Menopause, Health & Wellbeing Product Review 2015

By Aimee Blakemore – Stratum C Brand Manager Stratum C Menopause Skin Care has recently been partnering with other organisations to find the best solutions for menopause management and we have had the opportunity to test some fabulous products that … Continue reading

Superstition or fact? The truth behind some well known old wives tales surrounding certain foods

carrots1Have you ever wondered how much truth is in the tales that our parents and grandparents told us to encourage us to eat our dinner? Have you ever seen the results from eating more carrots to improve your night vision, or had nightmares as a result of eating cheese before bed time? Well, now all has been revealed by an article posted recently in the Daily Mirror, as they investigated the truth behind our age old sayings.

It is often shared amongst families, that eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but how effective is it really? According to a doctor interviewed by the Mirror, apples actually are an effective staple in your daily diet as they contain high levels of vitamin C which promotes lots of health benefits, and also the apple skin can help lower cholesterol. Vitamin C is great for your skin and when consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle, alongside the use of collagen producing creams like Stratum C, it can help your skin to look at its best.

Another of the facts separated from the fiction that I found most intriguing, was that freezing vegetables does not make them lose any of their nutrients. According to the article, the nutrients in fruit and vegetables are only lost through over cooking or natural ageing of the item itself, but if frozen when fresh, the food will keep all the good stuff, ready for you to cook up a nice healthy supper full of wholesome winter veg, at your convenience and not because you ‘have to use it all up before it goes off’.

Have a look at the original article and see how many of the ‘pearls of wisdom’ you have assumed to be true, just as we all did when Granny told us to ‘eat our greens’ to grow big and strong, or ‘finish our chicken soup’ when we were poorly.

DIY surgically enhanced dimples and hog’s lard, what women used to care for their skin 100 years ago…

I recently came across a fantastically written article that highlighted historical skin care claims from people who considered themselves pioneers of the time, from around the reign and death of Queen Victoria. The article mentions snippets of ‘study manuals’ for women of the age, describing all sorts of, what we now consider to be, weird and wonderful methods of maintaining a healthy glow.

Some of the suggestions, that most would be horrified of participating in in modern day life, include putting lard on your face, incorporating sour milk into your daily moisturising regime and even a do it yourself guide on how to give yourself fake dimples using only a knife, a hook and a pair of scissors! I can’t envisage home kits for plastic surgery ever coming back into fashion…

It really is amazing how far skin care has come in such a short time, considering that now we have scientific remedies for reducing scar tissue and even regrowing whole areas of skin after injury. I don’t think I would have liked to have been a woman in Victorian Britain, resorting to not smiling and being told not to rub salad dressing into my face in case I grow a beard! I am very grateful for the clinical advances in modern day skincare and am a strong believer that science based products are the way forward, though I wouldn’t out rule all old wives tales, such as facial massage that has been said to stimulate relaxation of your facial muscles, and of course is generally a pleasant experience.

Read the article (link below) to get an insight into how our extraordinary ancestors looked after their skin.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be dull. Here are some recipes that will help nurture your skin, and your appetite!

So we all know that we should eat healthily in our attempts to remain eternally youthful, but often it is easy to get distracted by the other, yummier, options on the shelf that fulfil our craving for diminishing the feelings of stress and depression that menopause can often bring.

Well, not anymore… we have found some tantalisingly tasty recipes online that mean you can still eat your favourite comfort foods, and be safe

imagesin the knowledge that the ingredients are packed full of goodness for your body, and more importantly your skin.

Below are some links to fantastic recipes that include cookies, lollies, alleged healthy cocktails and a top 10 list of foods that are essentials in your daily meal round up. Foods that are high in anti-oxidants such as blueberries, pomegranates and almonds are great for the skin as they can help protect against free radicals. Healthy delights such as fish and spinach are full of Omega-3 oils, which can generally improve the appearance of your skin and also has benefits for keeping your heart healthy. Avocado is also a great anti-inflammatory food, meaning it can help to maintain healthy skin and is also a source of natural fats, which your body needs, as opposed to saturated fats that are in many other food products that we buy in modern day life.

