Tips to Stay Healthy and Survive The Silly Season

Tips to Stay Healthy and Survive The Silly Season

The warmer weather is here and there’s a party vibe in the air with lots of Christmas parties and work do’s. We all tend to get a little carried-away around this time of year and can readily over indulge on a few nutritional fronts. In particular, alcohol consumption over the summer festive season can easily head a little 'Northward' from our normal levels.
You want to make sure you stay in good health during the silly season so you can enjoy your Summer to the fullest, so there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from the harmful effects of drinking too much alcohol. Ideally of course you should always drink sensibly and keep an eye on how much you are drinking.

Play it safe during the silly season and look after your health by following these pre-party tips.

TIP ONE:
Keep well hydrated when out drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a major cause of dehydration. We lose fluids and important electrolytes every time we have a drink. Electrolytes are minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium that are vital for keeping fluids balanced in our bodies and are needed for good health. Those common symptoms you wake up with after a night out drinking – the headache, nausea, dry mouth and thirst - are all symptoms of dehydration. The best way to combat this is to get into the habit of having a glass of water in-between your alcoholic drinks. A fast way to rehydrate your body is with an electrolyte drink like coconut water.

Iced teas are another delicious way to increase your water intake and stay hydrated, and they have added health benefits too. Teas that contain green tea, turmeric and dandelion root all help improve liver detoxification.

TIP TWO:
Make sure you eat something nutritious before you go out drinking and try to snack on healthy foods when you’re out. This will slow the absorption of alcohol into your blood stream. Healthy snacks to nibble on while having a drink include hummus, avocado and other dips with breads and crackers, nuts and pretzels, grilled fish and seafood, and olives and mezza plates are also a healthier choice compared to wedges and crisps or deep fried foods.

TIP THREE:
Play it safe and stick to one drink an hour. This will give your liver time to detox the alcohol properly, and prevent a build-up of alcohol in your blood.

TIP FOUR:
Avoid sugary mixers like soft drink, syrups, or sweet cocktails with alcohol. These will send your blood sugar levels all over the place, leaving you dehydrated and lethargic the morning after, ultimately exacerbating your hangover symptoms. Iced tea makes a delicious healthy cocktail mixer.

TIP FIVE:
Increase your B vitamins. The body uses up a considerable amount of nutrients when processing alcohol, such as niacin (vitamin B3). If you are low in vitamin B3 levels are low, this elimination process will be impaired and will prolong alcohol levels in the system. By increasing vitamin B-rich foods and taking a complex B supplement daily you will be ensuring that your vitamin B levels are adequate to deal with any increase in alcohol intake.

TIP SIX:
Take some St Mary’s thistle daily over the party season. The herb St Mary’s thistle helps protect liver cells from alcohol-induced damage, and enhances liver detoxification, helping to remove toxins such as alcohol from the liver and body. Our Bodhi Organic PuriTEA is another great way to help support your livers health, made from herbs such as dandelion root and schisandra berries that help improve liver detoxification.

TIPS SEVEN:
Increase vitamin C. Antioxidants are important to help fight the cellular damage alcohol consumption can cause, as well as giving immune function and boost. Vitamin C is destroyed by alcohol, so supplement with vitamin C daily. Also increase your dietary consumption of vitamin C foods like citrus fruits, berries, guava, cabbage and parsley. Adding freshly squeezed juices such as pineapple, orange and lemon to iced teas is a great way to boost your vitamin C and antioxidant levels.

What to do if you have a hangover?
Coconut water is an ideal way to help ease hangover symptoms. Coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes and is useful for rehydrating and replenishing fluids and important minerals in the body.
A great way to settle an upset tummy and replenish the body with vitamins is with a fresh juice. Try with a vegetable juice such as carrot, beetroot, celery, apple and ginger (eases for nausea), or a banana smoothie with yoghurt. Or try a chilled ginger tea (ZesTEA) for super sensitive tummies.

Despite what you might feel like, eating a healthy breakfast such as poached eggs, avocado, wholegrain toast, or bircher muesli, will be far better for you at this time than going for a greasy breakfast of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, or hash browns. Greasy fried foods will only add to your upset stomach.

This homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica 30C can be useful for treating hangover symptoms such as headaches and nausea. 5 drops, 4 x day.

N-acetyl-cyseine (NAC) is another helpful hangover remedy. NAC is an amino acid that is needed to produce the enzyme glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps the liver detoxify and clear toxins such as alcohol from the body. Eggs are a good hangover food as they are a good source of NAC.

10 Top Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet

There is lots of advice about how to spring clean where we live, how about spring cleaning our diets?

Here are 10 Top Ways to Spring Clean Your diet.

