At Get More Vits, we want to wish you a warm and Merry Christmas and of course a Happy New Year… What better way to kick off 2019 than by WINNING a luxury spa break worth £250! We’ve teamed up with Spa Seekers to gift one lucky winner a relaxing New Year Getaway. So treat yourself or a loved one with a relaxing and rejuvenating break on us!
Head over to the competition page to enter, the closing date is the 31st December. Good luck!
Easter is almost here which means the perfect excuse to enjoy serious amounts of chocolate. But before you eat your body weight in mini eggs, let’s get clear on the health benefits so you can tuck in totally guilt free!
Here are my Top 10 reasons to indulge this Easter
Dark chocolate, especially over 70% can have enough antioxidant power to rival berries! Antioxidants are crucial for protecting our cells against oxidative stress caused by everyday bodily processes and external sources like environmental pollution and toxins. ‘Phytochemicals’ (healthy compounds found in plants) such as polyphenols, flavanols and catechins help to mop up free radical damage.
Flavanoids have been shown to be protective against heart disease by helping to lower blood pressure and encourage blood flow.
Cocoa has been shown to improve cholesterol levels by reducing unhealthy LDL and increasing healthy HDL.
Chocolate is made from cacao beans which are an amazing source of magnesium. In a regular large bar of chocolate (100g), there’s approximately 170 mg of magnesium - around half your daily requirement. This multitasking mineral is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in the body and is most well known as ‘nature’s relaxant’. There’s an excuse to reach for the choccie when feeling stressed out, our body is simply telling us we need more! In addition, magnesium is essential for muscle function and why bathing in Epsom salts can ease tight, sore muscles.
Chocolate also contains other essential minerals, including iron for red blood cells and the metabolism, zinc for skin, hair, nails and the immune system, as well as manganese and copper.
It’s not only when we’re stressed that chocolate can be helpful, if you’re feeling low, snacking on a square or two may give you a lift by providing small amounts of a natural chemical normally produced by our brain called anandamide, claimed to have similar euphoric effects to cannabis! The jury is still out as to the effect on humans, but eating chocolate does encourage the production of other natural feel- good chemicals such as serotonin, so there’s no harm in experimenting with this legal high.
If you’re still suffering with a lingering winter cough, chocolate can help to calm nerve endings in your throat and contains a compound called theobromine, which together help to suppress the urge to cough and has been found to be more potent than some codeine containing cough medicines.
As long as it’s consumed in moderation, dark chocolate may be helpful for weight- loss. As a source of slowly digested healthy fats, including oleic acid (the same as olive oil) chocolate can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
The dark stuff is naturally low in sugar or even sugar free! We all know too much isn’t healthy, but it’s not just the impact on your waistline to be aware of. Eating sugar in excess or too frequently can disrupt blood glucose levels and lead to low energy and poor concentration. It can also negatively impact our gut - in turn affecting other areas of health such as the immune system and skin. Reduce or avoid milk and white chocolate which tend to be highly processed with lots of added sugar.
Make sure you’re getting the most from your chocolate habit by opting for organic. This avoids chemicals used in processing that can be stressful for the liver to detoxify. Remember always focus on quality over quantity – this ensures you get the most nutritional bang for your buck.
The heat is on and if you’re firing up the BBQ for a party this summer, why not try making your tipple a little healthier than usual.
Here are our 5 signature cocktails to GetMore vitamins into your drinks.
Lemon & Lime Cooler
Looking for a low alcohol tipple you can keep on drinking (within reason!)? We’ve used ourMultivitamin Lemon & Lime to make this simple, refreshing cooler. This works just as well without the vodka so for non-drinkers, make it a mocktail.
Ingredients – makes 2 drinks
500ml GetMore Lemon & Lime 50ml Vodka
2 Large handfuls fresh mint
Use a tall glass and add a handful of fresh mint leaves plus the juice of 1 whole lime to each glass.
