Top ten energy boosting foods
We all feel a slump from time to time. Busy lives, stress and work demands can all deplete our energy, leaving us feeling drained and demotivated.
It’s common, when we feel lethargic, to reach for treats which deliver an instant hit, such as coffee, energy drinks, or sugary snacks like chocolate or sweets. While these options do provide a quick burst of vitality, they often contribute to a cycle of highs and lows which leave you craving more sugar or caffeine.
6 tricks to enjoy your Halloween treats
The spookiest of all seasons, Halloween is a time to indulge in tasty treats and temptations.
Whether it’s the pick and mix you swear you’re saving for the neighbours, or the creatively creepy bakes your colleagues bring to the office, there’s always a scary snack on hand.
But, if you have a food intolerance, some of these indulgences can seem more like a trick than a treat. So, what do you need to keep an eye out for around All Hallows’ Eve?
Let’s take a peek.
Food intolerance and the menopause
Menopause can bring on a range of physical and mental side effects. From sleep troubles to weight gain, hot flushes to migraines, the menopause can be fraught with unwanted health issues.
But a lesser-known problem which can occur during menopause is an increase in food sensitivities. Foods which previously caused no issues can start to trigger digestive discomfort and other problems, such as itchy skin, rhinitis, and hives.
Why is this the case? Can food intolerances in menopause be avoided and, if not, how can you manage the symptoms?
Foods to eat to lower your cholesterol
One important factor that can be influenced by our diets is our levels of cholesterol. While we need a certain amount of cholesterol to help regulate essential systems in the body, too much can cause health problems.
For National Cholesterol Month, we’re taking a look at some of the best foods to include in your diet to help keep your cholesterol levels healthy.
3 Common cholesterol myths
When it comes to health checks, cholesterol comes up time and time and again. While we may know that it’s important, we might not really understand why.
For National Cholesterol Month, we’re taking a look at some of the common myths and misconceptions about cholesterol, to better understand why this particular health marker is one to watch.
Nutritional yeast – what’s the need to know on nooch?
It’s cropping up in more and more vegan recipes and food blogs, but what is this flaky powdered wonder food? And can it really help recreate delicious cheesy dishes without the dairy?
We’re taking a look at nutritional yeast (also known as ‘nooch’) to find out what all the fuss is about.
Free-from autumn soups and stews
As the weather starts to turn and the heatwave fades into a distant memory, we’re looking to warming comfort foods to help beat the chill.
Soups and stews are a perfect autumn stable. Cheap, filling and endlessly customisable, they make for a deliciously nourishing meal to keep the blues at bay.
But if you have problems with certain ingredients, you might have been steering clear of soups and stews. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to tweak classic recipes to make them food intolerance friendly. Here are some of our free-from favourites.
Common eczema triggers
It’s estimated that around 1.3 million people in the UK have eczema, and the number is steadily increasing.
Whether you experience fairly mild symptoms, or your flare ups are more frequent or severe, living with eczema can be extremely frustrating and uncomfortable.
While there is no cure for eczema which can stop it completely, there are certain triggers which can make symptoms worse. Knowing these can help you make the right diet and lifestyle choices to help keep flare ups at bay.
Say cheers to gluten-free beers
It’s long been the case that free-from beer leaves a lot to be desired, taste-wise. For those of us that have a gluten intolerance, this has meant swearing off our favourite boozy beverage completely.
Thankfully, along with a general shift towards better quality alternative products that consider flavour just as much as free-from, there’s now a market bubbling with brilliant options for drinkers steering clear of gluten.
Migraine myths and misconceptions
It’s one of the most common neurological conditions, affecting over 1 billion people worldwide but despite this, migraine still remains misunderstood in a lot of ways.
From the common symptoms to the causes and triggers, many myths about migraine still exist, leading to confusion about how to manage the condition.
With Migraine Awareness Week just around the corner, we’re taking a look at some of the most common migraine misconceptions.
4 things to know about supplements
We’ve all seen them. The little pills, capsules or gummies promoted across social media that promise to promote glowing health, strong nails, weight loss, thicker hair, or better sleep.
