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Natural Health

Wonder woman

A woman’s body goes through many stages in life and faces varied health issues– Rude Health magazine looks at how best to cope with each age in your life...
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Natural Health

Dealing with diabetes

Diabetes – we are all tested for it, especially as we get older. But how can we ensure we take every step to prevent it and give ourselves the best chance of a healthy life as we age? “We are often asked about specific foods, their sugar levels and so on by customers who generally know what they should and should not be eating,” says Sian Morgan/Eustace from health store Healing Harvest in Kinvara, Co Galway...
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Natural Health

How to stress less

The main causes of stress are lack of exercise, poor diet, eating on the go, lack of sleep, pressure at work and home, not enough ‘down’ time and too much time on electronic devices,” says Helena Murphy of health store Loop de Loop in Castletownbere, Co Cork....
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Natural Health

Do you need a male MOT?

Don’t be shy guys! Visit your local health store for confidential and informed health advice...
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Natural Health

Summer fever

Don’t dread the summer – read our top advice on combating hay fever, allergies and sinus issues...
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Natural Health

Water world

Some people find that talking about thrush, cystitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs) is embarrassing, but these infections are common and nothing to feel ashamed of...
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Natural Health

Keeping the bugs at bay

How to give your immunity a boost to stay healthy right through the winter...
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Natural Health

Mental matters

How to keep focused, improve memory and keep your mind sharp...
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Natural Health

Defy the darkness

Do you get the winter blues? Read our tips for how to cope with SAD, stay motivated and keep your energy levels up...
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Natural Health

Stress and your body

A buzzword for the strains of modern life, stress can actually cause real health problems. The good news is that you can do something about it...
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Natural Health

All clear

You certainly know it if your gut is not working properly, with signs such as bloating and discomfort, acid reflux, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)...
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Natural Health

Managing the menopause

The menopause is an inevitable part of life and rite of passage for all women. “It’s vital to remember that menopause isn’t a disease,” says Jill Bell from health store Well and Good in Midleton, Co Cork...
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Where the heart is

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in Ireland, a sobering thought for us all. However, the good news is that you can follow a healthier lifestyle and decrease your risk of developing problems...
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Back to school BUG ALERT!

The kids are heading back to school and it’s time to start thinking about boosting how to prevent coughs, colds and other nasty bugs that are all too easily shared...
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Mind matters

Rude Health magazine takes a look at how we can all keep our brains firing on all cylinders...
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Sweet enough

A diabetes diagnosis may be challenging, but in many cases it can be managed effectively using diet and natural supplements ...
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Case sensitive

Some health issues are just plain embarrassing, but your local health store can help you to put them behind you...
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Seniority complex

Your guide to key health issues affecting seniors, including nutrition and prevention...
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Help for hormones

Hormones play a bigger role in a woman’s body than most of us realise. Read on for natural help with PMS and other hormone-related health issues...
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Bacteria buddies

Believe it or not bacteria can be good for you! When it’s the right kind, of course. Here we help you understand how to get the best out of probiotics ...
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Walk of life

Rude Health magazine brings you expert advice on the best foods, vitamins and exercise for women of all walks of life...

Working hard and playing hard takes its toll on the body. Alcohol and processed foods strain the liver and kidneys. Symptoms and health problems associated with this lifestyle include lethargy, mental fatigue and indigestion.
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Baby love

When it comes to babies’ skin many parents choose the natural option. Here’s why...

“Newborn babies’ skin is delicate and their immune system is just starting to develop, so it is important to take care when exposing them to new products, which can include chemicals, perfumes and other synthetic ingredients and may cause skin irritation,” says Adrienne Benjamin, a nutritionist with ProVen Probiotics. “Natural products are less likely to include toxins and potentially allergenic ingredients.”
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The best a man can get

How can you feel great throughout your life? Find out here

Oliver McCabe, Select Stores, Dalkey and author of The Fuel Food Cookbook (Mercier): “Adolescent boys can suffer from serious acne due to the amount of male hormones in the body which trigger the production of sebum and keratin. Some acne cases result to a large degree from faulty fat metabolism. Foods rich in omega-3 and essential fatty acids in foods such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts and oily fish help remedy this situation.”...
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New year, new you

It’s the New Year and you feel the need for a body shake-up after the overindulgent Christmas period. So what’s the best way to go about it?

