Tis The Season To Be Healthy

Tis The Season To Be Healthy

OpiBiotix Online

Goodbye stress, goodbye work, goodbye early mornings, why hello Christmas! With the nation’s favourite festive season just around the corner, everyone’s entered hibernation. Hot water bottles no longer collect dust, blankets tightly hug the beds and mugs of cocoa sit in-between clasped palms. Winter. It’s a lifestyle transition for us all and one we must not underestimate. 

But why? It’s Christmas after all! What’s wrong with taking a break? Absolutely nothing, as long as winter’s effects on cognitive health are fully recognised. The heart is one of the body’s most important muscles and has the fundamental responsibility of constantly pumping 9-12 pints of blood around the circulatory system. Take away the heart and the human body would shut down.

Now for a quick biology lesson; in any living being, the heart is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood cells and valuable nutrients around the body. Fish only have two chambers to their heart, reptiles have three and humans have four. Two are named atria, and two are named ventricles. Atrias are the upper chambers where blood flows into the heart. The ventricles reside at the bottom and expel blood around the body. This pumping action is the reason behind a human heartbeat.

The maintenance of the ceaseless movement of blood around the body is in the words of William Harvey, the body’s ‘tutelary deity’, forming ‘the basis of life’. Harvey is the English physician behind the discovery of circulation and the heart’s function as a pump.

An unhealthy heart can cause spikes in blood pressure (hypertension), increased levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and magnify the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Therefore, taking five minutes out of the day to discover the five lifestyle choices that are capable of improving heart health this Christmas seems like a sensible idea.

A salty situation

Peanuts, crisps, stuffing, smoked salmon and even those tiny sausages wrapped in bacon, are all festive favourites with one thing in common. It’s neither their delicious taste nor their popularity, but instead the king of the condiments. Chemically known as sodium chloride, salt is known to affect levels of sodium within the bloodstream and reduce the kidney’s ability to remove water. This excess fluid provokes hypertension and inflicts strain on the delicate blood vessels that lead to the kidneys.

 

Hypertension affects approximately 16 million people across the UK. Sufferers are three times more likely to experience heart disease or stroke and twice as likely to die as a result of these conditions. This doesn’t mean salt is bad for the body – quite the opposite! Festive foods just so happen to make the presence of salt within a diet more common than usual.

 What’s the festive solution? 

  1. Don’t be overcome by the thought of seconds. We all need some salt, just not an overdose. Restricting food intake is a simple tactic for salt management. If tummies are still rumbling, fill up on winter veg, known for its rich vitamin content and tasty when roasted! 
  1. Replace table salt with pink Himalayan salt. This rare breed of salt poses a healthier alternative to the everyday table salt. Pink Himalayan salt combines up to 84 different minerals; calcium, magnesium, and iron to name just a few. This is what gives it its signature colour and health benefits. 
  1. Switch salt for herbs and spices. Herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme and cumin are a great alternative to classic salt and pepper. Experimenting with these new flavours is a sure way to take your dish to a new dimension.

Pump it!

 At Christmas exercise is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Exercise focuses on the regeneration of the body’s mitochondria - an organelle that aids cellular respiration. An active lifestyle increases the blood flow through the heart and results in more red blood cells being oxygenated.

Physical activity burns calories, encourages sleep, more efficient digestion and increased bone density. Mentally, an active lifestyle increases endorphin production, lowers a person’s mood, lowers stress levels and even aids the brain in combatting conditions like dementia, depression and anxiety. Regular exercise is claimed to reduce the risk of circulatory diseases by 35% according to The British Heart Foundation.

 What’s the festive solution? 

  1. Don’t stop! Christmas is a busy time, which can often leave exercise demoted to the bottom of the nation’s priorities. Incorporating exercise into the morning routine is a great way to dodge this mentality. Alternatively, making a transition to indoor sports like swimming or badminton can reduce the chill factor. 
  1. Go for a stroll. Whether this is romantic or a shopping spree, walking is a useful exercise to keep the heart pumping and burning calories. For the average person, this equates to 100kcal per mile. That’s just 3 miles of walking to burn off the average mince pie! 
  1. Do exercise with other people. Exercising with a friend is great for motivation through the festive season. Exercising together decreases the likelihood of quitting and interaction between each other creates a mental distraction from the physicality of the workout; productive for both muscle and heart strength! 

Note: Be wary of ice this winter and be sure your fitness gear is in a safe condition. 

