Tips for Taking Care of Your Hearing

Tips for Taking Care of Your Hearing

There’s really no better feeling than putting your headphones on, blasting your favourite music and having a major main character moment, but what happens to our ears? If you’re having to shout to be heard over a noise, it’s more than likely that it’s actually damaging your hearing. Often, once our hearing is damaged it can’t be restored! So, what can we do to minimise the risk of this happening?

 

1. Wearing earplugs

Although we may try and avoid exposure to obvious loud noises like heavy machinery, what about concerts, clubs or even your lawnmower in the backyard? Wearing earplugs when exposed to any loud sounds, like the ones mentioned previously, can be extremely beneficial in maintaining noise levels and reducing the risk of hearing loss.

 

2. Turn that volume down!

I’m sure we’re all guilty of turning our house, car or headphones into our own mini concert and blasting some bangers. However, your electronics can damage your hearing the same way that loud machinery can! A top tip to minimise your chances of losing your hearing, is by listening to music, a movie or a video game at no more than 60% max volume and only wearing your earphones or headphones for no more than an hour.

 

FUN FACT:

Did you know that you can now view on your Apple devices your audio levels on the Health App?! Apple groups your headphone/earphone volume levels into two categories, “Ok” (under 80 decibels) to “Loud” (over 80 decibels). This tool can be extremely beneficial in finding out if your volume patterns and headphone use could be impacting your hearing.

For those Apple Watch lovers, the watchOS Noise app alerts you when you’re in a loud environment that could damage your hearing. Crazy right? There are also many apps which you can download on Android to monitor your audio levels.

 

3. Stress less

You’re probably thinking, how on earth could stress impact my hearing? We’re here to tell you that in fact it can! When your body is responding to stress, the overproduction of adrenaline actually minimises blood flow to your ears which can impact your hearing. Have you ever heard of Tinnitus? Many studies have revealed that countless individuals experience symptoms of Tinnitus like ringing, buzzing or whistling noises in their ear after experiencing a stressful period in their lives. So how can we stress less? Click here to find our favourite tips to reducing stress.

 

4. Get your hearing checked

It’s imperative to get your hearing checked every few years. If you’re experiencing symptoms of ringing sensation in the ears, having difficulty hearing conversations or others complaining that your volume is too high, this might be a sign that you should get your hearing checked ASAP!

 

How Stress Affects Your Immunity

How Stress Affects Your Immunity

Life definitely likes to throw us some curveballs and at times it can get a little hectic when we have the added stress of deadlines, relationships and other life events which are completely out of our control. We’ve probably all experienced that feeling where we think everything, including us, is about to sink in a never-ending ship of stress.

 

HOW DOES STRESS AFFECT YOUR IMMUNITY?

 

Have you ever gotten sick around the time you were really stressed? That may be because, when you’re stressed, your immune system has a harder time fighting off antigens like bacteria, making you more vulnerable to infections.[1] Crazy right? When we’re stressed, our body’s lymphocytes levels can decrease (those knights in shining armour white blood cells which help fight off infections). The lower the lymphocyte level, the higher the risk of viruses including the common cold and cold sores.[2] This is exactly what we DON’T want.

 

So how can we minimise the impact that stress can have on our lives? We’re going to give you our top 5 favourite stress relievers which may assist you in easing those stressful times and potentially protecting your immune system that little bit extra!

 

STRESS RELIEVING TIPS

 

  1. Exercise: Sometimes the last thing we want to do on those cold wintery days is jump out of bed and do exercise. However, not only can regular exercise reduce the likelihood of you having a heart attack and other illnesses, but it can also reduce your stress![1] Next time you’re feeling that little bit extra worked up, try going for a run, walk or whatever you prefer. Don’t forget to set yourself a fitness goal to make your workouts more meaningful and give you greater satisfaction when you’ve achieved those milestones.

