Guide to Essential Oils

Essential Oil

On our soapnut website we recommend using essential oils for quite a few of our soapnut recipes, so I thought I would talk some more about essential oils, their properties, what they are great for and what they are not so good for!

History of Essential Oils

Essential oils are the subtle, aromatic and volatile liquids extracted from the flowers, seeds, leaves, stems, bark and roots of herbs, bushes, shrubs and trees through distillation. In the craft of alchemy, the soul of a plant is its oil, while its spirit is the plant’s alcohol or tincture. According to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, priests and alchemists were using essential oils thousands of years ago to heal the sick. They are the oldest form of medicine and cosmetic known to man and were considered more valuable than gold to the ancients.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the concentrated form of what is sometimes called the blood of the plant. The ‘blood’ is very complex and contains as many different chemicals as our blood and it is loaded with oxygen. Part of the health impact of essential oils has been attributed to this concentration of oxygen, which boosts the ability of our cells to metabolize allergens, toxins, or stress and thus supports the health of all the systems of the human body.

Essential oils are not oily (despite the name) and they will not make your hands greasy. Instead, they rub right into the skin. They are called oils because, like oil, they combine with other fats and oils, and do not mix easily with water.

Interesting fact: the easiest way to remove an essential oil, if you experience a reaction or hate the smell, is to dilute it using a pure vegetable oil (such as olive, almond, or jojoba) or even butter. Using water will only drive essential oils into the body more strongly.

uses of essential oil

Uses of essential oil

Uses of Essential Oils

Here is our brief guide to some of the most popular essential oils and how they will contribute to your well-being. Try them in your soapnut laundry, soapnut liquid or soapnut shampoo!

Lavender: This is the great aromatherapy all-rounder. The essential oil is obtained by distillation. Lavender oils blend well with other essential oils and can boost their properties. Great for: aches, pains, sun burn, acne, depression, irritability, migraines, colds, period pain and stomach aches.

Bergamot: This is a member of the citrus family and the oil is extracted by pressing the peel of the fruit. Bergamot essence is used to make Earl Grey tea and gives it its characteristic perfume. Bergamot is a powerful antiseptic and an appetite stimulant. It must not be used neat on the skin because it can cause pigmentation marks.
Great for: psoriasis, oily / spotty skin, cystitis, cold sores

Geranium: There are many varieties of geranium. Essential oil is usually extracted from the Pelargonium family, but wild geranium – known as Herb Robert- is also used. The oil is distilled from all parts of the plant. Geranium oil is a good balancer. It can uplift or have a relaxing effect and is particularly good for menopausal problems.
Great for: eczema, dermatitis, sore throat, sluggish skin, nervous tension

Ylang-Ylang: This tree is native to the Philippines and other parts of the Far East. The essential oil is obtained from the flowers by steam distillation. This is another oil used by the perfume industry as it has a lovely, exotic floral fragrance. It has a relaxing, sedative effect and is a pleasant oil to use in a burner to scent your home. Ylang­ ylang is said to have aphrodisiac powers! Great for: depression, nervous tension, insomnia, fear, panic attacks, high blood pressure.

Lemon: It takes 3,000 lemons to produce 2 pound (1 kilo) of essential oil. It is extracted by pressing the rind of the fruit. Hand-pressed oil is of a better quality than mechanically pressed oil. Hand pressing is a family affair. The women and children cut the lemons and scrape out the flesh, the men do the pressing. Great for: cold sores, bites, stings, warts, colds, mouth ulcers.

peppermint leaf

Peppermint: The oil is obtained from the leaves and flowers by steam distillation and varies in quality depending on climatic and soil conditions. It is a very therapeutic oil which has a cooling effect on the skin and lessens pain. You’ll notice most commerical indigestion cures are mint­flavoured. Peppermint is excellent for digestive problems. It also makes a great foot bath for hot, aching feet. Great for: migraines, travel sickness, indigestion, sinus, heartburn.

Rosemary: A well known herb, rosemary is cultivated in France, Spain, etc. The essential oils are distilled from the flowers and leaves. It is known as the herb for remembrance and clears the mind and stimulates the memory. It is an excellent hair tonic, improving circulation to the scalp, and is helpful for dandruff. Great for: mental fatigue, poor memory, dandruff, circulation.

Tea Tree: The tea tree is native to Australia and the oil is distilled from the leaves. This oil is an excellent antiseptic, 12 to 15 times more potent than carbolic. When applied neat to a cut, its antiseptic potency doubles! Keep this one in your first aid box.Great for: spots, athlete’s foot, thrush, cuts, sore throat.

Hyssop: Hyssop is an ancient herb which was cultivated for its medicinal as well as romantic properties. The oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers by distillation. It is beneficial for ‘all respiratory problems and can help relieve hayfever. Great for: Hayfever, eczema, rheumatism.

Camomile: The camomile family is large and there are several different camomile essential oils. German camomile is the most expensive, but all camomile oils are helpful for sensitive conditions and can be- used safely for children. Camomile tea is widely available, and the plant feverfew – belonging to the camomile family – is now being used to help migraine sufferers. Great for: sore eyes, aches, hyperactivity, dermatitis, eczema, insmonia.

Make sure you read the safety info because some oils are not safe for pregnant women!

Belsize Eco Week

Belsize Eco Week

Transition Belsize

Saturday was a great end to a great week of green at Belsize. If you missed it…it was a day of eco awareness including learning how to compost effectively, cook wild foods, build a plastic bottle greenhouse and there were farm animals and bees!

Check our facebook page for some photos…but here are some tips of 5 things we could all do from Transitions Belsize the organisers of the week….

Fly and drive less: Try to take holidays by train rather than plane; jet engines create more greenhouse gases than anything else we do. If you do fly, pay an environmental charity like Pure or Climate Care to offset the carbon for your flight. Consider joining a car club; it will almost certainly save you money.

Get closer to your food: Grow food on your window sill, balcony or in your garden. Join The Transition Belsize Garden Share scheme matching up unused gardens with wannabe allotment holders. If you live on a housing estate, set up a gardening club. Try to buy local, seasonal and, if possible, organic. Sign up for a fruit and vegetable box scheme. Avoid airfreighted fresh food. Ask restaurants, cafes and shops where your food is coming from and whether it’s sustainably sourced.

Eat less meat especially beef: Eat less meat and dairy because producing it is so energy-intensive. The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of the world’s carbon emissions. That’s partly because cows burp and fart so much methane. But it’s also because of the fossil fuels that are used to grow and process cattle food, to refrigerate and transport meat that is then sold in open fridges/freezers in supermarkets. Eating less meat can also benefit your health.

Insulate your home and switch to a renewable energy contract: Insulate your home and switch to a renewable energy contract. Install draught exclusion measures around doors and windows, lag your hot water tank, and put in cavity wall and loft insulation wherever possible. Best of all install internal or external wall insulation, under floor insulation and double glazing. Contact the Transition Belsize Draught Busting Team to take part in a free workshop to learn how to make your home more energy efficient. Switch your electricity supply to a renewable energy provider. Talk to the Belsize Energy Company about fitting solar panels to your roof and taking advantage of the new national. Feed In Tariff designed to subside Micro generation.

Join a campaigning group: Last but definitely not least – get involved with your local Transition group, Transition Belsize, which is working towards a greener vision for our area. See here for more on the Transition movement: www.transitionnetwork.org

Join a group campaigning for action on climate change like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WWF or the Soil Association.

