Make this the year you get involved in Organic September. This month-long campaign aims to raise awareness of organic products, and the brands, producers and farmers who bring them to us in the UK.
The reason? When you buy organic you can be sure the products you are buying contain no artificial additives or preservatives and contain fewer pesticides (there are only 20 pesticides that can be used by organic farmers all of which are derived from natural ingredients compared to almost 300 pesticides used in regular farming). Organic foods also conform to high standards of animal welfare, contain no genetically modified ingredients and have been produced in a sustainable way.
It’s easy to get involved – just look out for the organic label when shopping. To find out more visit the soil association website.
Pycnogenol found to help provide relief from UTIs
According to recent research[i] Pycnogenol French maritime pine bark may provide relief for the millions of women and men who suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) – the result of a bacterial infection and defined as three episodes in the previous year or two episodes in the last six months. Typical symptoms include pain, burning and itching in the pelvic area and a constant need to go to the loo.
The study which tested three groups (a control group, a Pycnogenol group and a cranberry group) found that the Pycnogenol group out-performed those taking a cranberry extract in reducing infection occurrence and decreasing painful symptoms without side effects. More research is needed but these results look positive.
Millet may help lower the risk of type-2 diabetes
A millet-based diet may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and help manage blood glucose levels suggests a recent study[ii] based on research from 11 countries.
According to the study published in Frontiers in Nutrition people with diabetes who consumed millet as part of their daily diet saw their blood glucose levels drop 12-15 per cent (fasting and post fasting) and blood glucose levels went from diabetic to pre-diabetic levels.
Try wholegrain millet bread instead of wheat or rye bread or millet porridge instead of oat porridge. Pouches of millet often combined with rice and pulses are now available in some supermarkets and make a great alternative for rice in risottos, pilaffs, salads and other recipes.
This year’s migraine awareness week organised by the Migraine Trust[iii] runs from September 5th – 11th. And if you are a sufferer, you will know only too well how migraines can put a damper on the best of days.
There are several over-the-counter medications as well as prescription medicines, which may help to bring relief. But if you would prefer to go down a more natural route the herbal remedy feverfew[iv] may help provide some relief.
[iv] Fever few (Tanacetum pantheism) Wider B, Pittler MH, Ernst E. Feverfew for preventing migraine. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD002286. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002286.pub3