A Complete Guide to Washing Fruit & Vegetables

A Complete Guide to Washing Fruit & Vegetables

Due to the current circumstances with the COVID-19 global pandemic, this has ignited concerns by many people speculating whether more aggressive washing techniques should be used when washing their fruit and vegetables. In response to this, health professionals have advised that using pervasive substances are unnecessary and global pandemic or not, individuals should be adequately washing their fresh fruit and vegetables to remove germs and any unwanted residues from their surfaces before eating them.

How to do this? The first steps even before washing the fruit and vegetables, is that the individual washes their hands with soap and water and ensure that any utensils or surfaces that the fresh produce may come into contact with is thoroughly cleaned.

The next steps of washing the fruit will depend on the characteristics of the produce. Fruit including apples and pears and vegetables like potatoes that have firmer skins can be brushed with a clean, soft bristle to remove any residues and must be washed before peeling to prevent surface bacteria from reaching the inside of the produce. Leafy greens, which include spinach, lettuce and bok choy should be submerged in a bowl of cool water, swished and rinsed off with fresh water. With delicate produce, including berries or mushrooms which can fall apart can be cleaned with a steady stream of water and gently using fingers to remove any grit on the surface.

Fruit and vegetables offer an abundance of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants which can enrich an individual’s diet once the effective cleaning methods which were mentioned above are applied.

Read our blog on how to correctly wear a mask here

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Understanding Elderberry

Understanding Elderberry

Could understanding Elderberry help you get through cold & flue season this year?Elderberry refers to several different varieties of the Sambucus tree. The most commonly used in nutritional supplements is Sambucus nigra, also known as the European elderberry or black elderberry. Various parts of the elderberry plant have been used throughout history for medicinal and culinary purposes. Hippocrates (often referenced as the father of medicine) called elderberry a medicine chest because of its seemingly endless health benefits and usability.

 

For hundreds of years people have been using teas and syrups made from elderberry to fight upper respiratory infections and boost immunity. So, should we be adding elderberry into our diets during cold and flu season?

Elderberry supplements include syrups, gummies, lozenges, pills and teas. These are believed to work by supplying the body with antioxidants and boosting your natural immune response. Elderberries have twice the natural antioxidant capacity of blueberries and significantly more than cranberries. Some studies found that elderberry has been shown to reduce the severity and length of the flu. One study of 60 people with influenza found that those who took 15ml of elderberry syrup four times per day showed symptom improvement in two to four days, while the control group took seven to eight days to improve.

For most people, it wouldn’t hurt to include elderberry as a part of a healthy diet as we navigate cold and flu season, along with foods and supplements high in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin E, to support the immune system. Make sure you check with your doctor or healthcare professional that the product is right for you. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not recommended to take elderberry.

Find out more about cold & flu season with our naturopath here

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The Ultimate Guide to Herbal Tea

The Ultimate Guide to Herbal Tea

From the boiling of the kettle to the steeping of the tea, sipping and cupping the warm mug, there is something almost meditative about the ritual of a humble cup of tea.

 Sometimes the wonderful world of herbal teas can be a little bit daunting, with the amount of varieties, and trying to find which one is right for the benefits you wish to achieve. We’ll give you our ultimate guide to herbal tea for Winter and why you should be stocking up on them!

An infusion on dried flowers from sweet chamomile plants, chamomile tea is most commonly known for its calming effects and is commonly used as a sleep aid. It has a gentle flavour that is perfectly paired with a teaspoon of manuka honey stirred through.

Peppermint tea is commonly used to assist in relieving discomfort of the digestive tract. Studies have found that the peppermint oil in the tea can be known to help relieve nausea, cramping, spasms and stomach cramps. Try having a cup after a big wintery meal to help with digestion.

Rose Hip tea is made from the fruit of the rose plant, it has a delicate floral flavour with a tart aftertaste. It is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, making it a great tea to add to your routine in winter during the cold and flu season.

Ginger is regularly used as a remedy for nausea, morning sickness and motion sickness. Sipping on ginger tea offers not only these benefits, but is also anti-inflammatory and packed full of antioxidants.

