseeds)
  • Potatoes/pasta that have been cooked the day before and left in the fridge overnight

Why taking a probiotic could help?

Taking a broad spectrum probiotic supplement can improve the number and diversity of the good gut bugs that help to keep your gut healthy. 

Our GUT LOVE is a great multi-strain probiotic that can be taken daily, containing 19 different strains of live bacteria to help replenish your gut flora with a variety of strains.
 
It also contains organic baobab, a naturally sourced prebiotic and slippery elm to make sure that it is easily absorbed by the gut lining.
There are a number of probiotics and prebiotics on the market so how do you choose an effective one - abundance and diversity are key so choose a probiotic/prebiotic combination that meets this criteria.
Gut Supplement checklist
Gut Questionnaire
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Body shape is not an indicator of the strength of your blood vessels

Body shape is not an indicator of the strength of your blood vessels

Did you know that the blood vessels in your body are nearly 60,000 miles long which is twice around the world.


Their job is to carry vital blood, oxygen and essential nutrients to every part of the body. Healthy vessels are strong, elastic, flexible and clear of any deposits.

A healthy and strong blood circulation system is essential to have a good quality of life.
Therefore body shape is not an indicator of the strength of your blood vessels.

What causes a stroke?

Arteries can become clogged with fatty substances from our diet and a sedentary lifestyle which can cause the arteries to narrow and stiffen, resulting in blocked blood flow, a condition known as atherosclerosis.
 
This increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, and this impeded blood flow will affect the health and efficeincy of every organ in the body.
 
If it happens in the brain, the blockage can cause a stroke. Poor blood flow is also linked to issues such as vascular dementia, erectile dysfunction and decreased circulation in the hands and feet.

So what can we do to keep our blood vessels unclogged, strong and healthy?

  1. Follow  - the principles of a Mediterranean-style diet rich in a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, ideally 6 portions a day and include a daily portion of a vegetable rich in nitric oxide, such as beetroot, broccoli, spinach, collard greens and kale. Nitric oxide is a substance that is essential for optimal arterial health and function. Eat regularly.
  1. Move -  Aim for 30 minutes 5 times a week.  However, research is growing that 'snack size' consistent exercise is just as impactful on our bodies and our mind.  Dr Chatterjee is a huge advocate for adding an exercise snack with your daily routine so add squats as the kettle is boiling, or toe raises whilst brushing your teeth 5 minutes a day is better than nothing and consistency is key.  
  1. Stop -  smoking.
  1. Maintain - low LDL cholesterol by reducing your consumption of processed and deep-fried foods.
  1. Lose - weight carrying extra weight increases your chances of having too much LDL cholesterol in your blood, leading to fatty deposits building up in the arteries, restricting blood flow. Studies show that even losing 5% of your body weight can improve cholesterol levels.

 

    Our Bergatone, is made from Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia) only grown in Calabria in Italy and can be used to support the health of your arteries by reducing cholesterol and supporting weight management.

    Studies show that bioactive compounds in Bergamot can reduce the “bad” fats, lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and improving total cholesterol levels.

    In fact, Research on Bergamot has been shown to have 2 specific molecules that are very similar in structure, and function to statins.

    Bergatone can generally be used in conjunction with prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication – speak to one of our pharmacists for more information about your health and any potential indications with current medication.

     
    Natural Ways to Reduce a Hangover

    Natural Ways to Reduce a Hangover

    In my 20's and 30's, I resorted to taking Ibuprofen every time I suffered from a hangover with a pulsating headache.
     
    Cheap and effective, but despite working with the team that discovered this anti-inflammatory I was oblivious to the potential damage this drug was doing to my gut and cardiovascular health. 
     
    As an anti-inflammatory, Ibuprofen is very effective,  but its side effects include increasing cardiovascular risks and damaging the protective lining of the gut!  Plus it is only effective for up to 6 hours.
     
    I then discovered that Turmeric, at the correct strength, has multiple anti-inflammatory benefits, works just as well as Ibuprofen or aspirin and actually improves gut health. 
     
    The issue as it happens is our body's slow capacity to excrete the toxic alcohol metabolites from our body.
     
    However, scientific research (ref 1,2,3)  has proven that curcuminoinds, the active compounds in Turmeric, are effective at removing both the cause and symptoms of a hangover.
     
    Curcuminoids are also potent antioxidants. Alcohol consumption can cause oxidative stress that damages your cells, so an effective antioxidant is vital during a night of drinking.
     