Over-indulgence at Christmas motivates many of us to make good resolutions, but it should be more a question of being truly in the right headspace to put things right,” says Jill Bell of Well and Good in Midleton, Co Cork.“This means thinking ahead, sorting one’s motivation and planning, not acting on the spur of the moment.”
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Having the stomach for it

Suffering from digestive problems can have a real effect on your life. Independent health stores can offer a range of natural solutions...

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Alpha to omega

Ever been a bit confused about which omegas you should be taking and how best to include them in your diet? Rude Health explains...

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Dem bones

Aches and pains in the joints and bones are a common problem for many people, but what can you do to alleviate the symptoms?

“Joint health or pain and stiffness is a very common issue that both men and women come in to us about,” says Martha Brennan of Harvest Fare in Blessington, Co Wicklow. “It is generally osteoarthritis, although the odd person with rheumatoid arthritis comes to us looking for a complementary approach. These customers tend to be in their 40s onwards. Also increasingly younger people are having problems from exercise-related issues.”

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Energise yourself

Just how do you boost energy and keep your mental ability firing on all cylinders in the darker months? Rude Health investigates

Winter is upon us once more and sunny days become less frequent as we move towards the shortest day. Many of us start to feel run down and exhausted by our daily routines combined with challenging environmental factors.

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Immune support

Autumn is here and with it come coughs and colds. Read on for advice on how to boost your body’s immunity and survive the season in top health

“Flu viruses are most viable when humidity is below 50% or over 100%,” says Alison Cullen, nutritional therapist at A.Vogel. “If you are indoors with the central heating turned up high viruses happily flourish. Bad diet, poor sleep, stress, smoking, heavy exposure to infectious particles, over-exercising, sedentary lifestyle and age all contribute to low immune function.”

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Growing up strong

Cooking for children can be a challenge sometimes, but there are ways to make sure they get a healthy balanced diet

“Variety and balance are key,” says Nicola Graimes, author of new book Vegetarian Food For Healthy Kids (Nourish). “It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut when cooking for children, but it’s a good idea to open kids’ minds to new taste experiences, textures, colours and flavours. It’s also important nutritionally to ensure that your children eat a good range of nutrients over a weekly basis.

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Your essential guide to vitamins

Vitamins are important for health and vitality, but what does each do? Rude Health magazine finds out

At certain times in your life you may need a little extra support. Children who are picky eaters can benefit from a multivitamin, people who suffer from anaemia may need iron, pregnant women can benefit from supplementation, people who are recovering from illness and athletes who push their bodies to the limit can all benefit from help maintaining enough magnesium, B vitamins, iron and vitamin D.

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Wonder woman

Being a woman can be a challenge with numerous health issues affecting the fairer sex at different times in life. Rude Health magazine discovers the best natural options for common issues

“The main health issues women have that come to the store are sleep problems, menopause and PMS issues, constipation and stress,” says Mary Buckley of Horans in Listowel, co Kerry. “I don’t think these problems are specific to a certain age group, but maybe with lifestyle in general. People eat more on the go nowadays, and more convenience foods than meals made from scratch. Also everyone seems to be rushing and people don’t take the time to care for themselves as well as they should.”

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Antioxidants are the heroes of the nutritional world, but just how do they work? Rude Health is on a mission to find out

“Antioxidants are substances which protect us from damage within our bodies on a cellular level,” according to Martha Brennan of Harvest Fare, Blessington, Co Wicklow. “On a molecular level they donate an electron to atoms known as free radicals. These atoms are missing an electron, making them a threat to healthy cells. Our bodies do produce antioxidants but there are antioxidants which we must get from outside. Our need for antioxidants varies depending on our ‘stresses’, such as environmental toxins or illness and disease.”