Belsize Eco Week has been organised by Transition Belsize – http://www.transitionbelsize.org.uk

Fly and drive less
Try to take holidays by train rather
than plane; jet engines create more
greenhouse gases than anything
else we do. If you do fly, pay an
environmental charity like Pure or
Climate Care to offset the carbon for
your flight. Consider joining a car club;
it will almost certainly save you money.
Get closer to your food
Grow food on your window sill, balcony
or in your garden. Join The Transition
Belsize Garden Share scheme
matching up unused gardens with
wannabe allotment holders. If you live
on a housing estate, set up a gardening
club. Try to buy local, seasonal and,
if possible, organic. Sign up for a fruit
and vegetable box scheme. Avoid airfreighted
fresh food. Ask restaurants,
cafes and shops where your food is
coming from and whether it’s sustainably
sourced.
Eat less meat especially beef
Eat less meat and dairy because
producing it is so energy-intensive.
The livestock industry is responsible
for 18% of the world’s carbon
emissions. That’s partly because
cows burp and fart so much methane.
But it’s also because of the fossil fuels
that are used to grow and process cattle
food, to refrigerate and transport meat
that is then sold in open fridges/freezers
in supermarkets. Eating less meat can
also benefit your health.
Insulate your home and switch to
a renewable energy contract
Insulate your home and switch to
a renewable energy contract
Install draught exclusion measures
around doors and windows, lag your
hot water tank, and put in cavity wall
and loft insulation wherever possible.
Best of all install internal or external wall
insulation, under floor insulation
and double glazing. Contact the
Transition Belsize Draught Busting Team
to take part in a free workshop to learn
how to make your home more energy
efficient. Switch your electricity supply
to a renewable energy provider. Talk
to the Belsize Energy Company about
fitting solar panels to your roof and
taking advantage of the new national
Feed In Tariff designed to subside
Micro generation.
Join a campaigning group
Last but definitely not least – get
involved with your local Transition
group, Transition Belsize, which is
working towards a greener vision for
our area. See here for more on the
Transition movement:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org
Join a group campaigning for action on
climate change like Friends of the
Earth, Greenpeace, WWF or the Soil
Association.
Belsize Eco Week has been organised
by Transition Belsize –
http://www.transitionbelsize.org.uk

Soap Nut Powder Recipes

soapnut powder

ground soapnut powder

Simply grind soap nuts shells to a very fine powder in a coffee grinder. A similar appliance will work, such as a blender, however a coffee grinder tends to produce the finest powder. This may require grinding the soap nut shells a couple of times. Remove any un-ground pieces or sift through a sifter. Place in airtight container. Shelf life is indefinite as long as the soap nut powder is stored in a cool dry place.

For skin allergies like eczema, use soap nut powder instead of regular body soap. It does not lather much but cleans the grime from your body while staying mild and safe for your sensitive skin. The saponin essence works against harmful microbes that cause allergic reactions.

Soapnut Powder Wash : Use equal amounts of soapnut powder and water and mix into paste and wash as normal. The paste will not lather as you may be used to but it will clean you up very nicely. PLEASE KEEP AWAY FROM THE EYES.

Soapnut Body Scrub : Use 1 cup of soapnut powder, half cup raw sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of massage oil (jojoba, wheatgerm) or olive oil. Mix and store in a clean airtight plastic or glass jar. Use whenever you want beautifully clean and smooth skin.

*Tip *– Also use the powder to wash your laundry *: When you have ground this powder down really fine, you can use also use it in the washbag to do your laundry. 2-3 tablespoon will be enough for one wash load.

Soapnut Liquid Recipe

making soapnut liquid

making soapnut liquid

Using soap nut shells to make a multi-purpose liquid

Boiling 50g of soapnuts with 1 litre of liquid for 20 minutes will give you 500ml of a good concentrated soapnut liquid.  When cooled, remove the soap nuts, and pour the liquid into an airtight plastic or glass jar. You can re-boil the same 50g of soapnuts three more times and get over 2 litres of soapnut liquid! Awesome value!

Liquid may have a strong smell, but this will disappear once you have added 10-20 drops of your favourite essential oil.

*Tip – reuse, reuse, reuse *: After you have made the soapnut liquid there will still be saponin in the shell, so use these in your laundry as usual. You can either put them in a small muslin bag/old sock and wash as directed or blend them up with some water, strain and use in the machine as soapnut laundry liquid. Alternatively you can pour the blended soapnuts straight from the blender to your garden to guard from pests and snails.

Storing Soapnut Liquid

To store soapnut liquid either keep it in jugs/containers in your fridge or you can freeze them into soapnut ice cubes and use them either in your washing machine or dishwasher. As the homemade soapnut liquid will have no preservatives, it will keep for a few weeks in the fridge, but will stay indefinitely if you add essential oils to it.

For more ways to use for laundry or more soapnut recipes visit www.soapnuts.co.uk

The Healthy Hair Diet

Guide to healthy hair

Guide to healthy hair

This great guide gives advice on how to  promote healthy hair growth.

First things first….Diet

By diet I do not mean that you need to start calorie counting, but you do need to make sure you are getting the right amount of nutrients into your body to help. Unless you are very healthy or lucky you will experience some hair thinning or even loss at some point in your life.

There are many reasons why your hair can start to thin or fall and there are lots of lifestyle changes you can make to help this problem.

Here is a list of nutrients, where you can find them and how much you need to help grow healthy hair.

protein foodsProtein : Protein is the building block of hair. Hair is 88 percent protein. Protein will give the shaft of your hair more strength, and will reduce the probability of damage. Excellent sources of protein include tuna, shrimp, and cod, snapper, venison, halibut, salmon, scallops, turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, calf’s liver, spinach, tofu, mustard greens, crimini mushrooms, soybeans, and mozarrella cheese, eggs, milk, collard greens, cauliflower and many legumes including lentils, split peas, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.

Vitamin B : The B vitamins are necessary for healthy hair. Lack of B vitamins can lead to oily hair conditions. Good sources include: animal products (meat, poultry), yeast extracts (brewers’ yeast, Marmite), asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, bell peppers, turnip greens, bananas, potatoes, dried apricots, dates and figs, milk, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, nuts and pulses, fish, brown rice, wheat germ, garlic, tuna, wholegrain cereals, avocado, herring, salmon, celery, crimini mushrooms, sunflower seeds and walnuts.

For information on B6 click here and for B12 click here.

vitamin c foodsVitamin C : It strengthens the immune system, and assists in metabolizing B vitamins and amino acids into the body. Lack of vitamin C can cause dry hair. Excellent food sources of vitamin C include: broccoli, bell peppers, kale, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, mustard and turnip greens, brussels sprouts, papaya, chard, cabbage, spinach, kiwifruit, snow peas, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, limes, tomatoes, zucchini, raspberries, asparagus, celery, pineapples, lettuce, watermelon, fennel, peppermint and parsley.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.