  1. Spring is the perfect time to give your kitchen cupboards a good clean out. Get rid of any sugary, processed foods including sugary breakfast cereals and biscuits, chips and chocolates, and any other junk foods. This is one of the best ways to beat temptation when the afternoon munchies hit.
  2. Stock your fridge up with a variety of lovely fresh wholefoods including seasonal fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, oily fish, eggs and yoghurt. Buy organic when you can.
  3. Start your day off right with a glass of water with a freshly squeezed lemon. This is a fantastic way to improve your digestion, alkalize your body, and boost your vitamin C levels to support healthy immune function and radiant skin.
  4. Include brassica vegetables such as kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower in your daily diet. These super veggies support liver function and improves detoxification.
  5. Give coffee the flick and try herbal teas instead. Green tea (ViridiTEA) is full of antioxidants, ginger (ZesTEA) improves circulation and reduces inflammation, peppermint (VitaliTEA) enhances digestion, and chamomile (SereniTEA) helps calm the nervous system.
  6. Get into juicing. Veggie juices are jam-packed with important nutrients and potent antioxidants, which help promote optimal health and vitality. Iced teas with fresh fruit juice is another lovely way to stay hydrated while reaping all the health benefits herbal teas and fresh juices have to offer.
  7. Aloe vera juice can help maintain good digestive function and bowel regularity, due to its natural detoxifying and cleansing effects on the bowel.
  8. We tend to eat richer, heavier foods in winter. Now that the warmer weather is here it’s time to switch to lighter healthy meals including plenty of salads. Reduce your red meat intake and opt for more vegetarian meals.
  9. Give your sluggish digestive system a boost by having some diluted apple cider vinegar 15 minutes before each main meal. This will stimulate stomach acids and enhance the digestion of your meal, to prevent bloating and heaviness after eating.
  10. Using fresh herbs is a great way to add extra flavour to your meals along with plenty of health benefits eg. coriander helps remove heavy metals from the body, parsley is rich in immune boosting vitamin C, and rosemary and sage are excellent memory enhancers.

By Lisa Guy

What is Anxiety? 8 Ways to Alleviate Anxiety Naturally

What is anxiety

People often use the words ‘stress' and 'anxiety’ interchangeably, but they actually mean different things. What is Anxiety? and How Can it be Alleviated Naturally?

Stress is the body’s natural and protective response to a potential danger. It puts the body into a heightened state of awareness to keep it out of harm’s way.

Unfortunately, stress is difficult to avoid these days; we all lead hectic lives and stress has become a part of everyday life. The most common sources of stress for most people are work related - huge work loads, and the balancing of long work hours with the wants and needs of family life; not to mention the burdens of health, relationship problems, and money related matters.

Stress is not necessarily always a bad thing though.  In small doses it can actually be a good, helping us to perform well under pressure and keeping us motivated. Stress can occur with feelings of anger, sadness, or even when we are happy and excited. It is when stress becomes constant and prolonged that we run the risk of developing anxiety and causing damage to our health and quality of life.

Anxiety is a general term used for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry.

When you’re feeling anxious, the same ‘fight or flight’ response as caused by stress is also evoked triggering a release of ‘stress’ hormones, namely cortisol, which causes your heart rate and breathing to increase, your muscles to tense, and blood flow to be diverted away from your digestion to your brain and muscles. It can also make you feel nauseous, light-headed, and may cause frequent urination and diarrhoea in some people. While the acute regulation of stress is an important protective mechanism, there are a series of downsides to constantly feeling anxious with persistently high levels of circulating cortisol.

High cortisol levels in the body has an immunosuppressive effect leaving you more vulnerable to illness and infections. It can impact your digestive health by reducing the production of stomach acids, and can disrupt gut flora. Constant high levels of cortisol can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, it can affect women’s menstrual cycle and fertility, and can increase your risk of osteoporosis by increasing calcium in the blood.

Fortunately nature has provided us with some highly effective natural medicines that can help alleviate anxiety, by calming the nervous system, and lowering cortisol levels.

Withania (Withania somnifera), also known as Ashwagandha, is a popular Ayuverdic herb that is a highly effective ‘adaptogen’. Withania is used widely by herbalists to improve the body’s resistance to stress along with strengthening the immune system. Withania supports adrenal health and calms the nervous system, making it beneficial for alleviating anxiety in people who feel stressed, strung-out, and exhausted. Try Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a well know herb used by herbalist today to treat insomnia and sleeping difficulties, due to its mild sedative and tranquillising effect. This herb helps you fall asleep without making you feel groggy the next morning, unlike pharmaceutical equivalents. Valerian is also an effective treatment for anxiety as it helps sustain levels of the calming neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Try Bodhi Organic TranquiliTEA

B Vitamins are important nutrients for helping maintain emotional and mental health. B vitamins are needed for proper nervous system function and for the production of energy from food. B vitamins are considered one of the most important ‘anti-stress’ nutrients, helping to relieve anxiety. Niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9) all work alongside tryptophan to produce serotonin, our feel good neurotransmitter. Foods rich in B vitamins include legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, green leafy veggies, eggs, chicken, red meat, and milk. A diet high in refined grains and processed foods will be lacking these important mood enhancing B vitamins.

Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) is a lemon-scented herb and member of the mint family that has been long used for its soothing medicinal qualities and aromatic properties. The Arabs in the 11th century introduced lemon balm as a remedy for depression and anxiety.  They believed it caused the mind and heart to be merry. Today lemon balm is popular among herbalists for treating insomnia and anxiety-related conditions, including nervous gastrointestinal complaints such as indigestion, nervous dyspepsia and nausea. Lemon balm has a sedative and calming effect on the nervous system. Try Bodhi Organic SereniTEA 

Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita) has been used for centuries for its wonderful calming and anti-inflammatory properties, where it has been used in the treatment of insomnia and nervous complaints. Chamomile has a mild sedative action helping to promote a sense of calmness, which eases anxiety, along with inducing restful sleep. Chamomile is also specific for treating digestive problems associated with anxiety including nervous dyspepsia, IBS, diarrhoea, constipation and nausea. Try Bodhi Organic SereniTEA.

Reduce Caffeine: Millions of people rely on their morning coffee hit to kick start their day. Many say caffeine is addictive because it boosts energy levels and makes them feel more alert. Caffeine is naturally found in certain leaves, seeds, and fruits. The most common sources in our diet are coffee, tea, cocoa beans, soft drink, energy drinks and in some medications and weight loss supplements. Caffeine stimulates your fight or flight response, stimulating the production of stress hormones, namely cortisol, which gives you a temporary boost in energy levels, but can also contribute to levels of anxiety, irritability, muscle tension, weakened immunity and insomnia. Caffeine also inhibits the neurotransmitter GABA, which can make you feel more anxious. Caffeine can also inhibit the absorption of the hormone adenosine, needed to give us a sense of calmness, which can contribute to sleeping problems.

Better choices are caffeine-free calming herbal teas or if you love your coffee, stick to just one. Given that caffeine can stay in your system for 8 or more hours, don’t drink coffee or caffeine-containing teas after 2pm so that it won’t disturb your sleep. If you make the switch to decaffeinated coffee make sure its water, not chemically, filtered.

Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata) is used for its sedative and anxiety relieving properties. Passionflower helps calm and support the nervous system, making it extremely beneficial for calming restlessness and nervous tension. Passionflower is also the herb of choice for treating insomnia, as it aids the transition into restful sleep without the side effects of sleeping tablets. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, studies have found that passionflower can be equally as effective as benzodiazepine drugs to improve anxiety. Try Bodhi Organic TranquiliTEA

Magnesium is an essential mineral vital for good health and vitality. Magnesium is needed for many cellular functions in the body, particularly for energy production. Magnesium is considered the ‘anti-stress’ nutrient as it helps to calm and support the nervous system making it beneficial for anxious and worn out people. Magnesium is also useful for people who find difficulty in sleeping. Magnesium deficiencies are associated with fatigue, weakness, twitching and muscle cramps, and a predisposition to anxiety and insomnia.  Magnesium occurs abundantly in whole foods. People who consume large amounts of processed refined foods will risk becoming deficient in this important mineral. Best dietary sources include: tofu, legumes, seeds (flaxseeds, pepitas, sesame), nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds), whole grains (oats, barley, millet, quinoa), wheat bran, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach.  Take a magnesium supplement that also contains calcium, recommended dosage is 600-1000 mg of elemental magnesium daily.

By Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea.

Best Natural Anti-ageing Skin Care Tips

Eating a good wholesome nutrient-rich diet is paramount to promoting good health and radiant youthful looking skin. Unfortunately, with our busy lives, many of us find it hard to eat well. A lot of people, especially those who follow a typical Western diet, don’t get the recommended daily intake of these important nutrients which results in dull, unhealthy skin that ages prematurely. Here are the Best Natural Anti-ageing Skin Care Tips for fabulous glowing, healthy, youthful looking skin.

Drink

Green tea

Drinking green tea regularly is one of the best ways to promote beautiful healthy, glowing skin. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, namely catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which are powerful antioxidants that fight oxidative damage that leads to premature skin ageing. EGCG slows down collagen and elastin breakdown and can help regenerate ageing surface skin cells. These are two important proteins in the skin that gives the skin strength, tone and elasticity. Drinking green tea can help enhance blood flow to your skin to promote a healthy supply of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells. Aim to drink 3 cups of organic green tea daily to reap its complexion-boosting properties.  Try Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA,

Rose hip

Rosehips, which are the fruit of the rose, are a very rich source of vitamin C. This important nutrient is vital for collagen production and for restoring the skin. Vitamin C also helps improve skin healing and prevents infections such as acne, and reduces any inflammation. Rosehips are also abundant in vitamin A, which has strong antioxidant activity to help protect the skin from premature ageing. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin cell turnover and is essential for repair and maintenance of the skin. Rose hip tea, or as an iced tea with a squeeze of fresh lime, is a great way to enjoy this skin-loving food. Try Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA.

