The New Moves For A Brighter You (Part 2) - Lower blood pressure & Calm problem skin

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Lower blood pressure

“Raised blood pressure can be a wake-up call to make important diet and lifestyle changes” says naturopath and medical herbalist Sarah Bowles-Flannery (sarahbowlesflannery.co.uk) “Regular exercise, relaxation and plenty of sleep are vital. Hydration is really important – it’s not just about drinking lots of water”

Description: Exercise can lower blood pressure

AVOID “Salt!” says Sarah. “Excess sodium can lead to fluid build-up, which in turn contributes to raised blood pressure. And caffeine – as it raises heart rate and is a diuretic, which can lead to dehydration”

ENJOY Wholefoods, salad with a drizzle of olive oil, and fruit and veg. Bananas as their potassium helps balance excess sodium. Oats, which are calming, and garlic, which has a slightly blood-thinning effect. Oily fish – also slightly blood thinning.

TAKE Garlic capsules, fish oils (1,000mg twice a day), vitamin D, best in a spray – recent research shows a deficiency can lead to blood vessel walls stiffening. Herbs are also fantastic, but seek the advice of a qualified medical herbalist.

Try Better You DLux 100 Vitamin D 15ml Spray, $9, betteryou.uk.com; Solgar Garlic Oil Softgels, $7 for 100, revital.co.uk. See sarahbowlesflannery.co.uk

Get a handle on moods

Description: Sugar is the big bad mood culprit

Whether it’s stress or the menopause that’s creating your jangling emotions, try some calming tweaks to your everyday eating. Sugar is the big bad mood culprit. “And that’s not just the regular kind. Sugar in refined carbohydrates make blood sugar go up quickly, resulting in mood peaks and troughs.” Says homeopath Margo Marrone.

AVOID Sugar, white pasta, white bread, cakes and alcohol. “Giving up these will help your waistline and your mood,” says Margo.

ENJOY “A little low-fat protein in each meal – eggs, chicken, oily fish (the omega in oily fish also helps brain function), beans, lentils, milk and cheese. Plus plenty of vegetables. Surprisingly, raw, unprocessed chocolate is one of the richest sources of serotonin – the happy molecule. Just don’t have it with sugar – look for one with agave nectar – it makes a brilliant snack!”

TAKE A supplement to keep a lid on moodiness. “Magnesium is key to mood function so I always recommend a magnesium and calcium complex, plus essential fatty acids and B vitamins are fundamental to maintain a healthy nervous system.”

Try Calcium & Magnesium Complex, $18 for 60 caps; EFAs and B Complex, $34 for 60 caps, both theorganicpharmacy.com.

Brain a bit fuzzy?

Try Patrick Holford’s new Brain Food Formula – a unique blend of vitamins and nutrients to support healthy brain function. $21 for 60 capsules at Holland & Barrett.

Calm problem skin


Description:  Omega-3

The biggest cause of angry, irritated skin is created within.

“Inflammation not only causes skin irritation, but is also a major contributor to the ageing process” says wellbeing expert Amanda Hamilton. “Cutting out foods that increase inflammation will benefit your skin now and in the future”.

AVOID Trans-fats found in deep-fried foods, processed cakes, biscuits and processed meats. Too much sugar is as ageing for your skin as too much sun – because sugar links with collagen and elastin in the skin, reducing its elasticity.

ENJOY Oily fish, walnuts and flax seeds; their omega-3 fats help to reduce inflammation and calm irritated skin. Limit the damage caused to skin by free radicals by eating more antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables. The jury is out, but there is some evidence that dark chocolate may help reduce inflammation too!

TAKE Omega-3, if you don’t eat a lot of oily fish. It has an anti-inflammatory effect. Don’t want to take fish oil? Then try a flax-seed supplement instead.

Try Linseed Oil 1000, $11 for caps, biocare.co.uk. Patrick Holford Essential Omegas, $24 for 60 caps. Find Amanda’s new personalized weight-loss programme at amandahamilton.co.uk

Need a relaxing cuppa?

Try Dr Stuart’s Tranquility – good for those with raised blood pressure, says expert Sarah Bowles-Flannery, but no more than 3-4 cups a day. $3 for 15 bags at Holland & Barrett.

In the mood for chocolate?

Go for the Glamour Food Bar by The Organic Pharmacy. The unprocessed cacao retains all its nutrients, and the antioxidant goji, acai and blueberry plus agave nectar sweeten it – so no sugar highs and lows! $5


Soothe aching joints

Aches and pains in your joints are other problems created by inflammation, but there is lots you can do to help ease them. “the aim is to control that inflammation by reducing or eliminating those foods or drinks that are going to worsen pain,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of The Natural Health Bible For Women.

LIMIT “Dairy and red meat – their saturated fats can cause your body to produce more inflammation,” says Marilyn. “Alcohol – as it stops your body converting good fats into the anti- inflammatory lipids essential for maintaining supple joints. Caffeine, which acts as a stimulant, causing the release of the stress hormone cortisol, and more inflammation over time.”

ENJOY More oily fish or take linseed oil if you are vegetarian as both of these are absolutely crucial for controlling inflammation.

TAKE Vitamin D, which controls inflammation. If you suffer from joint pains, get checked for a deficiency. Omega-3 – nowadays we’re not getting enough from our diet. Glucosamine, which forms an important part of connective tissue within joints, and MSM, which keeps them flexible.

Try Life Extension Vitamin D3 1000 lu, 17.50 for 250 caplets; Lifetime Advanced Joint Support Formula, 35 for 90 tablets, both victoriahealth.com. NHP Omega 3 Support, 23.87 for 60 caplets.

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