Echinacea tea may help boost the immune system which is why it’s a very popular remedy to prevent or shorten the duration of the common cold.

Rooibos is an herbal tea that comes from South Africa. It is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Lemongrass tea has a fresh lemony citrus flavour that is nice to drink either hot or cold and is commonly blended with green tea. Lemongrass contains antioxidants, so it’s another good one to keep handy throughout Winter.

Hibiscus tea is made from the flowers of the hibiscus plant. When brewed it has a red colour and a tart flavour which tastes nice served hot or chilled. Hibiscus has also been shown to have some heart health benefits, believed to be due to a compound called anthocyanins, which is what gives hibiscus it’s bright red colour.

Passionflower tea is traditionally used to help relieve anxiety and improve sleep. Drink a cup of passionflower tea before bed for a more restful sleep.

Always read the product label before use. Speak to our friendly WholeLife team if you need help determining if this product is right for you.

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Not a tea drinker? Read our interview with Noego Coffee 

The Difference Between Prebiotics & Probiotics

The Difference Between Prebiotics & Probiotics

The diffrence between prebiotics & probiotics… You may have heard the terms prebiotic and probiotic but what do they really mean and what is the difference between them? They both play vital roles in keeping the body healthy and functioning optimally.

 

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms (good bacteria) that reside in the gut, where there is an ecosystem of bacteria working to help your body stay well. This delicate ecosystem in commonly referred to as your gut flora or microbiome.

Probiotics play an integral role in maintaining healthy gut function by supporting out immune system, aiding digestion, assisting with nutrient absorption into the bloodstream and preventing the invasion of harmful microbes.

The benefits of taking probiotics are there ability to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. An imbalance happens when there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. This can happen from a multitude of reasons including taking antibiotics, poor diet and illness.

You can find probiotics in yogurt (with live cultures), some cheeses, some fermented foods and of course a good quality supplement. You can chat with our in-store pharmacists or naturopath to find the perfect probiotic supplement for yourself.

What are prebiotics?

 

Prebiotics are the fibres that feed the healthy gut bacteria and are important in maintaining a balanced gut. Essentially, they give the probiotics the nutrients they need to flourish.

 Prebiotics are found in a variety of plant-based foods including wholegrains, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leeks, asparagus, onions, bananas, whole oats and flaxseeds. You can also find prebiotic supplements at WholeLife.

Overall, the combination of prebiotic and probiotics in your diet can be beneficial to your health and wellbeing.

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Read our Food Is Medicine blog

June Top 10 Vitamins

June Top 10 Vitamins

We have collated our top 10 selling vitamins to inspire those of you that are looking to include more vitamins in your diet. We know, just as well as anyone that the vitamin wall in the pharmacy can be a little overwhelming, what’s what? What does this do? Fear no more, we’ve the answers right here, and in store! Don’t see what you’re looking for in our top 10? Just ask our friendly staff when you visit the store!

1. Vital Organic Greens Powder

 

A power packed combination of 6 nutrient rich, green superfoods to support energy, immunity and overall health. This organic blend is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that help ensure you’re feeling at your best.

2. Ethical Nutrients Immuzorb Immune Defence

 

A combination of Echinacea and Andrographis for daily immune support and to help fight 7 symptoms of cold & flu including runny rose, coughs, sore throat, headache, earache, fever and fatigue.

3. Fusion Magnesium Advanced

 

Supports healthy muscle, nerve and cardiovascular function, as well as energy and exercise performance. Magnesium is required for a large number of body functions, including supporting healthy muscle function, where it plays an important role in facilitating normal muscle relaxation and contraction.

4. Innerhealth Plus Gut health & restoration

 

A live probiotic that may aid in the maintenance of a normal healthy gastrointestinal system and digestive function, aids in maintaining a healthy immune system and may be useful for bloating.

5. Nutra Organics Collagen Beauty

 

Collagen Beauty with VERISOL® and vitamin C is a natural formulation to reduce skin wrinkles and smooth fine lines, increase skin hydration and elasticity, and support healthy hair & nails.