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Gut instinct

When your stomach is not happy, it’s likely that you are not happy either. Rude Health magazine looks at how to improve your gut health and deal with unpleasant symptoms

Ever notice how IBS is more prevalent now than say 50 years ago? Experts link this to the typical Western nutrient-sparse diet, lack of exercise, sleep and sunshine, stressful lifestyles, alcohol consumption and the overuse of antibiotics, all of which affect our gut flora balance and our overall health.

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The best man

Want to be the healthiest you possibly can? Here are natural solutions to the most common men’s health issues

Young men in their teens and 20s can often suffer from acne. This is caused by an excess of the male hormone testosterone. “Omega 3 from fish oils and flax oils can help correct problems with acne,” says John Halpin of The Health Store, Dundrum. “Both are available in capsule or liquid form, which are more concentrated than adding fish or flax seeds to the diet. Zinc can also to be helpful to prevent scarring.”

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Brain boosters

We could all do with a brain boost every now and again. Rude Health takes some advice from health store experts

“Some customers ask about Alzheimer’s, but depression and stress are far more frequent issues,” says Jill Bell of Well and Good in Midleton, Co Cork. “We get a few customers asking about brain health,” says Helena Murphy at Loop de Loop in Castletownbere, Co Cork, “from boosting brain power for exams to helping brain health with age.”

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Summer hell

Some people dread the summer because their hay fever returns, making June and July misery months. But what can you do about it?

“Hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis, is an acute, allergy-related condition that affects one in 10 people in Ireland,” says Jacqueline Newson, Nutritional Therapist for liposomal vitamin C supplement, Altrient C. “It is most common in children and teenagers, but can develop at any age producing symptoms that include sinus issues such as a runny or blocked nose, frequent sneezing and red, itchy, watery eyes. This type of allergy happens when the immune system responds to triggers such as pollen and releases histamine.”

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Rude Health looks at how you can cope with headaches and migraines the natural way

If you suffer from headaches the most obvious culprits are dehydration, stress and poor sleep. Common sense steps such as drinking more water and getting enough sleep can help to prevent this becoming a common problem.

For 12-15% of the population migraine can be a real problem. The most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, hypersensitivity to light, noise and smells, and a severe, throbbing (usually) one-sided headache. An attack can be ‘triggered’ by a combination of factors including stress, food and alcohol, hormonal changes, an excess or lack of sleep, weather factors, changes of routine, poor posture and flicker from televisions, computer screens and certain types of lighting. Migraine is three times more common in women than men due to the hormonal changes through a woman’s life from puberty to menopause.

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Age concern

Getting older can present us all with health challenges, but with good advice and support healthy living is a real option. Rude Health magazine looks at the most common age-related conditions and how to alleviate them

1 Bones and joints

“Sugary foods and drinks lead to tissue acidity and aggravate joint and muscle pain,” says Nancy Flexman of Eats of Eden in Limerick city. “Make 40% of your diet vegetables. Eat oily fish at least twice per week; consume plant foods rich in fats such as chia, pumpkin and linseed; use fresh ginger and turmeric liberally in your cooking.”

“Glucosamine, often with added chondroitin and ingredients such as aloe vera can help soothe pain as well as support cartilage,” says Jill Bell of Well and Good in Midleton, Co Cork. “Turmeric is a very effective anti-inflammatory. Organic apple cider vinegar is a cost-effective and popular alkalising anti-inflammatory remedy for aches and pains.”

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Good bacteria explained

Just how do probiotics work and are they of real benefit?

Can't say probiotics?

In recent years European legislation has meant that the word ‘probiotic’ cannot be used in advertising and it is more difficult to make health claims about these products. This means that we are more likely to see probiotic powders, capsules and foods labelled differently.

Dorothy Browne of Nice and Natural, Cootehill, Co Cavan says, “Goodbye probiotics hello ‘live native bacteria’. Confused? Essentially, the products will not change, only the wording, so we will see words like live native bacteria which is what probiotics are.”