Vitamin A
: Vitamin A is important for the health of your scalp. A lack of it can lead to dry hair. Good sources include: Calf liver, Cow’s milk , eggs, carrots, apricots, mangoes, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens, tomatoes, guava, and pink grapefruit, salmon, shellfish, Cayenne pepper and chilli pepper.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.


vitamin e foodsVitamin E
: Vitamin E provides lots of benefits for growing vibrant hair. Good sources of vitamin E include: mustard greens, turnip greens, chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, collard greens, parsley, kale, papaya, olives, bell pepper, brussel sprouts, kiwifruit, tomato, blueberries, and broccoli.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.


Vitamin K
: Vitamin K helps to maintain healthy hair. Good sources of vitamin K include: spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, green peas and carrots, fig, brewer yeast, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, egg yolk, oatmeal, rye, soybean, liver, wheat, yogurt, tomato paste, Swiss Emmental cheese and Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.

foods high in ironIron : Healthy hair needs iron in the body. Iron is needed to help carry oxygen to the hair. Without enough iron, hair gets starved for oxygen. Good sources of iron include: chard, spinach, thyme, and turmeric, romaine lettuce, blackstrap molasses, tofu, mustard greens, turnip greens, string beans, and shiitake mushrooms, beef tenderloin, lentils, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, venison, garbanzo beans, broccoli, leeks, and kelp.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.


Magnesium
: Magnesium deficiencies lead to hair problems. Good sources: of magnesium include Swiss chard and spinach, mustard greens, summer squash, broccoli, blackstrap molasses, halibut, turnip greens, pumpkin seeds and peppermint, cucumber, green beans, celery, kale and a variety of seeds, including sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.


foods high in copper: crimini mushroomsCopper
: Copper is needed for hair structure and is involved in the pigmentation of hair.
Good sources of copper include: calf’s liver, crimini mushrooms, turnip greens and molasses, chard, spinach, sesame seeds, mustard greens, kale, summer squash, asparagus, eggplant, and cashews, peppermint, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, ginger, green beans, potato, and tempeh.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.


Zinc
: A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss. Zinc is necessary for building hair protein.
Good sources include: Calf’s liver, crimini mushrooms, sea vegetables, basil, thyme, spinach, pumpkin seeds, yeast, beef, and lamb, summer squash, asparagus, venison, chard, collard greens, miso, shrimp, maple syrup, broccoli, peas, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and mustard greens.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here.

For further information on the function of zinc, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.

foods high in potassiumPotassium: Potassium is found in abundance in many foods, and is especially easy to obtain in fruits and vegetables. Good sources of potassium include : chard, crimini mushrooms, and spinach, potassium include fennel, kale, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, winter squash, blackstrap molasses, eggplant, cantaloupe, and tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, turmeric, apricots, ginger root, strawberries, avocado, banana, tuna, halibut, cauliflower and cabbage.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here

For further information on the function of Potassium, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.

Water : Water is important for hair. Water makes up one-fourth of the weight of a strand of hair. Moisture makes the hair supple and helps keep your hair silky and shiny. Eight to ten glasses of water a day are absolutely necessary to nourish healthy hair.

Essential Fats (EFAs) : Healthy hair also needs two essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, that are not produced naturally by the human body. Omega-3 fats sources: flax oil, algae, cold-water fish, dark-green vegetables, hemp oil and pumpkin seed oil. Omega-6 fats sources: borage, evening primrose oil, safflower oil, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, corn and pumpkin seeds.

For information on how much you need to eat of any of the foods listed please click here

For further information on the function of Potassium, any drug/nutrient interactions and how it can help with other diseases please click here.


Lastly…things to avoid

Eating dead food can lead to lifeless hair. These are sugars, chocolate, cakes, cookies, starches, soft drinks, snacks, Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and recreational drugs destroy important hair growing nutrients. If you can’t resist keep these to a minimum.

References:
The Worlds Healthiest Foods: ‘Essential Nutrients in the World’s Healthiest Foods’; http://whfoods.org/nutrientstoc.php

Recycling at home

Do your bit for the environment and see how much you can recycle at home. Below is our guide to recycling in the UK.

A

recycling aerosolsAEROSOLS: 75% of councils will now recycle these but where possible, buy pump-driven atomisers. Ensure that your aerosol is completely empty before you decide to recycle it. Aerosols can be stored for a long time so hold on to a half empty can if possible. Do not pierce, crush or flatten the aerosol before recycling. Also, detach any loose or easily removable parts, such as the lid, and dispose of them with the rest of your rubbish.

ALUMINIUM: Pie trays, milk bottle tops, yoghurt pot lids, and chocolate wrappers can be recycled. Barbeque and freezing trays, cigarette and tobacco foil and screw top lids from wine bottles can also be recycled. Clean the foil before recycling. If you collect drinks cans as part of a Cash for Cans scheme, you may be able to sell used aluminium foil too.

APPLIANCES: Kettles, toasters, TV’s etc. Re-use by giving away to friends, donating to charity shops, or selling in local papers or second hand shops. You could also try selling it through Freecycle. Freecycle is a non-profit movement that encourages people to give things for free in their local community. Many contain steel and aluminium which can be recycled – take them to your recycling centre.

ASBESTOS: Asbestos is a building insulation material used before the 1970’s. There are 3 types – white, blue and brown. Removal of asbestos can disturb the fibres of which it is made; these fibres can be harmful if they are breathed in. Use a facemask and gloves when handling asbestos. Keep asbestos damp and contained in a plastic bag when transporting, this will reduce airborne fibres. Some skip companies will safely remove asbestos, such as SkipHireUK. Some councils will accept asbestos at their household waste recycling centres. Contact your local council for further advice on the removal of asbestos.

B

recycling batteriesBATTERIES: All waste batteries are classified as hazardous waste and recycling is always the best option. Ordinary household batteries do contain some hazardous chemicals so ideally should not be thrown out with the day to day rubbish.
Ordinary batteries require a lot of energy to make, so in order to save energy, use rechargeable batteries and electricity mains instead of ordinary batteries. If you do have to use batteries, then rechargeable batteries are the most environmentally friendly option as can last for up to several hundred charging cycles resulting in less waste being produced. Rechargeable batteries contain harmful metals, so should never be thrown away with daily rubbish, they should be returned to manufacturer for disposal or recycled elsewhere. You can also buy solar-powered battery chargers. Ni-Cd (Nickel-Cadmium – a type of rechargeable battery) batteries should NOT be disposed of with normal household waste – hand them it at your recycling centre.

Lead Acid (car) Batteries: Can be recycled at recycling centres.

Silver Oxide Cells: Used in watches, calculators, and hearing aids. Jewellers may accept them because they have a recyclable silver content.

Mercuric Oxide Cells: Another type of small battery used in watches and calculators. They should NOT be disposed of with normal household waste. Hand them in at your recycling centre if a jeweller will not take them.

From February 2010, shops selling more than 32kg of batteries a year (approx 345 x four-packs of AA batteries) will have to provide battery recycling collection facilities in-store.  This means there will be lots more places where you can take your old batteries for recycling.

BEDS: Wooden furniture can be recycled at your local reycling centre. Furniture made out of leather or synthetic materials cannot be recycled. Contact your local authority if you need to dispose of bulky items like a sofa or mattress. Social Services or local community groups can sometimes make use of these. Alternatively, take them to the recycling centre. Ask family, friends and neighbours if they have a use for your sofa or spare bed. Try Free-Cycling your furniture or giving it to a furniture workshop such as Viridian Design or the Furniture Re-use Network

BICYCLES: Can be repaired, or sold second hand. The following organisations take old bikes and refurbish them for charity or community projects:

Some cities have a bicycle loaning scheme. If all else fails, take it to the recycling centre. Before taking your bicycle to the recycling centre, remove any rubber or plastic parts such as tyres, inner tubes, saddles, brakes, plastic light or lock fittings and bells.

