Antioxidants for Longevity & Optimal Health

Antioxidants are a vital part of our body’s defense system against cell damaging free radicals that increase our risk of disease and premature ageing. Including a variety of antioxidant rich foods in our diet is one of the best ways we can prevent cell damage and optimize our health and longevity.

To understand why antioxidants are so crucial for good health we first need look how free radicals affect our us.

 

CELL DAMAGING FREE RADICALS

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that travel around the body attaching and binding to other molecules. This starts a destructive chain reaction turning any molecule they come in contact with into an unstable free radical. Free radicals cause damage to proteins, DNA and other cells throughout the body.

When free radicals accumulate oxidative stress occurs which is associated with the development of many chronic diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, heart disease, inflammatory conditions, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Free radicals building up in the body over time is also one of the major causes of ageing. Free radicals break down collagen and decreases the skin’s suppleness and elasticity, which leads to wrinkles and premature skin ageing.

 

WHAT CAUSES FREE RADICALS

Various environmental and dietary factors can increase the presence of destructive free radicals. These include over exposure to sunlight, environmental pollutants like exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, stress, and eating a typical Western diet rich in processed, sugary foods, and deep fried foods. Free radicals are also a natural by-product of chemical processes in the body such as metabolism.

You can help reduce your free radical load by choosing to buy organic produce and skin products, avoid using chemical household cleaning products, and look at ways to reduce and manage your stress through regular exercise, yoga and meditation. The best way however to fight free radicals is by eating a wholesome diet rich in colourful fresh fruits and vegetables that are abundant in a variety of protective antioxidant compounds.

 

HOW ANTIOXIDANTS OFFER PROTECTION

It’s the job of antioxidants to neutralise free radicals before they cause any damage to cells. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from reacting with other molecules, which breaks that destructive free radical chain reaction.

Antioxidants protect healthy cells while stoping the growth of malignant cells. They help strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, support liver detoxification and promote cardiovascular health. Antioxidants also help slow down the ageing process, helping to keep skin more youthful looking.

Our body makes a number of our important antioxidants such as glutathione, however we need larger amounts of antioxidants to keep free radicals under control. This is why we need a constant supply of antioxidants obtained through the diet from wholefoods such as berries, dark green leafy vegetables, avocadoes, tomatoes and green tea to keep free radicals in check. As we age our body’s natural production of antioxidants also start to decline, making an antioxidant rich diet even more vital for older people.

Some of our most potent antioxidant nutrients supplied through the diet include carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin), resveratrol, vitamin A, C and E, lycopene, selenium, flavanoids, querceitn, and astaxanthin. Other key antioxidants include alpha-lipoic acid, coQ10, and glutathione.

The more antioxidant rich foods we consume each day from high quality organic wholefoods the better our health will be and the lower our risk of disease. Here are some of the top antioxidant rich foods mother nature has to offer.

 

BROCCOLI SPROUTS:

Broccoli sprouts are little nutritional powerhouses, full of cell protective antioxidants including vitamins C and A. Broccoli sprouts also contain high levels of sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant compound that helps fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and supports healthy liver detoxification. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts are one of the best SOD (Superoxide dismutase) boosters, which is a super antioxidant and one of our most important anti-ageing compounds produced in the body. SOD helps fight damaging superoxide free radicals that lead to cell death and aging.

Adding raw broccoli sprouts to meals is an easy way to give your body an antioxidant boost. They can be easily and cheaply grown at home, or you can buy broccoli sprout powder to add to smoothies and fresh juices.

 

BERRIES:

Berries contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruits and vegetables, especially those with dark-coloured skins such as blueberries, black berries, black current, elderberries and super ‘purple berries’ maquai and acai. Their vibrant red, blue and purple colour signifies the presence of an important group of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Berries are also excellent sources of Vitamin C. Berries are best enjoyed with muesli, Bircher or porridge, mixed through yoghurt, smoothies, salads, and raw desserts.

 

WILD SALMON:

Astaxanthin is a type of super marine carotenoid that is found naturally in wild salmon. Astaxanthin is responsible for giving salmon their characteristic reddish-pink colour. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants around, said to have 54 times the antioxidant powers of beta-carotene and 65 times that of vitamin C, which are both some of our most potent free radical fighting nutrients. Astaxanthin can cross the blood brain barrier and has been found to help offer protection from cataracts, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

 

CACAO:

Chocolate, when in its raw cacao form, has many wonderful health benefits including promoting heart and cardiovascular health. Polyphenols, which are antioxidants found in cacao, can prevent bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol from clogging up arteries, and lower total cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. Good quality dark chocolate contains higher levels of these polyphenols compared to milk varieties. Raw cacao powder can be used to make delicious healthy chocolate raw desserts, cakes, protein balls, and chocolate smoothies.

 

AVOCADO:

Avocadoes are a super fruit loaded with important antioxidants nutrients needed for disease prevention. Avocadoes contains high levels of carotenoids including lutein and zeaxanthin which are required for healthy eyes and vision and for prevention of degenerative eye conditions such as macular degeneration. The dark green parts of the avocado nearest the skin contains the highest levels of carotenoids. Avocadoes are particularly rich in vitamin E. We need this beneficial nutrient to prevent heart disease and cancer and to boost immune function. Avocadoes are also one of the best natural sources of glutathione, considered the body’s master antioxidant, which plays a key role in liver detoxification and immune health. The majority of our glutathione is produced in the body from amino acids glutamine, glycine and cysteine, however it is also necessary that we increase our levels through dietary sources. Avocadoes are the perfect addition to salads, grainy toast, green smoothies, salad dressings, raw desserts, and to make nutritious dips like guacamole.

