Co-Owner of Framar, Ed Howe Discusses his Health Journey

As seen in Northern Woman magazine Feb '19

Blueberry Concentrate Improves Brain Function

New research produced by the University of Exeter has shown that drinking concentrated blueberry juice improves brain function in older people. "In the study, healthy people ages 65-77 who drank concentrated blueberry juice every day showed improvements in cognitive function, blood flow to the brain and activation of the brain while carrying out cognitive tests. There was also evidence suggesting improvement in working memory." Half of the healthy adults that participated in this study were given concentrated blueberry juice which provided the equivalent of 230g of blueberries. Blueberries are rich in flavonoids which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and previous resea

Circadian Rhythms - What Are They and How Do They Affect Our Health?

"Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle." They serve to coordinate internal time with the external world, and can be affected by lack of sleep, shift work and changing time zones (jet-lag). Exposure to natural light is one of the key elements to maintaining healthy, balanced circadian rhythms. Overexposure in recent decades to false light sources such as televisions, computers and most recently mobile phone screens have contributed to an imbalance, compounded by eating processed foods, not exercising daily, working late into the wee small hours, and drinking caffeine to stay awake. Natural factors within the body produce circadian rhythms,

"Good" Fats for the Brain

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital conducted a study that found saturated fats such as butter and fatty red meat can be harmful to the brain and negatively affect memory and cognition. Contrary to this, out of the 6000 older women who took part in the study, the ones who ate monounsaturated fats including avocado, nuts and olive oil, performed best in cognitive function. "Good" fats are an essential part of our diet and our brains heavily rely upon them. They help us achieve inner balance and equilibrium due to their omega-3 fatty acids and the nutritional benefits that positively affect our health and wellbeing, including our emotional happiness. Balance is surely the hallmark

Toxic Thoughts?

By consciously controlling your thought life it is possible to detox your brain. Toxic thoughts - a negative pattern of thinking - can consume and control your mind, negatively impacting your health and wellbeing. The discipline of mindfulness guides us to look at our thoughts from a distance; each thought to be considered a bus, passing before us as we stand stationary on the pavement - let them pass and don't jump on one! And so rather than engaging with our thoughts, we are encouraged to embrace the current moment using all our senses. My favourite example of this is standing under the shower - many of us plan our day during the morning shower, our minds active and busy. PAUSE. Be pr

Natural Remedies for Exam Season

Exam season is upon us and this can mean increased stress levels and poorer sleep patterns for students as they are revising and preparing for exams. Stress and anxiety are natural during exams, however, they can be debilitating and negatively impact on academic skills such as recall and problem solving. A number of natural remedies are proven to support concentration and reduce the strain on over-worked brains. Rhodiola to support mental performance Rhodiola is a Russian herb that supports mental and physical performance and endurance. The herb was commonly used by Russian scientists who believed it would give Russian cosmonauts an edge during the Space Race and Cold War. Numerous clinical

Sharpen Your Mind

The brain benefits from exercise just like our physical bodies, helping us be at our mental best in the present whilst investing in our future; protecting against future memory loss and cognitive decline. Whilst routines are beneficial and how many of us live our lives, shaking up your routine every so often could be the key to a sharper mind. This is because routine in itself does not require much brain power - it is predictable, simple and run by our sub-conscious. In order to stimulate the brain enough to be exercising it, experts suggest that it must fall into two criteria; unique and complex. Dr. Lawrence Katz, "Mental decline is not usually from loss of brain cells as much as it is f

Boost Your Mind-Body Health

Optimum vagus nerve health and function is critical for health, facilitating communication between the brain and many other organs of the body. It is the longest and most complex nerve in the body and is a major facilitator in the brain-body connection. A vagus nerve that functions optimally is crucial for mental and physical health as it helps to manage the stress response in the body, keeps inflammation under control, helps to store memories, keeps the body in a state of balance and promotes the formation of neurotransmitters - the body's chemical messengers. The vagus nerve communicates with the body's other 'brain', the gut. The gut is known as the 'second brain' because to contains 10

What Can Cause Brain Fog?

Brain fog, we've all been there - when the most seemingly straightforward of tasks or approach to the day just gets clouded by a lack of focus and ability to concentrate. But what can cause this blurry feeling of confusion and forgetfulness? 1. certain Foods Diet can be a factor in the mystery of brain fog, with high levels of sugar negatively impacting our ability to focus. High glucose levels sends our brain on a roller coaster leading to confusion, brain fog and mood swings. Low-fat diet diets can also have a negative impact on brain health. Our brains are comprised of 60% fat and therefore a diet made up of 50% fat is recommend, from healthy sources such as nuts, avocados, coconut o

How to Improve Your Cognitive Skills

As we approach exam season many of us will want to know how to improve brain function and our cognitive skills. Thinking more clearly, learning faster, remembering more and solving problems more efficiently all comprise cognitive function and by exercising these skills, they can be enhanced. This is useful not only for exam season but for day to day activities. Attention, response, long-term memory, short-term memory, processing and organisation are all cognitive skills and abilities that can be improved upon by considering the following: 1. Reduce Stress Stress can have an effect on cognitive function by diminishing the ability to focus. By removing stress in certain situations you will

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