Eat

Avocado

Avocados are the perfect skin loving food. They are jam-packed with nutrients that work wonders for keeping skin soft, supple and healthy. Avocados are rich in beneficial fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants that enhance skin health from the inside out. The carotenoids in avocado have an antioxidant effect which protects the skin from the damaging effects of the sun and other environmental stressors that lead to wrinkles and other visible signs of ageing. Avocados are particularly rich in vitamin E too. This important skin nutrient can reduce the damaging effects of pollution and UV radiation from sun exposure. It’s the oleic acid content of avocados however that benefits skin the most. This beneficial monounsaturated fatty acid has a moisturising effect on the skin, helping the skin retain moisture to keep it soft, supple and well hydrated. Add avocados to salads, grainy toast, guacamole, healthy raw cacao mouse or green tea smoothies 

Wild Salmon

Salmon is one of the best sources of healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are beneficial fats needed to keep the skin soft and supple. This deep sea fish also provides plenty of amino acids, which are also important for building collagen and elastin, which are major proteins in the skin. Salmon is also an excellent source of the super-carotenoid, astaxanthin, which is responsible for giving salmon their characteristic reddish-pink colour. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants with exceptional ability to fight skin-damaging free radicals and prevent premature skin ageing.

Pomegranate

Pomegranates contain many wonderful skin nourishing nutrients. Including pomegranates in your diet regularly can help regenerate skin cells and boost collagen production to help keep skin smooth and well-toned. This beautiful red fruit is abundant in the polyphenols, anthyocycanins and ellagic acid, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect skin cells from oxidative damage caused from sun exposure, which is a major skin ageing accelerator. Pomegranates also boast high levels of vitamin C and A, which help rejuvenate the skin. Pomegranates also contain punicalagins, a super antioxidant nutrient that helps preserve collagen in the skin, giving your skin a smoother firmer appearance. Toss pomegranate through salads or muesli, or mix through yoghurt.  Try this delicious pomegranate ice tea 

Add

Turmeric

Antioxidants are our best line of defence against damaging free radicals, which are one of the main culprits when it comes to ageing. The super spice turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin, which has been studied extensively for its powerful antioxidant properties and potent anti-inflammatory effect. Turmeric has many wonderful health benefits for the skin including alleviating skin inflammation, preventing acne and reducing premature skin ageing. Some delicious ways to enjoy turmeric is added to a mango smoothie, or as a tea with some ginger and lemon.  Try Bodhi Organic ZesTEA.

Berries

Enjoying berries is a delicious way to promote radiant skin. Berries are jam-packed with skin-loving nutrients including vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are brilliant for boosting collagen production.

They are also rich sources of powerful antioxidants, called anthocynanins, which help protect the skin against free radical damage caused from overexposure to the sun. Try adding assorted berries to your breakfast, or as a healthy dessert.

Wheatgrass

Consuming wheatgrass can help promote clear, healthy skin and reduce the likelihood of breakouts. Wheatgrass is a superior source of chlorophyll which is a natural detoxifier. This super food also contains skin-nourishing vitamins A, C and E, which are potent anti-oxidant nutrients with collagen protective effects. Wheatgrass is a super-oxide dismutase (SOD) boosting food. SOD is one of the most powerful antioxidants made by the body that helps slow down cellular ageing. If you don’t have enough SOD, cells in the body, including skin cells, will start to age faster and die. As you get older SOD production is reduced.

By Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic tea

6 Fantastic Ways to Liver Detox

Liver Detox

The liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body, responsible for an enormous number of metabolic activities that are vital to life. Its number one job is to detoxify all the contaminants in our bloodstream so they can be safely eliminated from the body. Here are 6 Fantastic Ways to Liver Detox with foods that will help improve the functioning of your liver and in turn help promote optimal health.

Liver Detox Foods

Broccoli Sprouts: These sprouts contain concentrated levels of sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy liver detoxification. Broccoli sprouts contain anywhere up to 100 times more of these compounds compared to broccoli. Add fresh sprouts to meals, or add the powder to smoothies or fresh juices. Other sulphur rich foods include cabbage, kale, cauliflower, onion and garlic.

Dandelion root: This super liver herb makes a great caffeine-free alternative to coffee. Dandelion root stimulates liver detoxification, helping clear toxins from the body. It also boosts digestion and improves gallbladder function. Try Bodhi Organic PuriTEA.

Green tea: Drinking green tea regularly is another good way to support healthy liver function. This antioxidant rich tea contains high levels of catechins, a polyphenol which has been found in studies to help prevent liver inflammation and fat accumulation. Green tea helps improve liver function by protecting it from the harmful effects of toxic substances including alcohol. Try Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA or another delicious way to have green tea is in this Kale and Mango smoothie.

Globe artichoke: Is a wonderful liver tonic often used in extract form by herbalists. Mostly found in the leaves of the Globe artichoke is a compound called cynarin, that can help increase bile flow and strengthen liver and gallbladder function. The steamed leaves are delicious dipped in hummus, baba ghanoush, or tzatziki.

Turmeric: The super spice turmeric contains high levels of a compound called curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. According to a study in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, curcumin enhances liver health and offers protection from liver cancer and disease. This powerful antioxidant can also repair and regenerate damaged liver cells. Try Bodhi Organic ZesTEA.

Garlic: Including garlic in meals is another fantastic way to boost your liver function. Garlic is a great source of the mineral selenium, which is needed by the liver to produce glutathione, one of the body’s major antioxidants. Glutathione plays a major role in liver detoxification.

