Category: Health

The holiday season is right around the corner and with it come travelling and festive gatherings with family and friends. 

But amid all this Christmas cheer, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can seem daunting. 

Especially as you age, keeping to your health habits throughout the year is more important than ever.

Which is why we wanted to share the Physical Nutrition team’s favourite festive health tips. To help you keep your health in check while you enjoy the coming holidays.

Without worrying about colds, the flu or breaking your healthy habits. 

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1. Plan Ahead Before You Travel

Whether you’re travelling by car, train or plane, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. 

Pack some healthy, nutritious snacks. Nuts, seasonal fruit or veg sticks are some easy options. 

To help curb your cravings while you’re travelling. Keeping you full and satisfied. 

So you won’t be tempted by the airport fast food chains or petrol station meal deals. 

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2. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can  sneak up on you during travelling or the busy festive period. 

Which is why carrying a reusable water bottle is the perfect way to keep you on track. 

Easy to carry around with you and refill when needed. Even at the airport.

What’s more, water will help fortify your immune system and keep your blood sugar in check. 

So instead of calorie packed coffees or sugary soft drinks, why not try some natural flavoured water? 

Simply add fruit or herbs to your water for an extra flavour. A great way to motivate you to stay on top of your drinking goals. Cranberries, cucumber, mint or rosemary can be perfect choices for the season. 

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3. (Try To) Stick To A Routine 

Holidays can throw your daily routines off balance. Especially when it comes to your sleep. 

So aim to stick to your normal sleep pattern as closely as possible.

Packing an eye mask or some earplugs can also help you get a restful night’s sleep, even in noisy environments. 

What’s more, if you’re regularly taking medication, it’s a good idea to set a reminder alarm on your phone. As the holidays bring multiple distractions, which could easily lead to missed doses. 

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4. Don’t Forget Your Vitamin D

With reduced daylight around this time of year, comes a lack of vitamin D. 

So make sure you step outside the house when you can for a short walk, a stroll or even sitting in the garden for 5 minutes. 

This will not only support our vitamin D production, but also your mental well-being. 

Eating foods rich in vitamin D is also a great way to help your body during winter. Salmon, cheese boards, mushrooms and eggs are a great vitamin D source for an extra boost. 

This is crucial for your bones, brain health and energy levels. Keeping you in top form to enjoy the festivities.

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5. Prioritise “Me Time”

The holidays can be busy and stressful. So now it’s even more important to allow yourself time to recharge. 

Whether it’s a few minutes of meditation, a short walk, a soothing bubble bath, or simply unwinding with a good book…

These can work wonders in keeping stress at bay, without taking up too much time. Because as they say: to look after others, you have to look after yourself first…

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Final Thoughts

Balancing health amid all the festivities doesn’t have to be complicated.

In fact, it’s all about making conscious choices. Supporting your well-being while also relishing in the joy of the season. 

And don’t forget, the holidays only come once a year. So do make sure you’re kind to yourself and allow room for a little indulgence too. 

After all, you deserve it!

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Sources: 

https://www.forbes.com/health/body/healthy-holiday-guide/

https://myassuredhomenursing.com/senior-health-tips-to-ensure-happy-holiday/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/

Can Eating Together Make Us Healthier?



Communal eating is an ancient practice with a long history. From the neolithic times, when shared meals were a sign of abundance, to modern day get-togethers.

People continue to come together and feast over shared dishes. And family dinners are still central to most cultures, especially around special occasions and celebrations. 

But why do we still do this? And could a shared meal have significant health benefits well beyond the creation of bonds? 

Let’s take a look… 

The Social

Picture this: a table full of vibrant dishes, laughter echoing through the air, and the warmth of connection with those around you. 

Whatever communal eating looks like for you, it still is a social feast. Creating bonds which transcend the simple act of just consuming food.

In fact, studies show sharing meals fosters a sense of belonging and strengthens relationships. Whether it’s a weekly family dinner or a gathering with your best friends.

These shared moments over glasses of wine and bowls of pasta can give you the chance and space to communicate without distractions. 

Helping you create a wider support network and strengthen relations.

