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Rude Health News & Events

The latest news, research and events from the world of natural health

Stop huge VAT increase in vital food supplements

The decision to implement 23% VAT on food supplements was taken by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe in the run up to Budget 2018. This decision was taken without consultations with consumers or the food supplement industry, and against the recommendations of the Revenue Commissioners, who wanted to see a reduced rate introduced. Health Stores Ireland, the official organisation for Ireland’s health stores, launched a campaign to prevent the introduction of 23% VAT on supplements including vitamins, minerals, probiotics, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and folic acid. This tax is hugely damaging to the health of many vulnerable people who depend on these supplements to maintain a good level of health and standard of living.

Health Stores Ireland Chairperson Martha Brennan said; “Raising the cost of vital food supplements by 23% in one stroke will discourage many people from looking after their health. All of our member stores have been inundated with people coming in and telling staff how they will not be able to afford the vitamins, minerals and probiotics they need to stay healthy.”

Health Stores Ireland are mobilising their customers in a grassroots campaign across the nation.

Sign the petition here: www.change.org/p/do-not-tax-health-food-supplements

Is there a natural way to whiten my teeth?

Naturopath Gemma Hurditch answers for College of Naturopathic Medicine

Whitening your teeth naturally is unlikely to produce the same dramatic results as a bleaching kit from the dentist, but if you want to avoid the toxins there’s a number of natural things you can do to encourage a brighter smile. There are two basic issues – yellowing from plaque build-up; and staining, such as from foods or tobacco.

Drinking green tea can reduce plaque and whiten teeth, so it’s a great beverage between meals. Oil pulling may also improve teeth whiteness; coconut or sesame oil both work well. Take one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and ‘pull’ and ‘push’ it through your teeth and around your mouth, spitting it out after about 10 minutes. Oil pulling is recommended first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking.

Read the full story here...

Rude Health fitness expert’s new book

Unlocking My Mind; 50 keys to self empowerment by fitness expert Alan Williams is now available.

Health and wellness expert, entrepreneur, speaker and coach Alan reveals how our dreams and ambitions have been replaced by monotonous daily habits, self-limiting beliefs and an acceptance of mediocrity.

Unlocking My Mind will get you believing, and achieving again so that you can work towards achieving your goals.

Practical, honest advice. Buy online from alanwilliamscoaching.com

Less packaging please

New research from Nielsen shows that Irish people believe it’s the responsibility of retailers to reduce the amount of packaging used on grocery products. The new survey reveals almost half of Irish shoppers either actively seek products with minimal packaging (48%), actively seek products in recyclable packaging (46%) or actively seek products with no packaging (46%).

This is in light of the European Commission Plastic Strategy proposal for new legislation to ensure all plastic packaging on the European market can be reused and recycled by 2030. The research also found that almost 90% of respondents claim to actively recycle all the plastic packaging they can, with 78% saying they worry about the effect their grocery packaging has on the environment. The vast majority of Irish shoppers also believe that responsibility lies with the retailers. 88% of respondents think there is too much plastic packaging being used unnecessarily, and 91% believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of packaging used on grocery products.

Promisingly, plastic bag usage among retailers has decreased dramatically in Ireland since the introduction of the ‘plastic bag levy’, which came into effect in 2002. In addition to this, many of Ireland’s retailers have announced plans to significantly reduce plastic packaging within the next five to seven years, with some initiatives to take effect immediately.

Watch your eyes

Healthy Eyes Awareness Week runs the week of 14-20 January and promotes the importance of eye health and the need for regular eye exams. Top tips include:

Have regular eye tests – you should have an eye test every two years to identify any early indications of diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, some of which are treatable if caught early. An eye test can also identify other problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Don’t smoke – your eyes need oxygen to survive and smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. This causes oxidative stress and damages the retina and is a risk factor for developing age-related macular degeneration.

Improve your diet – some foods such as fruits and vegetables including mango, squash, broccoli, green beans, and spinach contain nutrients called lutein or zeaxanthin which can help protect against certain eye conditions; like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Wear sunglasses – ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun’s rays can cause damage to your eyes. Wear sunglasses with a UV factor rating and block 100 per cent of UV rays. Wraparound glasses will block more light and offer better protection.

Clean your contact lenses – never use water, or saliva to clean lesses. If you don’t stick to a strict cleansing routine your eyes can become infected and you risk corneal disease. Always use specially prepared lens cleaning liquids.

Safety glasses – protect your eyes against chemicals, garden debris, or nails and splinters by wearing safety goggles.

Take screen breaks – take frequent breaks from your screen to avoid headaches, eyestrain, soreness and double vision. use the 20/20/20 rule - look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes to reduce eye strain


Cutting down on booze this New Year?

Set yourself a goal: this could be stopping altogether or aiming to only have alcohol at the weekend. Decide on a start date and stick to it.

Eat something: food can slow down the rate that alcohol is absorbed into your system. Before going out eat a healthy meal with a high carbohydrate content to help prepare your stomach.

Downsize on supersize glasses: opt for smaller measures. Choose a small (125ml) glass rather than a large (250ml) one for wine. If you're drinking at home, buy smaller glasses for the house.

Stop the top-ups: stopping topping up your glass before it's empty can help you to keep track of how much you've had.

Weave in glasses of water: alcohol dehydrates you so it's important to drink water before you begin drinking and in between alcoholic drinks. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks will also help reduce headaches and hangover symptoms the next day.

Keep a drink diary: helps you to work out how much you're drinking.

Understand your triggers: work out which situations you know will encourage you to drink and then look for alternatives.

Tips from Axa PPP Healthcare

January Events

Get Up, Get Out and Get Active

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Read news stories from previous issues of Rude Health Magazine here

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