 

  1. Take a break: Sometimes we may think that the only way we will ease our stress is by tirelessly over-working ourselves to get it all done. At the end of the day, we’re only human and we need BREAKS!! In between trying to get all your tasks done, make sure you take a relaxing break like listening to your favourite music, spending some time with your pet or reading your favourite book. Taking these breaks can help to facilitate recovery, which can allow you to return to a clearer state of mind and reset your mood.[2]

 

  1. Make time for hobbies: To reiterate, taking a break is ESSENTIAL and if you can engage with a hobby during this break time that’s even better. Hobbies can bring extreme enjoyment into your life and can assist in minimising the impact of stress. A study showed that individuals in stressful jobs feel less of a need to recover from their day when they have hobbies that aren’t work related.[3]

 

  1. Taking one thing at a time: We’ve probably all felt at one point in our life like we had way too much on our plate and didn’t know how we were going to get through it. We’re telling you now, making a to-do list is a lifesaver. By creating to-do lists, it can be an instant stress-reliever and each task you cross off is extremely satisfying. Make sure during this process you continue having regular breaks.

 

  1. Connecting with nature: Immersing yourself in nature can be extremely beneficial in reducing your stress. It can also enhance your physical wellbeing by reducing your blood pressure, heart rate and the production of stress hormones.[4]

 

If your immune system is needing an extra boost, click here for our Wellness Juice Shot recipe!

 

Must Have Winter Vitamins

Must Have Winter Vitamins

WINTER IS HERE! As the sun starts to set earlier and the days become remarkably colder, the time is now to prepare our immune systems for battle against those nasty colds and the flu.

As much as winter is great for those hot chocolates and rugged up movie nights by the fire, it’s also a field day for germs to spread. Reports indicate that during winter, people are less likely to go outside, meaning they’re exposed to minimum fresh air which results in more contact with individuals who are sick[1].

We’re here to save the day and tell you some of our favourite supplements that may assist in helping you strengthen your immune system and battle those pesky sick days.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient which can be found in a plethora of fruits and vegetables and has ample benefits which include reducing the risk of a number of diseases, the severity of colds, as well as boosting your immune system[2]. This is EXACTLY what we need to prepare ourselves for winter! Sometimes we need a bit of extra assistance and the Fusion Health Vitamin C 1000 Advanced tablets can assist in a healthy functioning immune system and fighting off illnesses.

 

Vitamin D

Let’s get that Vitamin D aka the sunshine vitamin!! Sunlight is a primary source to getting Vitamin D. So, why’s it so important in winter? Vitamin D is essential for our immune health and as our exposure to the sun in winter is at its lowest, this can pose as a threat to our immune system[3]. If you believe you may have a deficiency in Vitamin D, talk to your GP or our friendly pharmacists at one of our WholeLife stores to get further advice. Click here to find our store locator. We love the Herbs of Gold Vitamin D3 1000 capsules which may assist in bone health, healthy immune system function and calcium absorption.

 

Zinc

Zinc is another must have supplement this winter which can assist in helping your immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Taking Zinc supplements can be extremely beneficial for individuals who are either Zinc deficient or are needing an extra boost for their immune system. Speak to your local GP or our professional staff at WholeLife for more advice on what supplements are right for you. We love Caruso’s Zinc tablets which may assist in supporting immune system health and enhancing immune system defence.

vitamin c
vitamin d
winter vitamin zinc

#Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. This medicine may not be right for you, read the label before purchase. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. *Nutritional supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate. 

 

If you want to learn more about vitamins and their benefits, click here for our A-Z Vitamins blog.

Sleep and Relaxation Rituals for Better Living

Sleep and Relaxation Rituals for Better Living

There’s really no better feeling than waking up in the morning feeling like you just had the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had. However, do you ever struggle to feel that way and don’t have a set sleeping ritual? We’re here to help! Beauty sleep is very important to us here at WholeLife, so we’re giving you our top 10 sleep and relaxation rituals that can assist in bettering your sleep.

 

 1. Clean your surroundings

We strongly believe that a clean room equals a clean mind. Do you also get that ultimate feeling of satisfaction when you tidy up your room? We sure do! Cleaning and organising your room before going to bed can assist in reducing stress, making you feel calmer. To top it off, having a clean room PLUS putting on your favourite essential oil is the most perfect combo. We love GumLeaf Essentials’ Sleep Soundly Pure Essential Oil. This 100% natural oil can help in relaxing and relieving mental tension. So, next time before you go bed, try tidying your space and turning on your oil diffuser with a relaxation essential oil.