 

GREEN TEA:

Green tea is rich in polyphenols, namely catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which are powerful antioxidants. Drinking green tea regularly is associated with a reduced risk of high cholesterol, stroke, and cancer. EGCG slows down collagen and elastin breakdown and can help regenerate aging surface skin cells. These are two important proteins in the skin that gives the skin strength, tone and elasticity. Aim to drink at least 3 cups of a good quality organic green tea to reap this beneficial teas full health benefits. Try Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA.

 

GRAPEFRUIT:

This popular citrus fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are powerful free radical scavengers that help promote a strong functioning immune system and radiant youthful looking skin. Vitamin C is needed for collagen production and helps reduce premature skin ageing and skin damage caused from UV sun exposure.

Grapefruits like other citrus fruits are high in flavonoids called limonoid which has been found to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Fresh pink or red grapefruits contain higher levels of antioxidants compared to other varieties. Pink and red grapefruits contains anthyocyanins and the antioxidant lycopene which is known for its ability to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Choose fully ripe grapefruit as they have the highest levels of antioxidants.

Some delicious ways to enjoy grapefruit is sliced and tossed through salads and fruit salads, and blended into veggie juices. The rind is abundant in antioxidants particularly flavonoids so use grapefruit zest to decorate cakes, desserts or salads for extra antioxidant goodness.

 

POMEGRANATE:

Pomegranates contain many powerful antioxidant nutrients. Including pomegranates in the diet regularly can boost collagen production and help support healthy eyes and vision due to their high vitamin C and A content. This beautiful red fruit is abundant in the polyphenols, anthyocycanins and ellagic acid, which are all potent antioxidants that help protect skin cells from free radical damage caused from sun exposure, which is a major skin age accelerator. Try tossing pomegranate through salads or muesli, or mix them through yoghurt for a healthy snack. Try our antioxidant rich Rose hip and Hibiscus, Pomegranate Iced Tea.

 

TOMATO:

Red tomatoes are the richest source of Lycopene around. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid found in red fruits that have powerful antioxidant and anti-cancerous properties. This extremely efficient antioxidant is effective for warding off heart disease and several types of cancers, in particular prostate cancer.

Fresh tomatoes are the best source, however cooked tomato products such as pastes, sauces, and soups are more concentrated. 1 cup of tomato soup contains 7 times more of the antioxidant lycopene than one fresh tomato.

 

BRAZIL NUTS:

Brazil nuts are different from other nuts as they have exceptionally high levels of selenium. Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for good health but required only in small amounts. Selenium has strong antioxidant properties that can help prevent cellular damage from free radicals that contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Just one Brazil nut a day can supply you with more than the daily requirement of selenium, having around 95 mcg of selenium per nut. Eating Brazil nuts are also a good source of the antioxidant glutathione and vitamin E.

 

TURMERIC:

The super spice turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin which has been studied extensively for its powerful antioxidant properties. Turmeric has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Some delicious ways to enjoy turmeric is added to a mango smoothie or turmeric latte, as a tea with some ginger and lemon, or added to steamed rice, curries, lentil dahls, salad dressings or scrambled eggs. Try Bodhi Organic ZesTEA and CognitiviTEA.

 

KALE:

Kale is a brassica green leafy vegetable that is packed with phytochemicals that help combat free radicals and reduce the risk of cancers and other chronic diseases. Green leafy vegetables like kale provide two important carotenoid antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are beneficial for protecting the eyes from age related diseases like macular degeneration and vision loss. Kale and other brassica vegetables are also excellent sources of sulphur-compounds that the body needs to make glutathione. Kale is also abundant in vitamin C, beta-carotene and selenium.

The best way to enjoy kale is chopped and massaged with a little olive oil and lemon juice then tossed through a salad. Try adding kale to green juices, frittatas, soups, stews or stir-fries. Make pesto using half kale and half basil or try oven baked kale chips as a snack.

 

PURPLE AND RED GRAPES:

Purple and red grapes contain resveratrol which has been studied extensively for its health promoting and anti-ageing properties. Resveratrol, known as the ‘fountain of youth’ is a potent antioxidant that occurs naturally in several plants in response to stress, attack by bacteria or fungi, or ultraviolet radiation.

Scientists at Harvard University have found that resveratrol has the ability to turn on a particular gene (SIRT1) that has been proven to extend life, mimicking that of calorie restriction. Resveratrol can also help reduce the risk of cancer, improve heart health and lower inflammation. Red wine also contains high levels of resveratrol.

 

Written by Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea.

Natural Ways To Spice Up Your Sex Drive

increase sex drive

Having a healthy sex drive plays an important part of our health and wellbeing. Low libido is a common problem for both women and men. There are many reasons why people lose their sex drive. Tiredness, stress, depression, adrenal fatigue, certain medications (antidepressants and hypertensive drugs), excessive alcohol consumption, hormonal changes and low testosterone levels can all play a part in reducing libido. Having a newborn can also put the breaks on your sex drive for a while due, primarily, to lack of sleep and recovery after giving birth.

Did you know that what you eat can also affect your desire for sex. Eating a healthy diet rich in important nutrients like zinc, B vitamins and essential fatty acids that are required for sex hormone production and reproductive function are also vital for a healthy libido.

Here are some of the top foods and herbs that will help spice things up in the bedroom.

 

Fenugreek

According to a study out of the University of Queensland’s school of medicine, the spice fenugreek can apparently liven up a lot more than a curry. Researchers found that fenugreek can help increase arousal, sexual behavior, sexual drive and orgasm in both men and women. Fenugreek contains active compounds called saponins that help regulate hormones and increase testosterone levels. Testosterone levels commonly decrease in men with age. Low testosterone levels are also a cause of low libido in women. Fenugreek is an ingredient in curry powder, Asian sauces, chutneys and other condiments. Fenugreek seeds can also be sprouted and used on salads and sandwiches.