BOOKS: Books can’t usually be recycled along with other paper recycling because of the glue that’s used to bind them. Instead, there are many possibilities for reusing, donating or reselling books. Can be sold second hand, or given to charities and schools, doctors’ or dentists’ surgeries, and hospitals. Some areas have a book recycling bank.  Try local second hand book dealers, jumble sales or car boot sales. You can also sell or swap your books online:

BOTTLES: Glass containers such as bottles and jars should be cleaned and any tops or corks removed before recycling. When using bottle banks, put the glass in the correct bank for clear, green or brown glass. Blue glass goes in with green glass. Only use bottle banks during the day – the sound of smashing bottles can make a real racket which disturbs people who live nearby! Remember not to litter the area around the bottle bank with your empty bags and boxes. You can’t recycle: window panes, light bulbs, glass ovenware or electrical equipment. Dispose of these carefully with your normal household waste.

BUILDING RUBBLE: No. Your local recycling centre won’t accept bricks or rubble for recycling, and they can’t be collected as part of your local authority’s kerbside scheme. Re-use for another job. Non-commercial rubble can be taken to the recycling centre. You could try and sell it as building materials are always in demand. Advertise in local papers or on community noticeboards. Alternatively, try a jumble or car boot sale. There are also online market places for building materials – check out the internet to find one near you.

C

recycling drinks cansCANS: Aluminium and steel cans can be recycled. Wash and crush them down first. (The best way to distinguish between steel and aluminium is to use a magnet – steel is magnetic, aluminium is not.) If you use a lot of drinks cans, for example at work or at school, you can sell them to a local Cash for Cans organisation. For every tonne of aluminium we recycle here in the UK, Alupro has committed to plant one tree in Burkina Faso. You really can turn your cans into trees!

CARDBOARD
: Cardboard can be recycled. Use a cardboard box to collect your other recycling in – then you won’t have to separate it later! Some paper banks and kerbside schemes DO NOT accept cardboard. It can also be torn into small pieces and composted, or can be used as a mulch for vegetable beds over winter. Your local school or playgroup may use cardboard boxes for craft projects.

CARRIER BAGS: Carrier bags are rarely collected as part of local authority kerbside collections, but some local recycling centres now accept them. Even though they can be recycled, please try to re-use them, or get long-lasting cotton bags. Some supermarkets now offer in-store recycling banks for carrier bags or the option to hand the bags back to the driver if your shopping is delivered to your home. Why not check out your local supermarket the next time you visit?  The bins are normally located by the main entrance doors.
Most supermarkets have ‘bag for life’ schemes. You buy one large, durable carrier bag for 10p which should last at least 10 trips. When it wears out the cashier will replace it free of charge and the old one will be recycled by the supermarket. Better still, take a canvas or string bag with you when you go shopping – they’re much stronger than carrier bags and won’t dig into your hands!

CARTONS: Cartons are now collected by over 370 local authorities across the country, which equates to 86 per cent of UK and Guernsey local authority areas. Firstly check that your local authority can accept them. A few local authorities collect them at the kerbside, then segregate them from paper and other materials either at a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) or at the kerbside itself; some local authorities provide recycling banks specifically for beverage cartons at recycling centres. You can find out if cartons are collected in your area by checking : www.tetrapakrecycling.co.uk

CHRISTMAS TREES: Can be taken to the recycling centre to be turned into compost. Try to use a living tree in a pot that can be put outside and used year after year, or use an artificial tree.

CLOTHES: Clothes that are in good condition can be donated to charity shops in the following ways:

  • Take them to a local charity shop yourself.
  • Put them in a textiles bank provided by charities like Oxfam, The Salvation Army and Scope. You can find these at supermarkets or local council sites. Try and make sure clothes are clean and dry before you donate them.
  • Charities and jumble sales also make door-to-door collections. Keep an eye out for those plastic sacks coming through your letterbox.

Textiles that are worn out or in unsaleable condition can be left in special textile banks at recycling centres.  The fabrics are shredded before being reprocessed into new items.  Industrial quality “blankets” which protect equipment whilst being transporting is one example of what recycled textiles may become.

COAT HANGERS: Charity, second hand shops, and some dry cleaners will have a use for these.

COMPUTERS: You can dispose of computer waste by returning the product to the manufacturer, taking the item to a professional waste disposal facility or donating the goods to a non-profit organisation, to schools, or community groups. Alternatively, sell through the local papers or second hand shops. You could also try selling it through Freecycle. Freecycle is a non-profit movement that encourages people to give things for free in their local community.

COOKING OIL: Do not pour down the drain, or into the tanks for engine oil at your recycling centre. Hand the container in at your recycling centre.

E

recycling egg boxesEGG BOXES: Playgroups and schools may find a use for these. Cardboard egg boxes can be used as seed pots, and are biodegradable, so they can be torn into small pieces and composted.

ENGINE OIL: It is ILLEGAL to pour this down the drain. There will be a bank at your recycling centre for this.

ENVELOPES: Re-use these by using ‘new address’ labels, but they can also be recycled. Try to purchase envelopes made from recycled paper.

F

recycling fizzy drinks bottlesFIZZY DRINKS BOTTLES: Buy glass bottles where possible. ‘PET’ and ‘PVC’ bottles can be recycled in a plastics recycling bank. There are about 50 different types of plastic. The main types include:

  • HDPE – Opaque bottles
  • PVC – Transparent bottles, with a seam running across the base
  • PET – Transparent bottles, with a hard moulded spot in the centre of the base

If your home recycling bin doesn’t take plastic bottles, then deposit them at your local recycling bank. Clean bottles before recycling them. Buy plastic bottles in bulk whenever possible to reduce packaging waste. Carriers can be reused next time you’re at the shops, or deposit used ones at collection points provided by some supermarkets.

FURNITURE: Donate usable furniture to charity shops, schools, community centres, friends or neighbours. Sell furniture at garage sales or in auctions. Clean and repair broken furniture before you sell/donate it. Before you sell/donate your furniture, make sure it has the kite mark of approval to show that it meets British safety standards. Or you can contact the Furniture Reuse Network for further information on recycling furniture: FRN, 48-54 West Street, St Philips, Bristol, BS2 0BL, 0117 954 3571

OFFERS is the first UK scheme, which was specifically set up to promote the reuse of office furniture and equipment. Since 1996 OFFERS has been assisting businesses and organisations in London to divert office furniture and equipment from landfill. Unwanted items are collected and then passed on to community, voluntary sector groups and small start-up businesses to maximise the environmental and social benefits of reuse.

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GLASS: Re-use where possible. Sometimes bottles can be returned. Glass bottles and jars can be recycled, but the colours must be separated. Blue glass can go into the same bank as green glass. Mixed-coloured glass cannot be recycled. Remove the lids and tops (these may be made of a recyclable metal). NON-recyclable glass includes window glass, light bulbs, Pyrex/Visionware cooking dishes, and glass crockery items such as wine glasses and tumblers.

recycling greetings cardsGREETINGS CARDS: Every January The Woodland Trust teams up with Tesco and WHSmith to collect and recycle millions of Christmas cards. Just take your Christmas cards along to WHSmith high street stores and Tesco Extra and Superstores. The money raised goes to help the Woodland Trust to plant trees and maintain our woodlands. You really can turn your cards back into trees! Or you can turn them into gift tags or recycle them.