 

2. Meditate

Meditation is another one of our favourite sleep and relaxation rituals before bed. If you’re someone who stresses a lot about certain events and outcomes, it can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep and have peace of mind. Meditation[1] can promote calmness, reduce your heart rate and increase your melatonin, which is the sleep hormone. The Meditation Bible written by Madonna Gauding has ample techniques and practices to help kickstart your meditation journey! This book can be found at WholeLife.

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/meditation-for-sleep#how-it-helps

 

3. Journal

You may be thinking how on earth could journaling assist in improving your sleep?! We are here to tell you that writing down your thoughts and giving yourself a list for the next day can allow you to utilise a physical space to express any concerns you have, minimising the need to analyse them in your brain right before you go to bed.

 

4. Drink a tea

There’s nothing better than ending the day with a warm, calming tea. We love English Tea Shop’s Organic Wellness Sleep Me Tea. This tea is beautifully blended with calming caffeine-free chamomile, lavender and hop leaves for a citrusy flavour. Shop English Tea Shop in our stores now!

 

5. Listen to music

Listening to relaxing music before going to bed can assist in slowing down your heart rate and breathing, which can ease stress and anxiety. Make sure to avoid music which is upbeat and can trigger emotions like excitement or sadness. If you don’t know what music to listen to, we recommend Reiki Music VOL.1 by Salerno Martine which is also stocked at WholeLife.

 

6. Take care of yourself

After a long and strenuous day, it’s important to take some time to take care of yourself. Name a better feeling than jumping into bed feeling squeaky clean? You can’t! Try taking a warm bath with the Luvin Life Soothe Bath Salts. This is a perfect blend with an amalgamation of Himalayan salt, Epsom salt and soothing pure essential oils, perfect for calming the soul. Even a warm shower at the end of the night is a perfect way to unwind and allow you to relax.

 

7. Comfortable clothing

I’m sure all of us can agree that we often get excited about the thought of getting home just to jump into our comfiest clothing! Comfort is key for a good night’s sleep. We love Boody’s Goodnight Raglan Sleep Top which is made from organically grown bamboo that is super breathable, lightweight and soft. Pair this top with Boody’s Goodnight Sleep Pants which are also silky soft. A perfect combo. Shop in your nearest WholeLife store to find the right pyjama set for you by Boody!

 

8. Read a book

Your sleep ritual can be the perfect time to unwind and detach yourself from your electronic devices, giving your eyes a rest. It’s time to grab a book! Try avoiding highly suspenseful books right before bed which could make it difficult for you to settle down. We love the Mindful Body by Noa Bellin which explores the path to mindfulness and mindful living. You can find this book in WholeLife stores!

 

9. Lighting

Lighting is ESSENTIAL! A top tip before jumping into bed is to make sure your room’s lighting is exactly how you want it to give you the best beauty sleep possible. If you need your blinds down…put those blinds down!

 

10. Extra assistance

Sometimes we need a bit of extra help when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re struggling, visit your nearest WholeLife store and talk to one of our pharmacists for advice on finding the best products for you! Click here to find our Store Locator.

Some of our favourite products include…

  • Amazing Oils Magnesium Pro Sleep Lotion: This Australian-made and vegan lotion incorporates healing properties of lavender and chamomile which can assist in mind relaxation, calming your nervous system and relieving disturbed sleep.
  • Fusion Sleep: These tablets contain passionflower and many other amazing ingredients which can assist in relieving sleeplessness, stress and mild anxiety.
Amazing Oils Magnesium Pro Sleep Lotion
Fusion Health Sleep

# Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. This medicine may not be right for you, read the label before purchase. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. *Nutritional supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.

 

To learn more about our favourite natural beauty picks that can help strengthen your night-time routine, click here.