The supplement industry shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, with the backing of celebrities and influencers, more of us than ever are getting in on the action, trying different teas and tonics in the hope of finding health heaven. But are they all they’re cracked up to be?
7 food intolerance myths – busted
We hear about food sensitivities and the rise of free from foods so often in the media that we tend to assume we know what food intolerance is all about. But do we really?
Despite increased awareness, there’s still a big gap in understanding which leads to myths and misconceptions about what food intolerance is – and isn’t.
8 amazing benefits of drinking water
If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent the last week filling and refilling your water bottle, trying to stay hydrated in the heatwave.
When the temperature rises, one of the main pieces of advice we hear constantly is to keep drinking water, throughout the day, to replace the fluids we lose through sweat. And your body will certainly thank you for all that extra hydration.
Cool food. What to eat to lower your temperature.
Feeling the heat? Us too. While the sunny weather may be enjoyable, it can be difficult to bear when the temperature rises.
Wearing light clothes, drinking plenty of water and seeking shade are all advised, as well as putting your feet in a bowl of cold water, or placing a cool cloth on the back of your neck. But did you know that it’s also possible to lower your temperature with certain foods? And no, we don’t mean ice-cream – but by all means, tuck in!
Foods to eat for a good night’s sleep
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep right now, it’s likely that the heat is playing a large part in keeping you awake. But if you struggle to drift off generally, there may be some tweaks you can make to your diet to help you catch a much-needed snooze.
So, what should we be tucking into before we tuck ourselves in? Let’s take a look.
The best foods for brilliant bowel health
Thanks to the incredible efforts of bowel cancer spokeswoman Deborah James, who sadly passed away after fighting the disease, more and more of us are becoming aware of the importance of our bowel health.
While there are lots of factors which can contribute to increasing or lowering the risk of developing the disease, one of the key influences is diet.
So, what should we be eating to maintain a healthy bowel? Here are some of the best foods to include in your diet.
Shaking off our salt addiction
You’ve probably heard of the sugar tax – an extra charge placed on products containing higher levels of sugar, such as fizzy drinks. This measure was introduced to try and curb the nations over consumption of unhealthy sweet treats. And now, the same idea is being suggested for salt.
The British Heart Foundation has proposed the measure, as a way to reduce health risks, such as heart attacks and stroke, which can be linked to a diet high in salt.
Cool down with these free from summer treats
There’s nothing like a frozen treat on a hot summer day. As the temperature starts to soar, so too does the demand for ice cream and other deliciously cooling snacks.
But if you have a food intolerance, particularly to ingredients such as egg or cow’s milk, you can feel a little left out.
Alternative and affordable sources of protein
Whether you’re going vegetarian or vegan, looking to cut down on meat or trying to skim a little off your food shop costs, there are plenty of reasons why many of us are giving meat a miss.
Fortunately, there are plenty of alternative sources of protein which suit both your palate and your purse. Why not give some of these a try?
Why can’t I stop farting?
Loud, silent, or stinky, farting is a bodily function that happens to us all, even if we don’t like to admit it. Some of us might like to pretend we don’t fart but, on average, we pass gas between 5 and 15 times a day.
Farting is a perfectly normal by product of digestion, reflecting the inner workings of the bacteria in your gut. You may notice it happening more when you eat certain foods, such as beans or raw vegetables, which are harder to digest.
A diabetes-friendly diet
Diabetes is becoming increasingly common across the world. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that cases of the condition will rise to 5 million by 2025.
For Diabetes Week, we’re looking at some of the ways we can prevent or manage the condition through diet; the foods to choose and those to avoid.
Is dairy in decline? The rise of free-from alternatives
World Milk Day was introduced in 2001 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations to celebrate the dairy industry and recognise the importance of milk as a global food.
Around the world, milk is a dietary staple, with the exception of certain Asian and African countries. But statistics show that our interest in cow’s milk is steadily declining.
