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Monthly Archives: May 2021

BEST VITAMINS AND MINERALS FOR HAIR: Which ones are really great for your hair?

Do you need vitamins and minerals for your hair to truly shine?

Long, glossy, bouncy hair… Let down your hair this summer!

Taking care of our hair makes it more likely that we can have a good hair day more often.

Environmental factors such as air pollution  and too much sun exposure can lead to hair loss and split ends. Luckily, there are various supplements we can use to support our well-being and beauty!Have a look below at the vitamins and minerals that are important for normal cell growth. Deficiency may cause hair loss and damage. Hair loss is a common problem these days,  and can have a negative psychological and emotional impact. Micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals mentioned below, provide healthy hair follicle development and immune cell function.

Which vitamins and minerals are good for hair?

Vitamin C – one vitamin for every hair

Little white flakes on your shoulders? If you are tired of experiencing dandruff, you may be  familiar with the causes, since half the population are believed to suffer from it.

Vitamin C is a super  antioxidant that fights off the free radicals. Free radical damage can block growth and cause hair to age. Vitamin C helps to protect cells from oxidative stress, reducing fatigue and exhaustion.

More than that, our body needs vitamin C for the creation of collagen. Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein and an important part of hair structure.

Vitamin C also plays a great role in the absorption of iron. Reasearchers say diets lacking in vitamin C can increase the likelihood of getting dandruff.

Vitamin C can be a powerful aid in reducing the symptoms of dandruff .

a blonde woman in winter outfit scratching her hair

Iron – the mineral for hair gloss (and so much more)

Women know the importance of optimal iron levels because of the menstrual cycle.. Iron is a mineral that our body needs for many functions. It is part of hemoglobin and this protein carries oxygen from our lungs and throughout our bodies. Iron is also part of many other proteins and enzymes, so our body needs the right amount of iron.

This makes it an important mineral for hair growth. Iron deficiency and  anemia are among  leading causes of hair loss, and they are especially common in women.

Collagen – the body’s most important protein

Collagen is a well-known protein in the human body. It is the substance that holds the body together. Collagen provides strength and structure. Taking collagen supplements may stimulate your hair and nails to grow. Several studies have shown that supplements containing collagen help slow down the ageing of your body.

portrait of a confused young woman looking at her hair

Selenium – a secret little helper for your hair

There are many vitamins and minerals for beautiful hair, and selenium is the one that offers many benefits. It is a mineral found in Brazil nuts, beef, tuna and eggs. It kills the dandruff-causing fungus and is an important ingredient in many dandruff treatments. Selenium is essential for the production of the thyroid hormones that help hair growth.

Getting an adequate amount of selenium in your diet is crucial for regular hair growth. So make sure you’re consuming the right amount of selenium-rich foods!

Vitamin D for healthy hair growth

Vitamin D is essential for healthy hair growth. Without the right amount of vitamin D, your hair becomes damaged and growth is reduced. 20 minutes of sunshine per day is the best way for getting this vitamin. However, during the cold and dark seasons, we need to supplement vitamin D regularly. Our body produces vitamin D through the direct exposure to sun.

Low levels of vitamin D are linked to alopecia which is a condition that causes hair loss. Research shows that vitamin D helps our body to create new follicles. These are the tiny pores in the scalp where new hair can grow. Most people don’t get enough vitamin D and it is very important to increase the intake of this vitamin.

Zinc – choose this mineral when everything else is covered

Tiring dandruff and scary hair loss are the symptoms of the zinc deficiency!

Our body can’t generate zinc on its own, it has to be obtained through a varied diet. Other causes of zinc deficiencies are linked to poor metabolism and can even lead to alopecia but  hair re-growth is possible with an adequate zinc supplement.

a man drying his hair and brushing it

Straightening the debate on vitamins and minerals for hair

If you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet by consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, you could experience a range of health complications.

Low intake of essential nutrients may be a root cause for a number of hair-related problems! Beauty vitamins and minerals help us maintain hair growth.

You can also try Goodwill Pharma’s Astax+3 Direct. Its unique formula boosts the immune system and also contains vitamin C, Zinc and Selenium for optimal body function and amazing, glossy hair that turns eyes.

For other tips and tricks, read our blog.

CALCIUM RICH RECIPES: Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni Recipe

Eating for bone health can be yummy! Healthy, delicious, calcium rich recipes for osteoporosis prevention are a  great way for healthy eating. We want to share with you a healthy recipe for osteoporosis which is easy to make, looks good and it’s affordable! A super healthy vegan-friendly recipes alternative, also rich with calcium, is here too of course!

Why is this recipe perfect for osteoporosis and rich in calcium?

This easy and quick calcium rich recipe is made with  crepes. We love delicious crepes because they are easy to make at home. In case you don’t have time, you can  find some savory pre-made crepes in the supermarket. The ones with added sugar are better for desserts.