 

Withania

Withania (Ashwagandha) is an Ayurvedic herb with a long history as a natural aphrodisiac. One of the oldest books on sexuality, The Kama Sutra, lists withania as a powerful sexual stimulant. It helps improve sexual desire by increasing blood flow to the genitals which helps increase arousal and sensitivity. Withania is also a well-known adaptogenic herb that supports the adrenals. This supportive herb calms the nervous system and assists the body with coping with stress in a healthier way. Stress and poor adrenal function is a major cause of hormonal imbalance. The adrenal glands produce DHEA a hormone that is the precursor to several sex hormones including testosterone. A common symptom of adrenal fatigue is low libido. You will find this libido boosting herb in our Bodhi Organic VitaliTEA.

 

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac found in your supermarket isle. When you eat chocolate you actually get an increase in endorphins, the same chemicals you release when you are in love. Dark chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, a chemical that boosts dopamine levels, which increases your feelings of desire. Dark chocolate, or even better cacao or ‘raw chocolate’, is rich in powerful antioxidants called phenols, which are good for your heart too.

 

Maca

Maca is a root vegetable native to Peru, which has been used for thousands of years as a nutritious food staple. This Perivan superfood is considered an ‘adaptogen’, as it works wonders for improving energy levels and helping you cope with the stressful demands of modern life. Maca also has a positive effect on our hormonal system, helping to correct hormone imbalances in the body. It is a good source of zinc needed for sex hormone production and B vitamins and magnesium to help support healthy energy levels. Maca is also called ‘Nature’s Viagra’, as it is best known for its aphrodisiac qualities and ability to improve libido and sexual performance. It is particularly beneficial for people with low libido when fatigue, stress and hormonal imbalances are issues. Maca powder has a light, nutty flavour that mixes well in smoothies, muffins, protein balls, or sprinkled over breakfast cereal.

 

Chilies

Adding chilies to meals is a great way to help spice things up in the bedroom. Chilies contain a compound called capsaicin that can help give your libido a boost by increasing your heart rate and blood flow, and stimulating the release of endorphins, your brains ‘feel-good’ hormone.

 

Celery

Celery is also a surprising libido boosting food. Eating celery can increase the pheromone androsterone, which is a natural aphrodisiac found in male perspiration, which can make men more sexually appealing to women. Celery also contains chemicals that can help dilate blood vessels and enhance climax.

 

Bananas

Including bananas in the diet can also help improve your sex drive. Bananas are an excellent source of B vitamins, needed to increase energy production and lower stress levels (which can dampen your libido). Bananas also contain an amino acid called tryptophan, needed to make serotonin, your ‘feel good’ hormone.

 

Libido-boosting Herbs

Libido boosting herbs that are commonly used by herbalists and naturopaths include Damiana (Turnera diffusa), Tribulus terrestris, Yohimbe, and horny goat weed (Epimedium). Ginkgo biloba is also recommended to help boost sex drive as it helps to enhance blood flow, including blood flow to the reproductive organs which can be useful for improving erectile dysfunction and enhancing orgasms in women. You will find Ginkgo biloba in our Bodhi Organic CognitiviTEA.

 

Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Munching on these nutritious seeds can help improve your sex life. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc, which is one of the most important minerals when it comes to reproductive health and libido. Zinc is especially important for producing testosterone which is vital for a healthy sex drive in both men and women. Seeds also contain healthy fats that are essential for sexual health.

 

Oysters

Part of oyster’s aphrodisiac qualities are due to their texture and how they feel when you eat them, and partly due to their high levels of libido enhancing zinc.

 

Written by Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea.

Treating Depression Naturally

natural remedy for depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in Australia and around the globe. It is estimated that 1 in 7 people will suffer from some type of depression in their lifetime.

 

It’s normal to feel a little sad or low at times, but being depressed is so much more.  It can be a very serious, debilitating and a potentially life-threatening illness. People who are depressed can find it extremely difficult to function on a day-to-day basis. They commonly have feelings of worthlessness and anxiety, often lack energy and motivation, and have poor concentration and sleep. Significant weight loss or weight gain is also commonly seen in depressed individuals.

 

Contributing factors that are associated with a greater risk of developing depression include hormonal imbalances (particularly women pre-menstrually, post-natally and during peri-menopause), environmental factors (financial and work stress, relationship problems, death of a loved one), neurotransmitter imbalances and nutritional deficiencies, certain prescription drugs (corticosteroids, the contraceptive pill), regular recreational drug use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Those with a family history of depression are also more likely to suffer from the illness at some point in their life.

 

Anti-depressants are generally the first port of call for the treatment of depression. Antidepressants do have their place, especially for those suffering severe depression, however problems do exist with their effectiveness and their unwanted side effects can lead to poor compliance. Common side effects associated with anti-depressants include weight gain, sexual dysfunction, tachycardia, and drowsiness.

 

There is definitely a great need for complementary and orthodox practitioners to work together for the greater health and treatment of their depressive patients. Herbal and nutritional medicines along with diet plays a huge role in the management and treatment of depression.

 

After consulting with a medical practitioner for diagnosis, consulting with an integrative doctor, naturopath or herbalist to discuss the best natural treatments for depression is recommended before going down the pharmaceutical path. A counsellor or psychologist should also be an integral part of any treatment plan. If pharmaceutical medications are required, herbs and other natural medicines have been shown to help improve the effectiveness of anti-depressants along with helping to lessen their side effects.

 

MOOD BOOSTING NUTRITION

Good nutrition plays a fundamental role in the management and treatment of depression. We need optimal amounts of specific nutrients, including omega-3 essential fatty acids, B vitamins, iron, vitamin D, to support the production of neurotransmitters that enhance our mood, sleep and emotional wellbeing.

 

There is a definite link between fast food consumption and depression. Common nutritional deficiencies associated with the standard Western diet, rich in refined sugars and fats, can make you more susceptible to developing depression.