By Lisa Guy, naturopath, and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea

Incredible Health Benefits of Herbal and Green Tea

Incredible Health Benefits of Herbal and Green Tea

The Incredible Health Benefits of Herbal and Green Tea in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine is well documented, and thought to assist in the cure of and recovery from many illnesses.

Legendary Japanese Zen priest Eisai wrote one of the oldest tea books, ‘Kissa Yojoki’ (Book of tea) – How to stay healthy by drinking tea (1191). This two volume book explains the health benefits of drinking green tea and its positive effect on the five vital organs, in particular the heart. It also explained the medicinal uses of tea including treating indigestion, preventing fatigue, boosting brain function, and acting as a stimulant. Eisai states ‘Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete’.

Rich in antioxidants

Over the last few decades, green tea has been subjected to numerous scientific studies to establish the extent of its long-purported health benefits. Scientists believe that green teas health benefits are due to its polyphenols, which are natural plant compounds found in high levels in green and white tea that act as potent antioxidants. These chemicals neutralize free radicals in the body that are associated with the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

There are a number of polyphenols found in tea including catechins (epigallocatechin gallate – EGCG, epicallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, epicatechin), theaflavins, tannis, and flavonoids. Catechins make up a majority of the pholypenols found in green tea, with the most active and most extensively studied being EGCG. EGCG, which is unique to white and green tea.

Tea also contains alkaloids including caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline, that provide tea's stimulant effects, and L-theanine, an amino acid compound found in green and white tea, that has been studied for its calming effects on the nervous system.

Because white and green teas are treated gently and not over processed, they retain most of their beneficial antioxidants. White tea contains the same types of antioxidants as green tea, but in greater quantity. These antioxidants have been found to have many health promoting properties.

Cardiovascular health

Research shows that antioxidants found in green tea may help lower cholesterol levels and help protect against coronary heart disease and stroke. (1)

According to a Japanese study published in the JAMA, women who drank five or more cups of tea a day had a 31% reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 42% lower risk of stroke. (2)

Cancer protection

Clinical studies have also linked green tea consumption to the prevention of a number of different types of cancer including breast, colon, lung, and stomach. (3)

Weight loss

Drinking green tea has also been shown to help encourage weight loss by increasing metabolism and fat burning. According to International Journal of Obesity (2000), green teas thermogenic effect is due to the synergistic effect of its caffeine content and catechins, which boosts metabolism.

Tea catechins, especially EGCG, seems to have and andtidiabetic and antiobesity action. (4)

Liver function

Green tea has also been found to have positive effect on liver health and may offer protection against liver disease. (5)

Oral health

Green tea consumption is also associated with better oral health. Researches discovered that polyphenols found in green tea can help protect against bacterial induced dental caries, bad breath and oral cancer. (6)

Bone density

Drinking green tea may also help improve your bone health by increasing bone mineral density. (7)

 

 

 

How to Boost Your Immune System

Wondering how to boost your immune system?

A strong functioning immune system is highly dependent on a healthy well-balanced diet. If you're wondering how to boost your immune system against the reported "Worst Flu in At Least 15 Years", or The Worst Month on Record For Flu Cases in NSW's one of the best natural ways is to consume more foods that contain immune boosting compounds.

The following foods are chock-full of immune strengthening vitamins and minerals.

Immune Boosting Foods

Seaweed: A highly nutritious superfood that contains extraordinary health-promoting compounds is sourced from our oceans, seaweed helps boost the immune system and reduces the risk of cold and flu. Seaweed is rich in minerals and trace minerals like iodine and selenium, which are crucial for healthy thyroid function. There are many different types of seaweed including kelp, nori, and arame, which you can purchase from health food stores and supermarkets. You can use seaweed to make nori rolls, miso soup, and stir-fry’s. Or try adding seaweed to your meal as dried flakes. A great way to supercharge pasta sauces and other winter dishes.

Ginger: Adding ginger to stir-fries, soups, curries, salad dressings, veggie juices or drunk as a tea (Bodhi Organic ZesTEA), is a great way to boost your immunity during winter and reduce inflammation, along with improving circulation and digestion.

Super Mushrooms: Shitake mushrooms enhance the immune system’s ability to combat infections including colds and flu. Soak dried mushrooms for around 30 minutes, add thin slices to soups, stir-fries, or casseroles.

Garlic: Adding garlic to meals is one of the best ways to ward off colds and flu. Garlic contains potent immune strengthening and anti-viral compounds. To get the most out of your garlic, crush it first and don’t over-cook it. Raw is best.

Vitamin C Rich Foods: Eat a variety of vitamin C rich fruits such as oranges, lemons, kiwi fruit and berries. Vitamin C is a powerful immune enhancer with anti-viral action, which will help protect you from coming down with a cold or flu this winter.

Herbs and Herbal teas

Kick back with a cup of Herbal Tea like lemon balm (Bodhi Organic SereniTEA), liquorice (Bodhi Organic TranquiliTEA) or ginger (Bodhi Organic ZesTEA). These tasty, healing teas have the ability to bolster your immunity to fight off winter nasties. If you’ve a cold or sore throat ginger tea is particularly soothing with a slice of lemon and some manuka honey.

