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HOW TO IMPROVE CONCENTRATION THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Do you ever hit a slump at certain points of the day? No matter how productive we all want to be, we’re all prone to a little dip in concentration, and who could blame us? We’re inundated with temptations to focus our attentions anywhere else than our tasks at hand – we can watch Youtube or check social media anytime, anywhere. But that’s only half the battle when it comes to staying mentally active, there are a number of other contributing factors – frequency of exercise, the state of your diet and ways of working to name a few.

We’ve zoomed in on each of these areas to dissect how you can retain and improve concentration throughout the day.

 

The Impact of Exercise

As a majority of our day-to-day working activities can be conquered at our computer screens, us humans are sitting down more than we ever have. And with that comes an onslaught of issues – you only need to gaze over the potential repercussions detailed on the NHS to understand.

One way to combat this and keep yourself mentally active is to engage in regular exercise, many studies have linked physical activity to concentration levels. A study on Dutch school children found that pupils became better at multi-tasking, resisting distractions and retaining information when classes were broken up with 20 minutes of aerobic exercise.

With this in mind, here are some ideas on how to stay active:

Walking & Getting Outside

One of the biggest excuses for not exercising is a lack of time. Well, there are plenty of ways to make exercise work in your favour when it comes your day-to-day which we tackled in our healthy eating and exercise for busy lifestyles. You could try walking to work, or if that’s not achievable at least make a part of your journey on foot. Otherwise, you can make the most of your lunchbreak by taking a walk around the block or in a nearby park. Being outside in nature alone holds many benefits in itself. Alongside a boost in focus, it also helps to reduce feelings of stress and positively impacts our general health.

A simple way of boosting your mental activity throughout the day is to shake up your seated position at your desk for something different.

Standing Desks

Standing desks have already swept offices all around the country, and for good reason. A study in Minneapolis looked into the effects of standing desks in an office environment over a 7 week period, the study concluded that workers experienced a reduced feeling of fatigue and stress after using standing desks. Elsewhere, standing desks have proved to reduce back pain and strain and may lower blood pressure.

The Impact of Diet  

Your diet has an incredibly powerful effect on your mental state throughout the day – you need to stay loyal to your meal times and fill it with a good balance of foods.

Don’t Forget Breakfast!

A lot of people hold off from eating breakfast until they get to work these days. In fact, it’s better to eat within the first hour of waking up – your naturally low sugar levels upon waking will be fed which, in turn, keeps you energised and mentally active for extended periods of time.

Healthy Snacking

In terms of snacking, berries, bananas and nuts are your friends. These foods contain the most rewarding properties when it comes to needing a boost of energy which in return allows you to remain focussed. Here’s some wider reading on those foods:

Our TREK bars at Natural Balance Foods consist of a simple mixture of fruits, oats and protein crunchies so you know you’re getting nutritional, no nonsense snacking. Explore the range of TREK Protein Energy Bars and TREK Energy Chunks to stock up your snack box.

Iron

Iron deficiency is directly linked to feelings of fatigue so it’s important to keep iron present in your diet to keep yourself mentally active throughout the day. Iron helps the body to produce a vital strand of protein called hemoglobin which assists in the passing of oxygen from your lungs to your body. Pistachio nuts, a sea vegetable called dulse and lentils are all great examples of iron-rich foods.

 

Article – https://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/community/healthy-living/how-to-improve-concentration-throughout-the-day/

Sleep Easy – the story behind Pukka Night Time tea blend

One of the beautiful things about working with herbs is the way they can help our sense of wellbeing every day. We all need our beauty sleep we all need to find something that could help slow us down when the end of the day beckoned.

This is where Night Time tea came from. Pukka knew about the soothing wonders of oatstraw flowers, and started giving it to friends after a fine meal together. mixed it with lavender flowers, and relax into the softness of the night. Chamomile flowers, tulsi leaf and some valerian root joined the slumber blend. Everyone loved the taste and feel so much, it made sense to blend it for the perfect Night Time.

The joy is that such beautiful plants can have such an effect. Blessed by being able to help so many people since Pukka made this tea – people who are waking up refreshed and waking up to the wonders of organic herbs too.

 

WHAT ARE PULSES AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

If you’re interested in health and fitness or follow a plant-based diet, you’ve probably heard of pulses or may already be consuming them whether you’re aware of it or not. Read on to discover more about what pulses are, the role they play in our diet and why they’re considered to be a fantastic source of nutrition.   

So, what are pulses?

Pulses are a strand of the legume family (legumes are plants that grow in pods), specifically they are the seed part of legumes. This means pulses are mainly comprised of lentils, beans and peas.

Here is a short list of some example pulses:

  • Dry beans
  • Lentils
  • Faba Beans
  • Cowpeas
  • Bambara beans
  • Pigeon peas

Why are they so great? What are the benefits of pulses?

In short, there are a ton of essential nutrients packed into pulses and are therefore considered to be an incredibly positive addition to a healthy diet. Here are the main reasons why pulses pack such a nutritional punch.

They’re full of protein

Pulses are a fantastic plant-based source of protein making it an especially important food for vegans and vital for maintaining a healthy vegan diet. You’ll find roughly 15g of protein in a cup of pulses. They’re celebrated for being a low-fat type of protein especially when compared to other sources such as meat, fish and certain types of nuts. Explore more vegan sources of protein here.

They’re rich in fibre

Fibre is a key part of a healthy and balanced diet. Pulses are regarded as a strong source of fibre due to the presence of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Here’s a quick definition of both types:

  • Soluble fibre – helps to control blood sugar levels, body weight and lower cholesterol.
  • Insoluble fibre – helps digestion and regulation of the digestive system

This means it’s not only beneficial to heart health but it makes positive contributions to gut-health, too.

