Herbfacts
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News: January 2021

Celebrate Veganuary

Vegetables laid out on wooden background to spell the word vegan

Veganuary is the world’s largest vegan movement, inspiring us all to try  a vegan diet in January. That means saying no to meat, dairy products and eggs in favour of a plant-based vegan diet – think veg, fruit, grains, nuts and seeds and products made from them.  For more information and to sign up visit the website.

Getting fit can make you happier

Woman squatting with weights in her lounge to show working out at home

Exercise could hold the key to happiness. The reason? People with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to be depressed. They also have a 60 per cent increased risk of anxiety, according to a study published in BMC Medicine[i]  The researchers conclude that aerobic and resistance activities (such as weights, fitness bands or bodyweight activities such as Pilates or Yoga) could be the answer.

Eating dried fruit contributes to a healthier diet

A selection of dried fruits

Recent research carried out at Penn University revealed that people who ate dried fruit were generally healthier than those who did not. What’s more on the days when they ate dried fruit, they consumed more of some key nutrients than on the days they passed on the fruit.

They also tended to have a lower body mass index, waist circumference and systolic blood pressure. The researchers, however, stress the importance of checking the sugar content. ‘Dried fruit can be a great choice for a nutritious snack, but consumers might want to be sure they’re choosing unsweetened versions without added sugar,’ said researcher Valerie Sullivan.

St John’s Wort – a natural answer to low mood

ST John's Wort flower with bright blue sky background

January 18th is this year’s Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year and for those already suffering with depression it can be an especially difficult time. But the good news is whatever the day, there is a remedy in the herbal medicine chest that might help to lighten the load. St John’s wort aka the sunshine herb contains a chemical known as hypericin, which increases our natural levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin.

St John’s wort is contra-indicated with many common medicines so always check with your GP before taking.

 

 

[i] https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2020/nov/low-fitness-linked-higher-depression-and-anxiety-risk

 

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