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Category: What's the Scoop on

What's the Scoop on: Maca

Posted: Fri, 13 April 2018, 10:25

What is Maca?

Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the Peruvian Andes at very high altitudes. Maca belongs to the cruciferous family of plants which includes other such powerhouse foods including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and radishes.

This powerful root vegetable from South America is most commonly used to help with stamina, energy, mood, vitality, sexual function, hormone balancing and fertility.

Nutrition

Maca is incredibly mineral rich, boasting high levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and potassium. It also contains trace minerals including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, manganese, and silica. And it doesn’t stop there; maca is also high in vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, plus it contains 19 amino acids (including 7 of the 8 essential amino acids) and is a rich source of sterols.


What is Castile Soap?

Castile soap is soap made from vegetable oil, rather than from animal fat or synthetic detergents. It originates from the Castile region of Spain (hence the name,) where it was made from local olive oil. Although olive oil is the traditional base oil, the soap can be made with coconut, hemp, avocado, almond, walnut, and many other vegetable oils.
Castile soap can be made as either a hard bar soap or a liquid soap and is incredibly versatile. And did I mention it’s completely biodegradable, natural, non-toxic and cleans gently and effectively?

There are infinite uses for this soap, from head-to-toe body care to everyday household cleaning. And the great news, a little goes a long way, making it great on the pocket.

In Nourish we stock Dr Bronner's Castile Soap, and today I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite ways to use this wonderfully versatile and natural soap, so let's get to it! 


What's the Scoop on: Vitamin D

Posted: Wed, 02 August 2017, 11:52

By now, most of us know that Vitamin D is something we need, but what exactly is it? And do we have enough?

Well, the honest answer is: no.

Studies in Ireland have revealed that low vitamin D status and vitamin D deficiency are widespread in the population of Ireland; therefore it is important to ensure we’re getting enough.

Due to Ireland’s northerly latitude, very little UVB light reaches the earth’s surface, resulting in reduced production of vitamin D, especially in winter.
This fact, in conjunction with low dietary intakes is compromising the vitamin D status of all population groups living in Ireland.

Allow me to introduce you to the sunshine vitamin.

Although known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is in fact actually a hormone, and is the by-product of a reaction that occurs when UV light hits the skin. Since we cannot often get enough of this vitamin from our food, our bodies are able to make it from the sun instead.

Our bodies absorb sunlight using cholesterol, which helps convert sunlight into a form of vitamin D that our body can use.


What’s The Scoop On: Ashwagandha

Posted: Thu, 23 February 2017, 09:39

If you’re suffering from anxiety, going through a stressful period in your life or constantly feeling fatigued, I’ve got the herb for you.

And this is no ordinary herb. No. This is a superstar of a herb, used to help increase vitality, energy, endurance and stamina, promote longevity, strengthen the immune system, not to mention its incredible anti-stress properties.

Let’s go into more detail shall we?

What Is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is the root extract of Withania Somnifera, also known as Winter Cherry or Indian ginseng.

Ashwagandha is a highly valued rejuvenative herb that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine from India.

Traditionally, Ashwagandha has been used to treat anxiety, low energy levels, inflammation, infection, aging, and as an overall body tonic for general health and wellbeing.

Now after so much research and study has gone into learning more about the plant, its popularity has increased thanks to its exceptional properties becoming more well known about.


What's The Scoop on Cacao

Posted: Tue, 31 January 2017, 13:37

Cacao is actually called ‘theobroma cacao’ which translates as ‘food of the gods’.
Cacao trees produce fruits (pods) which contain cacao seeds. From these seeds cacao solids and butter are extracted which can be used to make delious raw chocolates and even face creams!

In its raw state, cacao is extremely nutritious, and is a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron, chromium, copper, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
It is also recognised as one of the best sources of magnesium in existance. This ladies, is also why some women crave chocolate at a certain time of the month. It's not because you want chocolate exactly, but because you need the magnesium which can be found in abundance within raw cacao.

So next time you get the cravings, ditch the sugary processed forms of chocolate and get chowing down on some amazing raw chocolate, add some cacao nibs to your breakfast or blend up a tasty cacao smoothie to banish those cravings!

Moving away from PMS and back to the magnesium..!

Magnesium is a mineral that is required for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, and it helps the body to perform its normal functions. These include maintenance of muscle and nerve function, building of proteins, controlling blood sugar, regulation of blood pressure, and magnesium is also required for the proper growth and maintenance of bones. 
Signs of your body lacking in this mineral include muscle cramps, fatigue and abnormal heart rhythms.

The humble cacao bean is also very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are helpful in preventing and repairing free radical damage, protecting and repairing cells, and therefore help to keep you healthy.

Chocolate is often dismissed as an unhealthy snack, but this is due to how it is processed. When chocolate is made, cacao is processed and refined, and large amounts of refined sugar are often added, along with processed fats, milk, artificial sweeteners, colourings and added flavourings. When cacao is consumed in its unprocessed form, it acts as a great mood enhancer, and is rich in anti-aging antioxidants, great for energy and even good for your arteries due to the flavonoids which prevent fat-like substances in the bloodstream from oxidising and clogging.