The Psychological

Food is not just fuel for the body, but also the mind

Communal eating has clear psychological benefits, influencing our mood and emotional well-being. 

A 2017 study from the University of Oxford revealed how social eating not only creates bonds within the community, but can also make you feel happier

You see, the act of sharing a meal triggers the release of oxytocin, the “love hormone”.

Reducing feelings of loneliness, promoting trust and connection. 

What’s more, the ritualistic nature of eating together can also soothe stress and provide you with a sense of stability.

The Physical 

Now, let’s talk about the body. 

Communal eating is also a feast for your physical health. When you share meals, you tend to opt for healthier choices and a variety of dishes, which often lead to a more balanced diet

What’s more, research suggests people who eat together consume more fresh fruit and vegetables. 

With shared, home-cooked meals being more dense in nutrients. Reducing your risk of obesity and disease. 

Beyond these nutritional benefits, the act of eating slowly and savouring the moment can also aid digestion and prevent overeating…

Contributing to healthy weight management.

But what’s even more impressive?

Recent studies have shown the positive effect communal eating has on cardiovascular health. 

As we already said, eating with loved ones boosts your ‘happy hormones’. This helps keep your heart strong and your blood pressure down. 

The Creative 

Having people over for a meal or even a snack board, can be a great excuse to try something new.

A chance to browse recipes, experiment with different cuisines, fresh tastes and textures. 

Trying new dishes can help you (and your guests) discover new favourites. While also reducing stress and helping you blow off some steam. 

From quick 10-minute stir-fries to slow-cooked stews and casseroles…

Whatever is your cup of tea, cooking for others will definitely boost your creativity too.

Not Just A Table

Communal eating not only brings us together, but it also nurtures your emotional and physical well-being. 

So whether it’s a weekly family dinner or a casual gathering… 

Remember – the magic of communal eating goes far beyond the meal itself. 

It’s a recipe for a healthier, happier you. 

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Sources: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32025474/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5831910/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33562357/

https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-03-16-social-eating-connects-communities

It’s been hard to miss all the talk about Activ8 Joint Complete recently. 

Across the UK, nearly 40,000 people are enjoying relief from painful, stiff joints and a boost to their mobility.

But, don’t just take our word for it

We’ve received countless amazing stories of how Dr. Paul O’Connell has helped people get back on their feet, become more active, and even take up old hobbies. 

No matter their age!

Here’s what they’ve got to say:

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Pain-Free Joints 

Activ8 has hundreds of 5-star reviews on Trustpilot and our website. 
Most people talk about the positive effect on their pain levels. With Activ8 providing relief from daily aches and joint discomfort. 

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Increased Flexibility & Movement 

With Activ8 you can not only enjoy a relief in pain, but consistent use can also boost your joint flexibility.

Boswellia Serrata, one of the natural extracts in Activ8, allows you a wider range of movement…

Making getting out of bed, standing up and climbing stairs easier.

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Smoother Joints

Activ8 is also packed with type II collagen and glucosamine HCI, both natural compounds which support joint and cartilage health.

Many people report smoother movements and reduced swelling in their knees, wrists, ankles and back:

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Backed By Science

These amazing stories remind us of the power of science-backed nutrition.

It’s great to see how Dr. Paul O’Connell’s breakthrough formulation has helped thousands of UK people lead healthier, happier lives.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll be our next success story! 

Autumn is finally upon us. Bringing darker mornings and even darker evenings…

Which take their toll on your health and mood.

The sun begins to set early…

It’s always raining…

And with the lack of sunlight and vitamin D, you end up feeling tired, sleepy… 

Or simply “under-the-weather.”

We’ve all been there. 

But did you know your gut could hold the key to feeling happier this autumn?

In fact, recent studies reveal just how important gut health is to your emotional wellbeing and mental health.

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The Gut-Brain Axis 

Imagine your gut as your body’s capital city, full of trillions of tiny residents…

“Friendly bacteria,” which play a CRUCIAL role in your health.

Sending messages to your brain which control your emotions. Influencing your highs and lows…

Put simply, the right harmony of good and bad bacteria can help you thrive…

Reducing inflammation and enhancing immunity.