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Embarrassing bodies

Some health issues are just plain embarrassing, but there are natural remedies that can help even the most blush-worthy conditions

Fungal infections

These can be minor or pretty troublesome and include athlete’s foot, jock rash, ringworm and nail bed infections. Treatment is all about making the conditions difficult for the fungus to survive.

Martha Brennan of Harvest Fare in Blessington, Co Wicklow: “Fungal infections generally need to be seen as coming from within, so we would suggest cutting back particularly on sugars and white foods and taking something like olive leaf, propolis, caprylic acid or spilanthes and topically applying something like colloidal silver or tea tree to the affected area. Probiotics are an invaluable support too.”

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Women first

From teens to retirement, Rude Health looks at the major health issues that affect women at different stages in their life and natural help for every step of the way

Health issues: skin problems, hormonal acne, PMS and painful periods

Expert advice: Rosemarie Bennis of Sonas in Newscastle West, Limerick: “We’d highly recommend agnus castus for the above conditions, a magnesium supplement for cramping as well as vitamin B6 and omega 3, 6 and 9. During exam time omega fish oils, L-theanine and rhodiola can help concentration and energy levels.”

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Beat those bugs

Get ready for the onslaught of coughs and colds as the colder months come our way. Here’s how...

Autumn rush

Jill Bell of Well and Good in Midleton, Co Cork: “With the start-up of the school and college year many parents are wary about students sharing air and bugs in a classroom. This concern applies particularly to little ones in crèches who are especially vulnerable to the spread of infection which their immune systems haven’t previously encountered. Concern about avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use is growing and health stores have plenty of tried and tested options on offer.”

Hannah Dare of Organico: “We get a lot of parents looking for advice when the school term starts – especially if the weather is poor. Coughs seem to be particularly hard to manage; I think it is very hard to hear your child coughing. We also get a lot of customers looking for advice for chronic sinus problems; sinus infections can be very hard to shift and can make people feel very debilitated.”

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Probiotics explained

Just how do probiotics work and are they of real benefit?

Probiotics not placebo

“Since the health claims legislation of recent years it has become more difficult to make claims about probiotic products,” says Finn Murray of the Hopsack in Rathmines, Dublin. “Probiotics are not a new thing – they are not a placebo. They play a core role in the gut’s immune system and the bacterial cells that line the gut wall.”

“Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are good for overall health,” according to Aisling Snedker, Clinical and Sports Nutrition Dietitian. “The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations gives the definition of probiotics as being live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit in the host. There is evidence that probiotics help to treat antibiotic associated diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), improve quality of life and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections in over 65s.”

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Vitamins A-Z

A photo of a woman with a bowl of salad

The Rude Health guide to vitamins

The modern diet

Aine Keane owner of The Good Earth in Kilkenny: “If you look at how our food is grown – the soil is depleted in minerals so our food does not contain all the minerals that it should. Eating a processed diet would lead us to be deficient in vitamin C and B vitamins which are abundant in wholegrain foods such as brown rice, couscous and millet.”

Jill Bell of Well and Good in Midleton, Co Cork: “Unfortunately the people who most need dietary advice in a health store are the people we never see – those whose supermarket trolleys are laden with salty processed foods, fizzy drinks, sugary breakfast cereals etc. They are lacking antioxidant vitamins and minerals, often low in iron and magnesium, missing out on B vitamins and vitamin D, and are often lacking energy, overweight and malnourished.”

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Antioxidants Explained

A photo of a woman with a bowl of antioxidant-rich berries

We often hear about antioxidants, but what are they exactly and how can we make sure we are getting enough? Rude Health magazine finds out

The fight against free radicals

Nancy Flexman of Eats of Eden in Limerick city: “Antioxidant means something that works against oxygen. Oxidation occurs when our cells process the oxygen we breathe to produce energy to fuel the essential processes in our bodies. This results in unstable molecules called free radicals which can damage our cells. In the worst case, it can lead to disease. Antioxidants protect cells from damage.”

