Whenever you buy health products or services, you might think that the brands have your best interests at heart. They're advertising themselves as good for your health, after all. But it may not be that simple, particularly for health products that don't require a prescription. From multivitamins to alternative health products, you should know a thing or two about the companies that make and sell them.
For me personally, I try to choose organic brands and all natural brands. Nature is always better than synthetic when it comes to nourishing your body. I'm also very aware that many companies, including huge pharmaceutical companies, are just trying to make profits to please their shareholders or make the CEOs richer. It's sad, but often true. Do your research and choose brands that seem to care for you, their suppliers and the environment.
Evidence for Their Claims
If you're going to use something for your health, it's always a good idea to see if they can back up their claims. One thing to keep in mind is that although they can't claim things that are untrue, they can use words like "helps to" or "is designed to". Resources like the NHS Behind the Headlines page can help you make sense of the science (or lack of it). I also regularly read Natural News and Authority Nutrition for evidence backed articles. Don't believe everything you read in the mainstream media.
An extremely valuable thing to know is that many branded health products contain exactly the same ingredients as their generic/own-brand counterparts. And unlike your favourite crisps, a packet of paracetamol isn't going to taste any different if it's Boots own-brand instead of Panadol. You could end up paying just pence for what you need, instead of pounds. Nurofen, for example, is ibuprofen, so save a few pounds and buy the supermarket's own. As for natural supplements, things might differ. You may want to pay more to ensure you are getting organic high quality supplements from a reputable source.
Who Owns Different Brands
It's important to know what interests a company might have in different areas. Is what appears to be a chirpy, independent company actually owned by a huge, multinational corporation?
Maybe that company selling stop smoking aids is actually a subsidiary of a tobacco company...
Having a first aid box wherever you are, whether at work, home or camping, is an essential. You never know when an injury may occur or when you may need to give first aid to yourself, your family or even a stranger. You may make your own first aid kit or buy one from many pharmacies and drug stores or online. Here are some items you should include:
Bandages and Dressings
These are essential for any cuts and scrapes or a serious bleed. They are sterile and highly absorbent, and can be wrapped and tied around the area, meaning they stay on better than Elastoplast’s. If you ever need to assist someone who is having a serious bleed, a bandage can be used as a tourniquet tied above the bleed to reduce blood flow to the injured area and stop blood loss rapidly. Having this simple piece of equipment could be the difference between life and death with a large cut incident.
These can be used to cut bandages, cut clothes, rope, seatbelts and many more. First aid box scissors are usually just used for simple things such as cutting dressings to the correct length, but can be used in more serious events to cut away clothes to reveal the site of injury if needed.
This is a simple one that many people may forget, but how many times as a child did you get a splinter? Splinters not only hurt, but left untreated can cause infection, so the sooner a splinter is removed, the better. If you go camping a lot, this is definitely an essential when learning how to make a first aid box based on what activities you are doing.
Gloves protect you from bodily fluids or anything else you may come into contact with. There is no use in cleaning a wound with your hands that may be harboring thousands of germs. When administering first aid, we must ensure we protect ourselves, as well as the person we are administering first aid to. If you have a cut on your hand you may be endangering yourself to blood-borne viruses, making two casualties from the situation.
Pain Relieving Medication
No matter where we are or what we are doing, chances are someone has asked you at some point for some aspirin, and you haven’t been able to help. Having this in your first aid box means always having pain relief to hand if needed, as aspirin and ibuprofen are one of the highest selling over the counter medications, bringing in just over $4.1 billion in sales in 2016.
These are just some of the essential things that you may need in your first aid box, but this is not a comprehensive list. There are many more items that may come in useful for you depending on whether you use a first aid box in a clinical setting or a family setting. Remember, even simple first aid can help save a life, always be prepared.
Gluten free 30 minute dinners delivered to your door
I’m an advocate for healthy eating and I honestly don’t mind putting in a little more effort to ensure me and my family eat as healthily as possible. I believe if you don’t have your health, you don’t have much else. If I’m not well and healthy, then I can’t take care of my children, so it’s important to me to safeguard my health both now and for the future. I do this through staying active each day and making what I believe to be the healthiest food choices every day.
One thing that is gaining in momentum, but hasn’t yet totally peaked, is the need for everyone to reduce their intake of added refined sugars. For the whole of 2017 I have been refined sugar free, bar a couple of accidental slip ups. I was experimenting for a year, but now I will continue to remain refined sugar free as I don’t believe it’s any good for your health. It’s honestly a poison. There’s a great quote along the lines of ‘food can either be the most powerful medicine, or the slowest poison’. It’s so true.
To read more on my views of healthy living and reducing sugar, check out these previous blog posts:
Most people, I bet, would say being busy is their main excuse for not eating healthier. People are working long hours and have busy lives nowadays. No one wants to spend their evening slaving away in a kitchen after a tiring day, unless they love it of course. But most of us find cooking a chore.