They’re a strong source of folate

Folate is a B vitamin which is required for the production and maintenance of new cells making it an especially important nutrient for growth. The presence of folate in pulses means the ingredient is a beneficial addition to diets for children and pregnant women.

Pulses also have a valuable impact on the environment and provide fantastic inspiration in the kitchen, too.

They’re friendly to the environment

Nitrogen-rich soil is required in order for crops to successfully grow. Pulses are a nitrogen-fixing plant and therefore make significantly less impact on the environment due to their natural ability to grow without the help of fertilizers or pesticides. In fact, they increase the presence of nitrogen in the soil leaving a healthy patch for new crops to grow and thrive.

They’re versatile as a cooking ingredient

WHY PLANTS AT WORK AND HOME ARE GOOD FOR YOU

Plants aren’t only good for giving your offices, living rooms and bedrooms an aesthetic spruce of life, they’re also living organisms that interact with your body in ways that enhance your quality of life! Even though we don’t notice it, under our noses plants are helping to create the environment around you a better place psychologically, physically and mentally. Here are some key facts about why plants at work and home are good for you.

Plants purify the air

Plants have large surface areas and naturally absorb VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and air pollutants around us through their leaves and roots which in turn helps to improve the conditions around you such as.

  • They help to reduce carbon dioxide
  • They keep the air temperature down
  • They reduce airborne dust levels

Some of the best plants for purifying indoor air are spider plants, English ivy, Japanese Royal Plants, aloe vera and peace lilies.

Plants have psychological value

It might sound strange, but plants have strong spiritual and psychological link to us. Looking after the plants and growing them can relieve everyday stress. Additionally, the process of growing a plant can build in a sense of responsibility. Some studies have found that growing plants is one of the ways to improve mental well-being at any age.

Plants increase productivity

Plenty of studies have demonstrated the direct ‘influence of plants’. How it boosts productivity, improves concentration and memory. According to a study of University of Michigan, plants can increase memory retention by 20 percent. Simultaneously, Norwegian studies shows that workers productivity elevate in the presence of plants. “Keeping ornamental plants in the home and in the workplace increases memory retention and concentration,” says Texas A&M. “Work performed under the natural influence of ornamental plants is normally of higher quality and completed with a much higher accuracy rate than work done in environments devoid of nature.”

Best plants for your desk

Choosing the right plant is not always an easy decision, especially when you’re not a plant guru and can only make a choice on looks alone. Here is a selection of the best plants to introduce to your work desk:

  • Devil’s Ivy – easy to care for and adapts to a number of different office environments (e.g. low-light to bright lights)
  • Bromeliads – low maintenance and a beautiful piece with vibrant red colours
  • Cacti – this one is incredibly easy to look after with little-to-no water required, just make sure you give it a bit of light
  • Dracaena – bursting with colourful leaves and can survive in some of the harshest conditions meaning it should last you a long time

Herbs to help your focus, clarity and drive

The modern busy lifestyle of juggling work, family and relationships means that our exposure to so called ‘stress’ is high, affecting our inherent focus, clarity and drive.

Just as we need to support our body to make it strong and resilient, we also need to support our mind. Awareness, consciousness and experience all contribute towards how the mind learns, processes and reacts.

In Ayurveda, India’s ancient health system, an individual’s sense of consciousness is known as ‘buddhi’ and it is this that helps us to determine and discriminate, ultimately manifesting in our actions and state of awareness.

It’s likened to a mirror that can ‘reflect’ the truth and help guide us to our true ‘Buddha’ nature. Ashwagandha and tulsi ( or holy basil) are two key herbs in Ayurveda that can help build resistance to stress and enhance the mind.

Ashwagandha for the body and mind

 

In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is known as a ‘rasayana’ meaning a rejuvenative. Rasayanas enhance both the quality and quantity of life, nourish the mind and enhance vigour; a truly superior rejuvenative tonic to the whole body and mind.

Interestingly the Sanskrit word ‘ashwagandha’ is translated as ‘the smell of a horse’ which reflects its ability to bring you the essence of a horse; strength, stamina and focus.

Tulsi to wash away the blues

Tulsi is a very special plant. For thousands of years it has been worshipped by Hindus, who consider it to be an avatar of the Goddess Laxmi. Many Indian villages dedicate shrines to the plant and also use its bark to make meditation beads.

Tulsi supports emotional wellbeing and eliminates the ‘blues’. It brings mental clarity whilst also relaxing the nervous system, clearing mental fog and calming a racing mind. It restores adrenal glands which have become exhausted by trauma, depression or anxiety through modulating our internal stress response. A truly clarifying herb.

At a Glance

Phytonutrients is the name for a group of chemical compounds found in fruit and vegetables, each with a different blend of health properties.

Phytonutrients are commonly found in greatest concentrations just under the skin of fruit and vegetables – don’t peel produce unless it’s essential

Health benefits of phytonutrients include reducing cell damage from free radical chemicals, cell and DNA repair, protecting eye health and decreased risk of many serious diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

To continue reading the full post click on the link below

What Are Phytonutrients?

” What about the taste! The mix of turmeric and ginger can be felt, yet there is also a feel of citrus (and other fruits). It’s turmeric content gives it a yellowish colour. Whilst the warmth comes from the ginger. It definitely is a pleasant tea to drink.” – Veggy Malta

 

To read the full post click on the link below

Pukka Turmeric Active – herbal care for the active in a teabag

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