 

There is now plenty of scientific evidence supporting the importance of eating a wholesome diet for emotional health and prevention of depression. A well-balanced diet delivers brain-boosting nutrients that help regulate brain chemistry to support emotional health. Specific amino acids, vitamins and minerals received through a healthy diet are needed to produce the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid). Deficiencies in these neurotransmitters are associated with the development of depression. (1)

 

The healthy Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats from olive oil and fish and fresh fruits and vegetables, with lower amounts of red meat and dairy, has been found to be associated with a lower risk of depression. (2)

 

REDUCE CAFFEINE & ALCOHOL

Alcohol and coffee are also a common part of the Western diet. Excessive amounts of caffeine can exacerbate anxiety and depressive symptoms. Too much caffeine can negatively affect dopamine transmission which will alter normal neurotransmitter function. Too much caffeine will also disrupt sleep, deplete essential B nutrients needed for neurotransmitter production, and will put stress on the adrenal glands. Adrenal stress is associated with depression, fatigue and the inability to cope with stress. Drinking to much alcohol can also exacerbate depressive symptoms. Alcohol is a known depressant. Switching your morning cup of coffee to a caffeine-free herbal tea like chamomile, licorice, holy basil, ginger, or peppermint is a great way to lower your caffeine intake while reaping the health benefits herbal teas have to offer. Green tea is another excellent lower caffeine option.

 

AMINO ACIDS NEEDED TO PRODUCE KEY NEUROTRANSMITTERS

Including adequate good quality protein in the diet is paramount for anyone suffering from depression. Protein plays a vital role in the synthesis of important neurotransmitters needed for emotional health and wellbeing.

Studies have shown that supplementing with amino acids tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and methionine is beneficial for enhancing mood and is useful in the treatment of depression. (3,4).

 

Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel happy and content, is manufactured in the body using tryptophan. This essential amino acid cannot be produced in the body so it must be supplied through the diet or supplementation. Tryptophan is also needed to produce melatonin which is vital for sleep. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. Supplementing with tryptophan has been shown to help restore serotonin levels and improve quality of sleep. (5)

 

A study published in JAMA psychiatry reported that people with clinical depression also have significantly lower brain levels of dopamine. (6) Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for creating a positive mood and enjoyment of life. People with low dopamine levels feel a loss of pleasure for things they once enjoyed like exercising, socialising with friends, or sex. They have poor concentration and focus and little or no motivation. The amino acid tyrosine is a natural dopamine booster. Tyrosine is converted to dopamine in the body, which makes it beneficial for enhancing mood and motivation.

 

Methionine is an amino acid that is needed by the body to make S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is a precursor to serotonin and dopamine. Supplementing with SAMe in the treatment of depression has been shown to be very effective without the common side effects of anti-depressants. Supplementing with SAMe can also boost the effectiveness of pharmaceutical anti-depressants. (7)

 

The best food sources of these key amino acids include eggs, poultry, red meat, fish and seafood, dairy, soy and legumes, nuts and seeds. Bananas are also a great source of tryptophan.

 

GREEN TEA

According to a Japanese study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, higher green tea consumption is associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms. (8) Polyphenols such as flavonoids found in high levels in green tea have been found to have anti-depressive properties. Scientists have also discovered that L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, has an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effect. (9) L-theanine can help improve mood by increasing brain dopamine, GABA and serotonin levels. (10) GABA is a neurotransmitter that inhibits the activity of nerve cells. Improving GABA levels will help promote relaxation to relieve anxiety and improve mood and sleep. People with depression have lower brain GABA levels.

 

GUT HEALTH

The health of your digestive system is closely related to your emotional wellbeing. Our gut plays a key role in guarding against the development of anxiety and depression-related disorders. Most of our brain chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, GABA and norepinephrine are produced in the gut. Dysbiosis and gut inflammation have been linked to several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression. Incorporating probiotic rich foods in the diet and supplementing with a good quality broad spectrum probiotic will help restore normal gut microbiome to help improve mood and promote emotional health. Studies have shown that probiotic supplementation is effective at alleviating depression and anxiety symptoms. (11) Some of the best probiotic rich foods include yoghurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, kimichi, kombucha, and kvass.

 

ANTI-DEPRESSANT HERBAL MEDICINES

St John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum): St John’s wort is a medicinal herb commonly used by naturopaths and herbalists for its anti-depressant effect. St John’s wort’s mood boosting action is due to its ability to increase the availability of serotonin, dopamine and norephinephrine to the brain. Studies have shown that St John’s wort is beneficial for treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety, and is just as effective as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) such as Prozac and Zoloft. (12) St John’s wort has also been found to be successful in treating SAD, and mood swings associated with pre-menstrual syndrome and menopause. St John’s wort can interact with certain medications so take caution when taking this herb with pharmaceutical anti-depressants, sedatives, migraine medications or heart medications.

 

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea): Rhodiola or golden root has been used for thousands of years in Europe and across Asia to improve stamina, strength and mental performance. Rhodiola is another valuable ‘adaptogenic’ herb that is beneficial for improving depression and intense physical and emotional stress. (13) Studies have shown that rhodiola can significantly reduce mild to moderate depression, without the side effects of pharmaceutical anti-depressants. (14) Rhodiola enhances the stability of dopamine and supports its reuptake, which results in improvements in depression, anxiety, and fatigue, along with an increased ability to handle stress. (15) Rhodiola also increases the blood brain barrier permeability to compounds needed to make dopamine and serotonin, including 5-HTP. (31) 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin.

 

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis): Lemon balm is a member of the mint family that has long been 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. Lemon balm has a sedative and calming effect on the nervous system. Lemon balm and one of its key active compounds rosmarinic acid boosts levels of GABA in the brain by inhibiting the enzyme that normally breaks down this relaxing neurotransmitter. (16) Elevated GABA levels can help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.

 

Bodhi Organic PositiviTEA contains the mood boosting herbs St John's Wort, Rhodiola and Lemon balm.

