Wishing all of our Get More family a very happy and healthy New Year! After the over indulgence of Christmas, surrounded by temptation and tasty treats it’s natural to feel a bit sluggish and run down going into January.
Kickstarting our body clocks into going back to work this week has been tough, and we are making sure we are beating the aftermath of the Christmas colds’ with plenty of our delicious Vitamin C infused sparkling orange flavour drink.
Packed with essential vitamins to help us maintain a healthy immune system, and to help us battle the January blues!
You can now get your daily dose of vitamins delivered straight to your door via Amazon!
Our drinks and gum can now be found online at Amazon, as well as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Ocado and all of our other dedicated big retailers.
With convenient one click you can easily order your Get More Vit' hit right here.
The clocks going back might have brought us an extra hour in bed and a little more light in the mornings, but some research suggests that this twice-yearly event may have a damaging effect on our sleep in the long term.
One of the key ingredients for healthy sleep is the hormone melatonin which helps to regulate our sleep and wake cycles. Typically lowest during the day, melatonin rises at night to promote tiredness and the natural onset and maintenance of sleep. For a peaceful night’s rest it’s important not to disrupt the body’s production of this sleep hormone.
If you struggle to drop off or often wake during the night, now is a good time to review your sleeping habits:
Top 10 tips for better sleep
Natural light: try to get outdoors during the day – not only does this help to support a healthy circadian rhythm, it can improve energy levels and the quality and duration of your sleep. If you struggle to find time or work irregular hours, you might like to think about light therapy, there are various alarm clocks that replicate sunrise, waking you gradually rather than the sudden jolt experienced with traditional alarm clocks or your phone.
Avoid artificial light: blue light from laptops and phones have been proven to reduce melatonin production in the brain. Try to limit access to digital screens for at least an hour before bed, and if you have ‘night mode’ which dims blue light and changes it to a more amber glow, use it.
Exercise: is scientifically proven to improve the quality and length of sleep, so aim to factor in a workout at least 3 times per week. However, avoid high energy routines too close to bedtime or you might feel too wired to wind down in time for sleep, opt for swimming or yoga in the evenings instead.
Caffeine: the rate at which we process caffeine can be influenced by genetics however the average effect of caffeine lasts for approximately 4-6 hours. Drinking tea or coffee late in the day can stimulate the nervous system and prevent sleep, so switch for caffeine free herbal or fruit teas and before bed try calming camomile or valerian. If you’re particularly sensitive be mindful that green tea, chocolate and energy drinks contain caffeine as well as medications such as cold and flu remedies.
Alcohol: you might be tempted to have a ‘nightcap’, and while alcohol is a sedative which initially makes you feel drowsy the effects are short-lived. After a few hours the alcohol begins to wear off and we experience a ‘rebound’ effect causing lighter, less restful sleep and often waking earlier than usual. Alcohol also suppresses melatonin production and can block REM sleep (the most restorative form), so even if we sleep for the same length of time, the quality is affected making us feel tired and groggy. If you’re going to drink in the evening, the optimal window is between 5-7pm (happy hour!) allowing time to process the alcohol and limit the impact on sleep.
Dinner: avoid eating large meals too close to bed time. Feeling full can not only be uncomfortable but breaking down food can also drive up body temperature at a time when it should naturally drop to encourage sleep, the same goes for overly spicy food which can also cause sleep disrupting heartburn.
Instead, eat a small snack before bed: a balanced protein-rich snack helps to balance blood sugar. Sudden drops in blood sugar during the night can cause your adrenal glands to kick in and produce the stress hormone cortisol, stimulating us out of sleep. Try oatcakes with nut butter and banana which contain ‘tryptophan’ an amino acid (protein) which encourages the production of melatonin.
Relaxation: a warm bath an hour before bed slightly raises body temperature, which when it subsequently drops helps to send you to the land of slumber. Gentle yoga, meditation or breathing exercises are also helpful.
If you can’t sleep get up and try again: after 20 minutes tossing and turning, try getting out of bed and find a quiet spot to read a book or try a breathing exercise, but whatever you do – avoid bright lights.
