Natural ways to help your hair

Do you ever feel like your hair just won’t grow any longer? Or that it looks flat and lifeless recently? They’re common issues that can be remedied with these 7 natural hair care tips, a little bit of effort, along with a few lifestyle tweaks – some of which you may not have heard of before!

 

Switch up your hair care routine

To have the locks you’ve always dreamed of, consider switching up your hair care routine; that doesn’t just mean changing your shampoo and conditioner, but styling appliances, avoiding synthetic chemicals, and changing your diet can all contribute to poor hair growth.

 

Looking good takes a lifestyle!

 

A natural approach to hair care

Hair care

Taking a holistic, natural approach could be the answer you’ve been waiting for to turn your hair troubles around:

 

7 natural hair care tips…

 

1. Switch to organic shampoo

While your conventional shampoo might contain an ingredient or two that promotes healthy-looking hair, organic shampoo is much more likely to contain natural ingredients selected for their hair-nourishing qualities.

Scientists have found that organically produced ingredients contain higher levels of nutrients than their conventionally grown counterparts.

The key is to go organic – not just natural – because the more nutrient dense, the better for you!

If you really want to step your shampoo up another notch, look for ones with ingredients like horsetail extract and rosemary – botanicals that have demonstrated their ability to promote healthy hair and hair growth.

 

Other benefits of switching to organic

Another benefit of organic shampoo is that it will cleanse your hair of product build up.

This is often a side effect with synthetic shampoos, where the product coats the hair instead of cleaning it, which over time builds up and weighs the hair down.

Organic shampoo cleanses and nourishes the hair, which should result in hair that is genuinely healthier, while as i said above synthetic shampoos coat the hair only giving the appearance of healthy hair.

 

2. No SLS!

Unbeknown to many, there are ingredients lurking in conventional shampoos that do your hair absolutely no favors and can actually be detrimental, not just to your hair but to your body as a whole – just another reason to go organic!

A form of marketing called Greenwashing, sells the product as natural and chemical free when this can often be far from the truth!

Genuinely organic formulations forgo the use of synthetic chemicals and pesticides, many of which have toxic effects and indirectly disrupt hair growth.

One of the top ingredients to avoid in conventional shampoo is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Just like a flower in the soil, when it comes to growing healthy hair, you need to create the right environment for that to happen.

But the American College of Toxicology found that SLS irritates and even corrodes the skin…so perhaps one to leave out of your shampoo!

 

3. Restrict heat

cut back on hair drying

We all know that using heat, with straighteners and hair dryers can damage your hair, but cutting out styling tools completely can seem impractical.

Instead, we suggest restricting heat whenever you can, by setting yourself goals.

If you cut down on how many times you wash your hair per week, blow-drying will consequently be reduced.

Wearing no-heat hairstyles more frequently, such as tying your hair back for a set amount of times per week will also limit the use of heat and the resulting damage.

Every effort you make counts – your hair will thank you for it!

 

4. Cut down on washing your hair

It might seem counterintuitive, but washing your hair too much strips it of its natural oils, leaving it feeling dry, prone to an itchy scalp and other issues.

Let nature take its course and limit washing your hair to 3 times per week.

 

5. Essential Oils

One of my fave natural hair care tips, use the power of essential oils!

Essential oils are attributed to a wide variety of wonderful benefits, especially for the skin and hair.

The best way to use them to benefit your hair is to have them present in your shampoo or a hair mask.

peppermint plant

In a study that tested peppermint oil versus a leading brand of hair loss treatment, peppermint oil promoted significantly more hair growth!

Tea tree oil is another great essential oil to consider. An organic tea tree shampoo can help related issues, like fungal dandruff or itching! It can also be balancing for greasy hair and help build more time in between washes.

Try adding a drop or two of your oil of choice into your shampoo, conditioner or in a hair mask and see the effects for yourself.

 

6. Eat well

Hang on“, I hear you say, “these are hair care tips!but…

If you ever needed an excuse to get munching, here’s one! Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important steps to take if you want gorgeous hair.

Vitamin C, zinc, biotin and vitamin A are all essential nutrients recommended for healthy hair. You can find these nutrients in a range of foods, but especially in fruit and nuts and seeds like oranges, almonds, pumpkin seeds and tomatoes.

