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Independent health store advice on better sleep and increased energy

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health stores can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This issue we speak to Shirley O’Sullivan from Here’s Health in Douglas Court Shopping Centre in Douglas, Cork

Stress and anxiety can contribute to feelings of fatigue, making even simple everyday tasks difficult. It is one of the most common complaints, but there are ways to help bring the body back to balance. Stress consumes huge amounts of energy, so it is important to control it. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, t’ai chi and meditation are useful tools in lowering stress levels.

There are numerous energy drinks on the market, but you cannot buy energy in a can. Your body makes energy every minute from the food and drink that you put into it.

Some diets can be restrictive or personal choices might affect nutrient status. This is when good quality food-based supplements come in and bridge the gap.

Many supplements can help support energy production such as CoQ10, ashwagandha, B vitamins, magnesium and ginseng.

B-complex vitamins are water-soluble and are excreted through urine and are not stored in the body. They need to be replenished regularly to maintain adequate levels. Turning glucose within cells into energy requires a whole host of nutrients such as B1, B2 and B5. B12 is required to make adrenalin and for nerve transmission, with the end result being energy.

Magnesium has many functions in the body – over 300 in fact. This includes energy production, protein formation and cellular replication. An underlying magnesium deficiency, even if minimal, can result in chronic fatigue and symptoms similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. Many chronic fatigue syndrome patients have been shown to have low red blood cell magnesium levels.

CoQ10 is a fat-soluble enzyme that naturally occurs in every cell in the body, but its production tends to decrease with age. Like a battery power source, its primary function is to produce energy in cells.

Long used in Chinese medicine, ginseng is believed to improve physical and mental performance. In individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, ginseng supplementation over two months improved tiredness symptoms.

Ashwagandha is a natural remedy that has been used for hundreds of years. It is not only one of nature’s painkillers, but a very effective adaptogen to help increase energy levels and improve concentration.

Getting enough sleep is incredibly important for your health. Sleep helps your body and brain function properly. A good night’s sleep can help improve your learning, memory and decision making. While diet and lifestyle need to be addressed, there are some natural sleep aids that’ll help you to get that essential shut-eye.

For some sufferers the major problem is waking during the night, for others it’s not being able to fall asleep at all. Vitamin B12 has been shown to be supportive in the treatment of sleep-wake rhythm disorders through improved melatonin secretion.

Cherries are a rich source of phytochemicals that may have important benefits for the brain and nervous system. They are also known to be a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that plays an important role in regulating sleep patterns. A number of clinical studies have suggested that cherries can improve sleep and melatonin levels.

Valerian root, a tall, flowering grassland plant, may reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and help you sleep better.

L-theanine is an amino acid in the body that is part of the neurotransmitters that have a calming effect. It is a very effective tool in aiding relaxation before bed and in turn aiding in a restful sleep.

What’s What and Who’s Who in Here’s Health in Douglas Court in Cork

“Here’s Health Douglas Court opened 21 years ago,” says nutritional therapist and manager Shirley O’Sullivan. “In fact, some of the staff have been working here ever since. It’s a busy shop and this year we opened our first café right next door. Here’s Health Café run by Conor Philpott sells predominantly vegan, all organic food made with local ingredients. It is both sit down and take-away. Sometimes I might buy something nice and take it home for dinner – I know it is really clean, organic well-made food.

“Here’s Health have three stores, in Patrick St, Cork and Wilton Shopping Centre as well as in Douglas Court. Our shop is very busy. Our customers are really varied – from people doing their weekly food shop, a new generation of people finding out about natural health, children and parents, to older people looking for advice and health boosters. Our staff are very well trained and big on customer service. Our most popular requests are for help with energy, sleep and cholesterol, and also immune support and menopause.

“Our shop is quite spacious. We have an oil fridge for supplements and oils, a food fridge with vegan cheese, humous, sauerkraut, kimchi, dairy-free yogurt, vegan butter and coconut milk. Our freezer has meat alternatives and tempeh and tofu, all organic.

“Our baking and food section has gluten-free flours, pastas, oats, pre-packs of dried fruit and nuts and seeds.

We have cacao, maca, super greens powders, many brands of herbal teas, and coffee alternatives. There’s dried and tinned beans, herbs and spices, apple cider vinegar and fruit juices.

“We have a small household section with toxic-free products, and toiletries including soaps, shampoos, natural hair colours and therapeutic creams. Our wall of supplements runs from floor to ceiling and includes all the big names. It is divided into sections for cholesterol, joint care, probiotics and fish oils.

“Our offer stand changes every month – it might be 3 for 2, or 20% off. Customers who sign up for a loyalty card can receive emails with offers and often come in especially. They get 3 cent off per euro spent and can use it in the café too.”

VISIT: Here’s Health, Douglas Court Shopping Centre, Douglas, Cork and
SPEAK TO: Owner-manager Cian Philpott; nutritional therapist, food intolerance tester and manager Shirley O’Sullivan; manager Glen Collins; herbalist, naturopath and sales assistant Fabiana Colmatti; homeopath and sales assistant Susan McCarthy; energy healing and sales Anita Holden Bolger; manager Sharon O’Halloran; nutritional therapist Julie Bennett; student nutritional therapist Aoife Lombard, sales assistants Rob O’Regan and nutritionist John Gaule.
CONTACT: (021) 436 1737
OPENING HOURS: Mon-Weds 9am-6pm,Thurs-Fri 9am-7.30pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am- 6pm.

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