Spinach is loaded with calcium. Consuming spinach is a superb way  to get essential  minerals and vitamins for bone health! It can be incorporated  simply into any diet. Low-cost and efforless to prepare, spinach is rich with calcium and great for these recipes.

The next champion ingredient for osteoporosis prevention is parsley. Studies show that parsley is rich in vitamin K, which builds stronger bones by supporting bone-building cells called osteoblasts. This vitamin also boosts  proteins that increase bone mineral density. Lower mineral density is associated with the risk of fractures. Thus, diets rich in parsley may benefit bone health!

Read on for both non-vegan and vegan version of the recipe!

Spinach, ricotta, tomatoes, garlic, onion and other ingredients for calcium rich recipe

Non-vegan, Calcium Rich Version of the Recipe

This is one of the calcium rich recipes that doesn’t take long to prepare.

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes (shop-bought crepes); 2 hours (if you are making crepes)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Waiting Time: 10 minutes
Level: Intermediate
Servings : 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
150 grams chopped onions
50 grams sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained, and chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
500 grams fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and dried
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour / plain flour
500 ml semi-skimmed milk
1 bay leaf
01/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
400 grams skim ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
125 grams parmesan cheese, plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
100 grams freshly grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
 450 grams tomato sauce
Savory crepes, recipe follows
or 1 pack of shop-bought crepes

Method:

To Make the Spinach Filling:

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onions are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the spinach in  handfuls and cook until it is wilted and dry, about 6-8 minutes. Let it cool.

To Make the Parmesan Béchamel sauce:

In a medium-sized saucepan melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until well-blended. Cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until  golden-brown. This thin paste is called a roux. Remove the roux from the heat. In a separate medium saucepan, heat the milk, bay leaf, salt, pepper and nutmeg until the milk is steaming. Remove the bay leaf. Return the roux to the heat. Slowly pour the steaming milk into the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue stirring over the medium heat for 3 to 6 minutes. When the mixture thickens, take it off the heat and stir in half of the Parmesan cheese until melted. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. If you would like to make the béchamel in advance, dot the surface with additional butter or place a piece of buttered waxed paper directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. Gently reheat the sauce before using (don’t cook).

Continue the Spinach Filling: In a large bowl, blend the ricotta, egg and 100 grams of  Parmesan béchamel sauce. Add the spinach mixture, the other half of  Parmesan cheese, half of the Romano cheese, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside.

Make the Crepes.

To make the Cannelloni:

Preheat oven to 190 C˚. Lightly grease a large oven dish and pour the tomato sauce in. Place the spinach mixture in the middle of a crepe and roll it up like a fat cigar, then repeat. Place the filled cannelloni on top of the tomato sauce. Pour the remaining béchamel sauce onto the cannelloni. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan and chopped parsley. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the cannelloni is warmed through and the sauce is light brown and bubbly. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Vegan Spinach & ‘Ricotta’ Cannelloni

Non-vegans honestly won’t know that we have adjusted some ingredients here, and will still get to enjoy the calcium rich goodness of the recipe! Creamy with a pleasant tomato sauce and an enjoyable cheese on the pasta base certainly will win hearts! Vegan-friendly, with the aim of osteoporosis prevention and full with rich healthy vitamins is the best choice for an everyday meal.

Ingredients: 

Cannelloni

  • 14 -16 crepes
  • Extra virgin olive oil  
  • 400g spinach 
  • ½ tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 2 x 400g/ tins plum tomatoes (or use chopped tomatoes) 
  • Zest of ½ lemon 
  • Handful fresh basil 
  • ½ tsp sugar or syrup (e.g. agave or maple – optional)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 200g melting vegan cheese (e.g. Bute Island Sheese Greek Style)
  • Vegan parmesan

‘Ricotta’ 

  • 35g sunflower seeds 
  • 425g firm tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • ¾ tsp salt 
  • Pinch black pepper 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed 
  • 20g nutritional yeast 

Method: 

Cannelloni 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. In a large saucepan, add the spinach, a drizzle of olive oil, half the nutmeg (¼ teaspoon), a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pan and leave the spinach to sweat and wilt down, stirring occasionally. Pop in a bowl and set aside. 
  3. In a large pan fry the onion until soft and golden. Then the garlic and fry for a further minute. 
  4. Add the plum tomatoes and break them up with a spoon (or with your hands as you add them!). 
  5. Then Add the sugar, lemon zest and a few basil leaves. Simmer for around 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper, try the sauce and add more until you get the desired seasoning. 
  6. While the spinach is sweating and the tomato sauce is simmering, make the ‘ricotta’. 

‘Ricotta’ 

  1. Blend the sunflower seeds in a food processor or using the milling blade on your blender. 
  2. Add the tofu and blend with the sunflower seeds until smooth. 
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the tofu/sunflower seed mix with all the other ingredients and stir thoroughly. 

