Category Archives: Hot Topics

How to Have A Healthier Easter Weekend: food and gift ideas

Easter Eggs at The ID Band CompanyIf you’re trying to be healthier, Easter can be a hard time to stay on the straight and narrow, but you don’t have to feel left out. Try our tips for a healthier Easter weekend that’s fun and family friendly.

  • Start your day the eggcellent way

Start your day with a healthy breakfast of eggs. For a number of years eggs were thought to be bad for you due to their high cholesterol levels, but recently saturated fat has been shown to be more likely to raise your overall cholesterol levels. Eggs are very high in nutrients such as vitamins A, E and B12, plus they’re nearly all protein which helps to keep you full for longer.

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How To Sleep Better and Why It Affects Your Health

couple sleepingMost of us feel we aren’t getting enough sleep from time to time. For some, insomnia is a daily frustration.

Lack of sleep can affect your health and your mood, but by creating a restful space and creating a routine, it is possible to get more rest at night.

March is National Bed Month, so we’ve partnered with The Sleep Council to explain the importance of sleep to your health and share some tips on how to have your best sleep yet. Continue reading

Detoxification and Boosting Energy Levels in the New Year

Detoxing and Boosting Your Energy Levels in the New Year

Angela Loftus

Angela Loftus

Angela Loftus is a registered Nutritional Therapist and focuses on the links between good nutrition, lifestyle factors and overall wellbeing. Read her tips on how to detox and boost flagging energy levels in the New Year.

The festive season can be a fun yet exhausting time. The combination of late nights, overindulging in food and alcohol can really knock your health and energy levels right off course. It’s important to be aware of what we can do to boost your energy levels by ensuring optimal detoxification and this January is a great time to start!

Keeping detoxification at the forefront of your mind will help you be ready for everything that 2016 brings.

Signs of compromised detoxification include:

  • flagging energy levels
  • mood swings and irritability
  • brain fog
  • digestive and/or skin complaints

Optimising your health by choosing detoxifying foods and making healthy lifestyle choices may be just what you need after the indulgent festive season! Read more

Volunteer Bike Couriers Deliver Blood and Medical Supplies

Blood Bikes: These Motorcyclists Save Lives

If you’re a motorbike enthusiast and want to help save lives, consider becoming a blood biker. The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes was set up over 40 years ago to help the NHS transport urgently needed blood, patient notes and medical supplies out of hours.

Cornwall’s Motorcycle Heroes

Cornwall Blood Bike's motorcycles

Cornwall Blood Bike’s motorcycles

Ian Butler, 51, is a submarine project engineer by day and has been an active member of Cornwall Blood Bikes for a number of years.

“I first heard about Cornwall Blood Bikes in February 2014, when I was watching an episode of Emergency Bikers. There was a two minute slot on the UK’s Blood Bike set up. It featured the Western group operating around Bristol, but it really caught my interest and the next morning I went on the internet to find my nearest group.

“I wasn’t getting out on my bike very much, once every 2 weeks or so, and being ex Royal Navy, the team structure really appealed to me. It was also an excuse to go on the Advanced Biking Course.” Read more

How to Manage Your Allergies at Christmas time

Dealing with allergies over Christmas

Christmas is nearly here! Although most people will be looking forward to mince pies, log fires and a glass of fizz, allergies can make it more difficult to enjoy. Here are some helpful tips on how to manage you or your child’s allergies, so that you can stuck into Christmas with everyone else.

Christmas Tree Syndrome

Child celebrating Christmas with a treeAlthough the name sounds comical, Christmas Tree Syndrome is a real illness that can really put a downer on your Christmas celebrations. It’s a respiratory condition caused by mould spores that thrive in the damp conditions evergreen trees grow in. Once brought inside, a warm house and central heating give the perfect environment for these spores to multiply.

During the festive season, people are more likely to keep doors and windows closed and have large groups of people in the house. This, coupled with small children and pets brushing against the tree, can spread spores to other rooms. Even wreaths or live foliage can produce a similar effect.