I’ve recently discovered a company who have tackled this very problem.
Mindful Chef are a recipe box delivery in the UK with a difference. Their recipes are truly healthy with locally sourced ingredients. The recipes are gluten free and all the ones I’ve seen ingredients for are refined sugar free too. Woohoo! I’ve been subscribed to ‘healthy’ food boxes before, but they’ve all contained items with added sugar. I don’t believe anything with added cane sugar can be classed as healthy at all!
Today I have a guest post for you from Naomi who blogs at Me Becoming Mum. As you may have guessed I am very into healthy living. This extends from the healthy food choices I make right through to what I choose to put on my skin and the products I use around the home. One thing I didn’t use with my children was cloth nappies.
If I had my children again I would absolutely consider it. I hate the terrible impact we are having on the environment every day and this is why I choose to use natural products on me and around the home. Everything eventually ends up back in the environment at some point. I have started using natural tampons and pads which are organic and biodegradable. There are so many choices we can make every day to protect ourselves and the environment from unnecessary damage.
I’m going to learn a thing or two myself today. Enjoy!
Using Cloth Alternatives
Hi, I’m Naomi and I blog over at Me Becoming Mum. I like to write honest posts, keeping it real about the truths and realities of my life from pregnancy and parenthood, to being a wife and running my own business.
I am a 26 year old wife of six and a half years and mummy to two beautiful little girls, my eldest turned three in February 2017 and my youngest who will be one in December 2017.
Now before I get started, I want you to know something. I am not some crazy hippy chick, who loves to dance around a camp fire and live in a cave. I am a true representation of the technology generation (I guess I would have to be to be able to keep up with a blog, business and the 6+ social media accounts that accompany them!) At the same time, I do use cloth alternatives to the disposable products that a lot of women and parents opt to use. These include cloth nappies for my children, cloth sanitary pads and cloth breast pads.
I didn’t always use them. To be honest, if you had asked me five years ago if I would be now, I would likely have laughed in your face. The idea of having to wash anything with bodily fluids of any kind on would have repulsed me. It kind of still does, but I do it anyway. The reality is that it is likely I would be doing so anyway, as how many people have had to wash clothes after a messy night out; and how many parents have had to deal with those epic baby poo-spolsions that cover you and the child and require nothing short of a full on shower to clean you both off?
Now that I use them, I wouldn’t go back. I decided to share with you my top five reasons for using cloth; so here we go:
1) You should use cloth alternatives because...they are so much cheaper!
We started using cloth nappies when we discovered that our eldest daughter was allergic to disposable nappies, but when we made the calculations we worked out what a good idea it was. The initial outlay seems expensive (on average a birth to potty collection of day and night nappies will cost between £200 and £300) but in the long run it is so much cheaper, as you only have to buy them once. Those nappies will not only last until your child is toilet trained; but any other children that you have too! The same goes for breast pads (for those of us that breastfeed) and sanitary pads (which will work for every woman!).
2) You should use cloth alternatives because... they are so much more comfy!
This goes for the items that I use as well as the nappies. Soft cottons and other fibres are so much nicer to wear than the paper used for disposable items. After all breast pads, sanitary pads and nappies are all going in some of the most sensitive areas of our baby’s and our bodies. A lot of places offer different linings too, I have some minky sanitary pads that are the most comfy things to wear, especially when I am super uncomfortable in the first place.
3) You should use cloth alternatives because... they look so much nicer!
When I first started looking into cloth nappies for our daughter, I was expecting (like I imagine most people do!) to find a whole load of big sheets you need to wrap around your baby, and nappy pins to seal them. This is not the case. They look no different to normal nappies, plus they come in so many different designs. Just like everything we buy there are different brands, but the one thing they all have in common is the fact that they have an amazing range of colours and patterns for you to choose from. The same applies to the breast pads and sanitary pads. Although no one except you will see them, I have everything from flowers to rainbows on mine!
4) You should use cloth alternatives because... they can be used again and again!
The one thing that I love about cloth is that no matter how many periods and children I have I will never run out of sanitary pads, breast pads or nappies. There will be no running down to the shop in a panic because I have run out and if I had more than one child in nappies at the same time it will not cost me any extra because I already have the stash to cover them.
5) You should use cloth alternatives because... they are better for the environment!
This may be a really obvious one, but not chucking a load of nappies, sanitary pads, tampons and breast pads into the bin to end up on landfills is so much better for the environment. Even though you are using the washing machine a few extra times it is still more environmentally friendly to use cloth rather than their disposable counterparts.
Thank you so much to Naomi for popping by today and sharing all she knows about cloth nappies. Would I make the switch if I had another child or could go back in time? Absolutely. I really think I would. I dread to think of how many nappies I’ve thrown out and into a landfill. It’s quite a disgusting thought!