    So the perfect natural solutions for festive hangovers are taken BEFORE you go to sleep:
    • Natruflex Turmeric   -   1-2 capsules taken BEFORE you go to sleep and as and when required during the next day
    • Gut Love                   -  21 probiotics and 2 organic prebiotics. 1 capsule daily to settle the digestion and improve the excretion
    • Marine Magnesium  - 1 capsule at night for nerve and muscle function
     
    Founder & Chief Pharmacist at The Naked Pharmacy

     Shop our Hangover Gift Box

     

    RESEARCH:

    Jeff Schmidt - Heart Attack

    Heart Attack by Jeff Schmidt

    It turns out that we really are ‘the sum total of our experiences.’ Had I known then the impact of many of my decisions, I may have made changes earlier, but it turns out that we must live life to truly understand it. 

     

     

     

    I was definitely living life. Perceived invincibility provided me with the tunnel vision which enabled me to dash from one task to another, ticking off one more achievement, adventure and accolade.

    Of course you can’t sustain this symphonic level of intensity without topping up the tank with quick access fuel, mine came in the form of sugar- packets of delicious sweets and finely baked biscuits.

    I also gradually began to neglect my regular exercise regimen in exchange for a membership in the weekend warrior club. Gut irritation and a little extra weight accumulated, but, as far as I was concerned, I felt normal for a 40-something professional.

    ‘That’ evening, the one that irreversibly shook up my life, Thursday 3 December, I found myself staring eternity squarely in the face. I had returned home from work with my two girls. It had been a stressful day capped by a suitably heated, hard-hitting quarrel that left me trembling. 

     I did not generally consider my life stressful, and yet I knew that I ran at a pretty high-octane pace. But that was OK, because, despite warnings from others, I was, or believed I was, bulletproof.  

    I wore my intensity like a shiny badge of honour. On that evening, however, the engine said ‘no more’; you can’t drive even the most brilliantly engineered sports cars at 5000 RPM indefinitely. 

     It took my mum, who spotted me bent over, clutching my chest, rubbing my arms on FaceTime and my daughter's subsequent fear-filled plea to get help for me to make the medical call. Reluctantly, in a haze of pain, I did make the call. In minutes an ambulance was there. 

     

    Pride masking the danger, I couldn’t help, but feel that all this commotion was quite unnecessary. The seasoned paramedics quickly assessed my traumatised frame, blood pressure surging through my veins like a blocked firehose. They looked me straight in the eyes, piercing my vanity, and said, “We are taking you to hospital. Now.” 

    Jeff Schmidt - a loose wire

     

    ‘That’ evening marked the beginning of a myriad of changes.  Naturally, and most significantly was that of my health, but also, running neatly alongside, compelling me, almost without choice, was my desire to capture the goodness in life around me. 

    Being in hospital forced me to slow down and rest, my senses sharpened and my eyes opened to the subtleties in the world around me, to things I had not previously noticed before. 

    I became acutely aware of nuances in conversation, of the sacrifices of those around me and of the delicacy of relationships. I was also painfully cognizant, in increasing measure, of the compounding effects of the bad choices I had made for my body- sugar addiction, stress, exercise withdrawal and sleep deprivation.

    Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” So, that is what I did (and am doing), engineering a new, more tantalising model for life. 

    My diet, for instance, has been transformed. The once glutinous intake has been replaced with cleaner foods, nutrition straight from the earth and, perhaps more importantly, I expunged sweets. 

    Implored by the immediacy of the situation, I also instilled radical changes to my work routine and introduced regular, gentler exercises in the great outdoors. The list goes on, but I feel that, if indeed we are ‘the sum total of our experiences,’ I have been gifted a lifeline with which to significantly alter the outcome of my time here on earth. And, I must say, my heart feels good, very good indeed.

     

    NOTE FROM THE NAKED PHARMACY

    Jeff’s story highlights the importance of regular heart health checks for both men and women above the age of 30. The good news is many heart and circulatory diseases are caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified.
    Key risk factors as identified by The British Heart Foundation are cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight, physical inactivity, smoking and having high blood pressure. As well as a family history of heart issues.
    As a pharmacist, I believe that relatively simple diet and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of heart disease. 
    Our targeted high strength supplements can help and the general rule for these supplements is to start as early as possible to help prevent problems rather than have to treat later, especially if you recognise the risk factors.
    My two supplements of choice are Bergatone to reduce the build up of bad fats in the body and improve the metabolism. Research is now showing that the four specific polyphenols in high strength organic bergamot fruit extract provide effective support for managing weight and cholesterol, by binding to bad fats in the gut.
    Alongside Black Garlic an organic compound that is produced when white garlic is fermented over several months. It helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, as well as protecting the cardiovascular system.