Keep your eyes peeled

Chocolate, cake, pie, pudding, yule log – all taste bud tingling Christmas classics with a calorific twist. These are ones to watch out for! The average slice of shop-bought Christmas cake equates to 200kcal, with a portion of yule log close behind. Quite a lot of calories for what is essentially a canapé to complement a coffee. With this in mind, are there any natural alternatives to sugar that aid our heart’s function? 

What’s the festive solution? 

  1. Whether it be clementine, satsuma or navel, oranges are the kings of citrus fruits; a classic staple of Christmas, that with the mass production of chocolate, has since taken a back seat. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, when coupled with an orange’s soluble and insoluble fibres, help prevent against heart disease. 
  1. The festive season brings out the best in the plum, a fruit often overlooked. Plums are rich in antioxidants, more specifically polyphenol, which promote better bone health, alongside the ability to reduce both heart disease and diabetes. Plums are also high in fibre, which slows down the body’s rate of carb absorption and provokes a gradual rise in blood sugar rather than a spike. 
  1. Another fruit often absent from Christmas banquets is the date. Scientifically proven to promote cognitive health by lowering levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6), dates reduce the likelihood of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Dates are packed with antioxidants, for instance, flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid, all recognised for promoting heart health. 

Lovely Liquor 

Everyone likes to toast the good times, especially around Christmas, but whether it be a flute of champagne or a can of larger, alcohol plays a large part in the festive ambience. Despite its popularity, alcohol doesn’t come without its share of health risks. 

The consumption level is what affects the heart. Small quantities of alcohol tend to be okay; the occasional glass or two. However large quantities are linked to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle is damaged) and arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). With that in mind, how can wine connoisseurs and lager lovers smartly lower their festive fix and promote a healthy heart? 

What’s the festive solution? 

  1. Ice is a common accompaniment to drinks around bars, restaurants and an excellent idea drinking at home. Ice reduces the capacity of a glass and psychologically tricks the drinker into believing that they’ve drunk more than they have. In addition, when the ice melts, it infuses with the contents to keep the drinker hydrated. Looks classy and reduces alcohol consumption – it’s the best of both worlds! 
  1. Know the limits. Often a mistake made by the younger generation, awareness of personal and legal limitations are vital in ensuring this festive season is a success. Limits boil down to the number of units per week – 14 is advised as the maximum by the NHS. This is the equivalent of six pints of average-strength beer and ten small glasses of low-strength wine.

 To calculate your typical alcoholic intake, click here 

  1. Non-alcoholic fruit punch is a great way to engage young ones in a healthy lifestyle. This festive alternative provides an excellent attraction for special events and a vast combination of antioxidants and vitamins sure to ward off illness throughout the Christmas season. Dilute the punch with soda water to add an extra fizz. 

Feel good factor 

With all the last-minute gift sourcing and darting up and down the high street, Christmas is a very hectic season. Rising amounts of stress often lead to the neglect of health and health-related consequences. For instance, fast foods, sugar-packed energy drinks and sweet treats; all foods that lack nutritional nourishment and with the ability to impact profoundly upon heart health. So how can this fast-paced lifestyle be prevented? 

What’s the festive solution? 

  1. It’s like what they say, fail to prepare or prepare to fail. Solid plans are vital in organising festive activities. Diaries and calendars are great ways to promote effective time management. Why not shop for Christmas gifts throughout the year? It’s a great way minimise the pressure in December and can prove cheaper! 
  1. Of all the things to be deprived of, sleep is one of the worst and the most damaging. Researchers uncovered that sleep deprivation provokes the release of specific chemicals. These chemicals prevent the body from achieving extended periods of low heart rate and blood pressure during sleep. Over time this can lead to sleep apnoea, hypertension and an increase in cardiovascular problems. 
  1. Cardiovascular health is central to human life. With a lethargic lifestyle currently trending, it’s vital to maintain a healthy heart, especially throughout the Christmas festivities. 

OptiBiotix Online is here to help. CholBiome® is a range of revolutionary formulations incorporating Lactobacillus plantarum (LPLDL); a naturally occurring bacterium proven to reduce cholesterol levels by up to 36.7% and increase the production of HDL (good cholesterol) by up to 4.5%.

CholBiome is the favoured non-pharmaceutical alternative to statins, with natural health benefits for the heart and circulatory system backed up by extensive testing. Unlike alternative solutions, CholBiome has no known side effects and highlights the importance of cholesterol management within the human microbiome.

There’s no better gift than health, so why not surprise your loved ones by giving the gift of CholBiome this Christmas?

To do some Christmas shopping or to discover more about the benefits of CholBiome, why not check out here: https://optibiotix.online/pages/about-cholbiome