 

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

Brilliant Iced Tea Cocktail Recipes for the Festive Season

iced tea cocktail

Iced teas make the perfect healthy, sugar-free cocktail mixers for your summer parties and Christmas celebrations. Using iced teas also has the added benefit of supercharging your cocktails with liver protective antioxidants.

Here are some of our favourite Bodhi iced tea cocktail recipes for you to enjoy over the festive season.

 

Rosemary & Grapefruit Greyhound

Ingredients:

250mls chilled Bodhi Organic ZesTEA*
200mls freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 Tbsp raw honey
2 shots vodka or white rum
Ice
Rosemary for Garnish

Method:

Combine iced tea, grapefruit juice, honey and vodka.

Pour over ice and garnish with rosemary and slices of grapefruit.

Makes 2 cocktails.

For a mocktail replace the alcohol with sparkling mineral water.

* Using a tea infuser brew 1 tsp of ZesTEA in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, then put in the fridge to cool.

iced chai cocktail

Iced Chai Irish Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup chilled Bodhi Organic Masala Chai *
2 heap tsp raw honey or maple syrup
2 shots Baily’s Irish Cream, Kahlua or Tia Maria
Ice
Cinnamon stick as garnish

Method:

Fill a glass with ice and pour over chilled Masala Chai.

Add Bailys and honey and stir.

Garnish with a stick of cinnamon.

Makes 2 glasses.

* Place 1 Tbsp of Bodhi Organic Masala Chai with 1 cup of milk of your choice in a small saucepan, and heat for 5 minutes. Strain and place in the fridge to cool.

iced tea cocktail

Iced Green Tea Mojito

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chilled Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA *
2 limes, cut into wedges
4 heap tsp raw honey
Handful mint
2 shots white rum
Ice

Method:

Place lime wedges in the bottom of a glass with a small handful of mint.

Drizzle with honey and then muddle.

Fill the glass with ice, and then top with chilled tea and rum.

Makes 2 glass.

For a mocktail replace the alcohol with sparkling mineral water.

* Using a tea infuser brew 1 tsp of ViridiTEA in 1 cup of near boiling water for 3 minutes, then put in the fridge to cool.

iced tea cocktail

Pomegranate & Hibiscus Iced Tea Cocktail

Ingredients:

250 ml chilled Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA *
150 ml pomegranate juice
2 shots vodka
Squeeze fresh lime
Ice
Garnish with mint leaves and slices of lime and fresh berries

Method:

Place ice in a tall glass. Pour over chilled tea and pomegranate juice.

Add a squeeze of fresh lime and vodka.

Garnish with slices of lime and mint leaves and fresh berries.

Makes 2 glass.

For a mocktail replace the alcohol with sparkling mineral water.

* Using a tea infuser brew 1 heap tsp of Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Place in the fridge to cool.

iced tea cocktail

Hibiscus & Rosehip Iced Tea Cosmopolitan

Ingredients:

200mls chilled Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA*
200mls cranberry juice
2 shot vodka
2 shot Cointreau
Squeeze fresh lime
Berries
Ice

Method:

Fill a tall glass with ice.

Combine iced tea, cranberry juice and vodka and Cointreau with lime.

Pour over ice and garnish with berries and lime slices.

Makes 2 cocktails.

For a mocktail replace the alcohol with sparkling mineral water.

* Using a tea infuser brew 1 heap tsp of Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Place in the fridge to cool.

 

Anti-inflammatory Foods and Herbs for Greater Longevity

anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is the root of most chronic diseases. Chronic, systemic low-grade inflammation often goes undetected in the body for years, silently damaging tissues in the body until disease takes hold. It's often only when signs and symptoms of disease appear that we become aware of this chronic inflammation. Inflammation plays a major role in the development of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, asthma, obesity, inflammatory bowel conditions, auto-immune diseases, leaky gut and metabolic syndrome. What you eat can either trigger or dampen inflammation in the body. Eating a wholesome diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and herbs is of upmost importance for preventing inflammation in the body, to reduce the risk of chronic disease and to promote longevity. A recent study has shown how important inflammation levels are for predicting longevity. The study showed that low levels of inflammation in the body is a powerful predictor of longevity in people who live over 100 years old, even more so than telomere length (the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes).

 

Inflammation in a healthy person is a normal response when we injure ourselves to help accelerate healing. The immune system sends a flood of white blood cells to the injured area by increasing blood flow to the site which can cause swelling, heat, redness and pain. A problem occurs when inflammation continues and becomes chronic. This can happen when the immune system overreacts and starts attacking healthy tissue in the body (auto-immunity), or if there is an underlying infection the body is trying to fight, or a repetitive physical stress on joints or a particular part of the body.

 

Here are some of the top ways to keep inflammation at bay and promote optimal health.

 

KEEP INSULIN LEVELS LOW:

Keeping your insulin levels low is important for preventing chronic inflammation. Eating refined sugary foods regularly will elevate your glucose and insulin levels and will increase inflammation in the body. You can actually test for inflammation by testing your fasting blood insulin level. The higher your fasting insulin levels are the higher your levels of inflammation will be. Some of the best ways to maintain low insulin levels is to exercise regularly and limit refined junk foods. Exercise is one of the best ways to normalise insulin levels and to prevent insulin resistance. If you are insulin resistant your cells are unable to use insulin effectively to absorb glucose, which leads to glucose building up in the blood. Other important dietary ways to maintain healthy insulin levels is to avoid refined grains like white breads and crackers, along with steering clear of processed foods rich in refined sugars such as breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes and muesli bars and soft drinks. Go for nutritious unprocessed foods that have a low GI. These foods are rich in fibre and good quality protein, and contain healthy fats e.g. legumes, wholegrains (brown rice, whole oats), raw nuts and seeds (quinoa), vegetables, and oily fish.

