Bone Health For Women

Bone Health For Women

What’s the first thing that you think of when you think of bone health? Calcium? A glass of milk? Short answer is, yes, calcium (which is in milk) is great for bone health but there are also many other factors which can influence the health of your bones, particularly for women.

 

Osteoporosis

Menopause is one of the stages that women go through that can impact bone density. Unfortunately, this means they are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis than men. So, what is osteoporosis? It occurs when your bones begin to lose minerals like calcium more quickly than it can replace it. This can result in the deterioration of bone structure which can result in fractures commonly in the hip, wrist, or spine.

 

Causes of Osteoporosis

Approximately 10% of the population currently have an osteoporosis-related condition. Crazy right? There are a variety of causes of osteoporosis, including things like ageing, calcium or vitamin D deficiency, physical inactivity, from illnesses/diseases, menopause and more. If you’re currently going through menopause, it’s important to be mindful that your oestrogen and progesterone production significantly decreases which can affect your bone health.

 

Prevention Strategies

No need to fear, there are a few things you can do which may assist in preventing a decline in bone strength. These include having a healthy lifestyle and diet which is rich in calcium and protein, keeping active and doing regular weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises and getting enough vitamin D. According to Cancer Council Australia, adequate vitamin D levels can be reached by spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week when the UV index is 3 or above. Though this is the case, don’t forget to practice sun safe measures when the UV index is above 3.

There is an array of supplements which can also assist in bone strength and boosting your calcium and vitamin D levels if you are deficient. These include:

 

Ostelin Bone Strength + Magnesium. These tablets provide key nutrients that can assist in maintaining bone strength and supporting muscle function. This product may be suitable if you have been informed by a health professional that you have low vitamin D levels.

 

Swisse Ultiboost Calcium + Vitamin D. This formula can assist in supporting healthy teeth and bone density, as well as, providing a great source of calcium which may assist in the prevention of osteoporosis if dietary intake is inadequate.

women's health

 

Fusion Health Calcium Advanced with D3. These tablets can assist in supporting strong, healthy bones and teeth, bone mass and mineralisation, bone development and growth in children and teenagers, healthy muscle contraction and immune system function.

women's health

# 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.

Seek advice from a health professional to see what is right for you. To find more of our blogs click here.

Feature image via: Fusion Health

How To Nourish Your Fascia

How To Nourish Your Fascia

Fascia is a term that often flies under the radar when we talk about our health. It’s also something that can vastly improve our quality of life when understood how to treat it right and keep it healthy.

What is fascia, exactly? Fascia is a thin sheet of connective tissue that covers and binds everything in the body to keep it in place. It surrounds every organ, blood vessel, nerve fibre and muscle. Kind of a big deal, right?

It’s made up mostly of collagen, has multiple layers and is designed to stretch and bend as you move. Healthy fascia is flexible allowing you to be mobile and move freely without pain. However, there are several factors that can cause your fascia to tighten up and become knotted. This is called adhesion, and in an ideal world is something that we want to avoid.

Have you ever had a tight, tense pain in your neck and shoulders that you just couldn’t shake? Or have you ever been to get a massage to relieve that knot in your neck that was causing you discomfort? Or do you get shin splints when you go for a jog? That is all the work of your fascia being tight, damaged, or dehydrated in some way.

The good news is that fascia is a resilient structure. With some good old-fashioned TLC, your fascia can get on its way back to being in tip top shape. The better news is that if you already lead a healthy and active lifestyle, your fascia generally takes care of itself.

Here are our top tips on how to best nourish your fascia.

 

Stretch Often

Adhesions between fascial surfaces occur when they’re not being stretched and moved on a regular basis. We all know what that stiff, aching sensation feels like first thing in the morning or the next day after a long walk, and we know that a gentle stretch can relieve that.

If you can commit to stretching for 10 minutes a day, you may be surprised at the increased mobility you gain! Often, our fascia can be tight and stiff without us even realising it, if it’s been that way for a while. There are lots of great fascial stretching videos that you can follow along with online, too! 

 

Stay Hydrated

Fascia is made up of mostly collagen and water, so just like every other important part of your body, it works best when it’s super hydrated! Fascia has been compared to a sponge – if it dries out it can become brittle and hard, but when it’s hydrated it’s springy and resilient.

If you’re struggling to meet your daily water intake, why not try treating yourself to a luxe reusable water bottle? You can make getting in that H2O exciting if you look forward to using a water bottle that you love. We love using Cheeki’s Reusable Water Bottles because they come in lots of sizes and colours.

 

Eat Fascia Friendly Foods

Foods that are rich in antioxidants, fibre and collagen are all fascia friendly foods as they all contain the vitamins and minerals needed to support a healthy fascia. Don’t worry, none of these fascia friendly foods are calling for you to start a crazy fad diet! Luckily for many of us, these are foods that we are already consuming on a daily basis. Think avocados, tomatoes, onions, garlic, leafy greens, extra virgin olive oil, chia seeds, pepitas, bone broth, fish, kefir and yoghurt. Yep, all those foods are most definitely on the WholeLife favourites list!

