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Category: Natural Health and Beauty Tips

  1. 3 Ways To Get More Probiotics In Your Diet For Better Gut Health

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    You’ve probably heard the word “probiotics” thrown around quite a lot, particularly when it comes to looking after your health. In the simplest terms possible, probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in your gut. They help your digestive system function properly, making it easier for you to digest food - and less likely that you’ll feel bloated or have an upset tummy. 

    If you suffer from IBS or just always feel quite inflated after meals, it’s probably down to a lack of probiotics. Particularly if you follow a vegan diet as a lot of the main probiotics sources come from non-plant-based products! 

    The easy solution is to take a probiotics supplement, but what if you wanted more natural ways of increasing the good bacteria in your gut? We’ve listed three popular sources below, all of which will help improve your gut health.

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    Kombucha is a fermented drink that was popularised in Asia but has spread all over the world. It’s made by fermenting different types of tea - usually green or black - creating a fizzy drink with flavours added. 

    One of the many health benefits of kombucha is its high probiotics content. When this drink is made, the fermentation process uses bacteria and yeast. As a result, good bacteria forms, which gives it a nice sour taste. It’ll feel like you’re drinking a normal fizzy drink, but you’re ingesting some good bacteria to help your gut! 

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    When you think about probiotics, you probably think about yoghurt. It’s the ultimate food for friendly bacteria as it’s literally made by fermenting milk with lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. Both of these are common probiotics, meaning a small serving of yoghurt every day can help your tummy. 

    Be sure to look for yoghurt that has “live” cultures in it. It’ll usually be advertised this way and it basically means the probiotics are still alive and working. Some yoghurt will destroy the live bacteria as they’re processed, so this is something to keep an eye on. 

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    Sauerkraut & Kimchi 

    We’ve grouped sauerkraut and kimchi together as they’re effectively the same thing but made in slightly different ways. Both are types of fermented cabbage dishes, with sauerkraut originating in Germany and Kimchi in Korea. 

    As a result, they have completely different tastes. Sauerkraut is more tangy and mild while kimchi is a lot spicier and more flavoursome. Either way, they are both made using a fermentation process which creates live culture and means the cabbage is full of good bacteria. This makes them excellent side dish options if you want to get more veggies on your plate while also ingesting extra probiotics. It also means they are two of the best ways for vegans to get more probiotics in their diets without taking supplements. 

    If you want to get your health under control, you need to look after your gut. A bad digestive system can lead to all sorts of problems that aren’t fun to deal with. Up your probiotics intake and you should see some changes within a few days or weeks. If the problems persist, be sure to see your doctor to get proper medical assistance.

  2. No Time For Exercise? Try These 5 Time-Saving Workout Tips

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    For those of us with busy lives, it can be hard to find time to go to the gym or go for a jog. Commitments like work, childcare and housework can often take priority. And when we finally do get some free time, spending that free time doing a workout is often the last thing we feel like doing. 

    This results in many of us not getting the amount of exercise we need. But what if exercise didn’t have to take up so much extra time from your day? By finding ways to make workouts shorter and by combining them with other everyday tasks, it may be possible to more easily slot a workout into your day. Below are 5 tips for doing this.

    Embrace HIIT workouts

    High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are designed to pack a lot of exercise into a short amount of time. They’re largely cardio-focused - which means they’re great for improving heart health and burning fat. This post offers more information on the impact of HIIT workouts

    A HIIT workout can be as short as 20 minutes. You can also carry out these workouts practically anywhere whether it be at the park or at home. This makes them a very flexible form of workout that you can easily fit around commitments.

    You should aim to do 2 to 3 HIIT workouts per week in order to get results. These could be done first thing in the morning, during your lunch break or in the evening - whenever you’re able to find a spare 20 minutes. 

    Turn housework into exercise

    Instead of having to choose between housework and a workout, why not do both at the same time? Housework is typically quite physically active, but often not enough to truly work a sweat up. However, it can be turned into a workout by combining exercises into household chores.

    A few examples of how integrate exercise into housework include:

    • Doing squats and leg raises while doing the washing up.

    • Incorporating lunges while doing vacuuming - as well as going the extra mile to lift furniture and vacuum behind. 

    • Putting clean laundry away HIIT-style - this could include putting away 5 items of clothes and then doing five reps of an exercise (such as squats, sit-ups or push-ups) and then repeating until you’ve put away all the laundry.

    Work out while catching up on TV

    It’s also possible to exercise and catch up on your favourite TV shows at the same time. This could be a way to incorporate exercise in the evening without having to leave the house.

    One of the best ways to do this is to watch TV while cycling on an exercise bike. You can still give the TV your whole focus while also getting a cardio workout.

    This type of exercise may not be ideal for everyone - some people may prefer to reserve watching TV as strictly a downtime activity. However, for others it could still be an effective way to blow off steam. 

    Replace short drives with bike rides

    Many of us use our car to run small local errands that could be easily done via a bike. By cycling these small journeys instead of taking the car, you could get a small amount of exercise into your day, and it won’t take that much more time than driving it (in some cities in rush hour you could even make your journey quicker by cycling it).

    A bicycle with a basket could even enable you to go grocery shopping. You may not be able to do a whole week’s shop, but when you need to pick one or two items, a bike could be all you need. 

    Get active with the family

    You also shouldn’t have to choose between exercise and family time. There are many forms of exercise that you can do with your family, which could be fun at the weekend. This could include going for a family bike ride together, going swimming at the local pool, playing games at the park or even simply going on a walk together.

    Got very young kids? You could consider using an infant carrier or a sling to go on walks. There are also bicycles you can buy with carriages or seats for young kids, as well as prams you can buy that are made for jogging. These could allow you to get some exercise into your day without having to ask someone to look after your little one.