 

Dosage: 12g scoop daily

6. Nutra-Life Bio-Curcumin

 

Nutra-Life Curcumin offers temporary relief of mild osteoarthritic pain. Made with Meriva® curcumin. This product can reduce joint inflammation and swelling and increases joint mobility associated with mild arthritis.

 

Dosage: 2 capsules daily, or take as directed by a healthcare professional

7. Elevit Pregnancy Multivitamin

 

Elevit is a pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplement that has been specially formulated to help meet the increased nutritional needs of women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding.

 

Dosage: 1 tablet daily

8. Blackmores Bio C 1000

 

A potent one-a-day formula to give you a boost of vitamin C to reduce the severity and duration of common cold symptoms. Vitamin C helps due to its ability to support a healthy immune function, it is also an antioxidant.

 

Dosage: 1 tablet daily, or a professionally prescribed

9. Floradix Floravital Herbal Liquid Iron Extract

 

Taking an iron supplement can help you restore your iron levels when your dietary intake is inadequate, maintaining energy, vitality and general well-being. Floravital is also a yeast, wheat and gluten free formula.

 

Dosage: 10ml twice daily

10. Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

 

Packed with powerful antioxidants and infused with superfoods. 2 gummies are equal to 1 apple cider vinegar shot. Apple cider vinegar offers many benefits thanks to its high concentration of acetic acid, including supporting healthy digestion, improving complexion, boosting immunity and enhancing energy.

 

Dosage: 2 gummies daily

All dosage measurements are for adults, please check with your healthcare professional to see if this medication and dosage is right for you. Some of these vitamins may not be suitable for children, please check with your healthcare professional.

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Shop vitamins in our latest catalogue 

Men’s Health Week Interview

Men’s Health Week Interview

For Men’s Health Week we interviewed one of our founders of WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods, Vince Pappalardo.

The top reason for reduced lifespan in men is Cardiovascular Disease (Men’s Health Week 2020). What is your advice for maintaining a healthy heart?

As Cardiovascular Disease is the leading causes for reduced lifespan in men, the aim would be to focus on modifiable factors that contribute to heart health in order to minimise your overall cardiac risk. The importance not only lies within making these changes to your lifestyle, but being able to maintain and impement these changes for the near and distant future. Adjustment of modifiable risk factors can take form among the individual and within the community such as walkability of the built environment and having access to these walking facilities. Individual risk factors relate mostly to the consistent maintainence of adequate physical activity, ensuring a balanced and healthy diet, treating both heart related and other health conditions and adjustment of social behaviours such as drinking, smoking and minimisation intake processed foods while sticking to intake of natural sugars. Consulting your GP about quitting smoking and limiting alcohol as well as addressing health conditions such as cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure and depression as these conditions all have huge impacts on maintaining that healthy heart.

Only 30% of a man’s overall health is determined by genetics, 70% is determined by lifestyle (Men’s Health Week, 2020). What is your top tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?  

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, given the added pressures relating to finances, work, friends and family. My top tip is therefore to prioritise some of the adjustments made above into your daily living and view those changes as a repetitive behaviour like waking up every morning. Changes that need to be made should start small and be realisitic, whilst continuing to grow over time, mirroring your usual lifesyle as much as possible. Engaging a positive mindset and understanding things can become more achievable and maintained when tackled in bite sized chunks until they become routine will be key. Its also important to remember to give yourself time and space to make adjustments within your lifestyle but every step, big or small brings you closer to maintaining a healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle!

What are the benefits of taking a Men’s Health multi-vitamin? 

The benefits of a men’s multivitamin enable the addition of a variety of vitamins and minerals that contribute to your general well being, immunity, energy and stress levels, while addressing key issues relating to mens health such as maintaining healthy hair, liver, prostate, sexual and reproductive health. A men’s mutivitamin may act as an important adjunct to all a healthy and balanced diet, to help assist the optimal functioning of the body 

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Read our blog on the importance of getting your blood pressure tested here