Assembly

  1. Once the wilted spinach has cooled, squeeze the liquid out of it and cut it up into small pieces. Add it to the ‘ricotta’ along with the rest of the nutmeg (¼ teaspoon) and stir thoroughly. 
  2. There are a couple of options for getting the ‘ricotta’ mix into the cannelloni tubes: either pipe it in using a piping bag or if you fancy having a bit more fun then stuff the mixture in using your hands (after washing them)… kids love doing this! 
  3. Place the stuffed cannelloni tubes onto the bottom of an oven dish. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and spread evenly. Add a layer of basil leaves, then sprinkle over your preferred melting vegan cheese and top off with vegan Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. 
  4. Cover the top of the dish with a sheet of foil and tuck in around the edges. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and pop back in the oven for another 15 minutes. 
  5. Enjoy with a green salad and garlic bread!

Follow our blog for new healthy recipes rich with calcium and other minerals! Try this one and tell us how you like it in the comments! We would love to hear your feedback! Send a pic or a video of the dish to our FB group or IG account for a chance to be featured!

Digestive problems can interrupt your everyday life. Worried that these savory dishes might cause heartburn? Our popular product – Pepto Soda is a highly effective digestive aid, supporting optimal acidity in the stomach. Check it out now, and get a perfect companion to all these delicious recipes!

Sources:
https://cdn.nof.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Spinach-and-Ricotta-Cannelloni-recipe.pdf
https://www.veganrecipeclub.org.uk/recipes/spinach-ricotta-cannelloni

WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS: Condition, symptoms, treatment, lifestyle

Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones lose strength over time, which means you are at a higher risk of breaking a bone than an average adult.

For people with osteoporosis, sometimes a simple sneeze or a cough can result in a broke rib and pain. So it is important to get the right treatment and halt the progress of this condition.

Prevention, information, and the right treatment are essential.

Main factors for developing the condition

As we get older, our bones naturally become thinner and lose density. However, some people’s bones deteriorate faster, making them more prone to injuries.

In the UK, osteoporosis has an effect on  over 3 million people, and 500 000 receive hospital treatment annually.

Women are typically at a higher risk than men especially after menopause. However that doesn’t mean that men, younger women, and children can’t develop the symptoms.

Many factors contribute to the development of the condition, both hereditary and lifestyle.

Although genetics are indicative of the possibility that you might develop the condition lifestyle choices are also very important. Poor dietary choices, not enough vitamins, lack of exercise and heavy drinking to name a few. Can certainly speed up the process of developing osteoporosis.

In addition to that, Inflammatory conditions, hormone imbalance, and malabsorption of nutrients are also known to further contribute to the condition.

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?

The condition develops slowly and usually has a diagnosis when a person breaks a bone. (The most common injuries are broken wrist, broken hip, or broken spinal bones – vertebrae). The loss of bone density before breaking a bone is called osteopenia.

It’s difficult to spot osteoporosis in the early stages. However some symptoms are; height loss, constant muscle spasms, back pain, the curvature of the spine to list a few.

If your doctor suspects you might have osteopenia or osteoporosis, they can work out the expected loss of bone density using medical software .(FRAX and Q-fracture).

In addition to that, they might order a DEXA scan .Which shows current bone density compared to a healthy adult. Depending on the result, the doctor will diagnose the severity of the condition.

Treatment

Treatment for osteoporosis revolves around strengthening the bones. Thus preventing future breaking and fractures. The scope of treatment, i.e. what sort of medicine you might be taking (if any) is determined by a doctor. It depends on several factors, such as age, gender, genetics, and the likelihood of breaking a bone in the future.

Royal Osteoporosis Society has an excellent overview of treatment options and virtual consultation venues (links below the post).

Prevention is the best medicine

It’s important to note that the treatment can’t restore the thinned bones – they are impossible to regenerate. It can, however, significantly slow down the development of the condition.

That is why the prevention of osteoporosis is important, and lifestyle choices can help a lot.

Make sure you are getting enough exercise, and ingesting enough calcium and vitamin D. As these are the crucial elements in prevention.

You can also try Goodwill Pharma’s Cartinorm+BIO collagen. Cartinorm supports muscles and joints and contains collagen that is easily absorbed. Healthy muscles and joints will naturally support the skeletal system, further decreasing the risk of bone fracture.

Living with osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a serious condition that requires care and looking after yourself. Prevention is the key, and the right lifestyle choices can help a lot.

Visit National Osteoporosis Foundation and Royal Osteoporosis Society for specialist advice on prevention, treatment and newest research on osteoporosis. As well as the tips for living comfortably with this condition.

Think about prevention and which supplements you might incorporate to alleviate the symptoms and decrease the risk of breaking bones.

For more advice and resources on other health conditions, read our blog.

Sources:

*NHS – National Health Service
NOF – National Osteoporosis Foundation
Royal Osteoporosis Society