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HAZARDOUS WASTE: Includes Oil, paints and solvents, old medicines (return these to the pharmacist), pesticides, anti-freeze, brake fluid, oven cleaners, furniture polish, stain removers, fluorescent lights, CFL’s (low energy light bulbs), wood preservatives, and asbestos. Anything you think may be hazardous should be taken to the recycling centre and handed to the site agent. Explosives or fireworks should be handed in at a police station.

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ICE-CREAM CONTAINERS: Re-use for freezing food, lunch boxes, or storage. These CANNOT be recycled in a plastics bank.

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recycling junk mailJUNK MAIL: Can be recycled, but why receive it in the first place? You can ask not to receive it by contacting the Mail Preference Service (www.mpsonline.org.uk)

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KITCHEN FOIL: Re-use where possible. Clean foil can be recycled, along with milk bottle tops, foil containers etc. Metallised plastic i.e. crisp packets can sometimes look like foil – scrunch it in your hand – if it springs back, it’s plastic.

KITCHEN ROLL: Use rolls made from recycled paper. Can be torn up and composted.

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recycling light bulbsLIGHT BULBS: Energy efficient light bulbs are a type of fluorescent lamp and can be recycled at a number of household recycling centres but older style bulbs aren’t recyclable. Old style incandescent bulbs are NOT recyclable.  Please throw them away in your waste bin. They are made from a different type of glass and also contain metal parts so cannot be recycled with your other glass.

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MAGAZINES: You can recycle magazines along with your other paper items via your local authority’s kerbside collections or at your nearest paper bank. Contact local doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, or hospitals, to see if they would welcome magazine donations for their waiting rooms.

MEDICINES
: Should be returned the pharmacist.

METAL: All metal can be taken to a recycling centre and placed in the scrap metal bank. Alternatively, a local scrap metal merchant may be willing to collect it.

MILK BOTTLES: If your milk is delivered in glass bottles, you should always return them to your milkman. Plastic milk bottles can be recycled with your plastic waste.

MOBILE PHONES: The main channels for disposing of mobiles are the shops that sell them, but there are other organisations and charities that accept them for refurbishment and recycling.  Up to 80 per cent of a phone is recyclable, so don’t send it to landfill or leave it in the drawer – recycle it!

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recycling nappiesNAPPIES: Disposable nappies are a major environmental problem because they take a very long time to break down naturally, and are only used once! They are also made from non-renewable materials. Terry towelling nappies are able to be used again and again, and can be made of natural materials. If you use disposable nappies, choose unbleached and dioxin-free varieties. There are also a wide variety of in-between options.

NEWSPAPER: Can be recycled, or used to light fires, or to protect surfaces during DIY jobs. Some kennels and animal charities use newspaper for bedding.

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OIL: See Engine Oil or Cooking Oil.

ORGANIC WASTE AND COMPOSTING: Some local authorities collect kitchen waste or provide containers at recycling centres.Composting is a biological process. The fertiliser that is the end result of composting can only be as good as the ingredients you added initially. The first list below contains the ideal ingredients to add to your compost bin, the second those you are better off leaving out:

Ideal Ingredients:

· Raw vegetable peelings and fruit
· Egg shells (crushed)
· Tea, tea bags or coffee granules
· Shredded paper or soft card
· Straw or hay (chopped and moist)
· Grass cuttings, plant trimmings and flowers
· Hair and fur
· Small amounts of leaves
· Chicken, pigeon or horse manure
· Animal bedding

Ingredients to avoid:

· Meat or fish (cooked or raw)
· Cooked or baked foods
· Dairy products
· Persistent weeds
· Coal ash
· Dog or cat mess
· Nappies or used tissue
· Coloured or shiny paper

Alternatively place your organic waste in the green waste container at the recycling centre.

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PACKAGING: Try to buy products packaged in recycled or recyclable materials. Don’t buy overpackaged items.

recycling paintPAINT: Your local recycling centre may have a donation point for paint – it is reused rather than recycled.  Alternatively, donate your paint directly to a local Community Repaint scheme. Please note: Only usable paint suitable for domestic application can be accepted.  Unfortunately they are unable to accept car paint, aerosols & spray paints, paint over 10 years old, paint containing lead or paint that is not in its original container.

PAPER: All types of paper can be recycled.

PLASTICS: Re-use plastic containers where possible. Many plastics can be recycled. Check that the type of plastic can be recycled before you buy, and especially before putting it into the recycling bank. Plastics that can be recycled include:

PETE/PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate – fizzy drinks, mineral water, cooking oil and cordial bottles
HDPE – Polyethylene – Opaque bottles, containers for items such as washing up liquid, detergent, shampoo, milk and fruit juices.
PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride – containers for mineral water, toiletries, cooking oils. They are clear and have an obvious seam running through them.
Polystyrene, including burger and chips trays, margarine and yogurt pots CANNOT be recycled.

Plastics can be identified by looking for the recycle symbol, usually indented into the material. Common symbols are shown below; the abbreviation for each type is shown beneath the symbol.

PLASTIC BAGS: Plastic carrier bags can sometimes be recycled – check at your recycling centre. Alternatively, some shops will take them to reuse or recycle. Try to re-use them as much as possible. You could use them as bin liners for small pedal bins, . Shops tend to put any item you buy in a fresh plastic bag – ask them not to, and use the bags you already have.

PRINTER CARTRIDGES: Increasingly these are being collected at local recycling centres but are not generally collected from kerbside. However, there are other organisations that will recycle them for you. Why not take your empty cartridges to be refilled at CARTRIDGE WORLD? You can save up to 60% on the price of a new cartridge!

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REFRIGERATORS AND FREEZERS: Most recycling centres will accept white goods, which include fridges, freezers, cookers, washing machines and dishwashers. Your local authority will also collect bulky white goods items such as fridges and washing machines for you, although they may charge you for this service. Similary, a commercial company may be able to collect your fridge or freezer. If you are buying a new appliance, check with the store whether they can take your old one away for recycling at the same time. You may even be able to arrange a part-exchange!
If your appliance is still in good working order – ask family, friends and neighbours if they have a use for it. Or try:

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recycling shoesSHOES: You can recycle shoes at most recycling centres, or donate them to a charity shop. Before you donate your old shoes be sure to tie them together in pairs as they can easily get separated and single shoes can’t be sold on.

SPECTACLES: Local authorities do not collect spectacles but many opticians collect them for charities. Ask your optician if they collect old spectacles.  Many do – they are donated to charities who send them to developing countries.

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TEXTILES: Textiles made from both natural and man-made fibres can be recycled. Textiles include: curtains, bedding, towels, handbags, cloths, rugs and mats. Please wash and put in a plastic bag before handing them over. Some charity shops will accept them, alternatively place in a textiles recycling bank. Textiles that are in a reasonable condition can be donated to charity shops in the following ways:

TYRES: Old tyres can be used in the garden – they can be used for potato or strawberry growing, or for creating a miniature raised flower bed. Farmers use them to secure plastic coverings over silage pits. They can be recycled into more tyres, adhesives,wire and pipe insulation and other rubber goods. They are also ground up and added to asphalt paving, which increases the life of the paving by 4 or 5 times.