Don’t clock watch! It will only stress you out and reinforce negative thoughts about not being able to sleep, it’s a vicious circle. Resist the urge to check your phone or even better invest in a regular alarm clock - just be sure to turn it away from you before getting your head down.
Fend off those spring sniffles' with some great advice from our resident nutritionist, The Healthy Hedonist, Becky Graham...
As winter turns into spring here in the UK, we can finally welcome lighter, longer days and warmer months. However, less welcome for many is the extra pollen in the air, so if you suffer with seasonal allergies it’s time to get ahead of the game and arm yourself against symptom flare ups with some nutritional know how.
Why do some of us suffer more than others?
Allergies occur for a variety of reasons, they can be inherited or linked to the way we were born, for example infants delivered by C-section are not exposed to the same antibodies from their mothers as those delivered naturally, and as a result the immune system can take longer to mature and defend itself appropriately.
We can also develop allergies in later life, this occurs when the immune system becomes hypersensitive to substances that are normally harmless like certain proteins in foods, pollen or dust mites. The onset of symptoms may be caused by compromised digestion, poor diet, climate or exposure to pollution. Unfortunately, if you are susceptible to one‘atopic’ condition like asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis or hay fever,you are often sensitive to others.
Hay fever is one of the most common allergies, the NHS estimates around 10 million sufferers in the UK, and that figure is on the up - within the next 20 years it’s expected torise to 30 million. Symptoms are generally brought on by inhaling pollen, which encourages the white blood cells of our immune system to respond by producing antibodies. This triggers the release of a hormone called histamine causing inflammation and manifesting in the classic runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and sneezing.
There are a few ways you can help to reduce the impact of annoying allergies. Follow these 10 practical tips and tricks to support your health during allergy season:
Keep your digestive system happy and healthy. 70-80% of the immune system is located in our gut, so feed friendly bacteria with pre and probiotic-rich foods like onions and garlic, leeks, artichoke, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, miso and kombucha.
Eat foods high in quercetin. This antioxidant that has an anti-histamine effect. Apples, peppers, berries, cruciferous veg like broccoli and cabbage, leafy greens and lemons are all good sources.
Juice a pineapple. The tough core contains an enzyme called bromelain which can be effective for respiratory irritation and inflammation associated with allergies.
Limit foods that are high in histamine. Some foods are naturally high in histamine, so it may help to limit them to lower the load on your immune system. These include alcohol (particularly wine and beer), cured meats, vinegars, aged cheese and smoked fish.
Increase vitamin C fruit and vegetables. Pack your plate with an abundance of brightly coloured foods like spinach, kale, broccoli and red peppers, as well as citrus fruits and kiwi. If you struggle to get your 5 (or 10!) per day you may like to consider supplementing or stock up on GetMore Vitamin C for an extra boost.
Eat a rainbow to help manage flare ups, colourful foods contain protective antioxidants. The compound anthocyanin found in berries can help to manage inflammation in the skin and support natural defences. Beta-carotene, the orange pigment in carrots, squash and sweet potato is converted into Vitamin A, another essential skin nutrient.
Up your omega 3 for it’s natural anti-inflammatory properties. Include oily fish like mackerel or salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds several times a week.
Spend less time in damp environments. If you generally feel better in hotter, dryer climates, damp may be the problem. Check your home doesn’t have any mouldissues - it has been linked to the worsening of respiratory conditions like asthma.
Limit exposure to pollen. Simple tips like staying inside on windy days, keeping windows closed, taking a shower after being outside and removing shoes when you enter the house can be helpful at reducing contact with these problematic pollens
Top up with immune essential Vitamin D. Low levels are linked to the onset of allergies, and by February we are very much depleted in the UK. However, if spending time outdoors worsens your symptoms, you may want to think about adding a supplement, or get sipping our refreshing mango and passionfruit.
Finally, if you’re still struggling allergy testing can be helpful to determine foods or environmental allergens that may be causing an immune reaction, making your symptoms worse. Speak to your GP or a Nutritionist about blood tests that can measure IgE allergic reactions, which once identified and removed can reduce the burden on your immune system both during allergy season and beyond.