The benefits of Hemp Seeds and Camu Camu (plus a £5 Nutriseed discount code for you)
It’s been such a long time since I posted about the healthy things I’ve been trying and eating. I’m a health freak and love trying new superfoods as well as researching such topics every single day. Back in 2015/2016 I was writing a lot on my blog about the things I was trying and their incredible benefits. I haven’t stopped trying them at all. In fact, I’ve got more obsessed!
This year, 2017, I’ve been refined sugar free all year. I’ve had a couple of slip ups. I do treat myself to chippy chips every 1-2 weeks and I did start getting mushy peas on them thinking surely they are just peas. WRONG! After trying to get some in the supermarket one week when they were a strange luminous green colour from the chip shop, I discovered they ALL have sugar added! Crazy! Another thing I’ll have to make myself without the added sugar. It’s so annoying they put sugar in EVERYTHING!
If you want to read more about my healthy living journey and why I recommend going sugar free, check out these blog posts:
My favourite online store for superfood goodness is, by far, Nutriseed. Not only can you use code 5friend for a £5 discount off your order, but they stock one of the most vast ranges of superfood items I’ve seen. Plus they’re nearly all organic which is a bonus.
I use their green superfood powder every morning in my smoothie and highly recommend it. My latest purchase though is for camu camu capsules and hemp seeds. I’m not a stranger to hemp seeds as they’re an ingredient in my green powder, plus I’ve had the hemp powder before for my smoothies.
Camu camu is new to me and I purchased it as I was reading an article all about their benefits and amazing vitamin C content. I knew straight away to check Nutriseed for them and decided to go with the capsules as an extra vitamin C boost for the winter months.
Read on to see the amazing benefits of these two products and why they’re now going to be a staple in my cupboard.
I’ve been watching so much about cannabis recently and how the whole plant is an incredible medicine. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years as a medicine and has the most incredible healing properties for many daily complaints as well as horrific illnesses and disease like cancer thanks to its cannabinoid content.
Unfortunately the government concentrated on its getting high qualities and made it illegal to grow and use for some time. Only now is cannabis getting the recognition it deserves as such an incredible plant for so many uses and the stigma is beginning to change.
I really want to get my hands on some CBD oil to add a drop to my smoothie each day. I’m hoping it may clear up my skin and be a preventive for many diseases. I’ve watched several stories of people with 20 years+ of chronic pain being able to relieve the pain in 20 seconds with the oil. There are also several stories of it helping people with much worse disease. If you start researching it, you’ll be amazed at the life changing stories you find. Sounds incredible doesn’t it? Plus it’s 100% natural and doesn’t contain nasty ingredients like most prescription medicines do.
Unfortunately Nutriseed don’t stock the CBD oil, but they do sell hemp powder and hemp seeds. These aren’t going to have the medicinal properties of the oil, but they are both a nutrient powerhouse!
Hemp is from the same plant Cannabis Sativa, but don’t worry, eating the seeds won’t get you high! The seeds contain only a trace amount of THC (the psychoactive compound that gets people high when smoked) and are actually highly nutritious and healthy to eat. I have some in my smoothie everyday already in powder form and now I’ve been adding these hemp seed to my home made muesli each morning and also chucking a teaspoon to my smoothie for a more nutty flavour. They can also be eaten as a snack on their own and would be a great replacement for those with nut allergies.
Let’s look at the amazing properties of the product I bought, hemp seeds:
A full protein source containing all 21 amino acids, making it a healthy non meat source of protein
Rich in several minerals including zinc (great for immune system), phosphorus (good for bone health), magnesium (also good for bone health) and iron (delivering oxygen around your body in the blood).
High in essential fatty acids and containing the perfect ratio of omega-3 and omega-6. Our bodies can’t make these itself so we must rely on a food source for these fatty acids.
Rich in vitamins B1, B2, B6, D and high in vitamin E.
They contain the rare gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is linked to several health benefits including a reduced risk of heart disease.
Good source of fibre.
The Nutriseed version is organic. Read more on my thoughts about organic food here:
This can also be purchased as a powder, but I went for the capsules to make sure I take one every day. I already have two smoothie superfood powders on the go, so didn’t want to add another just yet. The capsules are filled with 100% camu camu powder so I’m still getting the exact same goodness.
Camu camu is a shrub found in the flooded parts of the Amazon rainforest and it’s the berries that are full of nutritional goodness. The fruit is said to be ‘excessively sour’ so is ground into powder to mix with other things.
Here are some of the incredible benefits of camu camu:
One teaspoon or one capsule provides 1180% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, that’s more than any other natural source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is produced by our body so must come from food. It’s also not stored by the body, so a daily source is required. These capsules will make it super easy for me to get enough on a daily basis and from a natural source.
The Nutriseed version are organic certified by the UK Soil Association
High in vitamins and minerals, particularly in essential trace mineral manganese which supports bone health and normal brain function amongst many other health benefits.
Rich in antioxidants
For me I’m all about getting my vitamins and minerals from natural sources, so this is now my vitamin C tablet.