Your Health

In association with Sligo Today

Look fab this Christmas - Diet Tips

Added: 01/12/14 : 10:34:01

We’ve all been there. Overindulgence on rich food and drinks over the festive period naturally results a Santa-esque bloated belly and the inevitable discomfort that goes with it. Maybe this year will be different though if a little care of our digestion is taken.

Sarah Keogh, expert dietician with Heart Up+ says it’s easier than you would think to avoid the festive bloat:

“Sweet treats, carb laden meals and alcohol tend to go hand in hand with the festive spirit each year. It can be easy to forget good nutritional habits. You don’t have to put up with that sluggish feeling though, if you simply follow a few easy steps over the holidays you’ll feel and look fabulous.”

Sarah has the following tips to remain bloat-free and jolly this Christmas:  

1.      Don’t neglect your 5-a-day.
        Apart from keeping your vitamin C topped up, your fruit and veg will also top up your fibre and
        help keep things moving as they should.

2.      Start the day the right way.
         Keep breakfast at least a little healthy with a high fibre cereal or wholegrain bread. 
         For best benefit look for cereals with at least 6g of fibre per 100g.

3.      Keep drinking – water that is!
         Fibre works by soaking up liquid and this helps keep you regular.  
         Make sure you still drink eight glasses of water every day.

4.      Keep moving.
         Exercise helps digestion as well as everything else and can help speed up a slow digestion.

5.      Add a little something extra.

Add some extra fibre by topping up with seeds and fibre supplements like Heart Up+ which contains barley beta-glucans soluble fibre.  Simply sprinkle this on breakfast cereals, porridge, yoghurts, salads, smoothies or soups. It’s an easy way to boost fibre intake and aid digestion.

So leave the jolly belly to the guy in the red suit to don this Christmas and instead take these simple steps to keep you looking and feeling beautiful this festive period.

Heart Up+ provides the following health benefits:

·         Lowers cholesterol
·         Reduces blood sugar rise and insulin levels
·         Prebiotic for gut health
·         High in Folic Acid
·         Feel fuller for longer

Heart Up+ is available in three natural flavours including original, blueberry and red berries. The RRP is €7.79 and it is available in Lloyds Pharmacies, Sam McCauley Chemists, The Health Store, selected Dunnes Stores and  Super Valus, Eurospar, Spar stores and pharmacies and health stores nationwide as well as online at  For further information contact BR Foods at  or Tel 01 885 0800
Preventing obesity - 5 positive steps

Added: 23/07/14 : 11:35:05

When it comes to preventing obesity, much of the power lies in our hands with basic lifestyle changes. The following are five examples of habits that go a long way toward preventing weight gain and obesity, as well as improving overall health and well-being.

1. Get Enough Sleep Every Night

Studies have shown that getting enough sleep on a regular basis improves overall health, including preventing obesity. How much is enough? Most studies have shown that seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night are required to reap the health benefits of good sleep.

Chronic sleep deprivation makes the body think it is under chronic stress, and in response, the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol, which is known to contribute to weight gain. Conversely, getting enough sleep quite literally helps the body rest and relax, and cortisol levels drop—and with them, the attendant risk of weight gain.

2. Move More

Increasing your level of physical activity is imperative for treating obesity, and helps ward off weight gain. As added benefits, those who move more throughout the day are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, debilitating arthritis, and a host of other ailments.

How much physical activity should you aim for? As much as possible. Recent studies have shown that sitting for as long as 2 hours at a time can negate the benefits of 20 minutes of organized exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle is a greater risk factor for cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) in women than smoking!

Most national and international guidelines recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. This can translate into 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five times per week, for instance. However, as noted above, staying in motion as much as possible throughout the day is key for maintaining health.

Some easy ways to increase daily physical activity: take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away, walk to your mailbox instead of driving up to it, do housework or otherwise move around during TV commercials, and stand or walk while talking on the phone.

3. Eat Vegetables--Lots of Them

Like physical activity, a diet that is loaded with whole fruits and vegetables can both prevent and treat obesity, accelerating weight loss in those who are trying to lose weight—and is also important for preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease.

A recent large study conducted by researchers in the United Kingdom led investigators to recommend at least seven servings of vegetables and fruits every day due to the health benefits and longevity seen with the increased number of fruit-and-veggie servings. When it comes to whole vegetables and fruits, more truly is better!

4. Don't Drink Soda or Other Sugared Beverages

Decades of research have shown that sugar consumption is absolutely and directly linked to the rise of the obesity epidemic. And one of the most common vehicles for sugar delivery is via sugared beverages such as sodas, juices, sports drinks and caffeine and energy drinks (which come with an added set of health risks due to their caffeine content or other “energy-inducing” ingredients).

A typical 12-ounce can (which, nowadays, is a relatively small size) of cola contains over eight teaspoons of sugar. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), women should limit their daily intake of added sugar to no more than six teaspoons, and men to no more than nine teaspoons.

5. Walk the Dog

A number of studies have now shown that having a pet provides a number of health benefits. Dogs in particular seem to encourage their guardians to exercise more and get more daily physical activity in general. In one large study, dog walkers were far more likely to meet the national recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity than those who did not walk their dog or did not have a dog at all. And this results in lower body mass index (BMI), with lower rates of overweight and obesity, for dog walkers. Other studies have found that when people with dogs start walking with their pet, both the dog and the dog guardian lose weight!