Reactions to the spores vary but can include coughing, wheezing, sore itchy eyes, a runny nose and laboured breezing. To minimise the amount of spores you come into contact with, always wash down your tree before bringing it inside. It can help to leave bringing in the tree until the last minute too – having it inside your house for over two weeks creates the perfect breeding ground and can give you the strongest reaction. If you chose an artificial tree, wash it down before using and again before packing it away for next year. Read more

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes and Other Health Issues?

Health Impacts of Too Much Sugar

You‘ve probably seen headlines and articles saying that sugar is a cause of the rise in cardiovascular diseases and obesity levels in the UK, but what exactly about this innocent looking substance is so harmful to our health? And what health conditions is it actually linked to?

sugar on spoonWhat Is Sugar?

Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose. Fructose is broken down in the liver, whereas glucose is digested in the stomach and requires insulin to metabolise it properly.

Naturally occurring sugar is found in all fruits, vegetables and dairy foods, but in relatively low quantities. In these foods it is accompanied by vitamins, antioxidants, water and fibre, all of which have health benefits. Processed sugar doesn’t have any of these added nutrients, proteins or fats, and is just pure energy, which is why you get an initial boost but then a come-down shortly after eating sugary foods. Read more

Road Safety Week: Promoting Cyclist and Pedestrian Safety

Road Safety Week 2015

Britain’s roads are some of the safest in the world, but sadly, accidents do happen. Every day. That’s why road safety charity Brake started Road Safety Week.

family cyclingBrake work with local councils and communities to make streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike, and offer support to victims of road accidents.

Founded in 1997, Road Safety Week works with schools, organisations and communities to raise awareness of road safety and share simple steps that everyone can take to prevent accidents. Organisations such as nurseries, youth clubs, local businesses, sports clubs and local authorities often get on board with the initiative.

This year’s event runs from 23rd-29th November and the theme is Drive Less Live More, with a focus on the benefits of cutting down the amount of driving you do. These benefits include:

  • reducing pollution
  • saving money on fuel costs
  • supporting public transport
  • burning calories through exercise such as walking or cycling
  • making streets safer by removing extra vehicles

Read more

Living with a Latex Allergy: Symptoms and How to Manage it

Living with a Latex allergy

latex gloveAround 1% of the population are thought to have a latex allergy, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The allergy usually develops over time, so it’s useful to understand the causes and symptoms – especially if you’re a nurse or work in another profession where you need to wear latex gloves.

Our handy guide explains from common triggers to how to manage the condition.

What is Latex Allergy?

A latex allergy is caused by the body’s reaction to certain proteins found in natural rubber latex, which is a liquid derived from rubber trees. These proteins are also found in other plants and certain tropical fruits, such as avocado, banana, kiwi, passion fruit and melon.

Individuals can get a reaction either through direct contact with latex products, such as rubber gloves and balloons, or through inhaling latex particles that come from these products. Common items that produce a reaction also include rubber bands and condoms. Read more

Reversed Heart, Situs Inversus and Dextrocardia

Is Your Heart In The Right Place?

heart and lungsThere are some genetic conditions that literally change the layout of your internal organs, including the heart. While rare, many of the people affected by these conditions don’t even know it.

One of these conditions is situs inversus, which causes the internal organs in the upper half of the body (chest and abdomen) to be on the opposite side, in a mirror image of the normal positioning. The liver and stomach, for example, switch position, while the left lung and left atrium of the heart are found on the right hand side. Read more

Don’t Let Your Diabetic Child Miss Out on Halloween

Enjoying Halloween with Diabetes

child with Halloween pumpkinEveryone loves Halloween, especially children, whether it’s dressing up, having a party or going trick or treating with friends. If your child is diabetic however, it can be hard to handle their condition without making them feel left out of the festive activities. Read on for some low-sugar, diabetic treat ideas and the health benefits of that Halloween favourite, pumpkin.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a common health condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high, because the body doesn’t produce insulin correctly. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 is when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin and type 2 is where not enough insulin is made or the little that’s made doesn’t work properly.

Diabetics have to carefully control their blood sugar levels, often through medication, a healthy diet and regular exercise. Foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar, such as fizzy drinks, puddings and sweets, immediately raise blood sugar levels in a spike which is then followed by a low, so diabetics are recommended to opt for diet/light, low calorie or no sugar options. Read more