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YELLOW PAGES: The great news is that it’s never been easier to recycle old Yellow Pages directories, 99% of local authorities now accept them for recycling, so you can put them in a paper recycling bank or use your council’s paper doorstep collection. These can be shredded for use as animal bedding, or they can be recycled.

For more information on recycling visit:
http://www.recyclenow.com/
http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/

Guide to a healthy diet

Vitamins + MineralsGuide to a healthy diet: A – Z of how much vitamins and minerals you need to have optimum health.

Ever wondered how much vitamins and minerals you need to make sure you are healthy? A few years ago, scientists at the University of Alabama worked this out for every nutrient and called the amounts Suggested Optimal Nutrient Allowances or SONAs. The following formula is based on SONAs and gives the amount of each essential vitamin and mineral that you need contained in your diet (with supplementation if necessary) for optimal health.

Vitamin and SONA
(Suggested Optimal Nutrient Allowances)
Deficiency Symptoms What To Eat
Vitamin A 7500 i.u. – Retinol, a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant. However, this form of vitamin A can build up in the body tissues causing undesirable side effects if taken in excessive amounts (much more than 7500 i.u. per day). Excess should particularly be avoided by pregnant mothers or those expecting to become pregnant. A good supply of vitamin A is however essential for optimal functioning of the eyes, gums, skin, the mucous lining of the nasal sinuses, respiratory and digestive tracts. Also for bone development, production of sex hormones and normal immunity. mouth ulcers, poor night vision, acne, frequent colds or infections, dry flaky skin, dandruff, thrush or cystitis, diarrhoea. Carrots, watercress, spinach, cabbage, squash, sweet potatoes, melon, pumpkin, broccoli, apricots, beetroot and tomatoes, eggs, fish liver oils, cheese
Vitamin B1 37.5 mg – Thiamin, a water-soluble vitamin, is unstable and frequently destroyed by cooking or by preservatives. B1 is needed for carbohydrate metabolism and may be deficient in those on a high sugar diet. Helps maintain appetite, normal functioning of the nervous system, eyes, hair, heart and other muscles. Helps keep mucous membranes (digestive lining, lungs, etc) healthy. It is needed for digestion, growth and maintenance of muscle tone. tender muscles, eye pains, irritability, poor concentration, prickly legs, poor memory, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pains, constipation, tingling hands, rapid heart beat (in extreme: beriberi). wheat germ, dry beans, peas, enriched cereals and breads, pasta, nuts, eggs, and most vegetables
Vitamin B2 37.5 mg – Riboflavin, a water-soluble B Complex vitamin found in vegetables, fish and dairy, works particularly closely with vitamins B6 and B3 and selenium. It assists in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and therefore is needed for energy. It plays a role in cataract prevention and is needed for healthy mucous membranes, skin, nails, hair and the absorption of iron. It is also a necessary factor in healthy functioning of the nervous system and helps to regulate body acidity. Requirement is increased with alcohol or drug abuse, consumption of coffee, the contraceptive pill, antibiotics and pregnancy. burning or gritty eyes, sensitivity to bright lights, sore tongue, cataracts, dull or oily hair, eczema or dermatitis, split nails, cracked lips. organ meats such as liver, kidney and heart. Milk, yeast, cheese, oily fish, eggs and dark green leafy vegetables
Vitamin B3 75 mg – Niacin or nicotinic acid, a water-soluble B Complex has a vasodilatory effect (felt as flushing of the skin) which helps take nutrients to cells and remove toxins and also reduce stickiness of the blood. (Niacinamide, another form of the vitamin, does not have this beneficial effect). B3 is essential for energy production, normal digestion, nerve function and the skin. Helps balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It is also needed for the production of vital hormones such as cortisone, oestrogen, progesterone and thyroxine. Deficiency can occur with alcohol or drug abuse, or protein deficiency, and may, in extreme cases, result in pellagra (dematitis, diarrhoea and dementia). lack of energy, diarrhoea, insomnia, headaches or migraines, poor memory, anxiety or tension, depression and other psychological disorders, irritability, bleeding or tender gums, acne, eczema/dermatitis. beets, brewer’s yeast, beef liver, beef kidney, pork, turkey, chicken, veal, fish, salmon, swordfish, tuna, sunflower seeds, and peanuts
Vitamin B5 75 mg – Pantothenic acid, a water-soluble B Complex vitamin found in eggs, lentils, unrefined grains and vegetables. B5 is essential in energy production and the synthesis of hormones and blood cells. B5 is known to boost energy levels and immunity. Known as the ‘Anti-Stress Vitamin’ it is needed by the adrenal glands to make glucocorticoids, the anti-stress hormones, and along with glucosamine has been found helpful in arthritis and relieving joint pains and stiffness. Helps healing and counteracts allergy effects. Maintains normal hair pigment. chronic fatigue, muscle tremors or cramps, apathy, poor concentration, burning feet or tender heels, nausea or vomiting, lack of energy, exhaustion after light exercise, anxiety, teeth grinding. brewer’s yeast, corn, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, legumes, lentils, egg yolks, beef (especially organ meats such as liver and kidney), turkey, duck, chicken, milk, split peas, peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, whole-grain breads and cereals, lobster, wheat germ, and salmon
Vitamin B6 75 mg – Pyrodoxine, a water-soluble B Complex vitamin may be toxic in extreme doses (above 1000 mg). Works with other B Complex vitamins, zinc and magnesium. Required for the metabolism and synthesis of proteins. Needed for making energy, utilizing essential fatty acids, keeping levels of the female hormone oestrogen stable (and therefore effective in preventing pre-menstrual tension). Essential for efficient nerve transmission, protein digestion and utilization, making healthy red blood cells and antibodies. Involved in the maintenance of the circulation, the skin, the immune system and the production of chemicals in the brain which govern mood, sleep patterns, etc. Helps absorption of B12 and maintenance of fluid balance in the body. infrequent dream recall, water retention, tingling hands, depression or nervousness, irritability, muscle tremors or cramps, lack of energy, flaky skin, anaemia, peripheral neuritis, convulsions, lesions of the skin or mucous membranes. white meat (poultry and fish), bananas, liver, whole-grain breads and cereals, soyabeans and vegetables
Vitamin B12 15 micrograms – Cyanocobalamin, a water-soluble B Complex vitamin found in fish, eggs, meat and dairy produce which often works together with folic acid in the body. Needed for making energy. Essential for the production of red blood cells and is also needed to make DNA. Helps make the myelin sheath that insulates nerve cells. Vegans and vegetarians are susceptible to deficiency and other causes are: alcohol, coffee, smoking, lack of calcium or iron, diabetes and liver disease. In extreme may cause pernicious anaemia. A third of American older adults suffer shortages of vitamin B12, and many needlessly suffer with symptoms of short-term memory loss, sore tongue, and numb, tingling or burning feet. poor hair condition, eczema or dermatitis, mouth over sensitive to hot or cold, irritability, anxiety or tension, lack of energy, short-term memory loss, constipation, tender or sore muscles, loss of muscle coordination, fatigue, sore tongue, drowsiness, pale skin, menstrual problems. Wholegrains, seeds, nuts, vegetables, beans, lentils, eggs, milk, yoghurt, liver, poultry, fish, meat, bananas
Beta Carotene 2500 i.u. – Vegetable pre-cursor to vitamin A. As an antioxidant it helps prevent cancer and premature ageing and protects the heart and arteries. What to eat: yellow, orange, and green leafy fruits and vegetables (such as carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, and winter squash)
Biotin 75 micrograms – Biotin, a water-soluble co-enzyme which works with the B Complex vitamins. Biotin is part of many enzyme systems and is involved in the conversion of amino acids to protein. It is involved in the production of energy from carbohydrates, fatty acid metabolism and the conversion of folic acid to a biologically active form. It helps maintain healthy skin and hair, good muscular tone and a balanced hormonal system. Promotes healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow. Antibiotics, excessive intake of alcohol, coffee or raw eggs will inhibit dietary intake. dry skin, greyish skin color, poor hair condition or hair loss, premature grey hair, leg cramps, tender or sore muscles, poor appetite or nausea, eczema or dermatitis, depression. beans, breads, brewer’s yeast, cauliflower, chocolate, egg yolks, fish, kidney, legumes, liver, meat, molasses, dairy products, nuts, oatmeal, oysters, peanut butter, poultry, wheat germ, and whole grains
Boron 2 micrograms – Recent research indicates that boron may prevent prostate cancer and autoimmune diseases (including lupus, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s disease, type-1 diabetes, vitiligo, multiple sclerosis, and more). Vegetables and fruits
Vitamin C 300 mg – Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble antioxidant. Strengthens the immune system by fighting infections. Makes collagen (the inter-cellular glue) which  keeps bones, skin and joints firm and strong and strengthening blood vessels. A powerful antioxidant, helping to detoxify pollutants and protect against cancer and heart disease. Helps make anti-stress hormones and needed for metabolism. Helps the absorption of iron from food. high blood pressure, frequent colds, lack of energy, bleeding or tender gums, easy bruising, nose bleeds, slow wound healing, red pimples on skin (in extreme: scurvy). 1200 mg of Vit C plus bioflavonoids per day is also an effective treatment for excessive blood flow in menstruation and for hot flashes in menopause. green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe, papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapples
Calcium 500 mg (as citrate, phosphate and carbonate) Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, of which 99 per cent is found in the bones and teeth. The remaining 1 per cent circulates in the blood and has many functions. The 800 mg daily requirement is needed for growth and maintenance of bones and teeth, nerve transmission, regulation of the heartbeat, and muscle contraction. It is needed for blood clotting, for helping to maintain the right acidity in the bloodstream and for insulin production. Absorption is increased by exercise and adequate vitamin D status, and decreased with exposure to lead, consumption of alcohol, coffee and tea and a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Continued stress leads to calcium loss. With hormonal changes, post-menopausal women are particularly prone to osteoporosis (weak and porous bones) since the lack of oestrogen negatively affects calcium absorption. Pregnant and breast feeding women may also need extra calcium, accompanied by magnesium. muscle cramps, tremors or spasms, insomnia or nervousness, joint pain, osteoarthritis, tooth decay, high blood pressure. Peanuts, sunflower seeds, dairy foods, bones in small fish, green leafy vegetables, eggs, root vegetables, pulses and wholegrain foods.