So if your feeling down, or feeling guilty about wanting a cheeky mid-afternoon snack, you can instead choose a home made healthy cookie that will satisfy your cravings and maintain a healthy complexion.

I hope you find these links useful!

Bone density decreases during menopause, but you could prevent it by taking up dance classes

It has been reported that by the time you arrive at menopause, your bone density has already started to deteriorate.

According to the article published yesterday on The Star Online, osteoporosis is more common in women as their bones are ‘smaller and lighter’, and also because the loss of oestrogen during and after menopause means that bone loss is increased due to the fact that oestrogen helps to protect your bones.

To help prevent osteoporosis, there are several things you can start doing early on in life to make sure you fend off problems like this until much later, or even forever…

Firstly, it is important to have a healthy diet consisting of pulses, nuts and legumes, vegetables, fruit and fish, as these are all good sources of vitamins, minerals and protein. For your bones especially, you should have a good intake of calcium, which can be found in dairy products, or for those who prefer to cut dairy from their diet, you can also find it in soya milk, leafy greens, as a supplement, and I’m sure I have even seen it in a special water type drink made to boost your immunity… either way, calcium will help your bones stay strong and increase bone mass early on, which will put you at an advantage later on when your bones start to break more easily.

It is also vital that you get at least 30 minutes heart pumping exercise per day, particularly in an activity that involves using your legs… as prolonged movement involved in dancing, aerobics, running, walking, skipping and jumping on the spot, strengthens your muscles, ligaments and joints. Next time someone offers you a night out with the girls, you should go! (Just try not to drink too much wine, as this could undo all the hard work you put in on the dance floor!)

Of course there are all the other healthy tips that you will find on our ‘Lifestyle tips’ page that will help you as a guide to healthy living which in turn can help relieve menopausal symptoms. Key tips are: eat right, drink less, don’t smoke and dance like nobody’s watching!

To read more on bone density and how it can affect us, read the article below published on The Star Online:

Coffee may decrease the risk of Womb Cancer… but I would still opt for decaf…

All our lives, we have been told that coffee is a toxin and that if we drink it, it’s at our own risk, almost as if it has the same affects as alcohol or something. Well according to the below article from NHS Choices, a new study has shown that consuming coffee could aid a healthy lifestyle to help prevent cancer of the womb, something that has often been known to happen in post-menopausal women.

The article states that women that live a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and wholesome foods, are less likely to suffer from cancer of the womb, and cancer generally, as you may expect. It also says that women that carry less weight are at an advantage too, again an obvious tip. But what does coffee have to do with it?

According to the study, drinking coffee can ‘possibly’ decrease the chances of getting womb cancer, or ‘endometrial’ cancer. However, it was advised that tea does not have the same affect and should be avoided, in the same way as alcohol. But then if we avoided everything that added to the cause of different types of cancer, we would all live in bubbles and not ever enjoy ourselves!

In a recent article in the Huffington Post online, it was also stated that coffee can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer too. Scientists have said that too much coffee (more than 4 cups a day) can have an adverse affect on your health (probably because of the high caffeine intake) but it has also been reported that there were no differences between the effect of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee in reducing the risk of cancer, and so we could hit two birds with one stone and simply opt for a decaf option every time?

The study also found that other contributors that increase the risk include red meat, multi-vitamins and soya, so I guess next time you order in your local coffee shop, a skinny decaf cappucino is the way to go, unless you have a milk allergy of course, in which I would recommend a straight up decaf black americano instead! Contrary to popular belief, coffee does not increase stress levels but is great for waking us up in the morning. I suppose everything is ok in moderation, but if it’s simply that coffee taste you love, now you don’t have to feel guilty every time you grab a cup on your way to work. It’s ‘healthy’!

To read the articles mentioned above simply click on the links below.