Tips for keeping your gut healthy
Good gut health is something we tend to take for granted, if we have it, and often struggle to achieve if we don’t. There are many factors which can influence how your gut functions day-to-day and, when that impact is negative, the side effects can often be debilitating.
For World Digestive Health Day we’re looking at some of the best ways to keep your gut happy and healthy.
Gluten gives me grumbles – is it coeliac disease?
If you’re prone to a belly ache after a baguette, or feel pain after pasta, you may suspect that you have a problem with gluten. And you wouldn’t be alone. Around 45% of the UK population has a food intolerance.
So, if gluten gives your gut the grumbles, how can you tell if it’s an intolerance or something else? Let’s take a look.
Triggers and treatment. Understanding Asthma.
If you suffer with asthma, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that around 5.4 million people in the UK have the condition – roughly one in 12 adults and one in every 11 children.
For National Asthma Day, we’re looking at the causes and symptoms of asthma, how people living with the condition can manage it and whether diet plays a role in making the condition worse.
A Free From friendly Easter
Easter is a time of tempting treats. From golden toasted hot cross buns, oozing with melting butter, to endless foil wrapped chocolate eggs, plenty of seasonal snacks have become traditional staples this time of year.
So, what should you look out for? What are some of the common Easter foods likely to trigger an intolerance and is it possible to still enjoy your most loved Easter treats?
A closer look at “leaky gut”
When it comes to digestive issues, you might have heard of the term” leaky gut”. It’s an rather unpleasant name for a condition believed to occur when the health and function of your gut is compromised. Although many practitioners are convinced about the existence of “leaky gut”, there currently isn’t a lot of valid scientific research around the condition.
It’s believed that people suffering with “leaky gut” can end up with a host of unwanted symptoms and side effects which can range from mild discomfort to prolonged pain.
Going Free From on a budget
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, or your receipts, you can’t help but notice the cost of your weekly shop rising. With the price of many staple ingredients increasing, as well as fuel costs impacting the supply chain, it’s likely that we’ll all feel the squeeze for some time.
While many products can be substituted for basics versions, for those of us with special dietary needs, cheaper alternatives for Free From products may be a little harder to come by. But it’s not impossible.
Avoiding food intolerances on Pancake day
Fluffy American-style stacks or thin and golden French crepes? However you choose to enjoy them, there’s no doubt that pancake day is one of those dates in the diary we welcome each year.
From the nail-biting activity of the toss to the endless combinations of tempting toppings, there’s a lot to enjoy about the ritual of Shrove Tuesday.
A toast to real bread week. How to indulge when you have an intolerance
There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread. Slathered with butter, it’s a simple treat that can often tempt the most carb-phobic to grab a slice of the action.
As we head into real bread week, an international celebration of local bakeries and home baking, we’re taking a look at the common triggers of bread intolerances and how you can curb your carb cravings without the unwanted side effects.
Battling Blue Monday. Tips to improve your mood
Once the excitement of New Year has given way to the long, cold months of January, many of us succumb to a condition known as Seasonally Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD, also known as “winter depression”, is a feeling of low mood and lethargy which tends to occur cyclically in the months of the year when the days are shorter. SAD is thought to affect around three in 100 people in the UK, beginning in the autumn, lasting through the winter, and easing as the season changes to spring.
Grab a slice of the action on National Pizza Day
Deep pan or thin crust? Loaded with meats or a minimal margherita? To pineapple or not to pineapple?
We’re a nation obsessed with pizza, consuming an average of 5,847 slices over our lifetimes. It’s a staple choice, from weekend takeaways to children’s parties and it’s often considered a crowd pleaser, thanks to the almost unlimited combinations of flavours and toppings.
The secrets of a good night’s sleep
After a few weeks break over the festive period, it’s not surprising that many of us have trouble in January with the return to work and the early starts that brings. Disruption to our routines can often cause issues with our sleep, either getting enough of it or falling asleep in the first place.
But what if the problem persists? What causes us to struggle to nod off, what problems can come from a lack of sleep and what can we do to improve our sleeping habits?