Use a muddler (if you’re a cocktail pro) or the end of a rolling pin to crush the mintand lime together.
Add a generous helping of ice.
Pour in 25 ml vodka for each drink and top with GetMore Lemon & Lime, stir and enjoy!
Blueberry & Blackberry Bramble
Vitamin A is vital for healthy skin and vision, although let’s be honest it won’t stop youseeing double after one too many, so stick to your limits! We’ve added loads of fresh berriesto this for even more skin loving goodness – ‘anthocyanins’ gives berries their purple colour and help to protect against skin damage.
Ingredients – makes 2 drinks
500ml GetMore Blackberry & Blueberry 50ml Gin
Crush the ice by wrapping a few handfuls in a clean tea towel – then give them a good bash with a rolling pin.
Add to large gin glasses and pour in 25 ml gin per person.
Use a blender to combine fresh blueberries and blackberries and a splash of water into a smooth puree.
If you have a small strainer, use it to strain the puree into the gin glasses. If not, it’s equally as good without straining, as long as you don’t mind a few bits of berry!
Squeeze in the juice of half a fresh lemon and top with GetMore Blackberry & Blueberry.
Garnish with a sprinkle of blueberries or blackberries.
Mango & Passionfruit Mojito
This mojito is a thirst quenching take on a classic, and packed full of the sunshine Vitamin D will quite literally bring the flavour of the Caribbean to your own back garden. We’ve addedfresh mango for an extra boost of vitamin C and by blending the whole fruit you’re getting alittle fibre for healthy digestion too!
Ingredients – makes 2 drinks
250ml (half bottle) GetMore Mango & Passionfruit 50ml White rum
2 Handfuls fresh mint
Crush ice by wrapping a few handfuls in a tea towel – then give them a good bash with a rolling pin.
Use tall glasses, adding a handful of chopped mint and the juice of a whole lime to each, then top with the crushed ice.
Peel and chop the mango then add to a blender with a little water and whizz up to form a puree.
Pour the puree over the ice along with 25 ml rum per person and top with GetMore Mango & Passionfruit.
Give the mix a good stir, then sit back and enjoy.
Apple & Raspberry Cosmo
If you’re in for a night of it start things off with our healthy take on the classic Cosmopolitan. It’s loaded with B vitamins that are quickly depleted when we drink alcohol, leaving you low in energy and even feeling down. So, sip happy with our Apple & Raspberry Cosmo, and throw in a handful of fresh raspberries for added antioxidant power. This is best made using a cocktail shaker but if you don’t have one, a large blender cup or a tall Tupperware with a lid will work too.
Ingredients – makes 2 drinks
250ml (half a bottle) GetMore Apple & Raspberry 50ml Vodka
Large handful fresh raspberries
Orange peel or more raspberries to garnish
Add raspberries to a blender with half a bottle of GetMore Apple & Raspberry.
Use a cocktail shaker and combine the raspberry blend with Vodka and Cointreau.
Add a large handful of ice to the shaker then carefully tip one way and the other to cool the mixture – no need for a vigorous shake!
Strain the mix into martini glasses.
If you’re feeling fancy, use a peeler or small knife to garnish with a twist of orange peel or skewer a few raspberries on to a cocktail stick for extra berry goodness.
A Twist on a Spritz!
Everyone loves an Aperol spritz these days, so why not make yours a nutritious version? More nutrients = less guilt. GetMore Orange contains 200% of our recommended daily dose of Vitamin C which, like the B vits is quickly used up by our body to detoxify alcohol and is a key player for the immune system.
Ingredients – makes 2 drinks.
500ml GetMore Orange
Fresh orange slices to garnish
Add a large handful ice to gin glasses then pour in 50 ml Aperol per person.
Pop open a bottle of prosecco and add 75 ml of fizz to each glass.
Top with GetMore Orange and add a fresh slice of orange to garnish.
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.