Green Tea: Drinking green tea (Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA) daily can help support healthy immune function. Research indicates that the polyphenols, found in green tea, have potent antioxidant properties, and an immune-enhancing benefit. Green tea can be drunk hot or included as an ingredient in delicious recipes like this delicious kale and mango green tea smoothie.

Echinacea: Echinacea (Bodhi Organic ImmuniTEA) is a highly effective immune boosting herb commonly prescribed by naturopaths and herbalists to prevent and treat colds and flu, and increase the body’s resistance to infection. These can be enjoyed as a tea, or a tincture.

Spice up Meals: Many spices are rich in antioxidants which help support your body's natural immune defence. Most often used in cooking turmeric, thyme, chilli, oregano, coriander, cloves and ginger are all excellent choices.

Click here for other natural flu treatments and remedies.

 

By Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea

5 Top Tips For a Better Night’s Sleep, Naturally

5 Top Tips For a Better Night's Sleep, Naturally

Sleep is just as important to our health as nutritious food and water. Unfortunately, most of us don’t seem to get enough of it, with up to 25% of Australians reporting they don’t get sufficient sleep. It is recommended that adults get around 8 hours sleep a night. These 5 top tips will help you get a better night's sleep, naturally.

Poor sleeping habits and insomnia can have a direct and damaging effect on your physical and mental health. It is while we sleep that our body rests and revitalises, and our immune system is replenished and strengthened. Chronic insomnia can accelerate the aging process and progression of chronic disease. Not getting enough sleep can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.

Thankfully there are some very effective natural measures you can take to help you get a better night sleep.

Calming herbal teas: Chamomile, valerian, lavender, passionflower and lemon balm are all beautiful calming herbal teas that are beneficial for calming the nervous system, allowing the body and mind to relax, to help you get a better night’s sleep. You will find these lovely sleep promoting herbs in our Bodhi Organic SereniTEA and TranquiliTEA.

Boost melatonin: Melatonin is an important hormone that is produced at night to promote a deep and restful sleep. There are several natural ways you can increase your melatonin production including increase your sunlight exposure (especially in the morning), meditate, and reduce alcohol intake and stress levels. There are also certain foods that can help boost your melatonin such as oats, walnuts, bananas, and almonds. Tart cherry juice has been found to significantly increase melatonin levels in the body.

Magnesium: Magnesium helps calm and support the nervous system. Taking 500-600mg of elemental magnesium daily can help ease anxiety and improve sleep. The best dietary sources of magnesium are legumes, tofu, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, wheat bran and green leafy veggies.

Cut down on coffee: If you’re having trouble sleeping you should cut down on coffee and other caffeine-containing foods and drinks. Having too much caffeine can over-stimulate the nervous system and affect your ability to fall asleep. Caffeine is found in coffee, black tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate. It is wise not to consume any caffeine after 2pm.

Limit your alcohol intake: You may think that having a few glasses of wine at night helps you relax and get off to sleep easier, when actually it can cause sleep problems. Drinking too much alcohol at night can interrupt your REM sleep cycle, which is your deepest most restful stage of sleep. Regular alcohol consumption can also lower your natural melatonin levels, which will cause sleeping problems.

By Lisa Guy, ND.

 

 

 

 

10 Healthy Habits for a New Year’s Resolution

10 Healthy Habits for a New Year's Resolution

Many of us start the New Year with a resolution to become healthier. These 10 Healthy Habits for a New Year's Resolution are an ideal way to detox our bodies, and build stronger immunity. But don't wait until January...Start Now!

Eat more fermented foods:
Fermented foods such as yoghurt, kombucha, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables contain beneficial bacteria that help you maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut. Eating fermented foods is one of the best ways to boost your digestive and immune health this new year.

Practice mindful eating:
Prepare your food with love and care. Eat when you are relaxed and sitting down, chew your food properly. Take the time to think about what you put in your mouth and what it is doing for your health.

Don’t skip breakfast:
You’ve heard it many times before, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but still over 50% of Australians choose to skip eating in the morning. Skipping breakfast leads to unbalanced blood sugar levels and increases the likelihood of overeating and poor food choices throughout the day. Skipping meals also slows down your metabolism and can lead to weight gain. Some nourishing choices for breakie include natural muesli with natural yoghurt, raw nuts, seeds and fresh fruit; organic eggs with avocado grainy toast with a side of sauerkraut or baby spinach; protein smoothie with natural protein powder, banana, LSA or chia seeds; or coconut chia pudding with berries.

Give sugary foods the flick:
Eating too much sugar will not only make you put on weight but it will increase your risk of type-2 diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and infections. Eating sugar to excess will weakened your immune function and can increase inflammation in the body. Foods to watch out for include processed foods, soft drinks, fruit juice, breakfast cereal, savoury biscuits and sauces, and yoghurt and muesli bars.

Cook more at home:
Getting take-out might seem like the best option when you're busy and getting home late from work. Unfortunately a lot of take-away choices are unhealthy and high in calories and damaging fats which can promote weight gain and heart disease. Start the new year on a healthier note by preparing nutritious dishes on the weekend to freeze and have during the week. Or cook a little extra so you can take leftovers for lunch. Keep some frozen veggies on hand, and find some quick and easy healthy recipes to give you some inspiration.