 

AVOID PROCESSED REFINED FOODS AND ENJOY NATURAL FOODS:

Processed foods contain highly inflammatory ingredients like refined oils (vegetable oils) and sugars (including high-fructose corn syrup) that will produce inflammatory cytokines in the body. Vegetable oils including corn, soy and peanut oils oxidise quickly when heated and form trans-fats and aldehydes which are highly inflammatory. One of the best ways to make the change to an anti-inflammatory diet is to stop eating processed, refined foods and instead enjoy a diet rich in wholesome, natural, unprocessed, preferably organic foods that are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals and nutrients that are anti-inflammatory. Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, avocadoes, raw nuts and seeds (tahini and nut butters), quinoa, oily fish and healthy oils (olive, avocado, flaxseed, macadamia nut). Store your oils properly in a cool dark place. Olive oil is a great choice for cooking at moderate temperatures, and avocado, flax, olive and macadamia nut oils are all excellent oils to drizzle over salads and veggies.  Moderate amounts of fructose from whole fruits and vegetables is fine it's just when you get large amounts of refined fructose that it can lead to increased inflammation and an increased risk of diseases such as obesity, cancer, fatty liver, insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.

 

EXERCISE REGULARLY:

Regular exercise is an excellent way to lower chronic inflammation in the body. Unfortunately, the average person spends around 10 hours a day sitting at their desk. Sitting for long periods of time can have a detrimental impact on your health increasing your risk of insulin resistance. Research has shown that sitting for more than 8 hours a day can increase your risk of type-2 diabetes by a whooping 90%.

To help keep you moving throughout the day set a reminder every hour to get up and move about. Aim to do around 10,000 steps each day. Ways you can do this is by walking to work, to the grocery store or to pick up your kids. Working at a stand up desk can also help. Try doing some squats or leg raises while working. Schedule in some high intensity training or weight training during the week too. This will help stimulate your muscles to release myokines, which are anti-inflammatory chemical messengers that inhibit the release of inflammatory cytokines. Be mindful though that overtraining can increase inflammation.

 

EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:

Fruits and vegetables are rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C. Berries (blueberries, raspberries, acai, strawberries, black berries), dark green leafies (kale, Swiss chard, spinach), beetroot, cherries, pomegranates, oranges, tomatoes, lemons, carrots, pineapple, kiwi, papaya, broccoli and mangoes all have a strong anti-inflammatory action. If you find it difficult to get your daily dose of anti-inflammatory green leafies and vegetables try having a veggie juice or green smoothie to up your intake. Some good veggie juice combinations include carrot, beetroot, celery, apple, ginger and lemon; and pineapple, kale, cucumber, celery and mint. Or try our Kale Green Tea Super Smoothie. Pineapple contains bromelain which is an enzyme that has been found to help reduce inflammation and aids digestion. Guacamole makes a particularly nutritious anti-inflammatory snack with some veggie sticks or dehydrated veggie crackers.

 

TOP ANTI-INFLAMMATORY HERBAL TEAS:

Swap your morning coffee for a delicious cup of licorice (Bodhi TranquiliTEA), ginger and turmeric (Bodhi ZesTEA) or chamomile (Bodhi SereniTEA) tea. These fabulous herbs have been used by herbalists for centuries for their anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon is another wonderful anti-inflammatory spice that can be enjoyed in chai (Bodhi Masala Chai), or added to hot almond or coconut milk for a delicious anti-inflammatory latte. Studies have found that green tea is another good choice as it helps to dampen inflammation in the body. Rose hip tea has also been found to be an effective anti-inflammatory drink (Bodhi LongeviTEA)

 

NUTS AND SEEDS:

Turn your snacks, smoothies, breakfast cereals and salads into super anti-inflammatory meals by adding a handful of raw nuts and seeds eg. walnuts, Brazil, cashew, almonds, hazelnut, chia, hemp, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pepitas. Nuts and seeds provide unsaturated fats, including essential omega 3 fats (found in chia, flax, walnuts) and vitamin E and zinc which have anti-inflammatory actions. Nut butters and tahini (sesame seeds) are also delicious ways to enjoy these anti-inflammatory foods.

 

OPTIMISE YOUR GUT HEALTH:

Making sure your gut is healthy with a good balance of gut microbiome (bacteria) is important for supporting the immune system and warding off inflammation. Including fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented veggies with meals is a great way to boost your beneficial bacteria in your gut and reduce the risk of gut inflammation. Taking a good quality multi-strain probiotic supplement daily is also recommended to help maintain a healthy gut microbiome balance.

 

SPICE UP MEALS:

Spice up your meals by adding ginger, turmeric, garlic and chilli. These fantastic anti-inflammatory herbs will not only add flavour to your meals but will also help fight inflammation.

 

REDUCE RED MEAT:

Eating too much red meat will promote inflammation. Red meat and processed deli meats are pro-inflammatory foods. If you do eat some red meat make sure it is organic and grass-fed, as commercially grown meats are higher in inflammatory compounds.  Marinade your meat in olive oil and garlic as this will form a protective coating on the meat which will help reduce the formation of inflammatory compounds when its cooked. Cook your meat on low-medium temperature and don’t burn it.

 

INCLUDE OILY FISH:

Oily fish like salmon are great sources of omega-3 fats, so they're a wonderful anti-inflammatory food. Aim to have fish 3 x week. Alaskan wild salmon, trout, cod, mackerel and sardines are all good choices. Tuna, especially tinned tuna made from large tuna are notoriously high in heavy metals like mercury, so this should be an occasional food. If you do buy tinned tuna go for skipjack ‘Light’ tuna, not the ‘chunk’ variety as skipjack are smaller tuna. Salmon (fresh or tinned) is lower in heavy metals, so a great choice. Taking a good quality fish oil or krill oil supplement is also a great way to increase your anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

 

BEST ANTI-INFLAMMATORY NUTRIENTS:

There are a number of important vitamins and minerals that help dampen inflammation. Vitamin A is an immune enhancer and anti-inflammatory nutrient which is found in cod liver oil, and as beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables and green leafy veggies. Zinc is another essential nutrient for healthy immune function and for its anti-inflammatory action found in fish, legumes, nuts and seeds. Quercetin is a flavonoid known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Good sources of quercetin include black grapes, raspberries, broccoli, kale, onions and apples. Beneficial anti-inflammatory unsaturated fats found in oily fish, avocado, raw nuts and seeds (including their oils, tahini and nut butters), and extra virgin olive oil are all anti-inflammatory foods that can help soothe inflammation. Vitamin E is another nutrient that has been found to have potent anti-inflammatory action. You will find vitamin E in foods such as avocado, olive oil, raw nuts and seeds.

