Category: Uncategorized

What is Zinc?

Zinc is an essential mineral found in all organs, tissues, and fluids in the body.

As the second most abundant trace mineral in the body after iron, it plays a pivotal role in a variety of biological processes.

Zinc is required for the catalytic activity of more than 300 enzymes involved in the synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, nucleic acids, and other nutrients.

Zinc also plays roles in stabilizing cell and organ structures, immune function, wound healing, cell division, growth, blood clotting, thyroid function, vision, taste, smell, and more.

Zinc for immune function

When you’re low on zinc, your immune system suffers. That may be why research has linked inadequate zinc levels with an increased risk of pneumonia, diarrhea, and other infectious diseases.

 

Zinc for the common cold

The immune-system link may also explain why one of the more popular uses for zinc is for cold prevention and treatment. But does zinc work for colds? The research is mixed, but some compelling studies suggest that it is effective.

That’s in part because inadequate zinc levels impair immune responses, but other zinc benefits are at work here too. For instance, zinc can inhibit rhinovirus (the virus that causes colds). It can also calm inflamed nasal passages. But the trick is to use lozenges or syrups, which spend more time in contact with the nose and throat.  Also, be sure to take zinc within 24 hours of when you start feeling cold symptoms for best results.

A word of warning: Nasal sprays and gels containing zinc have been known to damage the sense of smell in some users, so you might want to avoid those. Consult with your healthcare practitioner to get the best health advice.

Zinc for eye health

Some research suggests that taking 80 mg of zinc in combination with the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene every day may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  AMD is a form of progressive vision loss that affects 11 million Americans and 170 million people around the world.

Zinc for acne

Acne can come about when your hormones are raging—as in adolescence or—but it can happen at other times in life too. Zinc is a common treatment for acne. For mild acne, a topical cream containing zinc (which is anti-inflammatory) may be enough to keep the zits at bay.  But for more severe cases, you might want to try a zinc supplement. Research has shown that oral zinc can help reduce acne.  In fact, one study found zinc to hold its own against the antibiotic minocycline as an acne treatment.

LET YOUR HAIR SHINE

LET YOUR HAIR SHINE WITH OUR FAITH IN NATURE ORGANIC SHAMPOOS

Caring for dry or damaged hair

Dry hair can be quite frizzy and flyaway. You might suffer from split ends and your hair might break easier. On the plus side, you can probably go a couple of days or more without washing it. You may want to switch to a gentler shampoo and try leaving your conditioner on for longer, or treating your hair to a regular homemade hair mask.

Solution: Faith in Nature Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner

Shampoo for coloured and chemically-treated hair

Chemically treated hair (for example hair that’s been dyed or permed), might need a bit more TLC and tends to be quite dry. It usually benefits from a gentle, fragrance-free shampoo, and an extra nourishing conditioner.

Solution: Wild Rose Shampoo and Conditioner

Treating oily hair

Hair can feel greasy for a number of reasons. It could be that you’re not rinsing your conditioner out enough, or that you play with your hair frequently so keep transferring the oil from your hands to your hair. However, if you always feel that you need to wash your hair everyday to avoid it becoming greasy or lank then you probably have oily hair. Hair itself isn’t oily; it’s more that the skin on your head is prone to being oily, and then that oil spreads to your hair. Beware of harsh high-street shampoos, which can irritate the scalp and lead to more problems, such as dandruff.

Solution: Lemon and Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner

What is ‘normal’ hair?

‘Normal’ hair is basically hair that doesn’t fit in any of the other boxes! It’s not particularly dry or particularly oily and it’s not chemically-treated or prone to dandruff. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t need some TLC once in a while though.

Try Faith in Nature Lavender and Geranium Shampoo and Conditioner to keep your hair in balance.

Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner

At Faith in Nature, we try to make choosing the right shampoo for your hair as simple as possible. When you click on Hair Care in our online shop, you’ll see a drop down box over on the left hand side of the page that says ‘Hair concern’. Tick the box that most fits your hair type to see the products that are right for you. We also recommend reading customer reviews to help make the choice even easier.

Give Your Body Some Love

The best skincare you’ve ever experienced doesn’t come from a store, it comes from your kitchen. Fresh, raw ingredients offer a next-level glow, and Manuka Honey’s moisturizing properties help leave skin radiant.

 

Try these for starters:

Recipe: Calming Clay Face Mask With Manuka Honey And Rose

The best skincare you’ve ever experienced doesn’t come from a store, it comes from your kitchen. Fresh, raw ingredients offer a next-level glow, and Manuka Honey’s moisturizing properties help leave skin radiant.

