The Difference Between Prebiotics & Probiotics

The Difference Between Prebiotics & Probiotics

You may have heard the terms prebiotic and probiotic but what do they really mean and what is the difference between them? They both play vital roles in keeping the body healthy and functioning optimally.

 

What are probiotics?

 

Probiotics are live microorganisms (good bacteria) that reside in the gut, where there is an ecosystem of bacteria working to help your body stay well. This delicate ecosystem in commonly referred to as your gut flora or microbiome.

 

Probiotics play an integral role in maintaining healthy gut function by supporting out immune system, aiding digestion, assisting with nutrient absorption into the bloodstream and preventing the invasion of harmful microbes.

 

The benefits of taking probiotics are there ability to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. An imbalance happens when there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. This can happen from a multitude of reasons including taking antibiotics, poor diet and illness.

 

You can find probiotics in yogurt (with live cultures), some cheeses, some fermented foods and of course a good quality supplement. You can chat with our in-store pharmacists or naturopath to find the perfect probiotic supplement for yourself.

What are prebiotics?

 

Prebiotics are the fibres that feed the healthy gut bacteria and are important in maintaining a balanced gut. Essentially, they give the probiotics the nutrients they need to flourish.

 

Prebiotics are found in a variety of plant-based foods including wholegrains, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leeks, asparagus, onions, bananas, whole oats and flaxseeds. You can also find prebiotic supplements at WholeLife.

 

Overall, the combination of prebiotic and probiotics in your diet can be beneficial to your health and wellbeing.

June Top 10 Vitamins

June Top 10 Vitamins

We have collated our top selling vitamins to inspire those of you that are looking to include more vitamins in your diet. We know, just as well as anyone that the vitamin wall in the pharmacy can be a little overwhelming, what’s what? What does this do? Fear no more, we’ve the answers right here, and in store! Don’t see what you’re looking for in our top 10? Just ask our friendly staff when you visit the store!

1. Vital Organic Greens Powder

 

A power packed combination of 6 nutrient rich, green superfoods to support energy, immunity and overall health. This organic blend is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that help ensure you’re feeling at your best.

2. Ethical Nutrients Immuzorb Immune Defence

 

A combination of Echinacea and Andrographis for daily immune support and to help fight 7 symptoms of cold & flu including runny rose, coughs, sore throat, headache, earache, fever and fatigue.

3. Fusion Magnesium Advanced

 

Supports healthy muscle, nerve and cardiovascular function, as well as energy and exercise performance. Magnesium is required for a large number of body functions, including supporting healthy muscle function, where it plays an important role in facilitating normal muscle relaxation and contraction.

4. Innerhealth Plus Gut health & restoration

 

A live probiotic that may aid in the maintenance of a normal healthy gastrointestinal system and digestive function, aids in maintaining a healthy immune system and may be useful for bloating.

5. Nutra Organics Collagen Beauty

 

Collagen Beauty with VERISOL® and vitamin C is a natural formulation to reduce skin wrinkles and smooth fine lines, increase skin hydration and elasticity, and support healthy hair & nails.

 

Dosage: 12g scoop daily

6. Nutra-Life Bio-Curcumin

 

Nutra-Life Curcumin offers temporary relief of mild osteoarthritic pain. Made with Meriva® curcumin. This product can reduce joint inflammation and swelling and increases joint mobility associated with mild arthritis.

 

Dosage: 2 capsules daily, or take as directed by a healthcare professional

7. Elevit Pregnancy Multivitamin

 

Elevit is a pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplement that has been specially formulated to help meet the increased nutritional needs of women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding.

 

Dosage: 1 tablet daily

8. Blackmores Bio C 1000

 

A potent one-a-day formula to give you a boost of vitamin C to reduce the severity and duration of common cold symptoms. Vitamin C helps due to its ability to support a healthy immune function, it is also an antioxidant.

 

Dosage: 1 tablet daily, or a professionally prescribed

9. Floradix Floravital Herbal Liquid Iron Extract

 

Taking an iron supplement can help you restore your iron levels when your dietary intake is inadequate, maintaining energy, vitality and general well-being. Floravital is also a yeast, wheat and gluten free formula.