 

Making positive changes now towards an anti-inflammatory diet and a more active lifestyle will be one of the best things you can do to live longer and prevent chronic disease. Make a couple of dietary changes each week. Start by clearing out your cupboards of any processed sugary foods and replace them with healthy unprocessed natural foods. Visit your local growers market and stock up on lots of lovely fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. Buy a new whole foods cook book and experiment with new anti-inflammatory vegetarian recipes. Your body and taste buds will love you for it!

 

Written by Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea.

Create Your Daily Mindfulness Tea Ritual

Mindfulness, being truly present in the moment, is something the Japanese have been practicing for centuries through beautiful rituals like their Japanese tea ceremony. The Japanese tea ceremony or Chanoyu (hot water for tea), chado or sado (the way of tea) has long been an integral part of traditional Japanese culture.

The Japanese tea ceremony is a spiritual ritual deeply rooted in Chinese Zen philosophy were the ultimate aim is to attain deep spiritual satisfaction through drinking tea with complete awareness and appreciation for the beauty and uniqueness of the present moment. Focusing on every element including the look, taste and smell of the tea, the feel and appearance of the tea cups, the different colours and textures in the room and the people you are sharing it with.

It is a way for people to escape from the mundane of day to day living, and to connect with family, friends and nature to experience calmness and inner peace. During the Japanese tea ceremony, tea is prepared in such a way that all of one’s attention and heart goes into the preparing and serving of the tea for their guests. It is an occasion to appreciate the purity and simplicity of tea and to celebrate the fact that this moment, in this place with these people, will never happen again. It’s also a time that friendships are strengthened through being completely present in each others company.

Many of us have lost the ability to feel truly present in the moment. We live in such a face paced society, we are constantly immersed in devices and rushing from one place to the next. Practicing mindful tea drinking can help you feel more grounded and present.

Mindfulness is a state of being, achieved by focusing your attention and awareness on the present moment, while you calmly connect to your breath, and acknowledge and accept your feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations felt throughout your body.

Mindful tea drinking:

Mindful tea drinking is a lovely way to bring mindfulness into your daily life. It is a lovely practical way to remind yourself to be conscious in the now, not worrying about the past or feeling anxious about the future. Drinking organic tea and herbal tisanes with mindfulness will help you to feel more calm and relaxed, and will allow you to reconnect with yourself, your body, and those around you.

Paying close attention to, and appreciating the finer details of preparing and brewing organic loose leaf tea, will also allow you to enjoy a more enriched drinking experience that will engage all of the senses. Making loose leaf tea may take a few minutes more than when using tea bags, that extra time and attention it requires allows you to slow down and reconnect. Tea bags are made for busy people!!! There is something unsatisfying about unconsciously throwing a teabag in a cup then going on with your busy day.

How to create your own mindful tea ritual:

Set aside a time each day to practice mindful tea drinking. Create your own tea time ritual as a gesture of self care, which will help carry feelings of inner peace and wellbeing into your day to day life.

It might be in the morning to energize yourself for the day ahead, or to de-stress and ground yourself at work, or to calm your mind and body ready for bed.

Start by.....

Placing a spoonful of whole loose leaf Bodhi Organic tea in your favourite teapot.

Smell the aroma of the dried leaves as the settle in your teapot.

Listen to the sound of the water being poured over the leaves.

Observe the beauty of the leaves swelling and expanding.

Think about the leaves being handpicked from organic tea farms around the world.

Watch the water change colour and the steam rise from the pot.

Listen to the sound of your tea being poured into your favourite cup.

Find a quiet comfortable place to sit, take a deep breath in and exhale, expelling any feelings of stress and tension in the body.

Feel the smoothness of your cup in your hands and on your lips as you take your first sip.

With each mouthful feel the warmth of your tea move from your mouth to your stomach, then disperse through your body.

Savour each mouthful, appreciating its rich flavour and aroma.

Bring your focus to your body and how this tea makes your feel. Calm and relaxed, or energized and alert.

Pay attention to what feelings this tea evokes in you.

 

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

DIY Green Tea Beauty Products

Women who use make-up on a daily basis are absorbing almost 5lb (2.3kg) of chemicals a year into their bodies, it is claimed. If you'd like to decrease your exposure to chemicals, you can find a lot of natural fabulous ingredients in your kitchen cupboard such as green tea. To make DIY Green Tea Beauty Products just follow these simple recipes. Not only will you be saving money, your skin will feel and look healthier, and you will be saving your skin from any nasty chemicals.

Scientists are discovering numerous benefits of using green tea topically on the skin. Green tea is rich in skin protective antioxidants, including vitamin C and E, polyphenols and carotenoids. Studies have shown that when applied topically green tea can help promote youthful healthy skin. It has been found to possess anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous effects (1), (2), (3).

Research has shown that green tea contains high levels of the polyphenol epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), which when applied topically can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and lower the risk of photo ageing and skin cancer. Green tea can give you a smoother and healthier complexion (4).

DIY Green Tea Beauty Products - Eye Treatment

This simple eye treatment can help reduce puffiness and darkness under the eyes.

Ingredients:  2 tsp Organic green tea (Try Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA)

Method:

Steep tea for 5 minutes in 1 cup of near boiling water, strain and then place in the fridge to cool. Soak cotton pads in green tea and place on eyes. Lie down relax for 20 minutes.