Drink less alcohol:
If you’ve overindulged over the Christmas period this is a good time to give your liver a much needed break. Alcohol is not only high in calories and will promote weight gain, it's also damaging to your liver and health. Go alcohol free for a month and then enjoy a drink in moderation. A few red wines week is a good choice that is rich in antioxidants.

Support liver detoxification:
After Christmas give your poor overworked liver a helping hand by increasing foods and nutrients that support liver detoxification and function. These include brassica veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale, which are rich in sulfur compounds important for liver detoxification. Enjoy a few green teas (try Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA) daily is another great way to support liver function. Use turmeric and ginger when you can in cooking, veggie juices, and in teas (try Bodhi Organic ZesTEA). Swap your morning coffee for a dandelion root coffee. Dandelion is a liver tonic herb which helps stimulate liver detoxification (try Bodhi Organic PuriTEA). Don’t forget to drink plenty of water daily to flush out toxins from your body.

Up your antioxidants:
Antioxidant-rich foods are a vitally important part of our diet. They help prevent oxidative damage in the body, reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and premature ageing. Some of the best antioxidant foods include berries, red and orange fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, mango, beetroot, tomatoes, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, turmeric, green tea, raw cacao, rosehip tea (try Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA).

Get juicing:
Juicing is a fantastic way to nourish, rejuvenate and energise your body. Fresh vegetable juices are rich in vitamins, minerals, living enzymes and antioxidants, which are essential for good health and prevention of disease. Choose organic vegetables when you can so your juice is free from pesticides and bursting with flavour and optimal nutritional goodness.

Boost your digestion:
Taking apple cider vinegar (ACV) before main meals is an excellent way to give your digestion and metabolism a boost. ACV is a thermogenic food, so it’s helpful for enhancing fat burning and assisting with weight loss. It will also help improve digestive issues such as reflux and indigestion, and prevent bloated distended stomachs. Try 1tsp-1Tbsp of ACV diluted in a little water around 15 minutes before eating. ACV can also be used in salad dressing. Including bitter foods like rocket and endives with meals. Having lemon in water first thing of a morning, or on salads or fish is a great way to give your digestion a boost.

6 Top Tips for a Hangover Cure | Bodhi Organic Tea

Hangover Cure

The warmer weather is here and there’s a party vibe in the air. With plenty of Christmas parties and work 'do’s' to go to, we can often get a little carried-away with the festivities and needing a hangover cure from our over indulgence in unhealthy foods and alcohol.

To make sure you stay in good health during the silly season, so you can enjoy your summer to the fullest, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from the harmful effects of drinking too much alcohol. Ideally of course you should always drink sensibly and keep an eye on how much you are drinking.

TIP ONE: Keep well hydrated when out drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a major cause of dehydration. We lose fluids and important electrolytes every time we have a drink. Electrolytes are minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium that are vital for keeping fluids balanced in our bodies and are needed for good health. Those common symptoms you wake up with after a night out drinking – the headache, nausea, dry mouth and thirst - are all symptoms of dehydration. The best way to combat this is to get into the habit of having a glass of water in-between alcoholic drinks when you are out.

‘The morning after’, why don’t you try a smoothie to help you re-hydrate and treat your hangover symptoms. Into a blender pour the water from one fresh young coconut, one frozen or ripe banana, a handful of frozen mixed berries and a heap tablespoon of chia seeds. Coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes, bananas help replenish low potassium, berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and chia seeds contain fibre to help the body eliminate toxins from the body.

TIP TWO: Make sure you eat something nutritious before you go out drinking and try to snack on healthy foods when you’re out. This will slow the absorption of alcohol into your blood stream. Healthy snacks to nibble on while having a drink include hummus, avocado and other dips with breads and crackers, nuts and pretzels, grilled fish and seafood, and olives and mezza plates are also a healthier choice compared to wedges and crisps or deep fried foods.

TIP THREE: Play it safe and stick to one drink an hour. This will give your liver time to detox the alcohol properly, and prevent a build-up of alcohol in your blood.

TIP FOUR: Increase your B vitamins. The body uses up a considerable amount of nutrients when processing alcohol, such as niacin (vitamin B3). If you are low in vitamin B3 levels are low, this elimination process will be impaired and will prolong alcohol levels in the system. By increasing vitamin B-rich foods and taking a complex B supplement daily you will be ensuring that your vitamin B levels are adequate to deal with any increase in alcohol intake. Good food sources include wholegrains, legumes, avocado, nuts, seeds, and red meat.

TIP FIVE: Rich fatty foods and excessive alcohol consumption places a heavy burden on our already overworked livers. Give your liver a helping hand by consuming certain foods and herbs that help support healthy liver function. Have a good serving of sulfur-containing vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and onion and garlic with your festive meal. When cabbage is fermented to make sauerkraut, these protective sulfur compounds increase, making it a great addition to meals. Take the herb Milk Thistle daily to protect your liver cells from alcohol-induced damage, and to enhance liver detoxification. Swapping your morning coffee with a detoxing herbal tea containing liver tonic herbs such as dandelion root, schisandra berries, and turmeric, to help the liver remove alcohol and other toxins from the body safely. These herbs are found in Bodhi Organics PuriTEA and ZesTEA.