Choline 30 mg – Choline is a constituent of the emulsifier lecithin, and can be made in the body so strictly speaking it is not a vitamin. It helps make acetylcholine and is therefore essential for brain function. Necessary to help break down accumulating fats. Reduces lactic acid build-up in muscles. Poor memory, high blood pressure, excess cholesterol, fatigue, degeneration of the liver. egg yolks, meat organs, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, soy beans
Chromium 30 micrograms (as picolinate) – Chromium is part of the Glucose Tolerance Factor (with B3 and amino acids) necessary for the regulation of blood sugar levels. Chromium works with insulin for normal glucose metabolism and conversion of amino acids into protein. Continued stress or frequent sugar consumption depletes the body of chromium. A diet high in refined carbohydrates can also lead to deficiency as the food processing removes much of the natural chromium content. Other causes of depletion include infection, strenuous physical exercise and pregnancy. Deficiency is implicated in adult onset of diabetes. Impaired glucose utilization can promote sugar conversion to fats and cholesterol leading to obesity and arteriosclerosis. excessive or cold sweats, dizziness or irritability after 6 hours without food (hypoglaecemia), need for frequent meals, cold hands, need for excessive sleep or drowsiness during the day, excessive thirst, addiction to sweet foods. Brewer’s yeast, egg yolk, mushrooms, wholewheat bread, molasses, liver, seafood, wholegrains and asparagus.
Copper 75 micrograms (as citrate or other organic form) – Copper is essential for the utilization of Vitamin C and is required to convert the body’s iron into haemoglobin. anaemia, edema, rheumatoid arthritis. In excess, copper lowers zinc levels and produces hair loss, insomnia, irregular menstruation, depression and schizophrenia. The balance of zinc and copper in the diet should be 15:1. peas, beans, wholegrains, liver, seafood
Vitamin D 300 i.u. – Ergocalciferol, a fat-soluble vitamin derived from animal sources Needed for the absorption, utilization and retention of calcium, normal sexual function, and calcification of bone to maintain strong bones and teeth. Helps prevent loss of calcium from urine. Made by the body when exposed to sunlight. Toxic in excess (more than 1500 i.u. daily) as this may cause calcification of the liver. joint pain or stiffness, back ache, tooth decay, muscle cramps, hair loss (in extreme: rickets in children, osteoporosis in adults). Fish, dairy products, egg yolk
Vitamin E 150 i.u. – D-alpha tocopherol is a fat-soluble antioxidant protects fats within the body from oxidation. Its antioxidant properties help limit the damage to all body cells caused by naturally present free oxygen radicals, and therefore helps prevent cancer and ageing. Needed for maintenance of a healthy heart and circulation, normal sexual function, proper growth and repair of skin. Helps heal scar tissue, oxygenate muscles and maintain immunity. lack of sex drive, exhaustion after light exercise, easy bruising, slow wound healing, varicose veins, loss of muscle tone, infertility. Wheatgerm, unrefined vegetable oils, avocados, seeds, nuts, beans, peas, fish, egg yolk
Folic Acid 150 micrograms – Folic acid is water-soluble, part of the B Complex group of vitamins but is often destroyed by overcooking. Required for protein synthesis, works with B12 in the formation of red blood cells and is also vital for rapidly dividing cells and the developing foetus. It is essential for the repair and manufacture of all cells. Needed for proper growth, brain activity, normal nervous function. Recent research indicates that folic acid may play a protective role against heart disease due to its ability to lower homocysteine levels; along with B6 and B12 it reduces the risk of heart attacks. It also helps to regulate histamine levels in the body. As with B12, anaemia will result when folic acid is low. 400 micrograms is needed prior to and during pregnancy to prevent spina bifida or other neural tube defects. It is adversely affected in the body by alcohol, coffee, coeliac disease, oral contraceptives, stress, the taking of drugs and smoking. eczema, cracked lips, premature grey hair, anxiety or tension, poor memory, lack of energy, fatigue, breathlessness, anaemia, poor appetite, stomach pains, depression. leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, eggs, organ meats, wholegrains, seeds and nuts
Iodine 45 micrograms (as iodide) – Iodine is needed for thyroid hormones which control metabolism. slow mental reaction, weight gain, lack of energy. kelp, vegetables grown in iodine-rich soil, onions and all seafood
Inositol 30 mg – Like choline, a constituent of lecithin, needed for hair growth, healthy arteries, normal fat and cholesterol metabolism. eczema, high cholesterol, poor hair condition or loss of hair. wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, bananas, liver, brown rice, oak flakes, nuts, unrefined molasses, vegetables, and raisins
Iron 15 mg (as citrate or other organic form) – Iron is needed as part of the haemoglobin molecule to carry oxygen around the bloodstream, and for the production of hydrochloric acid for protein digestion in the stomach. A deficiency of iron can result in anaemia. Those particularly at risk include pregnant women, children, women with heavy menstruation and people with malabsorption problems. pale skin, sore tongue, fatigue or listlessness, loss of appetite or nausea, heavy periods or blood loss. Green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, wholegrains, beans, lentils, fish, meat, eggs, oatmeal
Vitamin K (not included) – Phylloquinone, fat-soluble, required for blood clotting. It is also produced by healthy intestinal bacteria, so it is rarely deficient except in young infants (nursing mothers should eat cauliflower and cabbage). Kelp, alfalfa, cauliflower, leafy green vegetables, potato, tomatoes, polyunsaturated oils, dairy products, wholegrain cereals
Magnesium 225 mg (as citrate, aspartate, or other organic form) – It is involved as a co-factor in most enzyme reactions in the body and is necessary for the production of energy. It works together and in balance with calcium in maintaining bone density and in nerves and muscles. The two minerals also act together in the regulation of blood pressure. A lack of magnesium is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease. Shortage of magnesium can also lead to loss of control over the relaxing and contriction of muscles, as again, calcium and magnesium act in balance. Magnesium may be lost through food processing and refining so it is widely deficient among those with a fast-food diet. It has been shown to be beneficial for women with pre-menstrual cramps or sugar cravings, especially when taken in conjunction with vitamin B6. Deficiency may also arise with prolonged treatment with diuretics. It is a primary cause of most ADD cases (along with Zinc deficiency) and other types of learning disability and psychological disturbance. Muscle tremors or spasms, “restless leg syndrome”, chronic weakness and exhaustion, insomnia or nervousness, high blood pressure, headaches, irregular or rapid heartbeat, constipation, excessive muscle tension, fits or convulsions, ADD and hyperactivity, difficulty with mental concentration and memory, nausea, apathy, depression, anorexia. green leafy vegetables, peas, nuts, brown rice, wholemeal products, seeds and some fruits
Manganese 4.5 mg (as citrate or other organic form) – Manganese is associated with iron metabolism and utilization of vitamin E and B vitamins. It has a critical role in the activation of over 20 enzymes involved in growth, digestion and assimilation of nutrients, the nervous system, healthy cartilage and bones, cell protection against viruses, and making energy. Reduced fertility, birth defects and growth retardation may, in part, be a result of manganese deficiency. muscle twitches, joint pain, childhood growing pains, dizziness or poor sense of balance, fits or convulsions, sore knees, fatigue, nervous irritability, and in some cases: schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. tropical fruits nuts, seeds, wholegrains, green leafy vegetables, eggs
Potassium (not supplied) – Potassium works in conjunction with sodium in maintaining water balance and proper nerve and muscle impulses. The more sodium is eaten the more potassium is required and so a relative deficiency of potassium is widespread, with the high amounts of salt in typical diets. vomiting, abdominal bloating, muscular weakness, loss of appetite (more likely to occur in those taking diuretic drugs, laxatives or corticosteroids). This is not supplemented in this Formula because of the large amounts required which are best obtained from dietary sources. Magnesium-potassium-aspartate, however, is a particularly effective combination in its ‘anti-fatigue’ and cholesterol lowering effects. fruits (especially bananas), vegetables and wholegrains
Selenium 45 micrograms (as selenomethionine) – Selenium helps maintain a healthy heart, eyes, liver, skin and hair. Part of the important antioxidant enzyme Glutathione Peroxidase, giving the body protection against cancer, premature ageing and degenerative diseases. Selenium is particularly vulnerable to loss during food processing and the low amounts found in fruit and vegetables make this especially important for vegetarians to supplement. Considerable loss of selenium occurs in the seminal fluid. There have been indications of a connection between inadequate selenium and Downs Syndrome. family history of cancer, signs of premature ageing, cataracts, high blood pressure, frequent infections. seafood, liver and kidney and in small amounts in other meats, grains and seeds
Zinc 15 mg (as citrate or other organic form) – Zinc is needed for normal functions of taste and smell, for insulin formation, reproductive and immune systems, tissue renewal, and for healthy bones, skin and teeth. It is essential (along with B6) for protein synthesis including hormones, enzymes and antibodies. It is needed for over 90 enzymatic processes in the body. Zinc is vital for the growth and maintenance of the nervous system; therefore it is important in brain function and deficiency is linked to depression and anxiety, and it is an important factor in schizophrenia. Stress increases the need for zinc. With zinc deficiency there is increased risk of having a baby with low birth weight or premature. Women suffering from postnatal problems frequently benefit from supplementing zinc and B6. It is especially important to supplement because most zinc is lost in food processing or never exists in substantial amount because of nutrient-poor soil. Vegetarians and others on a high fibre diet may need more zinc to offset the additional phytate present, which binds to zinc and other minerals, making them less easily absorbed by the body. poor sense of taste or smell, white spots on the fingernails, frequent infections, slow wound healing, stretch marks, acne, poor skin condition, low fertility, pale skin, irritability, ADD, tendency to depression and anxiety, poor digestion, loss of appetite, impotence, prostate enlargement, growth problems. meat, shellfish, herrings, wheat germ, eggs, cheese, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds