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Hard to stomach

A photo of a woman holding her stomach

When your digestion is not working properly you can experience numerous unpleasant symptoms. Rude Health finds out how you can help yourself – the natural way

Common Digestive Issues

Maura O’Sullivan Dip Nutritional Therapist runs her own practice in Ennis: “The main digestive issues clients present with are gas and bloating, constipation and sometimes alternating with diarrhoea, nausea, pain and cramps in the colon. Usually by the time they have come to me their GP has made a diagnosis of IBS.”

Bloating & Constipation

Virginia Ziulu, DipNT IHS, mNTOI, is a functional medicine nutritional therapist who has a practice in Nature’s Options in Newbridge, Co. Kildare where she offers food intolerance testing. “Problems are quite often caused by a food intolerance and a diet lacking in fibre mainly from vegetables and fruit and water. Stress, lack of sleep and lack of exercise are among the lifestyle triggers for these health complaints. Drinking a warm glass of water with overnight soaked linseeds may bring huge relief. I recommend a probiotic from human strains with a minimum of 20 billion live organisms per capsule and digestive enzymes with HCL for three months.”

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Better with age

Getting older does come with its own challenges but there are numerous ways in which your local health store can help you to live a healthier life. See what’s on offer for common older age health issues

A photo of an older couple

Tummy troubles

Kevin Connolly: “Constipation, absorption and acid reflux can all be big issues as we get older as the bowels tend to get a little more sluggish as we age. So we should look at good quality fibres such as chia seeds, flax seeds and a good variety of vegetables in the diet to help keep regular while not upsetting the system.”

Nancy Flexman: “Indigestion and reflux are often caused by low stomach acid, rather than too much. If symptoms occur about an hour after eating, low stomach acid is likely to be the problem. Try sipping an acid drink such as cider vinegar or lemon juice in water with meals containing protein. Digestive enzymes containing betaine hydrochloride (stomach acid) can be helpful. Acid-blocking medications also impair digestion and keep you from absorbing minerals and other nutrients properly.”

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Women – health for every age

A photo of a woman with shopping bags

Women’s lives include numerous physical changes including pregnancy and menopause. Rude Health asks the experts for advice for every age

Teens and 20s

Health issue: breakout skin, bad lifestyle habits, hormones not settled down yet.

Jill Bell of health store Well and Good in Midleton, Co Cork: “What goes into the mouth often affects the skin. So plenty of water, little or no junk and see if eliminating dairy and/or sugar makes a difference. There are some really good safe products for problem skin, both to clean and to treat.”

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Essential Winter Remedies

A woman sneezing into a handkerchief

Winter is heading in our direction but we at Rude Health are determined to stay healthy throughout the colder months with these great tips

Winter stiffness

“At the start of winter in Ireland comes the return for many of osteoarthritis pain,” says Sally Smith, owner of Open Sesame in Gort, Co Galway. “I always advise exercise – swimming, walking no matter what your age. The number one supplement for this is a good quality fish oil which oils your joints. If you take it with food it won’t repeat. A glucosamine supplement with chondroitin can also help. There are also a host of ant-inflammatory herb combinations that can help.”

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Natural health for tummy troubles

A photo of a woman holding her stomach

How to choose the best natural help for a healthy digestive system – we ask for independent health store advice

Natural help

“Some of the most common complaints we are asked about include bloating and discomfort, acid reflux, constipation, and IBS which is a mix of constipation/diarrhoea, bloating and just general discomfort,” says Alison Kingston, nutritional therapist based in An Tobairin in Bandon, Co Cork.

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Pregnancy the natural way

A photo of a pregnant woman

There is a lot you can do to help your baby have a natural start in life and it starts before they are even born. “The food and drink you consume during pregnancy can have an enormous impact on the health and development of your baby,” says Matt Ronan from Evolv in Enniscorthy. “Eating regularly and having a well balanced and varied diet is more important at this time than ever.”

The basic principles of pregnancy eating are to avoid eating food additives by cutting out processed foods in tins, jars or packets, buy fresh organic food and cook it yourself whenever possible, scrub all fruit and vegetables under running water, then peel off skins before eating. Many women like to buy a water filter and run all their tap water through it before drinking. Alternatively, boil all water before drinking, or buy bottled.