TIP SIX: Increase antioxidants in your daily diet. Antioxidants are important to help fight the cellular damage alcohol consumption can cause, as well as giving immune function and boost. Best sources of antioxidants include green tea (Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA), citrus fruits rich in vitamin C, berries, green leafs, kiwi fruit, rose hip tea (Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA)and turmeric.  Vitamin C is destroyed by alcohol, so supplementing with vitamin C daily is also recommended.

10 Top Ways to Boost Liver Detoxification

Liver Detoxification

10 TOP WAYS TO BOOST LIVER DETOXIFICATION

1. Dandelion root: This super liver herb makes a great caffeine-free alternative to coffee. Dandelion root stimulates liver detoxification, helping clear toxins from the body. It also boosts digestion and improves gallbladder function.

2. Kale: This nutrient-rich brassica vegetable contains high levels of sulfur compounds that are vital for liver detoxification. Add kale to your next veggie juice or salad.

3. Green tea: This antioxidant rich tea can help improve liver function by protecting it from the harmful effects of toxic substances including alcohol. Catechin, a polyphenol found in green tea, has been found to help prevent inflammation of the liver.

4. Avocado: This highly nutritious fruit helps boost glutathione production, which is one of the body’s master antioxidants necessary for the liver to remove toxins from the body safely.

5. Globe artichoke: This super liver vegetable contains cynarin, a chemical found mostly in the leaves of globe artichokes, which helps increase bile flow and strengthens liver and gallbladder function. The steamed leaves are delicious dipped in hummus, baba ghanoush, or tatziki. You can also take globe artichoke as a herbal tincture.

6. Garlic: Consuming garlic regularly is a great way to enhance liver function. It is a good source of selenium which is needed to produce glutathione in the liver, which is vital for detoxification to help eliminate toxic substances from the body.

7. Turmeric: Studies suggest that this super antioxidant-rich spice is beneficial for the liver by helping improve detoxification. Turmeric has also been shown to help increase glutathione production.

8. Broccoli sprouts: Broccoli sprouts contain concentrated levels of sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy liver detoxification. Broccoli sprouts contain anywhere up to 100 times more of these compounds compared to broccoli. Add fresh sprouts to meals, or add the powder to smoothies or fresh juices.

9. Milk Thistle: St Mary’s Thistle or Milk thistle is widely used by herbalists throughout the world for its ability to treat and protect the liver. Milk thistle enhances liver detoxification, helping to remove toxins from the liver and body. This valuable herb has the ability to protect the liver and regenerate injured liver cells. The dried herb can be taken as a tea or it is available in tablet or fluid extract form.

10. Reduce your toxic load: We ingest toxins daily in the foods we eat, in the water we drink and in the air we breath. All these toxins put extra pressure on our hard working livers, which will have a negative impact on our health. Lighten your toxic load by eating fresh organic produce, and drinking organic tea that’s free of pesticide and herbicide residue. Eat wholesome unprocessed foods that don’t contain artificial additives, preservatives and harmful trans-fats, and drink plenty of filtered water. Your liver will love you for it!

How to Prevent Adrenal Fatigue

How to Prevent Adrenal Fatigue

Wondering How to Prevent Adrenal Fatigue? Try these natural herbal remedies.

Withania (Withania somnifera), also known as Ashwagandha, is a popular Ayuverdic herb that is a highly effective ‘adaptogen’. Withania is used widely by herbalists to
improve the body’s resistance to stress along with strengthening the immune system. Withania supports adrenal health and calms the nervous system, making it beneficial for alleviating anxiety in people who feel stressed, strung-out, and exhausted. It also helps promote better quality sleep.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine as an ‘adaptogenic’ herb, to increase the body’s resistance to stress, beneficial during times of increased physical and mental stress. It is commonly used by herbalists to treat adrenal exhaustion, and helps boost immune function and vitality.

Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) has been used for centuries in Europe as an adaptogenic’ herb, to help reduce fatigue and exhaustion associated with prolonged stress. Rhodiola can also help improve mood and reduce stress levels. It has been found to have an antidepressant effect as it helps improve serotonin and dopamine levels, your ‘feel good’, calming hormones.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a highly effective adrenal tonic traditionally used in China for thousands of years, for alleviating stress and adrenal fatigue. Licorice helps prevent the breakdown of adrenal hormones including cortisol (the body’s main stress hormone), which makes these hormones more available to the body. Licorice is also beneficial for supporting immune health and decreasing inflammation throughout the body. Poor immune function and increased inflammation are symptoms fo adrenal fatigue.

Tulsi or holy or sacred basil is a well respected Ayurvedic herb which has been used for over 5,000 years to help promote longevity, and improve energy levels and treat fatigue. This effective ‘adaptogenic’ herb, which can be consumed as a tea, is beneficial for treating anxiety and adrenal fatigue.