Surviving winter kit (Beauty from within series)

Thursday 21 December 2017

Sponsored post by Eteritique (Neal's Yard remedies)

I’m starting a new series that I will name beauty from within. Mainly because it’s focused on what we put inside ourselves rather than what moisturiser or serum you should use. A few years ago I did a blog post on how to get beautiful hair and skin with food. What we put in us is important and it shows on the outside. The problem today is that our soil isn’t rich in minerals as it was even 50 years ago. This is due to intensive agriculture using fertilisers and pesticides - over time damaging the living soil, rendering it and our food's nutrient poor. Our body needs the right resources to work at its best and unfortunately, with the health of the soil as it is, these can be hard to supply. This is where I’m going to talk about the supplements and things I eat to stay healthy on both the inside and outside. They're all from Neal's Yard Remedies, sponsored by Eteritique. As we are now at the darkest time of the year, I thought I start with the supplements I use for surviving the winter. To stay healthy and allowing my body to feel good even in the dark winter months. Of course, it’s important to still have a healthy diet and exercise in order for your body to feel good. But sometimes it needs a little help. 

Living in Sweden in the dark winter months, taking vitamin D supplement is a must, as you mainly get it from the sun. You should really start taking them in August so your body can store up the vitamins, which I didn't. By October time, I started to feel low and exhausted. So I started taking vitamin D and now I’m full of energy and feeling much more positive and happy. 
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Vitamin D can also help fight colds and depression. 

These capsules help keep your body moving smoothly and soothing stressed muscles. Packed with vitamin C to support normal collagen formation and help maintain healthy joints and muscles. 

They contain ginger, turmeric, frankincense, green tea, rosemary and joint-supporting antioxidant quercetin, to help support tendons, circulation and is great for very active people. 

As it’s full of vitamin C it also keeps you strong to fight all the colds that go around at this time. So far this winter I’ve managed to stay healthy and well. I haven’t even had the sniffles. 

Now over to superfoods. Neal’s yard has some amazing bags with powdered superfoods. Each bag contains about 10 superfoods and it’s a great way to get as many nutrients as possible. There are great to blend into smoothies or sprinkle over your cereals. 

Give your body an inner cleanse with this savoury blend of green tea, wheatgrass, parsley, sea greens and spinach. It contains purifying chlorella and revitalising spirulina to help detoxify and eliminate toxins from the body. What better time than now in the middle of party season and everyone around you are ill to build up with super greens. It has helped me to feel super strong and ready to face anything. It also tastes nice mixing it in a smoothie. 

Looking closer at some of the ingredients:

Spirulina is super high in protein, it also contains 18 essential amino acids, nucleic acids, essential fatty acids, chlorophyll, and a full spectrum of antioxidants, vitamins trace elements and minerals. 
Spirulina is anti-inflammatory which is great if you have eczema or acne. It also detoxifying and liver cleansing. It improves your energy levels and the production of your immune system and much more. Sounds like something you definitely need around in the winter. 

Green tea has a lot of antioxidants which burn fats, reduces heart dirt and improves mental alertness. It also helps with the digestion. 

Wheatgrass is amongst the most alkalising foods available. It has up to 20 times the nutrients of other green vegetables, with twice the beta-carotene of carrots. Wheatgrass powerfully detoxifies, neutralising toxins and protecting the liver. 

Another great superfood blend is Rebalance that helps to rebalance your body and mind while increasing relaxation with this comforting blend of mood-enhancing cocoa. Contains B vitamins and adaptogens- Rhodiola, shiitake mushroom, maca and ashwagandha- to help you adapt to daily stresses and strains. Perfect to mix in a hot cup of almond milk before bedtime to help you relax and sleep. 

Looking closer at some of the ingredients:

Ashwagandha is great if you’re prone to anxiety or exhausted from stress, overwork or insomnia. It brings you down to calm, yet still builds and rejuvenates your energy and vitality. It enhances strength, builds tissue and muscle. It also helps to improve your memory and strengthens your immunity. 

Cacao must be used in its original raw form, powder, bibs or butter to get its health benefits. It contains the highest antioxidant levels of any food. Cacao has high levels of magnesium which support organs needing lots of energy, like the heart, brain and muscles. It makes us focused and alert. It also relaxes muscles and reduces pain. Perfect for period pains. It also makes you feel good. Raw cacao has:
Phenylethylamine (PEA) - the chemical we produce when we fall in love. 
Anandamine - an endorphin produced after exercise, the ‘bliss chemical’. 
Tryptophan - a powerful mood enhancing amino acid, essential for the production of serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’. 
No wonder we crave chocolate when we need comfort. 

Maca was traditionally used as an energy tonic and fertility aid. As an adaptogen maca supports us in times of physical, emotional or environmental stress - ideal for hectic lifestyles when constantly pushing ourselves to perform better. Maca powerfully enhances strength and stamina and is rich in iron, which helps to produce healthy red blood cells.

Rhodiola was used in Russia to survive too long Siberian winters and for astronauts training in outer space. It improves our resistance to stress and helps us manufacture and use fuel more efficiently. Rhodiola increases the bioelectrical activity of the brain improving memory, learning and concentration, whilst reducing mental fatigue. It increases and preserving serotonin, which is helpful with the seasonal affective disorder, caused by low light levels. 

It’s been amazing to try these superfoods and supplements so far this winter. I’ve felt a huge difference in both my energy and mood. The dark, cold days don’t bother me as much at it used to. It definitely is a must-have survival kit for the dark winters for the future. Also worth mentioning that they're all vegan. 

What do you do to survive the winter? 

*Source of information was Neal's Yard Remedies Little book of Superfoods. 

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