What's The Scoop On Beetroot Juice

Posted: Tue, 31 January 2017, 13:20

Beetroot - the beautifully blushing pink vegetable bursting with sweet, earthy flavours. Perfect in salads, sandwiches, hummus, and even chocolate cake (notions!), beetroot isn’t just the sweet root vegetable that stains all it touches cerise pink. Beetroot is also a powerhouse of nutrients. Beetroot is without a doubt, a super food, and what better way to get these nutrients in than via an easily digested juice.  This month, we are lucky enough to be offering 20% Off James White Beetroot Range (pink – valentine’s day – see what we did there?!)

So in the spirit of the month of looooove, I have put together my top 6 reasons for giving beetroot some lovin’ this February!


8 Great Reasons to Eat More Fat

Posted: Tue, 17 January 2017, 15:31

Fat - A simple three letter word that sends many dieters running towards the horizon. Hundreds of thousands of people are trying to cut fat out of their diet in a desperate bid to ‘be healthier and lose weight’’. The idea is, in a sort, correct. I mean saturated fats absolutely do clog up your arteries, cause diabetes, weight gain, mood swings, and more. The problem is, over the years, the media has portrayed all fat as the devil, not taking into account that there are both good and bad fats. Let’s focus on healthy fats and why they are essential for optimal health.


What’s the Scoop on: Manuka Honey

Posted: Thu, 22 September 2016, 10:23

Did you know that the Manuka shrub flowers for just 2-6 weeks in a whole year? Crazy huh?

Those little bees have a busy start to their honey season once the Manuka begins to flower in the early summer.

Many people ask “what’s with all the hype over Manuka honey, surely it’s just honey?” - but no my friends, Manuka is no ordinary honey.

Let’s get the full scoop on Manuka Honey shall we…..


What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is one of nature’s most powerful natural medicines.

Manuka honey comes from the nectar of the flower of the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) which is a native plant found only in New Zealand and a small part of Australia, and this is where all real Manuka honey comes from.

Manuka honey comes from bees that pollinate the native Manuka bush, and only those specific bees in the specific regions of New Zealand can create this powerful honey.


What's the Scoop On : Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted: Thu, 18 August 2016, 14:51

Apple Cider Vinegar has been a popular tonic in the health and nutrition community for years, however recently it has become increasingly popular. So what's the big deal? Apple cider vinegar is by no means the new spirulina or acai. However, it definitly brings with it an abundance of goodies for whoever takes the plunge and manages to shoot it down every morning! (This supplement isn't for the faint hearted)

 

Good for the inside and out (because we all know beauty isn't just skin deep), here is our guide on apple cider vinegar, minus the myths (teeth whitening? With acid? Whaaaat?!). We also delve into the best ways to take apple cider vinegar. If you have given it a shot (literally!) and found it too intense to carry forward with, fear not! We have outlined slightly more subtle methods of consuming this digestive superhero.....


What’s the Scoop On: Milk Thistle

Posted: Thu, 28 July 2016, 13:12

Milk thistle (AKA Silybum marianum) is an herb native to southern Europe and southern Russia and has been used for thousands of years to support liver, kidney and gall bladder health. In particular, Milk thistle has been used to treat liver diseases like alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver poisoning, viral hepatitis, jaundice, as well as gallstones and even hangovers.

You can take milk thistle in many forms:

Tablet form – Try A.Vogel’s Milk Thistle Complex Tablets or Viridian’s Milk Thistle Herb & Seed tablets

Tincture form – Try Viridian’s Organic Milk Thistle tincture or Irish Botanica’s Milk Thistle Tincture

Or view all of our Milk Thistle products here.

Let’s delve in a little deeper shall we?


What are the Benefits of Milk Thistle?


No. 1 - Liver Protection and Regeneration

If you find you are always feeling tired, irritated, bloated, having skin breakouts such as acne, or perhaps perspiring constantly and feeling hot all the time, you may need some liver-love in your life.

Milk Thistle contains a range of therapeutic compounds known collectively as silymarin which is thought to be responsible for many of milk thistle’s beneficial effects, including its liver protection and restoration.

Milk Thistle is known to help prevent liver destruction and enhance liver function through its ability to prevent toxin-induced damage from toxic substances including alcohol, drugs and chemicals.
It also stimulates the growth of new liver cells to replace old damaged cells allowing for regeneration to occur.


What's the Scoop on: Matcha

Posted: Thu, 07 July 2016, 13:22

What is ‘Matcha’?

Matcha is a type of green tea made by finely stone-grinding young delicate green tea leaves into a powder.
This tea has a slightly sweet, grassy, delicate yet somewhat bitter flavour that’s relatively thick in texture.
Matcha green tea is very popular in Asian cultures and has been used for centuries in traditional tea ceremonies; particularly in Japan.