 

Stay Active

As the saying goes: use it or lose it! Staying active (as well as regular stretching) can help keep your fascia limber and healthy. This is especially important for those of us who sit at a desk for hours a day. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to the chronic compression of the fascia, making it more prone to dehydration and adhesion.

To keep active during the day in the office, set a timer on your phone for every hour on the hour and make time to get up and move for 1 minute. It’s the little changes that can lead to big differences over time.

Scientist and health professionals are still learning more and more about the fascia every day, which is a testament to the complexities of the human body. What we do know is that if you lead an active life with a balanced diet, your fascia (and the rest of your body) will love you back!

 

Featured image via Herbs of Gold

How To Survive Allergy Season

How To Survive Allergy Season

Ahh, spring. The time when the warm sun begins to rise, and the flowers begin to bloom! What’s not to love about spring? Allergies. For many, spring is like stepping onto the allergy battlefield from hell. Constant sneezing, red and itchy eyes, runny noses and skin rashes, what a nightmare! Below are a few of our handy tips that may assist you in surviving this allergy season.

 

Allergies occur as a result of mistaken identity, where an allergen enters the body and is wrongly identified by the immune system as a dangerous substance.

Top Tips

 

  1. Wind can be the enemy – Particularly during spring, pollen from grasses, trees and weeds can be blown into the air, sending your body into a sneezing and itchy eye frenzy. If you can, try your best to stay indoors and close the windows on these days.

 

 

  1. Wash those sheets! – We may not even realise it, but when we’ve been outside all day, we can carry pollen with us on our hair, skin and clothing which can transfer onto our sheets. Showering, changing your clothes and washing your sheets may assist in reducing the build-up of pollen and in turn keep those pesky allergies in your room at bay.

 

 

  1. Timing is everything – Yep, you heard it here folks, timing and preparation is key! Check on the pollen counts for the day in your area to see if its high or low and prepare accordingly. To find pollen counts, look at websites like the Weather Channel and search for “Allergy Tracker.”

 

 

  1. Get a bit of extra help – Sometimes staying indoors is not enough and we need a bit of extra help to get us through the day to do our normal day-to-day activities without being hindered by allergies. Here are a few options which may assist in relieving allergy symptoms.

 

 

Fusion Health Allergy Capsules# – The Fusion Health Allergy capsules contain baical skullcap, which has traditionally been used to relieve mild allergy symptoms including red and itchy eyes and a runny or blocked nose.

allergy season

Claratyne Hay fever and Allergy Relief Tablets# – These tablets are non-drowsy and can provide 24-hour relief from symptoms of hay fever and allergies including sneezing, watery and itchy eyes and runny nose.

allergy season

Zyrtec Hay fever and Allergy Relief Nasal Spray# – This non-drowsy nasal spray formula provides rapid relief of hay fever and allergy symptoms including sneezing, runny and itchy nose.

 

#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.

 

To find more of our allergy-beating products, click here to find our Step into Spring Catalogue. If you have severe allergy symptoms, contact your local health professional to find the best treatments for you.

Feature Image Via: Fusion Health

R U OK Day 2021

R U OK Day 2021

It’s safe to say that these past two years have been extremely challenging for all of us and the limitations we have with face-to-face contact have made it even more challenging to reach out to our loved ones and create meaningful conversations and connections.

Not only can it be difficult to reach out to someone when you’re not in a great place but asking someone if they’re okay can also be a daunting task. What do I say? What if I say the wrong thing? Am I making it worse? These are all valid concerns. Here are a few tips to make asking “R U OK” not so daunting.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE ASKING R U OK?

Before asking someone if they’re okay, check in with yourself. Are you in a good headspace? Are you capable of genuinely listening and giving as much time as needed to this conversation? If you don’t think you are, that’s okay! It can often be difficult to have these conversations when you aren’t in a great place yourself. Try to think of someone else in their support network who could talk to them.

 

1. ASK

If you’re in a good headspace…

  • Be relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach
  • Help them open up to you with questions like “How are you going?”
  • If they’re not acting like themselves, mention specific things that have made you concerned for them, like “You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?”

 

If they don’t want to talk…

  • Don’t criticise them
  • Tell them you’re still concerned about changes in their behaviour, and you care about them
  • Avoid a confrontation
  • You could say: “Please call me if you ever want to chat” or “is there someone else you’d rather talk to?”

 

2. LISTEN

  • Take what they say seriously and don’t interrupt or rush the conversation
  • Don’t judge their experiences/reactions but acknowledge that things seem tough for them
  • If they need time to think, sit patiently with the silence
  • Encourage them to explain: “How are you feeling about that?” or “How long have you felt that way?”
  • Show that you’ve listened by repeating back what you’ve heard in your own words and ask if you have understood them properly

3. ENCOURAGE

  • Ask questions like: “How would you like me to support you?”
  • Some conversations are too big for family and friends to take on alone. If they’ve been feeling down for more than 2 weeks or are at risk, encourage them to see a health professional. You could say, “it might be useful to link in with someone who can support you. I’m happy to help find the right person for you to talk to”

4. CHECK IN

  • Put a reminder in your diary to call them in a couple of weeks. If they’re really struggling, follow up with them sooner. Staying in touch and showing genuine care and concern can make a real difference
  • You could say: “I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to know how you’ve been going since we last chatted”

Want more helpful tips from the R U OK Website? Click here.