Making those New Year’s Resolutions stick
The new year often starts with the best of intentions. But by the middle of the month, most of us have already begun to abandon the resolutions we made so resolutely on the first of January.
So, how can we really realise our goals? How can we protect ourselves from self-sabotage and make those resolutions a reality? Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks.
What’s in your festive spirit? Understanding alcohol intolerance
‘Tis the season to be merry’, so the saying goes. And for many of us, merry means a festive glass (or three) of something fizzy, brewed or distilled.
And while it’s not unusual for us to overindulge at this time of year, leaving us nursing a hangover headache, if you find that your favourite tipple isn’t quite getting you into the festive spirit, and you’re experiencing the after-effects of a heavy night after only a drink or two, it might be time to consider what’s in that glass.
How to have a festive free-from Christmas
‘Tis the season for festive feasting as tables groan under the weight of decadent spreads. There’s nothing quite like Christmas for getting us excited about food and it’s generally accepted that we will over-indulge. Well, it is the time to eat, drink and be merry after all.
But what if you suffer with a food intolerance? If there’s something in your diet that doesn’t agree with you, navigating the tempting treats can be a challenge, particularly if you don’t know exactly what’s causing the problem.
How can you combat winter skin?
As the temperature drops, many of us notice our skin starts to change. The winter months can wreak havoc on our complexion, causing a whole host of irritation and inflammation.
While we know it’s important to wrap up warm and protect our extremities from extreme weather, keeping our skin nourished as the cold sets in involves a lot more than remembering to wear a scarf and gloves.
The hidden intolerances in a vegan diet
Climate concerns, animal welfare, health and wellbeing. Whatever the reason, more and more of us are adopting a vegan diet, or at least looking to cut down on the amount of animal products on our plates.
While maintaining a healthy, balanced diet free from meat and other animal derived produce is completely possible, a radical shift in eating habits can have an unexpected impact on health and how we feel day to day.
Winter aches and pains. Could there be more to it?
When the cold weather sets in, many of us experience flare ups of discomfort in our joints. Old injuries can rear their heads as the temperature drops, causing us to reach for the anti-inflammatories. But could something else be behind those aches and pains?
If you experience joint pain but are struggling to put your finger on the cause, it could be worth considering whether something in your diet could be the trigger.
Food intolerance and fatigue. Is there a link?
It’s perfectly normal to experience fatigue from time to time. From poor sleeping patterns to stress, overworking to changes in routine, there are many lifestyle factors which can lead us to feel tired and lethargic.
But if this exhaustion continues, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear reason, it might be worth taking a closer look at your diet to understand whether something you’re eating could be contributing to your feelings of fatigue.
What Natasha’s law means for food labelling
On 1 October 2021, a new law on allergen labelling came into effect. From this date, any food business selling pre-packaged foods for direct sale (PPDS) must include full ingredient details on the label, with allergenic ingredients highlighted.
The rule, known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, follows the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered a fatal allergic reaction to the sesame baked into a pre-packaged baguette from chain café Pret which, at that time, did not require allergen labelling.
A closer look at labels. Hidden sources of food intolerance.
When you know a certain ingredient causes you problems, avoiding it eventually becomes second nature. But being able to do that depends on knowing what it’s called. Seems obvious, right? Well, not always.
When it comes to food labelling, things aren’t always as they appear. Depending on their use, or the way they’re processed, certain ingredients are often listed by alternative names, making it tricker to spot your trigger foods.
Can you be intolerant to coffee?
For many of us coffee is a vital ingredient in our lives. That first cup in the morning sets us up for the day and when we don’t have it, we miss its ability to perk us up and deliver a boost of energy.
What if you’re a moderate coffee consumer? Or you prefer to drink decaff? If you’re still noticing unwanted symptoms, it might be time to put the mug down.
Celebrating National Chocolate Week
Chocolate Week – yes, it’s a real thing. This celebration of all things cocoa runs from 14th to 19th October, acknowledging our love of the rich and indulgent treat. From truffles to Toblerone, brownies to buttons. If you love chocolate, this is the week to get stuck in.