Remember that beauty really does come from within!

 

7. Natural hair masks

Treating yourself to a hair mask once a week can be a great way to replenish lost moisture and leave it feeling lovely and soft.

This is especially important for those of you who live in a colder climate, where skin and hair are at the mercy of the elements, resulting in moisture loss and therefore also needing a moisture-boost more regularly.

coconut oil for hair

Coconut oil is an excellent addition to your diet and your hair care routine.

Try using it as a DIY pampering hair mask, leaving it on your hair from root to tip for as long as you like, from a few hours to an overnight treatment, making sure to thoroughly wash it out afterward.

According to a number of personal testimonies, coconut oil has helped speed up hair growth and improved the condition of hair.

Research also shows coconut oil can help with the prevention of hair damage and reduces protein loss and moisturizes the hair fibres. *

 

D.I.Y Hair care and Beauty recipes

If creating your own hair or face mask, from natural products is something that you’re interested in, you may like to check out our article below that has 11 super easy to make homemade beauty recipes included….

11 easy to make DIY Beauty Products

 

Get healthy hair naturally!

With these hair care tips, healthy hair is only a few steps away and the best thing about taking a natural approach is that it does your entire body the world of good in the process!

 

Let us know

We’d love to hear about & learn any natural hair care tips or advise that you use to get your hair in great condition and full of life….

Please join the convo in the comments below….

 

 

Sources used…

Rele AS1, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92.

 

 

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The Health Benefits of Vitamin B

What is Vitamin B good for? Well, it’s very important in keeping you energised and maintaining cell health. We take a look at the health benefits of vitamin B as well as foods and recipes to help you get it into your diet naturally.

 

Different types of Vitamin B

Vitamin B is a group of eight vitamins B-12 cobalamin, B-9 folate, B-7 biotin, B-6 pyridoxine, B-5 pantothenic acid, B-3 niacin, B-2 riboflavin and B-1 thiamine.

The B group of vitamins are water-soluble, can be destroyed by cooking and alcohol and are found in everything from mushrooms, beer, yoghurt and even chocolate.

Processed foods have less of the B vitamin and are therefore less nutritious, so always go for whole grain variety of flour, bread and rice.

 

A well-rounded diet

As long as you eat a varied & well rounded diet containing fruits, meats, vegetables and grains you should be getting all of the vitamin B you need.

well rounded diet

A poor diet for several months could mean that you will be B deficient, as the body does not store most of this vitamin. B-12 is the exception to this rule though as it is stored in the liver.

A bad diet could mean you are missing out on the big health benefits of vitamin B!

Not all types of vitamin B do the same thing and therefore the different types of vitamin B come from different foods.

For example, if you want to boost your B-6 you can do no better than the lowly baked potato which will give you 35% of your daily requirement of B-6 plus it has potassium and fibre to boot.

 

A list of foods rich in Vitamin B

Below is the list of the foods that are a rich source of the B vitamin in all of its different forms….

 

Vitamin B-12 rich foods

Vitamin B-12 is found mostly in meat and dairy foods. This B vitamin helps growth, red blood cell formation and regulation of the nervous system.

Those on a vegan diet could be at risk of deficiency of this B vitamin.

Eggs and Milk

Include the following foods in your diet for a good source of B-12 vitamin…

  • Eggs, cheese and milk
  • Red meat, kidney and liver
  • Shellfish and fish

 

 

Vitamin B-9 foods

Vitamin B-9 also promotes the red blood cells like most B vitamins. This B vitamin, also known as folic acid helps reduce birth defect risks.

whole grains

B9 is found in the following foods…

  • Whole grains and fortified cereals
  • Meats, liver & kidney
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fish
  • Leafy green vegetables, beets & legumes

 

 

Foods that are a good source of Vitamin B-7

Vitamin B-7 is the beauty vitamin due to its association with healthy nails, skin and hair. It helps to control high blood glucose levels so could benefit in the control of diabetes.

In pregnancy this B vitamin is vital for the growth of the baby.

cauliflower

Get your B-7 vitamin from….

  • Pork, chicken and liver
  • Fish
  • Egg yolks
  • Nuts
  • Cauliflower
  • Barley

 

Vitamin B-6 rich foods

Vitamin B-6 turns the food you eat into energy.

