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The temperature keeps moving up and down as we enter the golden glow of Autumn. One day it’s super cold and the next it’s mild and sunny. Coughs and colds are rampant and to avoid getting ill I’m using my five foods that fight infections.

Honey All honey is good at fighting infection but the manuka variety from New Zealand is the best of all. Many people make the mistake of adding it to boiling water which destroys much of the benefits. To make the most of your honey eat a tablespoon daily and make sure it’s raw and unfiltered for the maximum benefits.

Lemon We all know that lemons are full of Vitamin C but many of us think they are acidic. Whilst they taste bitter lemon alkalizes once inside our bodies helping fight inflammation which is a key to staying healthy. I like to add the juice of 1 lemon to a mug. Half fill it with cold water and then top it up with boiling water from the kettle. This way it’s warm enough to fire up the digestive system yet retains all the precious vitamins.

Ginger Whenever I feel a cold coming on I always have a shot of pressed ginger juice. It’s super spicy but any symptoms of the cold are quickly gone. If you don’t own a juicer try grating the ginger and adding it to hot water or even a nice soup.

Garlic In my opinion garlic can be more powerful than many antibiotic, without any of the downsides. There is one common downside however which is the smell. On the rare occasion I’m hit with a cold or the flu then I finely chop three large cloves of garlic and mix them with a dairy-free yogurt and add some fresh lemon juice. It’s guaranteed you will stink but take this once a day and your cold or flu will soon be gone.

Apple Cider Vinegar Like lemon ACV becomes alkaline once ingested. This is a great choice for salad dressings. Unlike regular vinegar that causes inflammation this also prevents stomach bugs and fights bacteria thanks to it’s natural antibiotic properties.

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In today’s vegan, gluten-free, green juice obsessed world, we are constantly on the lookout for the newest, healthiest thing. I love that we are exposed to a way of living that is more accessible and most importantly enjoyable. One of the noticeable points I’ve heard health experts and nutritionalists mention is the importance of fish oils for day to day health. According to Dr Axe cod liver oil holds numerous health benefits. One that caught my eye is Vitamin D which my doctor recently told me I’m lacking. I’ve put the deficiency down to my increased use of sunscreen. The anti-aging benefits of an SPF have a noticeable side effect that needs to be addressed. Now that I’m taking Seven Seas Simply Timeless Marine Oil with Cod Liver Oil – plus multivitamins (gosh that was a mouthful) I’m happy to know my Vitamin D levels will be rising. The one-a-day capsules are also multivitamins so we get benefits of fish oils and a multivitamin in one go. I must admit I was nervous that I’d get an after taste of fish which is the last thing I want first thing in the morning. Luckily there has been no fishy odor or aftertaste whatsoever, it feels the same as taking an ordinary multivitamin.

More potential benefits from regularly taking fish oils are weight loss and enhanced immunity. They can also help with depression which is especially useful during the Winter months when the nights are longer. Lastly the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils are anti-inflammatory which is so important as staying alkaline is a key to being healthy. I have fond memories of Seven Seas as I remember my Mum taking them when I was a kid. It also shows that they were onto the benefits of omega fatty acids decades before it became a trend alongside kale and quinoa. To find out more about Seven Seas and their different products you can visit the website.

 

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This September my dog Ralphy will turn 6 and somehow I love him even more as each year passes. He’s cheeky, funny and super cute whilst sharing his endless supply of love – he’s my safe place. He was just three months old when I got him in London, this was a bit of a nightmare as he’d bark and howl – even when I stepped out to empty the rubbish. Like most Londoners I lived in a flat and as you can image my neighbors didn’t appreciate the sound of him barking anytime I needed to leave him alone. When my boyfriend and I planned to move to his native Germany and set up our company there was zero doubt as to whether Ralphy would come or not. Traveling from the UK to Germany became quite the journey as we took the overnight ferry from Norfolk to Holland and then drove for 10 hours to our new home in Baden-Wurttemburg. When the ferry company told us we could see his kennel via CCTV from the TV in our cabin I didn’t realise everyone else could too. He spent most of the time barking and the next morning as we were lining up at passport control an American girl said to her parents ‘look there’s the dog we saw on TV last night’. His current home in Germany suits him perfectly as he has more than enough space to run and do what dogs do and with the help of family he’s never alone. To celebrate the special bond between humans and dog’s I’ve researched 5 benefits to owning a pooch from this Huffington Post article.

1 We become more outdoorsy. Going for walks is mandatory when owning a dog. I soon made the most of London’s beautiful parks (especially Hyde Park) and Sunday’s on the sofa have become Sunday’s spent walking in the forest. With this comes the health benefits of exercise and fresh air.

2 Just Looking At Your Dog Will Make You Feel Happier. I can definitely attest to this one as my heart swells when I see my dog. A study in Japan found that one’s level of oxytocin (the neurohormone that elicits feelings of happiness) raised intensely after interacting with their dogs.

3 Dogs Calm Us Down In Stressful Situations. Studies have shown that during a ‘stress test’ our stress levels reduce significantly when a dog is in the room.

4 They Help Us Recover Psychologically From A Crisis. Dogs have been proven to help the recovery process of soldiers going through post-traumatic stress disorder.

5 One Study Found That Owning A Dog Could Make You More Attractive To Potential Love Matches. I’ve been in my current relationship for almost 5 years and I brought my dog on the first date which I’m sure helped break the ice. According to a study conducted by Dog’s Trust, the United Kingdom’s largest dog welfare charity, when they surveyed 700 people, 60 percent said that owning a dog can make people more attractive, while 85 percent think people are more approachable when they are with a dog.

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It can be a nightmare when  hayfever strikes and sufferers will agree that it can put a dampener on the small amounts of Summer we are experiencing this year. When the symptoms are persistent it can be off putting to take large amounts of over the counter drugs. So I’ve put together a list of natural alternatives that may prevent the need for tablets or at the very least keep them to a minimum.

1 Local honey. This is perhaps the nicest form of treatment if you happen to like the taste of it. When it’s locally produced (up to 100 miles away) you will find that it contains the same pollen that is causing your flair ups. Reports from hayfever sufferers have shown an improvement in many cases when they eat some each morning.

2 Vitamin C. This is a known natural antihistamine and can be found in lemons, grapefruits and oranges. These also contain bioflavonoids which have powerful anti-allergy benefits. Check out my ultimate hot water and lemon recipe which is perfect first thing in the morning. The combination will also help flush out your liver and kidneys which is a win win.

3 Hot Peppers. The capsaicin found in red peppers and chilli peppers effectively open the nasal passages. This reduces the congestion brought on by hayfever and reduces the symptoms significantly.

4 Camomile Tea. This tea contains antioxidants and flavonoids whilst also being an antihistamine. The combination will reduce inflammation, plus two cold tea bags can be used as an eye compress, to reduce puffiness and redness.

5 Garlic & Onions. Add either one or both of these to your food starting before and during hayfever season. Onion contains quercetin, a natural antihistamine whilst garlic is an effective decongestant. Regardless of hayfever, both are highly nutritious foods that help fight off colds and infections.

Some of the information for this post was researched via Good To Know.