 

Dosage: 10ml twice daily

10. Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

 

Packed with powerful antioxidants and infused with superfoods. 2 gummies are equal to 1 apple cider vinegar shot. Apple cider vinegar offers many benefits thanks to its high concentration of acetic acid, including supporting healthy digestion, improving complexion, boosting immunity and enhancing energy.

 

Dosage: 2 gummies daily

All dosage measurements are for adults, please check with your healthcare professional to see if this medication and dosage is right for you. Some of these vitamins may not be suitable for children, please check with your healthcare professional.

Men’s Health Week Interview

Men’s Health Week Interview

For Men’s Health Week we interviewed one of our founders of WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods, Vince Pappalardo.

The top reason for reduced lifespan in men is Cardiovascular Disease (Men’s Health Week 2020). What is your advice for maintaining a healthy heart?

As Cardiovascular Disease is the leading causes for reduced lifespan in men, the aim would be to focus on modifiable factors that contribute to heart health in order to minimise your overall cardiac risk. The importance not only lies within making these changes to your lifestyle, but being able to maintain and impement these changes for the near and distant future. Adjustment of modifiable risk factors can take form among the individual and within the community such as walkability of the built environment and having access to these walking facilities. Individual risk factors relate mostly to the consistent maintainence of adequate physical activity, ensuring a balanced and healthy diet, treating both heart related and other health conditions and adjustment of social behaviours such as drinking, smoking and minimisation intake processed foods while sticking to intake of natural sugars. Consulting your GP about quitting smoking and limiting alcohol as well as addressing health conditions such as cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure and depression as these conditions all have huge impacts on maintaining that healthy heart.

Only 30% of a man’s overall health is determined by genetics, 70% is determined by lifestyle (Men’s Health Week, 2020). What is your top tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?  

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, given the added pressures relating to finances, work, friends and family. My top tip is therefore to prioritise some of the adjustments made above into your daily living and view those changes as a repetitive behaviour like waking up every morning. Changes that need to be made should start small and be realisitic, whilst continuing to grow over time, mirroring your usual lifesyle as much as possible. Engaging a positive mindset and understanding things can become more achievable and maintained when tackled in bite sized chunks until they become routine will be key. Its also important to remember to give yourself time and space to make adjustments within your lifestyle but every step, big or small brings you closer to maintaining a healthier and more enjoyable lifestyle!

What are the benefits of taking a Men’s Health multi-vitamin? 

The benefits of a men’s multivitamin enable the addition of a variety of vitamins and minerals that contribute to your general well being, immunity, energy and stress levels, while addressing key issues relating to mens health such as maintaining healthy hair, liver, prostate, sexual and reproductive health. A men’s mutivitamin may act as an important adjunct to all a healthy and balanced diet, to help assist the optimal functioning of the body 

Let’s Talk About Magnesium

Let’s Talk About Magnesium

WHAT IS IT?

Your body needs magnesium for many tasks. It is the fourth most abundant

mineral in the human body and it’s involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Muscles need this mineral to contract; nerves need it to send and receive messages. It keeps your heart beating steadily and your immune system strong.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

  •  General relaxation. Magnesium is vital in hormone regulation, including releasing serotonin (the happy hormone), improving relaxation, and calming the mind.

 

  •  Improved digestion. Muscles within the digestive tract, including the intestinal wall are calmed by magnesium, which improves digestion.

 

  • Better sleep. Taking magnesium can help slow your heart rate, relax your muscles and calm your mind.

 

  • Reduce muscle pain. Magnesium is absolutely necessary for proper muscle function. It works with other essential minerals in your body to keep the muscles loose and fexible.

 

  • Control Migraines. Research points to the fact that people that suffer from migraines may have lower level of magnesium in the body. It plays a role in the circulation and neurotransmitter functions & can help control pain by releasing pain-reducing hormones.

 

  • Increased energy. Magnesium helps convert food into energy and create new proteins.

SYMPTOMS OF LOW MAGNESIUM:

  • Insomnia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Migraines & headaches
  • Low energy
  • Muscle tension
  • Nausea or digestive issues

FOODS YOU CAN FIND MAGNESIUM IN:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa)
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Mackerel
  • Avocado
  • Salmon

HOW ELSE CAN YOU TAKE MAGNESIUM?