NOTE: To reap green teas vitamin C benefits cold brew your tea by steeping 3 tsp of green tea in 1 cup of cold water overnight in the fridge.

DIY Green Tea Beauty Products - Toner

Many commercial toners are made with alcohol.  Many forms of alcohol are common ingredients in skin care products, all of which can be irritating and drying to the skin. A natural, alcohol-free toner can be made easily, and cheaply with green tea. This antioxidant rich toner is beneficial for all skin types, particularly for mature skin to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Ingredients:

1 tsp organic green tea (Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA)

1 cup near boiling water

2 drops of essential oil: lavender (relaxing), tea tree (for oily, acne prone skin), peppermint or rosemary.

Method:  Steep tea for 5 minutes, strain, and then place in the fridge to cool. Add desired essential oils and then pour into a glass jar or bottle. Apply to a freshly cleansed face with a cotton pad. Then apply a good natural moisturiser.

DIY Green Tea Beauty Products - Body Scrub

This delicious smelling green tea and coconut body scrub is an excellent way to remove dead skin from your body. Your skin will feel smooth, soft and silky. Use this scrub 1-2 x week.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cooled strong green tea (Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA)

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 Tbsp raw honey

Method: Mix ingredients together well in a jar and then apply to your body in a circular motion.

 

While you are treating your skin you might also like to treat yourself to a delicious relaxing Bodhi Organic Tea like TranquiliTEA, or SeneniTEA, with a healthy guilt free treat.

 

By Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea

 

 

 

(1) Pillai SP, Mitscher LA, et al. Antimutagenic/antioxidant activity of green tea components and related compounds. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol (1999);18(3):147-58.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15281227

(2) Isemura M, Saeki K, Kimura T, et al. Tea catechins and related polyphenols as anti-cancer agents. Biofactors (2000);13(1-4):81-5.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11237204

(3) Park AM, Dong Z. Signal transduction pathways: targets for green and black tea polyphenols. J Biochem Mol Biol (2003) Jan 31;36(1):66-77.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12542977

 (4) Katiyar SK. Skin photoprotection by green tea: antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects. Curr Drug Targets Immune Endocr Metabol Disord (2003) Sep;3(3):234-42.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12871030

 

 

 

New Year Resolutions, I Will Clean Up My Diet

New Year Resolutions

How often do we promise ourselves that 'we’ll get our act together' and eat only healthy foods in the New Year?  It’s a tall order and usually only lasts a short time if we’ve bothered even to start at all.  But I’ve come up with some ways that will hopefully help make one of your New Year resolutions a reality.

  1. First of all don’t overwhelm yourself and try to make too many radical changes to your diet in one go. If you pace yourself and gradually start to introduce new foods and swap unhealthy foods to healthier alternatives over the next few weeks you will be more likely to stick to your new healthy dietary regime.
  2. One of the best things you can do to start the New Year off in a healthy way is to give your liver a rest from alcohol. Get into fresh vegie juices, a couple of great liver loving combos include carrot, beetroot, celery, apple, lemon and ginger; or spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, pineapple and mint. Try cutting down of coffee and replace it with some health boosting herbal teas including ginger (ZesTEA), peppermint (VitaliTEA), chamomile (SereniTEA), and green tea (ViridiTEA). Dandelion root is a healthy caffeine-free alternative to coffee and does wonders for helping the liver detox. It can be made with milk or as a tea (PuriTEA). Don’t forget to drink lots of water too, around 2 litres a day will help flush toxins from your body. Natural sparkling mineral water with a splash of fresh lemon or iced teas are also refreshing ways to stay hydrated on a hot summer’s day.
  3. Your aim should be to get rid of as many processed and refined foods in your diet as you can and start replacing them with nutritious and natural, unprocessed alternatives. A good place to start is by cleaning out your cupboards and fridge of all your packaged unhealthy foods like sugary breakfast cereals and biscuits, soft drink, and unhealthy sauces. Natural, unprocessed foods are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Eating more of these types of nutritious foods and less processed, refined foods will promote good health and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, cancer and diabetes.
  4. Next, start swapping refined ‘white’ grains such as breads, pasta and rice, for healthy fibre-rich wholegrain alternatives including grainy breads, brown rice, whole oats and wholemeal pasta. Wholegrain foods are important sources of sustained energy, fibre, B vitamins and vitamin E. Choosing these foods over refined ‘white’ carbohydrate foods will help you maintain a healthy weight and help to keep blood sugar and insulin levels nice and balanced.
  5. Then, swap unhealthy saturated and trans-fats for healthy unsaturated fats. Replace vegetable cooking oil with virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Instead of butter or margarine you can use flaxseed oil drizzled on toast or avocado. Make your own healthy mayo out of Greek yoghurt, and salad dressings from seed and nut oils, lemon juice and fresh herbs and spices. Instead of buying greasy take-away meals make your own healthy homemade alternatives e.g. oven baked sweet potato chips, healthy burgers and pizza and oven baked crumbed fish.
  6. Next step is to start including more antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. These foods help prevent free radical damage in the body and they can keep you younger and healthier. Free radicals damage cells in the body and increase the risk of premature ageing along with chronic diseases. The easiest way to incorporate more antioxidants in your diet is to add a handful of mixed berries to your breakfast cereal, add some super berry or super green powder to a smoothie, enjoy a few green teas a day, and add some dark green leafy veggies, and red and orange vegies to your lunch or dinner such as tomatoes, red capsicum, carrots and pumpkin. Try making a pitcher of iced tea made from antioxidant-rich rose hip (LongeviTEA), then add some fresh pomegranate and lime juice (Click Here for Recipe).

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.

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

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 7 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.

Go Organic: Give your hardworking liver a much needed break by eating fresh organic produce that's grown without chemical pesticides and herbicides, or GMO seeds.

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

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.