It also helps the body to fight infection and a deficiency of B-6 can result in anaemia, nausea, depression and skin disorders.

watermelon

So include the following in your diet to get B-6…

  • Tuna and salmon
  • Chicken breast, ground beef and beef liver
  • Potatoes, spinach and chickpeas
  • Watermelon
  • Whole grains & cereals

 

 

Foods rich in Vitamin B-5

Vitamin B-5 is also known as Pantothenic acid from the Greek word “pantothen” meaning” from everywhere”.

A small amount of B-5 is found in most food groups. It breaks down fats and carbohydrates into energy and is responsible for the production of testosterone.

B-5 has been shown in studies to reduce skin spots that are signs of aging skin and also promotes healthy skin.

Legumes

Get your vitamin B-5 by eating….

  • Legumes
  • Avocados
  • Yoghurt
  • Eggs
  • Meat

 

 

Vitamin B-3 rich foods

Vitamin B-3  is a digestive aid, promotes a healthy appetite and converts food to energy.

A deficiency in this B vitamin can result in abdominal cramps and nausea.

fish

To get your B-3 eat the following….

  • Wheat & barley
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Chicken, red meat and liver
  • Moringa

 

 

Vitamin B-1 and B-2

Vitamins B-1 and B-2 both help convert your food to energy. B-1 has neurological benefits and B-2 maintains healthy eyesight.

B-1 known as thiamine is in most whole grains and breakfast cereals. Moringa Oleifera is also a great source of Vit B2 having 50 times more than bananas.

greens

To get B-2, riboflavin into the diet eat…

  • Milk and eggs
  • Dark green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Bananas
  • Moringa

As most foods like milk and cereals are fortified with riboflavin and thiamine B-1 and B-2 deficiency is rare in the developed world.

It can be a problem in people who abuse alcohol.

 

A varied and healthy diet

As long as you have a varied and healthy diet and include the foods mentioned above your body should be getting enough of the B vitamin.

To make sure that you are getting enough into your diet have a look at some of these delicious recipes below that are vitamin B rich.

If you are over 50 or an athlete there could be a need to take a vitamin B supplement but a doctor’s advice should be sought if you feel you are vitamin B deficient.

 

3 Delicious Recipes packed full of Vitamin B

1. Grilled Salmon and Pesto

salmon for vitamin B
Photo by Emily Miller

This grilled Salmon and pesto recipe gives you high levels of B vitamins, a 3oz serving of salmon give you a 100% of your B-12 requirement.

This recipe contains B1, B3, B5, B6 and B12 and is easy to make, full of flavour and the added bonus of not being high in calories!

 

2. Pork Belly Ramen with Spring Greens

pork and greens
Picture by Brooklyn Supper

This fantastic Pork belly ramen recipe from Elizabeth at Brooklyn Supper is the perfect choice, as the pork and dark greens will really help boost your B vitamin levels.

 

3. Whole-Grain Raspberry Energy Bar

healthy Snack bar
Picture by Perry Santanachote

This delicious snack bar recipe courtesy of Daily Burn and Perry Santanachote is low in calories but high in taste and perfect for breakfast or as a dessert, try serving with yoghurt.

This easy to make snack bar has B1, B6, B9 and B3 as well as the B vitamins they have healthy fats too

 

Let us know…

We’d love to hear if you tried any of the above recipes and any other facts you know about Vitamin B, including any health benefits that you have found in the comments below….

 

 

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Natural remedies for seasonal allergies

The allergy season is once more with us. If you are one of the thousand of allergy sufferers whose spring and summers are miserable because of pollen & seasonal allergies, here are a few suggestions which could help alleviate some of your suffering.

 

How to alleviate your suffering

By wearing a hat, with a large brim and sunglasses. Not as a fashion statement but as a way to stop the pollen from blowing in your eyes.

It is the pollen that makes your eyes itch and then water.

sun hat and glasses

Instead of taking your jog or walk in the day when the pollen from trees is released, exercise outside in the evening when the pollen is not being emitted from the trees and flowers.

After being outside where your clothing has become infested with the pollens that are in the air, which in turn you then take home with you, launder your clothes and take a shower.

If you are taking medication for hay fever try taking the pills at night to see if this will help with the runny nose, sneezing and scratchy throat caused by the hay fever.