     

     

     

    Jeff Schmidt is the Author/illustrator of the bestselling book: 

     HEART ATTACK- Finding hope, joy and inspiration through adversity. 

    How to avoid the two main deficiencies  in a vegan diet?

    How to avoid the two main deficiencies in a vegan diet?

    The number of vegans has been growing rapidly over recent years and the concept of vegetarianism is not new dating back as early as 500 BC, first mentioned by Pythagoras.

    In Great Britain, the number of vegans is estimated to have quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. 

    Famous vegans

    Novak Djokovic, Venus and Serena Williams, Lewis Hamilton, Mike Tyson, Martina Navratilova, David Haye are great examples that veganism offers one the potential to not only be healthy, but also for elite athletes to thrive.

    Some key nutrients vegans should be aware of

    Although there are health benefits to a vegan lifestyle, it is also important to recognise that, as with any diet, if not appropriately planned then it is easy to become nutritionally deficient as there are certain nutrients that are not available from plants.

    Below are some of the 2 key nutrients that vegans need to be aware of to avoid deficiencies or imbalances.

    Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient, which does not originate in plants, but from bacteria. 

    In fact, B12 supplements are (for the most part) also given to farm animals, meaning even those on non-vegan diets are supplementing, but indirectly.

    Symptoms of B12 deficiency may include:

    • A pale yellow tinge to your skin
    • A sore and red tongue (glossitis)
    • Mouth ulcers
    • Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
    • Disturbed vision
    • Irritability
    • Unexplained sadness 
    • A decline in your mental abilities, such as memory, understanding and judgement 

    Due to B12 not being readily present in a vegan diet it’s recommended to supplement this, especially for strict vegans. 

    Two tablets daily of our Saffrosun with Vitamin B12 offers 100% of the Nutritional Reference Value (NRV).

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin”, and although it is possible to obtain this through certain plant foods such as mushrooms, in general it is not broadly consumed on a vegan diet.

    In fact, the NHS advises that "everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter” [Source [9]].

    Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency may include:

    • Fatigue
    • Not sleeping well
    • Bone pain or achiness
    • Feelings of sadness
    • Hair loss
    • Muscle weakness
    • Loss of appetite
    • Getting sick more easily

    Again, it is good practice to use a supplement to ensure you are getting the recommend intake of Vitamin D, particularly in colder seasons with having less sun exposure. One capsule of our Pure Organic Vitamin D offers 200% of the NRV, and one capsule of our Vitamin D3 contains 100% NRV.

    Probiotics

    Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, and studies suggest that taking probiotics are linked to a range of health benefits. These include benefits for gut function, immune function, respiratory tract infections, and duration of illness. 

    Although vegans generally consume a diet rich in fibre, which is a key gut nutrient and it is possible to acquire probiotics from plant-based sources such as fermented foods (e.g. sourdough bread and tempeh), vegans don’t consume the most common probiotic rich foods such as yogurt and kefir.

    Our Gut Love supplement contains 21 probiotics and prebiotics, and 19 billion good bacteria to support overall gut health including one probiotic which originates from soil. 

    The Naked Pharmacy Supplements

    All of The Naked Pharmacy’s own brand of supplements are entirely vegan and contain natural ingredients, meaning higher absorption and bioavailability than synthetic supplements.

     

    The benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics

    The benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics

    The health benefits of prebiotics and probiotics
    How to enjoy sleep, naturally

    How to enjoy sleep, naturally

    How to enjoy sleep naturally
    Turmeric - For Health Conditions

    Turmeric - For Health Conditions

    Turmeric is a well-known spice that plays a vast role as a natural health remedy for many conditions.

    The spice naturally reduces swelling and discomfort in joints and muscles. Any conditions involving inflamed tissues can benefit from turmeric, including hay fever and bowel conditions. There is also more and more evidence to suggest turmeric can improve cognitive/brain function and mental health conditions such as low mood.

    The roots of this ancient plant, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, have been used as a spice, health tonic and food dye for centuries. However, only recently have researchers endorsed these traditional uses with good quality clinical research.

    How can I take turmeric?

    The traditional way to take turmeric is, of course, using it as a spice in your food and drink recipes. However, there are two issues with this approach when using turmeric for specific health conditions.

    Firstly, you need a significant amount of powder to achieve the effective dose, nearly 70g of raw powder twice a day in fact, which is of course not practical. Secondly, most of this powder and the active components it contains, will pass straight through the bowel without absorption making the purchase a waste of money.