Mark Whitney is a nutritional therapist with Evolv and says, “in modern day life, women are exposed to an array of toxins – in make-ups, deodorants and other beauty products, sometimes chemicals based in and around the workplace. Using natural cleaning, beauty and skincare products can reduce the toxic load we can be exposed to.”

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Summer fever

A photo of someone blowing a dandelion

Don’t despair, summer may be on its way but there is something you can do to help yourself if you suffer from hay fever and allergies

We all look forward to spring after a long winter, and the promise of longer days and trees and flowers in bloom as summer approaches. But for one in 10 people in Ireland the warmer weather is accompanied by a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, a tickly cough, difficulty sleeping, headaches and a loss of smell as the body’s immune system reacts to pollen and spores and releases a chemical called histamine.

In Ireland up to 90% of people with hay fever are allergic to grass pollen which peaks from early June to mid July, so if you suffer from this seasonal problem it’s best to have a plan for how you are going to alleviate it well before the season truly arrives.

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Beat the bugs!

A woman eating a bowl of salad

Simple ways to boost your immunity and stay well all through the darker, colder months

It’s winter, everyone you know seems to be coughing and spluttering and you really could do without catching something – but how can you boost your immunity and give yourself some protection against the common cold and other nasties?

Jill Bell of health store Well and Good in Midleton, Co Cork advises people to “come to your local health store for free advice on your particular situation because you may be experiencing a number of different health issues that we can advise you on.”

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An elderly couple jogging

Brilliant bones

How to keep joints and bones supple for life

One of the most familiar physical signs of ageing is aching hips and knees and soreness in our bones caused by reducing bone mass. Of course wear and tear – walking around on one pair of hips and knees for several decades, or serious sporting activity, can lead to soreness but there are natural ways to help yourself.

Orla Duffy is a Community Dietitian in the HSE and member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute. “An adequate calcium intake at all stages of life, in combination with an active lifestyle will help ensure that bones are as strong as possible,” she says. “The Food Pyramid recommends that children and adults need approximately three servings a day, and low-fat dairy products have as much calcium as full fat versions. As vegans do not eat dairy products they need to take care that their diet contains sufficient calcium and choose from soya products, such as tofu and soya drinks, that are fortified with calcium to meet their calcium requirement.

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A woman eating a bowl of salad

Natural Aids For Weight Loss

The basic principle of the alkaline diet is to cut down on foods that lead to acid forming in the body and tipping the body’s pH towards acidic levels. These include processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy, meat and wheat. Too much of these foods can lead to a body that is too acidic with the attendant symptoms of bloating, weight gain and feeling sluggish as well as skin complaints, dull hair and in some cases more serious issues in the long term.

Honestly Healthy, eat with your body in mind, the alkaline way by vegetarian chef Natasha Corrett and nutritional therapist Vicki Edgson is a new diet and recipe book that looks specifically at alkaline diets.

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A woman sleeping in with an alarm clock

Natural Aids For Sleep Problems

Sleep is essential to life, and if you don’t get enough of it research has shown that it can take its toll on your body and your mind. Memory loss, loss of motivation, a reduced ability to make decisions as well as weight gain, reduced immunity, mood swings, headaches and loss of libido are just some of the consequences of broken sleep.

Sammy Margo is a sleep expert and author of The Good Sleep Guide. The main problem, she says, is that “We are sedentary but our minds are over-active and we find it hard to switch off at night.”

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A stressed woman

Stress - Are You Reaching Boiling Point?

Stress is an increasing burden in our daily lives. Nutritional therapist Irene Ní Fhlannúra offers some tips for tackling the problem naturally.

Nowadays increasing pressures and expectations are placed upon all sectors of society to do it all and have it all. As a result more and more people are struggling to cope with the demands that everyday life throws at them. Much of our stress today is perceived through our thought processes rather than a physical danger to our survival. Yet, as part of the stress response, our adrenal glands pump out stress hormones to prepare the body for a ‘fight or flight’ situation that never really manifests. Increasingly, this is having a devastating effect on our health.

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