If you’re currently experiencing a mental health crisis and need support immediately, don’t hesitate to contact:

Lifeline Australia | 13 11 14

Beyond Blue | 1300 22 4636

MensLine Australia | 1300 78 99 78

Suicide Call Back Service | 1300 659 467

Kidshelpline | 1800 55 1800

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling | 1800 011 046

 

To find more of our blogs click here.

Feature Image Via: Milky Print

The Benefits of Organic

The Benefits of Organic

As consumers, we’ve become used to seeing organic labelling almost everywhere – in supermarkets, in cosmetics, in skincare and even on the labels of our clothes. For many, organic is usually synonymous with ‘more expensive’ and this factor alone can be a deterrent for further investigation. It leaves you wondering; ‘Is that organic kale really worth an extra $4?’.

The term ‘organic’ is thrown around so much that as consumers we have become desensitised to it’s true meaning. It’s often associated with lifestyles that the average Australian may deem unattainable or out of touch with reality. We hear you; not everyone has time to visit the organic farmer’s markets at 6AM on Sunday morning!

If you want to understand what organic actually means and why it is better for your health, the welfare of animals, and better for the environment, keep reading!

What is ‘organic’, anyway?

Fresh produce and products labelled as organic means that the plant or ingredients in that product have been grown and harvested without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers, or genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). According to Australia Certified Organic Certification (ACO), organic does not simply mean chemical free. Instead, it is about a wholistic way of growing and handling food where soil, plants, animals, food, people, and the environment are linked.

When you view organic as a whole system designed to be kinder to people, animals, ecosystems, and the environment, it begins to make sense why the organic market in Australia is steadily growing.

There are inherent issues with massive agricultural operations designed to provide huge yields to feed the masses of populations worldwide. To ensure crop health, synthetic chemicals and pesticides are used. To make the plant grow bigger to produce more fruits, it is genetically modified in a lab and then grown in crops with synthetic fertiliser.

With the scale of such operations continually growing, there’s no doubt party that does not benefit.  This can be seen in the exploitation of workers, the exploitation of the land or the mistreatment of animals.

Choosing to buy organic is an investment into ethical and sustainability practices.

Buying organic in Australia

In Australia, a mandatory central regulatory body for organic certification doesn’t exist. Instead, there are multiple private regulatory bodies each with a set of their own standards as to what they consider organic.

This can make organic claims on products a bit confusing. According to the ACCC, all organic claims on products must be able to be proven by the business. This is why many businesses opt to get a recognisable private organic certification such as the ACO. The ACO is the most prominent organic certification body in Australia.

Certified Organic | WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods
Ceres Organics Sauerkraut with BioGro organic certification from New Zealand.
Certified Organic Oat Milk | WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods
Oaty Bruce Organic Oat Milk has both ACO and BioGro Organic Certifications. 

The benefits of having such a recognisable logo on an organic product is that as consumers we can trust that the product has been tested against the ACO’s high standards. You will find the ACO’s logo on a large percentage of organic products ranged at WholeLife.

There is a push for there to be a centralised organic certification body in Australia to make shopping for organic food and products more transparent for consumers. Although there is an organic ‘standard’ that is regulated by the government, it is not a requirement for businesses to adhere to the standard to claim their product is organic.

Why you should choose to buy organic

Buying organic is important for someone who values quality fresh produce and products, sustainable practices and being ethically conscious. Organic does not mean that the product is automatically ‘healthier’ in a nutritional content sense, which is a common misconception.

The difference between non-organic and organics comes with the added peace of mind that we are supporting healthier farming practices which in turn benefits the health of the soil, ecosystems, animals, rivers, oceans, mountains – the list is endless!

The more demand there is for organic, the more accessible organic will become. Think about mainstream supermarkets that now have dedicated organic sections in the fruit and vegetables section, and entire health foods aisles packed full of organic products – these certainly didn’t exist 20 years ago!

The increasing demand for full product and process transparency is pushing for more business to adopt organic ingredients in order to increase consumer trust, and in turn sales. This consumer push is not only limited to consumable items like fresh fruit and vegetables, beverages, and pantry items, but also in cosmetics and body care products.

We’ve touched on the rise of conscious beauty beforehand, which goes hand-in-hand with the values that underpin the organic industry.

Buying organic at WholeLife

We’re proud to range such a huge variety of organic products in store at WholeLife. From organic flours, seeds and nuts to organic canned chickpeas with BPA free packaging, you can find all your essential organic pantry staples under one roof.

The icing on the (organic) cake is that we have passionate and knowledgeable staff there to help you navigate the difference between your organic tamari and your organic soy sauce!

You can find our current catalogue here with plenty of organic products on sale to stock up on in celebration of Organic Awareness Month.

 

Featured image via Nutra Organics.

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!

Feature Image Via: Fusion Health