Supplements are a great way to increase your magnesium level easily. Talk to your local WholeLife Pharmacist for suggestions on the type and quantity of magnesium you should be taking. If you have a medical condition, check in with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements. Although they are usually well-tolerated, they may not be safe for people who take certain diuretics, heart medication or antibiotics.

 

If you suffer from sore and aching muscles a great way to take magnesium is actually in the form of an oil. Apply the oil on to the skin directly where the pain is & massage it in. You may experience an itching, tingling or stinging sensation when using topical magnesium. You’re not alone! This could actually be a sign that you’re magnesium defcient!

 

Let us know your magnesium experiences in the comments!

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Feeling Overwhelmed?

What a start we’ve had to 2020. From devasting bushfires that ravaged through our country to a global pandemic of wide-spread virus and everything else in between.

 

The large influx of information, media updates and conversation circulating about the events that are unfolding around us can be overwhelming. Not just for us, but for children too.

Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another.

 

We have come up with some tips that can help us with the feelings of being overwhelmed and stress. Although these feelings stem from our thoughts, our bodies can definitely feel a physical impact too.

 

 

When we are stressed or overwhelmed, our bodies respond by releasing hormones to overcompensate and cope with that stress. This extra release of hormones can cause muscles to tighten, blood pressure to rise and also cause breathing difficulty for some.

Source – Healthline

To harness the power of our thoughts that lead to feelings of overwhelm and stress, we can follow some simple practices –

 

  1. Identify the root cause  
    Sometimes our thoughts are often associated with negative connotations and we can often find ourselves preparing to expect the worst. Find a moment to really pinpoint what you are thinking about. Investigate your thoughts and keep asking “Why am I feeling this way?” until you uncover the real truth behind your feelings. 

 

  1. Identify how you release stress
    Do you take time to release your stress? For some people it’s by exercising, cooking, taking a bath, meditating – find your unique way to release it and get the angst out of your body. 

Unpacking our thoughts and destressing sometimes isn’t as straightforward as expected. Herbal teas and essential oils are a great way to help the relaxation process. One of the most commonly used ingredients in these products are lavender. Lavender is commonly used in aromatherapy and is known for its ability to calm the nervous system.

 

If you find that stress is effecting your sleep you can read more about ways of managing this here.

  1. Boundaries
    A lot of what we see on social media can be consuming. If you can, try to eliminate or reduce what you read (and especially what you re-read) about all the events happening in the world at the moment. After a certain point, our brains don’t know how to process an overload of information. Try to spend less time on your phone away from news updates. Our phones are attached to us more than ever and can be ever consuming. If you do read articles, it’s always good to consider the news source. Quantity of news isn’t always quality! 

 

If you are continuously affected by the feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed, you should seek medical advice. Everyone feels the impacts of stress differently!

HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

With an increasing amount of talk in the media about the global risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as we start to head into the colder periods of the year, it is a good time to consider what you are doing to look after your immune system. Your immune system is responsible for defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. The stronger your immune system, the greater the ability for your body to ward off nasty bugs.

 

To give your immune system the upper hand, here are some healthy living strategies that you may like to consider.

1. You Are What You Eat – The foods you consume play a large role in the strengthening of your immune system.  Eating the rainbow in terms of colourful fresh fruit and vegetables, whilst a great everyday habit, can help play a vital role in staying well.  Consider some of the following antioxidant packed foods in your weekly diet; blueberries, dark chocolate, turmeric, sunflower seeds.  Other great options for a wide range of goodness include; broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, almonds, oranges, kiwifruit and red capsicums.

2. A Little Bit of Sunshine – a lack of Vitamin D can play a role in the healthy operation of your body. Whilst we all need to manage our time in the sunshine in moderation and protect our skin from excess sun damage, Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in our busy lives. Whilst your body produces Vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight, it can also process Vitamin D through certain supplements. Herbs of Gold Vitamin D 1000 contains a vegan-friendly vitamin D derived from lichen.