balanced nutritionNow…..What Next?

The best way to get all these nutrients is naturally in a well-balanced diet. You may also want to supplement with just a good multi-vitamin/mineral to cover all basics and take omega-3.

To see what foods offer the highest nutrition read our article on ‘The World’s Healthiest Foods’. Also check out the Honest Food Guide website for an unbiased view into optimum health and diet.

You may also want to make additions to your diet based on any lacking nutrients that are evident by health symptoms. It may be obvious to you that you do have certain health deficiencies but it is always best to check this over with your GP or other health professional.

Because having too much of certain nutrients can overload your system and make it toxic, you should go and see a nutritionist and get some test done to see if you are deficient in anything. Then the nutritionist can devise a nutritional plan for you.

About this guide:
References: ‘Establishing A Suggested Optimal Nutrient Allowance (SONA)’; http://www.enerexusa.com/articles/establishing%20_sona.htm
This guide takes into account RDA’s but does not rely on them as a base, because some experts believe that these recommended amounts may be a false guide. The board that established them admits that scientific knowledge of nutritional requirements is far from complete: that the requirements for many nutrients have not been established; that several essential nutrients have only recently been discovered; and that in all likelihood other nutrients will be found to be essential in years to come. Nutrient requirements differ from individual to individual because of inherent genetic differences, among other factors, and so RDA’s should only be used as a guide for healthy people under normal circumstances (i.e., no illness, no genetic weaknesses, no environmental toxin exposure) to prevent the development of overt deficiency diseases.