This Calming Clay Face Mask recipe uses Manuka Honey, rose water and bentonite clay, which has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe distressed skin. People have used bentonite clay in skincare for thousands of years because it absorbs oils and impurities, and also gives your skin minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. Make this homemade mask a weekly ritual:

Ingredients:
1/3 cup bentonite clay
1/4 cup dried rose petals, powdered
2 tablespoons Comvita UMF™ 10+ Manuka Honey
Rosewater until a thick-but-stirrable consistency is reached

Direction:
– Soak rose petals for an hour, then crush the rose petals in a bowl or mortar.
– Mix 1/3 cup bentonite clay and 2 tablespoons of Comvita Manuka Honey with the rose petals, add water or rosewater until mask becomes the consistency of mud
– Apply them to your face. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse and follow with your favorite natural moisturizer.

 

 

 

 

GROW YOUR FRUIT AND VEGETABLES AT HOME

 

We have all been guilty of taking for granted the many supermarket trips in which we had an endless supply of fresh produce. This becomes even more apparent during these changing times, as we are now limited in the amount of times we can shop. This, along with other recent small changes, makes for a huge impact on daily life. With produce in low supply and limited visits to supermarkets, it’s a great time to challenge yourself to try something new and grow your own fruit and vegetables.

Regardless of the space you may have in the garden, (you can even grow it on a singular windowsill), you can still grow your own vegetables. Instead of having to aimlessly stroll around the garden centre for inspiration or guidance, we have created a step by step guide to help you discover your inner gardener.

To begin, we have focused on the fruit and vegetables that are easy to grow in limited spaces:

 

  1. Strawberries

Grow super fresh and delicious strawberries in just a jam jar!

Step 1: fill your jar half full with water and add soil pellets. Leave to soak for 10 minutes.

Step 2: take out the soil pellets. Squeeze out any excess water and take off their lining, then place them in the jam jar.

Step 3: plant your seeds. Place your jar in a well lit warm area, this can be in a windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight.

Step 4: once your seeds have outgrown the jar -you can replant them in a larger pot and place outside. Make sure the pot is placed in a location that gets plenty of sun or on a windowsill.

 

  1. Radish

Step 1: Plant the radish seeds directly in the desired pots.

Step 2: Sow the seeds 1/4 or 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart into the potting medium and gently cover them back with the mix

Step 3: Between 3 to 10 days, the seeds will germinate, and tiny plants will emerge.

Step 4: Thin out the seedlings, so they are only two inches apart and watch them grow!

 

  1. Tomatoes

You can start your seeds in just about anything that holds soil and has drainage holes ( even small yogurt containers with holes poked in the bottoms and waterproof saucers underneath work well).

Step 1: Have to hand, your seed-starting mix and thoroughly moisten. Then fill your chosen containers to within 1/2″ of the top. Firm the mix but don’t compact it.

Step 2: Place two or three seeds into each small container or each cell of a seed starter. Cover the seed with about 1/4″ of soil and gently firm it over the seeds.

Step 3: Water to ensure good seed-to-mix contact. You can just dribble a stream of water over the top. You don’t need to soak the soil, just moisten the top layer.

Step 4: Place the pots in a warm spot and keep the mix moist but not soaking wet. Ideally cover with cling film or an alternative.

Check pots daily. As soon as you see sprouts, remove the covering and place the pots in a sunny window or under grow lights, keeping the lights just an inch or two above the tops of the plants.

 

  1. Beetroot

Containers – pots, troughs, window boxes and larger containers – are all suitable, ideally ones more than 20cm (8in) deep.

Step 1: Fill containers to within 2-3cm (about 1in) of the rim with moist compost and firm the surface lightly

Step 2: Scatter seeds thinly – if they are too thick, you will have to pull some seedlings out when they emerge. Aim for seedlings roughly 4-5cm (134in) apart each way for beetroot. Cover with a 1.5cm (12in) layer of compost.

Step 3: Finely spray the surface with water

Put the containers in a sunny spot, and keep the surface of the compost moist. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, pull out unwanted ones to give the rest enough space (they won’t swell out if they are too crowded). As the plants grow, they will need more water – daily if the weather is dry. Don’t let the compost dry out.

 

  1. Garlic

To grow garlic greens indoors:

Step 1: Plant three or four cloves in a pot filled with potting soil.