Make sure you have a cleaning appliance that has a HEPA filter fitted, so when vacuuming the pollen that has settled in the home is stirred up, which in turn aggravates your symptoms.

 

Acupuncture

acupuncture

New research that was published in the ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’, has found that Acupuncture could help relieve hay fever.

It found that sufferers who had acupuncture took less medication.

The researchers from Charite-University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany are not sure why but the thinking is that acupuncture can curb inflammatory immune-system substances involved in allergic reactions.

 

Try a Saline Rinse

Before the pollen season starts try a spritz of saline rinse up the nose to wash the pollen out. This could lead to a reduction in the amount of medication that you might have to take.

A study has shown that by using the saline rinse twice a day for three to six weeks, nasal congestion was lowered by hay fever sufferers.

 

Your Diet

A reduction of the amount of monounsaturated fats in your diet, that are found in dairy and meat products, could mean that you might not get hay fever.

A study has shown adults with a diet high in monounsaturated fat are three times more likely to experience hay fever.

A daily dose of fish oil supplement has also been found in studies to help control the chemical leukotriene, that contributes to the allergic reactions in people with allergic asthma.

 

9 natural remedies for helping with Allergies

More and more people are looking for a more natural way to treat their allergies, so here are a few suggestions to try and see if any work for you….

 

1. Honey

honey

Try taking a daily tablespoon of local honey. The nearer to your home the honey is produced the better as this helps the body to adapt to the allergens in the local environment .

Start taking the honey about a month before the pollen season starts.

This ancient remedy helps the body build a tolerance to the local pollens.

A 2011 study published in ‘Archives of Allergy and Immunology’ reported that sufferers from birch pollen were helped when given birch pollen honey before the pollen season started.

Sufferers used 50% less antihistamines compared to a group on conventional medicines!

 

2. Probiotics

A diet that contains foods that boost the bacteria in the gut helps to balance the immune system as new research has found that the presence of beneficial gut bacteria reduces the number of allergies that can be experienced.

80% of the bodies immune function is stored in the gut so by taking a good quality probiotic capsule makes sure we are getting the good bacteria required.

 

3. Stinging Nettle

stinging nettle

Dating back to medieval Europe, stinging nettle has a history of medicinal uses like relieving joint pain.

The University of Maryland Medical Centre have done studies and suggest that stinging nettle can effectively treat insect bites, joint pain, sprains and strains, urinary tract infections and hay fever.

Research has shown that nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine as it helps the body block the production of histamine naturally.

So before the hay fever starts take a freeze-dried preparation as a tea or tincture or if this is not possible, there are some wonderful nettle teas available in our marketplace.

Capsules made from dried nettle leaves are an easy and effective option too.

 

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Another age old remedy that has a variety of uses, allergy relief being one of them is Cider Vinegar.

It has the ability to reduce mucus production and it cleanses the lymphatic system making it helpful for allergy sufferers.

The best Apple Cider Vinegar is one contain the “Mother” of vinegar, drink a teaspoon of this in water, three times a day at the first sign of your allergy.

Use an organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains the colony of beneficial bacteria (“Mother”) always check the label for this.

 

5. Eucalyptus Oil

eucalyptus

Eucalyptus oil can be used in various ways to help in the allergy season.

Used in a diffuser or with your laundry detergent as an antimicrobial addition.

Add 25 drops of oil to your laundry detergent in the allergy season for an eco friendly addition to your wash.

An Egyptian study has shown that eucalyptus oil is one of the most potent in the killing of the highly allergic house mites.

If you are suffering major allergy symptoms, mix eucalyptus oil with coconut oil and use behind the ears and on your chest.

Use in a diffuser during the day or whilst sleeping.

 

6. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense

Another great immune booster is Frankincense essential oil. In a study published by Phytotherapy Research it was discovered that when mice were given frankincense orally, multiple levels of their immune system were stimulated.

So for the seasonal allergy sufferer the use of frankincense will boost your immune system.

Use in a diffuser for a couple of hours a day or rub on your chest or behind your ears.

 

7. Bromelain

Published in the journal ‘Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine’ a study into Bromelain on mice showed interesting results.

A reduction of allergic sensitization and a marked decrease in the development of allergic airway disease.

This suggests that bromelain helps to modulate the whole immune system.