This type of green tea is unique in the fact that the entire leaf is consumed rather than the leaves being discarded after brewing. Brewing matcha involves whisking the powder into a paste with warm water and gradually adding more water until it becomes a tea, as opposed to simply steeping the leaves and then removing them. This is what gives matcha its characteristic flavour profile as well as its fantastic nutritional properties that trump many other types of tea.


One popular question I get asked a lot is “Why are we advised to supplement our diets?”

Revive Active’s ethos stems from how the modern world is busy, stressed, fast paced and full of on the go workers, often working indoors and the majority being relatively inactive.

Our bodies have a constant struggle to detoxify the unavoidable pollutants we put into it such as environmental pollutants like car exhaust fumes, chemical laden washing and drinking water and pesticide ridden and nutritionally deficient foods.

This is where Revive Active comes in – they offer a health supplement that can help fill in those nutritional gaps we may have and help keep our bodies fueled, supported and energized.

Of course, a proper diet rich in fruits and vegetables is ALWAYS the way to go, plus regular exercise and a good night’s sleep, but supplementation is a helping hand for those who feel the negative effects of a busy or stressful life, or for those who need additional support in their lives.


What's the Scoop on: Greens

Posted: Mon, 09 February 2015, 10:41

If there's one thing we should be eating more of, it's greens, and here I'm going to lay out just why they're so important.

Here are 7 amazing benefits of consuming your greens:

1. Great cleansers of the blood

Greens are an incredibly important component of the human diet.
They are cleansing, detoxifying and alkalising to the body, and help to cleanse and nourish the blood. 

Greens remove toxins from the body’s system, detoxify heavy metals and pollutants, bring the body towards an alkaline state and away from being too acidic and even help bring down areas of inflammation within the body.

2. High in nutrients

Greens are very high in essential vitamins and minerals, trace minerals, chlorophyll and enzymes and are a great source of potent antioxidants.
Dark leafy greens, including kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, dandelion greens and mustard greens to name a few are incredibly rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, folate and potassium, as well as being high in vitamins A, C and K.

3. High in antioxidants

Incredibly high in antioxidants, greens are powerful oxidisers and natural anti-inflammatories. These antioxidants can help our cells fight against environmental stressors and toxins, helping to reduce the negative effect of our daily exposure to harmful oxidising elements.


What's the Scoop on:Turmeric

Posted: Wed, 21 January 2015, 09:07

Turmeric is a highly powerful herb with a plethera of amazing health and healing properites.
You have eczema, no problem.. painful joints.. not a biggy.

Turmeric is a wonderful herb that you need to know more about, and in this blog I will touch on just some of it's fantastic properties.

1. High in antioxidants 

Turmeric contains high levels of antioxidants such as curcuminoids (often abbreviated to curcumin) which produce the pronounced yellow colour, often seen when used in curries.

Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.
These free radicals are an unavoidable part of life, resulting from exposure to pollution, smoking, secondary smoking, consuming burnt food and even as a result of metabolism in our own bodies.

These potent antioxidant properites found within turmeric help protect cellular DNA from being damaged, help to neutralise free radicals, reduce oxidation and repair cellular damage that has already occurred.
Free radicals are known to be one of the big causes of aging, so you could even call turmeric quite the beauty herb.

2. Anti inflammatory

Turmeric has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as pain relieving properties making it a brilliant herb for bones and joints.

If the body is not able to repair effectively, the body’s inflammatory responses and mobility can become impaired, and over time chronic inflammation can lead to cellular damage and irregular cell repair. This in turn can cause problems, for example arthritis.

Luckily however, turmeric is recognised as a fantastic natural treatment for inflammatory conditions including arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


What's the Scoop on: Aloe Vera

Posted: Thu, 04 December 2014, 18:31

Whose digestion doesn’t need a little helping hand this winter as the festive season arrives?

Or how about those aching joints that are starting to become a bit more noticeable now the weather is getting colder and damper?

Here are 6 amazing properties of Aloe Vera that you should know about!

1. Nutrient rich

A member of the Lily family, the aloe vera plant contains within its inner leaf a mucilaginous gel that is a nutrition powerhouse. This inner leaf gel contains polysaccharides (long-chain sugars, meaning they are slow-burning carbohydrates keeping energy levels stable), fibre, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins A, C and E, as well as minerals sulphur, calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc and selenium.

2. Aids digestion

Aloe vera is incredibly beneficial for almost all types of digestive problems, including irritable bowel, ulcers, acid reflux and bloating thanks to it's anti-inflammatory properties which helps to soothe and heal the gut.

When the polysaccharides (contained in the inner leaf) are converted into oligosaccharides, they can also help to protect the mucosal lining of the digestive tract, shown to be effective in fighting e.coli strains and streptococcus pneumonia.

Taken 30 minutes or so before each meal every day may help digestion and absorption, and taken before bed after an over-indulgence of wine or spicy food this festive season may save you from a night of unease due to acid reflux.


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