Why You Should Consume More Fermented Foods This Winter

Why You Should Consume More Fermented Foods This Winter

What do yogurt, sour pickles and kimchi have in common? You guessed it, they’re fermented foods! Packed with antioxidants and probiotics, fermented foods can do wonders for your digestive and immune systems. And with flu season on the way, our bodies may need a boost.

 

WHAT ARE FERMENTED FOODS?

Hey, remember that time a guy turned water into wine? Ancient articles tell us that fermentation has existed for thousands of years. Before refrigerators and Tupperware, the process of fermenting was necessary to preserve food through seasons when fresh vegetables, fruit and milk were scarce. Today, we use fermentation as a simple, tasty method to preserve food and its nutrients.

Ever heard of tempeh, sauerkraut or miso? They are vegetables and soybeans that have been prepared, sealed and left to ferment. Over time, good bacteria convert carbohydrates into acid and/or alcohol. This produces essential catalysts, vitamins, and probiotic strains that help balance the natural flora in our bodies. But before pouring yourself a GENEROUS glass of red, remember that the benefits of fermentation do not outweigh the negatives of consuming excess alcohol.

 

WHAT’S THE HYPE ABOUT?

If you jumped on the sourdough bandwagon during the lockdown, you’re probably familiar with the key benefits of preserved food/drink. Studies have confirmed that cultured and fermented foods are loaded with good microbes—BILLIONS of them—that help the flora flourish inside our digestive system. Yakult! Remember drinking those as a kid? Those small bottles of fermented milk are densely rich with nutritional probiotics. Now, we have access to a HUGE variety of fermented wonder-food in grocery stores and e-markets. Kefir, chocolate, and pickles. Feeling hungry yet? Here are some examples to include in your diet:

  • Yogurt – You’ve heard of this stuff. Yogurt is cultured dairy that contains living probiotics. And if lactose doesn’t work for you, you can try out non-dairy options like almond or coconut milk yogurt.

 

  • PL&V cashew cheesePeace, Love & Vegetables is a Byron Bay-based organic food producer bringing you organic, fermented foods like cashew cheese. Yum! Choose from Dill, Mediterranean, French Onion, Medicine Mushroom or Chipotle flavoured cashew cheese, packed with probiotics.

 

  • Kombucha – Made from sweetened tea and symbiotic culture, this fermented wonder-drink is now homebrewed globally. Ever heard of a SCOBY? It’s that pikelet-looking growth agent, a blob of bacteria and yeast that converts sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. After a week, a scoby can transform tea into sweet bubbly kombucha. Filled with gut-nourishing antioxidants and said probiotic functions, kombucha drinks come in SO many flavours! Mango, ginger, blueberry—discover your favourite at one of our WholeLife stores. A Kombucha also goes perfectly with our Healthy Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Nachos with Oven Baked Tortilla Chips! Click for the recipe here

 

  • Kimchi – Brined (salted and drained) vegetables, such as radishes and cabbage, are seasoned and sealed air-tight in jars to ferment for 24 to 48 hours. This stuff is a staple in Korean cuisine. So go ahead, spice up that fried rice with some Kimchi goodness!

 

SUMMARY

  1. Fermented food/drinks contain antioxidants and good bacteria (probiotics)
  2. Probiotics help balance the natural flora in our bodies
  3. Healthy flora boosts our immune system, which reduces the risk of common infections (e.g. cold virus)
  4. Fermentation breaks down food, making it easier for us to digest and absorb nutrients
  5. You can upgrade any meal with tasty fermented food/drinks
The Relationship Between Gut Health and Skin

The Relationship Between Gut Health and Skin

The skin is your body’s largest organ, acting as our protective barrier, a temperature regulator, and as a communicator. Your skin can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside; if you’re too hot, if you’re dehydrated and even if you’re not eating the right foods for your body. Your gut health and skin health have a complex relationship.

The gut-skin axis is the term that describes how the health of your gut microbiome is reflected on your skin. Recent studies have linked skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, and acne to the balance of microbiota inside your gut.

 

What is the Gut Microbiome?

Your gut microbiome is essentially the name for the trillions of different types of microorganisms, mostly bacteria, that live in your gut. Bacteria often gets a bad rap but is actually a healthy guts’ best friend!