It does more than mask the unpleasant symptoms experienced from seasonal allergies such as stuffy/runny nose, itchy eyes etc. Bromelain does seem to actually prevent seasonal allergies by going to the root cause an over sensitive immune system.

 

8. Spirulina

spirulina

The Conquistadors recorded that the Aztecs used spirulina as a staple in their diets as a primary source of protein.

But it is also known that spirulina can reduce inflammation that causes sinus problems.

In numerous studies it has been shown to be effective in reducing itching, nasal discharge, sneezing and nasal congestion.

 

9. Eyebright

Researchers have found that Eyebright, (part of the Figwort family) aids not only eye problems but can help with a number of other health conditions including seasonal allergies.

The natural astringent-tannins contained in the herb could help reduce mucus discharge and the flavonoids and defensive compounds in Eyebright could help in the treatment of allergies.

A great way to fit it into your diet is to drink eyebright tea two to three times a day.

 

Allergy Season

So as the allergy season returns do not automatically reach for the harmful chemicals for relief try a few of our natural suggestions.

 

PLEASE NOTE: If you are taking prescribed medication always consult with your doctor first.

 

Remedies for Seasonal Allergies Infographic

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Let Us Know

We’d love to know any other natural remedies for seasonal allergies that you know of, use and love in the comments below….

 

 

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Knowing your Blood Pressure

Knowing your blood pressure could save your life! We look into how to lower blood pressure naturally by eating the right foods and living the right lifestyle.

 

Measuring blood pressure

Systolic pressure is always mentioned first and is the measurement of the blood through the arteries and ideally should be 120 or less but if your readings are between 120 – 139 this is seen as normal to borderline high blood pressure.

Readings of 140 and above are seen as high blood pressure.

Always make sure you get your blood pressure checked regularly by a medical professional.

 

measuring blood pressure

The diastolic pressure or bottom reading is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. This reading should be 80 or less.

Readings of between 80 – 89 is normal but higher than ideal. Over 90 for repeated readings is seen as hypertension.

 

Do you have hypertension or high blood pressure?

How do you know if you have hypertension or high blood pressure? You tend not too!

Nearly one third of people with high blood pressure are un-aware.

This is why it is called the silent killer. Hypertension is the number one cause of heart related disease.

If you would like to keep a constant eye on it you can buy a blood pressure monitor like this best selling Omron from somewhere like amazon at a very good price for example this best selling monitor.

BUT as we said before if you feel unwell or think you may have high blood pressure, you MUST always get a medical professional to check your blood pressure.

So let’s look into how to lower blood pressure naturally….

 

How to lower blood pressure naturally

Is there a way to control high blood pressure without chemical intervention?

You can help using natural ways and prevention is always better than cure…

  • Weight – being overweight makes the heart work harder so even a small loss in weight can make a difference.
  • Salt – recommended daily intake of salt is less than 6g. There is a link between salt intake and blood pressure.
  • Stress – increases blood pressure. Over time high stress levels can cause hypertension.
  • Alcohol – Blood pressure can be raised by too much alcohol so moderate the drinking of alcohol. NHS recommended limits are three to four units a day for men and two to three units daily for women.
  • Caffeine – Found in coffee, tea, cola and some medicines and energy drinks. More than four cups of coffee could increase blood pressure, try decaf.
  • Exercise – Lower the risk of blood pressure by taking regular exercise. A 150 minutes exercise a week is recommended by the NHS.

 

Weight and High blood pressure

High blood pressure and being over weight are intrinsically linked. Increased body fat means the heart has to work harder when circulating the blood round the body.

If your BMI (Body Mass Index) is over 25 to 28 losing a couple of pounds makes a difference to the blood pressure.

A study done in 2014 showed that anyone gaining 5% of their body weight showed a slight rise in blood pressure. The greatest increases in blood pressure were seen if extra fat was added to the belly area.

By eating a healthy diet including vegetables, fruit, healthy fat and high quality protein as well as avoiding processed foods that contain sodium and calories you can really help lower blood pressure naturally.

That along with activity that improves lean muscle mass and sustains the metabolic rate.

 

Exercise

bike ride

Exercise is a great way to lower blood pressure. It does not have to be in a gym if you have an aversion to classes or expensive gyms, a brisk walk, swim or bike ride is a great way to try and help lower blood pressure.