Step 2: Sit them on a sunny window ledge and water them lightly. The garlic greens will grow in just 7 to 10 days and can be snipped.

To grow entire heads of garlic, you’ll need to plant outdoors because like other bulbs (think onions and daffodils), they need the cold winter dormancy to produce the scape (flower) and generate a head.

 

 

 

References:

  1. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/beetroot
  2. https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-grow-beetroot/
  3. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/containers/april-edible-container-idea
  4. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/containers/april-edible-container-idea
  5. https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/video-slideshow-growing-tomatoes/7902.html
  6. https://modernfarmer.com/2015/03/grow-your-own-tomatoes-part-1-starting-seed-indoors/

Salt of the earth

Established in 1993 and adopted in 2005 by mother and son team Thomas and Sally (where they started their work from Sally’s home), the Salt of the Earth brand of natural deodorants perfectly reflects their vision and passion for environmentally friendly, natural skincare products that are as effective as they are ethical.

Having started with a single deodorant, the Crystal Classic, the range has since evolved into a variety of award-winning deodorant sprays, roll-ons and travel sprays. Salt of the Earth is now a leading brand in the natural deodorant industry, stocked by a variety of retailers across the UK and in Europe including Waitrose, Ocado, Boots and Holland & Barrett.

We constantly strive to offer our customers top-quality products which don’t just offer long-lasting protection from body odour, but also have minimal impact on the environment. The deodorants themselves are 100% natural and the HDPE packaging is recyclable, but we’re continuing to further reduce plastic use through our 500ml spray refills, and by introducing a brand-new plastic-free Crystal Stick, supplied in a handsome cardboard box.  

You can also rest assured we’re against any form of animal testing.

Further to this, Salt of the Earth is now one of the best-selling natural deodorants in the Netherlands and won Best New Brand in 2017 at the Beauty Astir Awards.

Our products:

10 Immune System Boosters for Seniors

1. Consider herbal supplements or multivitamins.

An option for fighting infections and increasing nutrients, seniors should talk to their doctors first before adding herbs such as echinacea, ginseng, multivitamins or probiotics to their regimen.

2. Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.

Older people tend to eat less and have less variety in their diets. Fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and zinc are essential to good health. So is maintaining a low-fat, low-sugar diet that incorporates lean proteins and whole grains.

3. Exercise.

Regular physical activity promotes circulation and heart health and relaxes the body and mind. Bicycle rides, walks, yoga classes and other forms of exercise help boost a senior’s immune system performance and ward off infections.

4. Get vaccinated.

Flu vaccines have shown to be effective for around one-quarter of older adults. Seniors who get the flu vaccine have significantly lower rates of sickness.

5. Reduce stress.

Stress has been linked to a number of illnesses, including heart disease and stomach problems. Whether it’s isolation, social stress or another form, stress can suppress a senior’s immune system, making them more susceptible to viruses.

6. Sleep.

One of the best natural immune system boosters, sleep helps us respond better to inflammation and stress. It’s also shown to improve our response to the flu vaccine.

7. Stay hydrated.

Seniors tend to sense thirst less than younger people. But older people need at least eight to nine glasses of fluid a day to keep mucous membranes moist, which lowers the chances of flu or colds. Coffee, soup, tea and water all count.

8. Stay positive.

healthy outlook on life boosts endorphins, which make us feel good. Seniors who keep up with activities and hobbies that make them happy have a better chance of staying healthy and positive.

9. Try some superfoods.

Foods like avocados, berries, broccoli and kale have been shown to improve immune system performance. Some superfoods even boost cognitive function and help fight dementia.

10. Wash hands.

Washing hands regularly scrubs away germs. Covering coughs and sneezes helps prevent diseases from spreading.

Illness isn’t inevitable, but good habits lend to keeping seniors happy and healthy so they can enjoy the most out of life.

Do you know of any other immune system boosters for seniors that we should add to our list? We’d like to hear your suggestions

What to eat before a 5K or 10K run

Get ready, set…eat! Before heading out for a run, it’s important to make sure you are properly fuelled so that you have enough energy to go the distance. Eating the right foods, at the right time, can not only help you run better and for longer, it can also help avoid stomach cramps, dizziness and falling energy levels. To help with this, today I am going to look at what to eat before a 10k.

1. Eat – Low GI foods

The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It measures how quickly these foods are digested and how soon they affect blood sugar (glucose) levels after being eaten. The faster the body breaks these down, and blood glucose rises, the higher the GI rating.