3. Manage the Stress – whilst it is difficult to define the exact impact that stress has on your body, constant stress can definitively put a strain on your immune system. Making self-care a priority in your lifestyle is important to ensure you don’t get too “run down”. Consider adding an activity that you enjoy into your lifestyle to reduce stress – such as yoga or meditation.  A great product to consider for those looking for a herbal extract to help manage stress is iThrive Chill Out.  Chill Out is a comprehensive sleep, calming and relaxing formula combining premium herbal extracts.

4. Consider Probiotics – Probiotics are a type of “good bacteria” found in some foods and supplements – also known as ‘microbiome’ or ‘live microorganisms’. Probiotics help to restore and replenish the good, natural bacteria in the digestive system. They can also reduce the growth of harmful organisms and assist the digestive system in breaking down fibres, enzymes and proteins. WholeLife Pharmacy and Healthfood offer a broad range of probiotics.  One of our favourites is Herbs Of Gold Probiotic 55 Billion 60 Capsules. It contains 11 room-stable probiotic strains that may help to maintain a healthy composition of the intestinal flora.

5. Preventative Elderberry – Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world and is most often taken as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms. There are many reported benefits of elderberries deriving from the naturally high content of vitamin C, dietary fibre and antioxidants. When taken preventively, Sambucus Elderberry Gummies can help equip your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to be prepared in the event that you catch something. These nutrients help lower cholesterol, treat inflammation in the mouth and gums, and help reduce prevalence of seasonal allergy symptoms.

6. Annual Flu Shots – each year, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) determine the annual influenza vaccine composition for the southern hemisphere flu season. Different strains of the flu virus are present in different parts of the world, so the vaccine is formulated specifically for the Australian conditions.  WholeLife offer Flu Vaccines from April each year – to make a booking just contact your local WholeLife Pharmacist.

7. Keep Your Hands Sanitised – one of the everyday things you can add to your routine is to regularly use a hand sanitiser.  Keeping clean hands can significantly reduce your chance of illness. One of our favourite hand sanitisers in store is Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Organic Hand Sanitizer – a simple formula of organic ethyl alcohol, water, organic lavender oil, and organic glycerine. No nasty chemicals and perfect for using on the go, on your little ones’ sticky hands and faces, even as an air freshener or deodorant.

8. Love your Liver – A healthy liver helps filter your body and flush out toxins.  A natural way to cleanse your liver is to drink water with a squeeze of lemon. Consider reducing alcohol consumption and smoking to help reduce the pressure on your liver. A great product to support your liver is Cabot LivaTone Plus – this comprehensive and unique formulation is designed to support and strengthen detoxification pathways. It could assist the liver in repairing and regenerating itself. LivaTone Plus supports optimal digestive and gallbladder function.  

9. Add Some Green Tea – Green Tea is a great natural option that is loaded with antioxidants called Polyphenols. Polyphenols are efficient infection fighters. They protect the body against potential viruses, infections and sickness. Planet Organic Green Tea is a mild unfermented certified organic tea. It produces a yellowish infusion with a fresh, mild flavour and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

10. Regularly Keep Active – maintaining a healthy regular exercise regime can help improve health and bolster immunity. So, whilst regular exercise is thought to enhance immune function by stimulating a recirculation of cells and decreasing the risk of infection, prolonged high-intensity activity can have a negative impact – so maintaining a regular regime is considered both important and healthy. 

11. Manage Your Sleep – Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and well-being. Sleep allows the body to repair and prepare you to take on your day. Whilst more sleep won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick, a lack of sleep could adversely affect your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to illness. Our WholeLife Pharmacy and Healthfoods teams have many options available for you to consider when it comes to helping you with sleep related challenges. To aid in relaxation, you may like to consider diffusing an essential oil such as Gumleaf Essentials Lavender that can help with meditation, stress relief and sleeplessness.

12. Add Some H2O – Importantly, water makes up the majority of our body weight and has many important roles including flushing out waste from our bodies, regulating body temperature and helping our brains to function. Water also aids in the absorption of important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from your food, which increases your chances of staying healthy. Remember 8 glasses a day is recommended at a minimum!