    As Pharmacists, we advise you to take your turmeric as a supplement. Food supplements like Natruflex are very efficient because they have a very high concentrated dose of the bioactives. Food grade turmeric has a strength of 2-6% whereas Natruflex contains 95% curcuminoids. This means that out of 100g of Natruflex, 95g are active curcuminoids. In addition, Natruflex contains the optimum strength of black pepper, which ensures that all the active curcuminoids are absorbed. This makes Natruflex one of the most effective turmeric supplements on the market.


    What is the difference between Natruflex and other turmeric supplements?

      • Most Turmeric or Curcumin supplements are made up of just one isolated form of turmeric’s active curcuminoids — curcumin — which counts for 2-4% of most turmeric preparations.
      • Natruflex contains a minimum of fifteen different curcuminoid compounds which we believe to be more effective than a single component. These 15 components work together to create a safer and more balanced physiological effect.
      • Natruflex contains 95% of black pepper with piperine which increases the absorption of turmeric by up to 2000%. Most black peppers are not tested for the amount of piperine they contain.

      Increasing Absorption of Turmeric and Curcuminoids

        On its own, turmeric is not easily absorbed. Turmeric is fat soluble, meaning it won’t be absorbed as well without the presence of fat or oil. At The Naked Pharmacy, we advise that turmeric is always taken with either a healthy fat like coconut butter or mixed with a high strength pepper extract with piperine. This increases the absorption by up to 2000%.

        Does Turmeric really work?

        There are now many clinical trials which are randomised, placebo controlled and blinded that show turmeric is a very effective product. This is a pharmaceutical standard for clinical research that eliminates the effects from a dummy pill called a placebo. It’s the evidence base and clinical research standard we look to achieve in all our product development.

        The regulation of COX and LOX enzymes by curcuminoids is the key mechanism for its beneficial effects in preventing various inflammatory diseases.

        How can I recover from exercise-related injuries faster?

        For protection and relief of muscle and joint discomfort, you should take one to two capsules of Natruflex as required, taking a maximum of four capsules per day. Natruflex contains premium quality turmeric and black pepper from southern India, which both contain 95% strength of bioactive and are uniquely combined with magnesium to support muscle and nerve function.

        Why do people take turmeric for bowel disturbances?

        Turmeric may also help relieve the stomach after eating something fatty or spicy. It can also help with excessive gas, support digestion and calm abnormal muscle movements resulting from digestive issues such as IBS. And because this spice naturally contains potassium and magnesium, it is often taken to help rehydrate after diarrhoea.

        Turmeric as a digestive aid

        Turmeric contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that have a soothing effect on the gastrointestinal system and provide support for digestion. Turmeric can even combat some queasiness and support internal cleansing. Herbalists have used it for centuries as a liver tonic. Also, because of its digestive benefits, some people use turmeric during weight loss and exercise programs.


        How do I take Natruflex?

          Just one capsule of Natruflex is equivalent to 65g of food grade turmeric.

          Teenagers and adults: For protection and relief of muscle and joint discomfort,take one to two capsules of Natruflex as required, taking a maximum of four capsules per day. Capsules must be taken with food.

          To prevent injury before sport, do a five day regime of one to two capsules per day, before the event. Capsules must be taken with food.

          If you don’t like taking capsules, you can simply open them up and use the Natruflex as a powder with hot milk (non-dairy options work too) and whisk into a turmeric latte which is spicy, healthy and delicious, or alternatively add it to your favourite recipe.


          Can you take too much turmeric?

            It’s very rare to experience side effects from taking too much turmeric but it’s better to take a quality product like Natruflex and stick to the recommended dose advised by our pharmacists.

            You can take Turmeric indefinitely, but as with anything, we like to recommend that you take a holiday from it every now and then. We recommend you take a week off every three months just to avoid your body becoming tolerant, which is where your body downgrades its response towards it.

            However, if you have a pre-existing condition such as arthritis then continue to take it without a break.

            Forest Bathing

            Forest Bathing

            Intuitively, we understand that we feel better in nature.

            Research has shown that a specific way of spending time in nature, called forest bathing, has immense benefits to our physical and mental wellbeing.

            What is forest bathing?

            It is a slow walk in the forest or woodland, using nature mindfully, to engage our senses.

            Nature provides many opportunities to help us be mindful and present.

            What can we see? Notice the many shades of green and fractal patterns of leaves and branches.

            What do we hear? Notice the orchestra created by the wind and leaves, the songs of birds or the crunching of frost beneath our feet. 