As long as you break into a sweat it means you are exercising hard enough.

In a 2015 study of over weight, diabetic adults showed that a few minutes of daily exercise lowered their blood pressure.

A study in Brazil on older women with hypertension showed that a weight training programme significantly reduced the diastolic and systolic blood pressure which was maintained for an hour after the training finished.

 

Sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation can mean cravings for junk food, over eating and an increase in stress levels.

You can also benefit from an afternoon nap, if you have time.

Adults with high blood pressure who took an hour long daily siesta saw a drop in the systolic rate of on average 5% when compared with those who did not nap.

 

Stress

Stress can be a killer as it causes the blood pressure to rise in the long and short term, so find a way that you like to relax, try yoga and meditation these have all been found to be good choices. Even just having a good laugh!

 

Relaxing with Music

relax with music

Try relaxing with music and slow breathing for 30 minutes a day to bring down blood pressure.

Researchers at the University of Florence tried soothing classical, Indian or Celtic music with 28 adults that were taking medication for hypertension.

Their average systolic readings decreased by 3.2 points in a week.

 

Drinking alcohol

Drinking alcohol can have benefits to hypertension sufferers and lower the risk of heart disease but more than one drink a day for women and two for men could have an opposite effect.

One drink equates to 12oz of beer, 5 oz. of wine or 1.5oz of a spirit. As well as being the cause of other chronic conditions high consumption of alcohol increases blood pressure and is detrimental to your health.

A 2016 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that regular binge drinking in young adults have shown them to be suffering with prehypertension which can lead to hypertension.

 

Try these 11 foods that can help lower blood pressure

There are a number of foods that can help you avoid hypertension and will even help lower high blood pressure.

Research has shown that a diet rich in foods containing potassium, magnesium and calcium but low in sodium could help to bring your blood pressure to normal.

 

1. Flaxseed

A 2013 study has shown that flax seed can reduce blood pressure even if taking medication.

The four compounds contained in flaxseeds, alpha linolenic acid, peptides, lignans and fiber could singularly or all be responsible for the reduction in blood pressure this is yet to be proven.

 

2. Olive Oil

Rich in polyphenols Olive oil has been found by Spanish researchers to have an effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressure over a four month period.

 

3. Beetroot

beetroot can lower blood pressure

The nitrates in beetroot have been shown by Australian researchers to reduce systolic pressure over a 24 hour period, six hours after drinking beetroot juice.

 

4. Chocolate

Must contain at least 70% cocoa. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols this has been shown to reduce both systolic and diastolic pressure in anyone suffering from hypertension.

The polyphenols contained in cocoa products are associated with the formation of nitric acid. This substance widens the blood vessels thereby easing blood flow.

But it must be remembered that chocolate also contain sugar and caffeine so no more that one square a day.

 

5. Salmon and other fatty fish

fish

Has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids which has the effect of lowering blood pressure.

Eating fatty fish three times a week has been linked to the diastolic pressure being reduced.

Further research is needed to confirm the amounts you need though.

 

6. Hibiscus

Loaded with anti-oxidants like phenols and anthocyanins hibiscus has been shown in a 2010 study to reduce both systolic and diastolic pressures by drinking three daily servings of hibiscus tea.

Do not exceed this amount as the manganese, copper and iron content could go above recommended levels.

 

7. Pistachio nuts

A 2013 study carried out over a 4 week period has shown that by eating a serving of Pistachio nuts (unsalted) daily reduced the systolic blood pressure.

It is not clear exactly as to why, was it due to an increase in the volume of blood pumped from the heart or did the nuts reduce the constriction of the blood vessels.

 

8. Sunflower seeds

sunflower-seeds

A delicious snack and rick in magnesium. A quarter cup makes for a delicious, nutritious snack.

 

9. Beans

All kinds pinto, lima, kidney and all colours, rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium all excellent at lowering blood pressure and improving the health of the heart.

 

10. Whole grains

Three servings of whole grains has been found to lower systolic pressure. The research is not clear as to why but the findings  point to cholesterol levels benefitting from eating whole grains.

 

11. Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice has been found by British researchers to be linked to the lowering of both systolic and diastolic pressures by drinking more than a cup of pomegranate juice a day, for four weeks.