Leading to a balanced gut…a happier brain…and a healthier you.

In fact, this can reduce stress, anxiety and low mood.

But here’s the thing…

If you have too much bad bacteria…

It throws your hormones off balance, increasing stress and mood swings.

Yet all is not lost!

From taking a daily probiotic, to eating a varied diet full of the right foods for your digestive system…

It’s easy to maintain the perfect balance.

So here’s 6 unique “mood foods”

Scientifically proven to boost mood and improve your brain health. Nourishing you from within. 

To help you keep your gut bacteria and your brain happy throughout the year…

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The 6 Best “Mood Foods” 

Oily Fish 

Packed with healthy omega-3 fats, oily fish is the perfect brain food. Try grilled salmon, mackerel or even sardines and anchovies. 

The omega-3 fatty acids are powerful antioxidants, shielding your nervous system, while also calming gut inflammation.

To help reduce bloating and discomfort…

What’s more, vitamins D and B12 can fight anxiety and low mood, so you can beat those autumn blues.

Turkey 

Turkey helps your body make serotonin, the “happy hormone”!

Which holds the key to emotional health, and – you guessed it – is produced in your gut.

In fact, a 2016 Melbourne University study revealed: 

It’s because turkey contains tryptophan…

Proven to kick-start your natural serotonin production.

Helping you sleep better at night, and feel more awake during the day.

It’s no accident we choose turkey for autumn and winter celebrations. 

Just think of those lavish Christmas dinners…

Lifting your spirits no matter how cold and gloomy the weather outside may be. 

Pumpkins & Winter Squash 

These autumn and winter staples are packed with magnesium, a so-called “miracle mineral,” crucial for brain health.

Relaxing the neurons in your brain, to help ease anxiety.

So, indulge in a thick, piping hot pumpkin soup, or a juicy roast squash.

You can also easily add these to smoothies and pasta sauces, for a quick, extra vitamin  boost. 

Dark Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale and chard…not just “nutritional powerhouses,” but mood-boosting champions.

Packed with magnesium, vitamins B and C…

Promoting relaxation in the nervous system and your muscles.

What’s more, high in fibre, leafy greens are crucial for your overall gut health…

Helping you balance blood sugar, plus stop mood swings and crashes. 

Fermented Foods 

A delight for your tastebuds, while also boosting your emotional wellbeing.

Yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are all PACKED with probiotics

✅ Feeding beneficial gut bacteria

✅ Helping reduce inflammation

✅ Stopping bloating

To support and strengthen your mental health

So, next time you savour a tangy spoonful of yoghurt or the crunch of kimchi…

Remember you’re not only nourishing your gut…

 But also a happier, more balanced mind. 

Dark Chocolate

A “gut-friendly” treat for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Now, everyone knows chocolate can improve your mood, but there’s actual science behind it.

Dark chocolate in particular is rich in polyphenols, crucial compounds for whole body wellness…

Supporting a healthy blood pressure, reducing inflammation and even boosting your focus and memory!

Dark chocolate acts as a unique prebiotic, nourishing the good bacteria in your gut.

oosting serotonin…

Releasing endorphins 

And giving you that “runner’s high” feeling!

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Balanced Gut For A Balanced Mind 

As the seasons change and the days become shorter, it’s vital to prioritise your mental and emotional well-being…

By nourishing your body with the right foods.

To support your brain, reduce stress and boost your serotonin levels.

And for the days when you’re too tired or just not in the mood to cook…remember simple is best

A quick salad, an omelette packed with greens or a simple smoothie are easy alternatives for those blue days…

So, let your journey towards a healthier gut and brighter self begin with your next meal. 

What will you try first? 

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Sources:

https://www.katebrienrd.com/mood-boosting-foods/
https://www.culinarynutrition.com/mood-boosting-foods/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4794959/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4822287/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889855316300826
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604320/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5078156/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159115000884
https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/fall-and-winter-foods-with-mood-boosting-benefits/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24447198/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18950248/
https://www.forbes.com/health/body/psychobiotics/