            What do we smell? Notice the various scents of pine, the earthiness of fungi or the memory-evoking smell of soil.

            What do we feel? Notice the softness of moss with our hands, the tickling of the pine on our cheeks or the coolness of the wind on our skin.

            And finally, what do we taste? We can sometimes taste the air or finish a forest bathing session with a taste of the woodland, such as with pine needle tea.


            What are the origins of forest bathing?

              Forest Bathing is known in Japan as shinrin yoku and was started in the 1980s when many Japanese people showed signs of being stressed and overworked due to what was called “technostress”.

              As Japanese society became more reliant on technology, people were further removed from nature. Something needed to be done. With tree coverage of 67% and a culture that pays reverence to nature, Japan naturally looked to the forests. Forest bathing was born.


              Benefits arise from two factors. 

              The first source of the benefits of forest bathing are phytoncides.

              Walking in the forest exposes us to the forest’s natural aromatherapy. Phytoncides are the natural oils within plants and are part of a tree’s defence system, protecting it from pests and diseases. These same phytoncides are partly responsible for the benefits. The main components of phytoncides are terpenes, which include D-limonene (smells lemony), Alpha-pinene (has a fresh, piney scent), Beta-pinene (smells herby, like basil or dill) and Camphene (smells of turpentine, a resinous smell)

              The second source of the benefits of forest bathing are mindfulness and meditation.

              Mindfulness and meditation helps us switch from our sympathetic nervous system, or ‘fight and flight’, to our parasympathetic nervous system, or ‘rest and digest’. If you already practice mindfulness and meditation, you will know that the key to calming the mind down is to focus on your breath. However, it can sometimes be difficult just to focus on the breath. Nature provides many subjects for us comfortably and happily to focus on and helps us “be in the present”. Remember the sight, sound, smell, feel and taste sensory exercises I introduced earlier? They help us re-connect with nature. After all, humans have spent 99.9% of time in history in a natural (rather than urban) environment making nature a place where humans instinctively feel relaxed and comfortable.

              So next time you are in the forest or woodland, see if you can slow down your walking pace and take time to notice what is around you.

              Or to slow down fully, let a forest bathing guide help you do the thinking. Two to three hours of forest bathing every four weeks replenishes the benefits of forest bathing.

              There are many places you can practice forest bathing.

              Forestry England is one source that shares locations of woodlands near you. The National Trust has a wealth of locations to forest bathe. If you are near the Surrey Hills, Hinoki Forest Bathing provides guided forest bathing sessions, including sunrise and sunset sessions, that finish with a Japanese influenced woodland tea ceremony.

              Let nature replenish and care for you and in turn be inspired to care for nature.

              By Lisa Duncan, HINOKI Forest Bathing in the Surrey Hills

              How to lose weight naturally

              How to lose weight naturally

              Accumulation of belly fat is something that can creep up over the years and catch us by surprise. It is suggested that on average adults gain ~1.5kg annually and never shed that weight. Why is that?

              The answer is often our lifestyle. Reducing calorie intake and supporting gut health by increasing your vegetable intake will support weight loss but shifting belly fat can be more troublesome. Coupled with this is the effect this fat is having internally - on our blood vessels and heart for example.

              One of the biggest culprits driving stubborn belly fat is sugar intake

              Hidden sugars in many foods and drinks will increase the accumulation of fat in the tissues and blood vessels. Look at the sugar contents of many cereals, breads, fizzy drinks etc and try to cut them out completely. Every improvement you make by increasing exercise or supplementing can be completely counteracted by your sugary intakes.

              Bergatone

              One clinically tested solution for bad fats is Bergatone, a natural food supplement made from Italian bergamot fruits. Studies have shown that 3 capsules daily, 30 minutes before food for a period of 4 months can help manage weight and cholesterol alongside a healthy eating and exercise routine. How does it do this? Each tablet is packed full of active ‘power house’ polyphenols at 35% effective strength. These polyphenols bind to bad fats from our diets in our gut and tissues. They also help to balance cholesterol in the liver. Double whammy!


              Black Garlic

              When it comes to protecting our heart we can further help by supplementing our diet with daily Aged Black Garlic. This has been shown to help relax our blood vessels, allowing for more efficient circulation of blood to our tissues. How does it do this?...Our Black Garlic is selected due to its naturally high concentrations of the chemical allicin. A six month aging and fermentation process converts allicin to active S-allyl cysteine (S-AC). This high strength, premium grade S-AC provides the protection for our cardiovascular system. Aged Black Garlic and Bergatone are a perfect combination, working in harmony with each other on separate cardiovascular systems.