The research is not clear on why but it is thought to be the potassium or the polyphenols found in the juice of this fruit.

 

Changes in your Diet

Any changes to your diet if you are on medication should be discussed with your doctor as some foods may have adverse effects.

 

How is your Blood pressure?

Do you suffer from high blood pressure?   If you already take natural measures to keep your blood pressure low we’d love to know what you do….

If you have any other tips on how to lower blood pressure naturally we’d love to know in the comments below….

 

PLEASE NOTE:- The advise above is NOT meant to replace medical advise given by a medical professional. You MUST always seek medical advise from your doctor if you think you have a problem linked to blood pressure.

 

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Detox your home & purify the air you breathe

Research by the American Society for Horticultural Science has shown that ozone is a main component of not only outside air pollution but also inside our homes and offices. As we spend nearly 80 to 90 per cent of our time inside it is imperative to our health to find ways to eliminate ozone. So we thought we’d look into the best indoor house plants to help purify the air and detox your home.

 

Research into house plants & air purification

Detox your home

The toxic effects of ozone on our health include lung capacity reduction, inflammation and pulmonary edema.

University researchers have found that common house plants can reduce the concentration of ozone and improve the quality of air indoors.

Other studies show that our homes contain harmful VOCs like formaldehyde and xylene.

Dr. B. C. Wolverton who researched the creation of a breathable environment for the NASA lunar habitat discovered that pollutants like ammonia, benzene and formaldehyde can be filtered out of the air by house plants.

Volatile organic compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds that become vapors and gases. Widely used household products that are sources of VOCs in our living areas are:

  • Moth repellents
  • Air fresheners
  • Paints and paint stripper
  • Cleansers
  • Disinfectants
  • Dry-cleaned clothing
  • Pesticide
  • Wood preservers
  • Aerosol sprays

 

A great reason to try to make your own DIY Cleaning products

 

Symptoms of toxins in the air

The five main toxins that can be found in the list of products above and the symptoms that can be experienced are outlined below:

  • Xylene – The cause of throat and mouth infection, headache, dizziness and heart complications. This toxin is found in paint, vehicle exhaust and tobacco smoke.
  • Benzene – To be found in plastic, detergents, furniture wax, pesticide, vehicle exhaust, glue and paint. This toxin can cause headaches, eye irritation, drowsiness and dizziness.
  • Ammonia– This toxin can cause eye and throat irritations and is to be found in window cleaner, floor wax fertilizer and scented salts.
  • Formaldehyde – Can be found in paper bags, tissue, waxed paper and synthetic fibers. This toxin causes nose, mouth and throat irritation.
  • Trichloroethylene – Found in varnishes, paint and paint remover as well as adhesives and lacquers. It causes symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness and vomiting.

 

Pollutants 10 times higher indoors

VOC concentrations are up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors and are emitted by a variety of products numbering in the thousands.

Studies have found that concentrated pollutant levels can remain in the air way after product use.

Exposure to VOCs can result in the following symptoms, although not too much is known about the amount of VOCs used in the home that can affect our health but short-term exposure of the listed toxins can cause:

  • Headache
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Conjunctival irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Discomfort of the nose and throat

 

Air purifying house plants can help counteract these harmful VOCs from our home environment plus they are a good-looking, help make you feel good, reasonably priced and powerful filters, purifying the air in our homes.

 

A study by N.A.S.A

The study that NASA carried out shows that common household plants can filter and purify the air in our homes and offices and remove the harmful toxins.

NASA suggests that every home should have 15 to 18 plants to purify the air you live in and breath.

If you live by a busy road have lots of plants to counteract the exhaust fumes.

 

Several studies have shown that 89% of harmful VOCSs can be eliminated by certain plants.

 

The 18 best indoor house plants to detox your home….

Orchids

Orchids purify the air

These truly beautiful plants are remarkably easy to look after despite their reputation for being difficult to grow.

They remove xylene, found in paints and glue, from the air. So after decorating buy an orchid for decoration and to clean the air around.

Also removes alcohols, chloroform, acetone and formaldehyde from the air.

Orchids can also be used in the bedroom as they give off oxygen at night.