Everyone’s gut microbiome is different and shaped by a variety of factors like genetics, stress level, illness, and lifestyle. Most of these factors are out of our control ­– but luckily, we’re able to influence a healthy gut through diet.

The bacteria in your gut help digest and break down food, absorb and synthesise nutrients, and can even influence your mood, all functions critical to our health and wellbeing. Turns out keeping trillions of bacteria in your gut (that you rarely think about) happy is important after all!

Highly processed, excessively sugary or greasy foods can disrupt the balance of good versus bad bacteria in your gut. This disruption triggers inflammatory immune responses: your body’s way of trying to regain a harmonious balance. Since the skin is our largest organ, it comes as no surprise that these inflammatory responses are sometimes reflected on our skin. Your skin could be telling you that your gut microbiome isn’t happy if you have persistent breakouts, dullness, discolouration, redness, dandruff or rashes.

Green St Kitchen Kimchi | WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods   Peace, Love & Vegetables Superkraut | WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods

Peace, Love & Vegetables Probiotic Kefir Berry & Mandarin | WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods   Rok Kombucha Ginger Pop or Lemon Licks | WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods

A Healthy Gut for Glowing Skin

The old cliché that chocolate gives you pimples may not be too far off the truth after all.

Sometimes we can’t control stress levels, how much sleep we’re getting or catching a cold going into the cooler months, but we can control the quality of food we consume. Yes – this is your sign to delete your junk food takeaway apps and pen your whole food shopping list ASAP!

Food that is high in fibre take longer to be digested than other foods and are recommended for a healthy gut. These high-fibre foods are sometimes referred to as prebiotics, since they feed our beneficial microbiota. Garlic, onion, bananas, leeks, asparagus among others are all a healthy gut’s favourites.

Probiotic foods contain live bacteria that grow during the fermentation process. You can find plenty of these in WholeLife Healthfoods fridges and shelves; think sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, apple cider vinegar and kombucha. Introducing beneficial bacteria into your gut that are found in these food and drinks helps balance out the harmful bacteria. Happy gut and happy tastebuds!

If you’re taking steps to improve your gut health for glowing skin, chances are you’ll reap the benefits elsewhere, too! Your mood, immune system, endocrine system (your hormones) and brain function have all been found to link to gut health.

Don’t Skip Your Supplements

Taking a daily probiotic supplement can also help you nourish your gut microbiome. When choosing your probiotic for skin health, look for these two species on the label: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These species have been linked in clinical studies to reduce skin inflammation, boost skin ceramides, reduce redness and improve acne. Science backed skincare – yes please!

Life-Space Probiotics | WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods   Herbs of Gold Probiotics | WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods

#Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. This medicine may not be right for you, read the label before purchase. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. *Nutritional supplements may only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.

 

Steps to Improve Your Gut Health

Your gut microbiome isn’t going to be healed after one kombucha and a probiotic supplement. The road to a healthy gut varies person to person, but with consistency can take up to four weeks to notice any changes in your skin health.

Some steps to take to make sure you’re on the right track:

  • Diversify your microbiome by eating a wide range of fibrous, plant-based foods
  • Increase your fermented foods intake and try incorporating kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha into your diet
  • Stay away from sugary, processed, and packaged foods that are harmful to your good gut bacteria
  • Take a broad-spectrum daily probiotic
  • Stay hydrated! Your gut and skin both love water, so you should aim to drink 2-3 litres a day

 

Nourish from The Inside and Out

Even though the gut-skin axis link is strong, that doesn’t mean we’re giving you a free pass to give up on your skincare! Your skin stills need loving from the outside too, especially if ageing is a skin concern. UV damage is widely maintained as the number one cause of ageing; think wrinkles, discolouration, loss of elasticity – it’s all linked to UV damage. A broad-spectrum 50+ SPF is a daily essential to protect your dermis.

 

Follow us on Instagram @wholelifepharmacyandhealthfood for the latest on our favourite gut-friendly products to hit the fridges and shelves.