According to our Nutritionist Emma Thornton, it’s important for runners to eat foods containing low GI carbs, particularly in the 2-3 hours before a run, as these foods release energy slower and at a more sustained rate. She says: “This will help to preserve energy stores in the muscles and should allow fat sources to be used thus ensuring energy levels are higher for longer.”

It is particularly important to avoid all high GI foods in the 20 minute window prior to exercise as there can be a physiological effect attached to the drop in blood glucose at this time. This means energy gels are one to watch as they can be packed with sugar, meaning their effects on your energy levels may not be very long-lasting.

Low GI foods:

  • Oats
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Dried apricots
  • Oranges

. Eat – healthy carbohydrates

When it comes to carbohydrates, it is important not to overload as this group of foods can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. However, eating a small amount of carbs the morning before a big run should help to see you through. That’s because carbs are able to boost stores of glycogen which serves as a source of energy.

Before a 10k, aim to have around 1/3 of your meal made up with carbs and use fish, meat and vegetables to fill up the other proportions.

Healthy carbohydrate foods:

  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Potato
  • Porridge
  • Cereal

3. Eat – protein

A little bit of protein before a race can help you feel full for a longer period of time – as a rough guide, around ¼ of your dinner plate should be made up of protein. On top of this, protein is really important for the muscles as it is used to build and repair tissue there. It makes up tendons, for example, as well as ligaments, collagen and elastin, the latter of which is essential for repair work. This means it is important to get protein both before and after a run.

Read our blog ‘How much protein do you really need?’ for further information on protein.
Protein-rich foods:

  • Beans
  • Pulses
  • Fish
  • Eggs

4. Eat – healthy fats

Nutritionist Emma Thornton says that we mustn’t forget about eating healthy fats before a run. These provide fuel to sustain the body through a long distance and help support the absorption of multiple nutrients too. Healthy fats also help support the health of the muscles and joints.

Emma says: “Healthy fats should make up 1/4 to 1/3 of our daily diet so these should feature during periods of training, although you might want to reduce this intake in the few hours prior to running as they are much slower to digest.”

Foods containing healthy fats:

  • Flaxseed
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Fish

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO SPEND TIME OUTSIDE IN NATURE

When was the last time you spent time outside and enjoyed the benefits of nature?

study  found that most people spent a mere half-day outside each week. If you’re struggling to remember or you’ve realised that it’s been a while, you should consider shaking this up, read on to find out why.

Regular time spent outside in nature is key to a healthy lifestyle. Technology is improving in leaps and bounds to the point where we can experience other worlds from the comforts of our living room through virtual reality, but it will never be able to recreate the wonderful benefits the outside has to offer us.

Here are the key benefits of nature.

 

It helps to reduce stress

Nature has been found to have a calming quality on our stress levels. Beautiful natural surroundings and scenery can feel like worlds away from our home and work life and consequently causes us to put any associated stress on the back burner. A study explored the effect of nature on the stress hormone cortisol. The study focused on two separate groups of students, one group remained in the city whilst the other group was taken on a hiking and camping venture on a break from school. Lower levels of cortisol were found in the students who took part in the hiking and camping experience.

It builds our focus

Actively getting outside breaks up our working day, which for the vast majority takes part indoors whether it be an office, classroom or vehicle. Being inside for too long can cause us to become overwhelmed, particularly as a lot of our work takes place face-to-face with a computer screen which can have a negative effect on our focus levels.

Several studies have supported the notion that outdoor activities helps to attune our attention and focus levels. One study tasked three separate groups with a proofreading assignment after experiencing different activities, these included a walk through the city, a walk out in nature and relaxing indoors. The group who took a walk out in nature performed the best on the task. A separate study carried out in Finland found that students who engaged in outdoor activities tended to gain better academic achievements.

It could help support the immune system

Our immune systems improve when we face different environments, when we stay in one environment it can become somewhat stuck – it thrives from a challenge. A study carried out in Japan found the number of white blood cells in adults after a weekend trip to a forest increased. White blood cells play a key role in the immune system – they fend off unwelcome antibodies and diseases.

This study proves that a stride out into nature can help to strengthen the immune system.

It positively impacts physical health

The very act of walking, cycling or running in nature has a positive impact on our physical health. On the one hand you’ll be exposed to the wonders of vitamin D from the sunlight, on the other hand the rough and ready terrain forces you to work harder than you would on a flat treadmill or tarmacked running track; this consequently burns more energy.

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.

 

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