 

Peace Lily

peace lily

Another beautiful flowering plant which will thrive in a shady corner whist removing harmful toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde, acetone, benzene, trichloroethylene and xylene from the air in your home.

This plant can survive low temperatures and being water deprived.

 

Anthuriums

anthurium

The large dark green leaves of this plant clean the air of toluene, xylene, ammonia and formaldehyde.

But this house plant has exotic looking flowers so good-looking as well as hard working.

 

Philodendrons

Philodendron

Rid your environment of xylene with a Philodendron. One of the best indoor house plants if you have a small amount of time on your hands as it requires very little care but is an attractive addition to any room.

 

Fern

fern

Bring a bit of the prehistoric into the home, survivors from prehistoric times the large fronds of a fern suck up the pollutants found in paint, nail polish and glue which are toluene and xylene.

A natural air purifier the fern restores moisture to the air.

 

Palm

palm

Palms are easy to grow and brighten a drab area so this make them a popular choice of house-plant.

A natural air purifier, as well as removing benzene and formaldehyde it removes carbon monoxide so if there is a smoker in the house the addition of a palm to the home is a must.

 

Schefflera

Schefflera

Another good choice of plant if there is a smoker in the house, the waxy oval leaves of the Schefflera removes the nasty toxins of benzene, toluene and formaldehyde from the air.

The plant is hardy and long-lasting, as long as the leaves are kept dust free. Wipe the leaves to keep them looking glossy.

 

Aloe Vera

aloe vera for bed sores

Well known for its health benefits its ability to heal wounds and reduce inflammation Aloe Vera can remove toxins like benzene and formaldehyde and purify the air in your home.

At night this plant absorbs carbon monoxide and releases oxygen so it’s one of the best indoor house plants for the bedroom.

 

Spider plant

spider plant

Easy to grow Spider plants are good for removing formaldehyde, xylene and carbon monoxide. So a great plant for sheds and garages as they help to eliminate the pollutants from exhaust fumes and DIY products.

 

Geranium

Geranium

A very decorative plant that removes formaldehyde in the air they can live with little water and sun but they do need lots of light to bloom.

Also a great plant to repel mosquitoes.

 

Azalea

Azalea

With so many varieties to choose from you are sure to find one for you. Azalea’s remove toxins like formaldehyde from the air.

 

Golden Pothos (also known as Devils Ivy)

Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos removes carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air so improves the quality of the air you breath. Can tolerate shady areas and little water but this plant is toxic so needs to be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

 

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

Sun loving plants that brighten any room these plants help to combat benzene and remove ammonia from the air indoors.

 

Tulips

tulips

Effective in cleaning formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia from the air this lovely looking plant comes in a large variety of colours and types so beautiful and a hard worker.

 

Lavender

Lavender

A great air purifier, with a sweet smell that soothes and calms. Lavender cleanses bad smells and lowers carbon dioxide levels.

 

Dracaena Reflexa

pleomele

Easy and slow to grow as it can tolerate low and bright light areas it absorbs toluene, xylene and formaldehyde.

 

Weeping Fig

weeping fig

A low maintenance and popular plant, that tolerates indirect sunlight.

Pollutants like xylene, toluene and formaldehyde are filtered out of the air by this plant.

 

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera Daisy

Perfect for the bedroom a Gerbera Daisy, which loves direct sunlight removes trichloroethylene a chemical that is released from dry cleaning, adhesives and varnishes.

 

Best indoor house plants – Infographic

We’ve put together an infographic featuring 18 of the best indoor house plants for purifying the air in your home.

Please feel free to share…

We only ask you please include attribution to https://www.calmhappyhealthy.com/ with this graphic.

best house plants

Please feel free to share this image on your site using code below

 

Worried about looking after your new house plants?

Fear not, there are some wonderful books guiding you through all of the essentials such as soil, watering, placement, food and more….  (please note these are amazon affiliate links BUT do not affect the price you pay in any way)

House of Plants – living with succulents, air plants and cacti  –   by Rose Ray, Caro Langton & Erika Rax

House Plants: How to look after your indoor plants – by Isabelle Palmer

The House Plant Expert: The world’s best-selling book on house plants – by Dr D.G Hessayon

 

Let us Know

We’d love to know which houseplants you have in your house. Do you have a view on the best indoor house plants?

Let us know in the comments below…

 

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