Of course, too much of the stuff can make anyone feel a little poorly. It’s a treat high in fats and sugars and should be enjoyed in moderation, as part of a balanced diet. But what if you already do? If you have good control over your chocolate consumption but find than even modest amounts seem to have an adverse effect, it might be worth taking a closer look at what’s in your favourite treat, and why it might be playing tricks on you.
National Arthritis Week 7 – 13 October
It’s estimated that around 10 million people in the UK suffer with some form of arthritis. And contrary to common belief, arthritis isn’t a condition that only affects the elderly. People of all ages can develop it and, depending on the type, the impact on a sufferer’s life can be debilitating.
So, what is arthritis? What causes it and how can sufferers ease the symptoms? For National Arthritis Week, we’re taking a look at the UK’s most common cause of disability.
The perfect free from hot chocolate
With the end of summer comes the promise of crunchy leaves and chilly air. What better way to warm up on an autumn walk than with a gloriously decadent flask of hot chocolate? It’s one of our beloved cold weather drinks but, if you have certain intolerances, a mugful might not leave you with that warm and fuzzy feeling.
Food intolerance friendly packed lunches
As the kids head back to school, the task of putting together tasty, balanced packed lunches also returns.
The morning scramble to get everyone ready can make pack ups challenging enough, but what do you do when you need to account for food intolerances too? Read on for some of our top tips.
Is something in your diet causing your migraines?
If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you know how painful, draining and debilitating they can be. Often coming out of nowhere, the impact of a bag migraine can last hours, and sometimes even days.
This Migraine Awareness Week (5 – 11 September) we’re taking a look at the link between diet and migraine, and whether what you eat can play a part in triggering an attack.
Getting under the skin of eczema. Common questions.
If you suffer with eczema, you’ll know all too well the frustration of flare ups. From identifying your triggers to managing the symptoms, living with skin complaints such as eczema can take a toll emotionally, as well as physically.
As we kick off National Eczema Week (13 – 19 September) we’re taking a look at some of the common question people ask about the condition.
Eating out with a food intolerance
When something in your diet doesn’t agree with you, it’s likely that you’ll do what you can to avoid eating it at all costs.
From bloating to migraines, skin complaints to joint pains, our trigger foods can cause a host of unwanted conditions that, given the opportunity, we’ll make an effort to steer clear of.
Here are some of our top tips:
Packing a food intolerance friendly picnic
The weather is warming up and, with social distancing still recommended, outdoor picnics are a great way to get together and enjoy the summer safely.
But for those of us with a food intolerance, many of our traditional picnic favourites can feel like they’re off the menu.
Best ways to beat bloating
It’s a fact of life. From time to time, for one reason or another, we all feel a little bloated. After a big meal, we generally expect to feel full, and sometimes, a little uncomfortable.
But for some of us, bloating can get quite severe and painful. When this happens, we want relief as soon as possible.
Going Free From – Top tips
When you realise something you’re eating isn’t agreeing with you, the next logical step is to remove it from your diet. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done.
Our trigger foods can often be some of our most favourite things to eat, making them very hard to resist. They can also be ingredients which feature heavily in meals, and prepared products, making it difficult to avoid them.
If you’re trying to make changes to your diet to avoid a problem food, here are some of our top tips.
Are superfoods really that super?
5 ways food intolerances affect your fitness
Whether you’re a fitness fanatic, or you’re taking steps to introduce a little more activity into your daily routine, it can be frustrating when you’re not seeing progress.
We all know that results come from a blend of regular exercise and a balanced diet. But, on the diet side, sometimes even the healthiest meals can undermine your efforts if you’re eating something that doesn’t agree with you.
Should I give up gluten?
Cast your eye over any Free From options on a menu, or the supermarket shelves, and it’s likely you’ll see gluten-free alternatives high on the top of the list.
From bloating to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), skin complaints to weight gain, when it comes to shining a light on the foods that may cause us to feel unwell, gluten often gets the blame. But are we being too quick to judge?
Can food intolerance cause acne?
Could beer be behind your bloating?
Getting fit this summer. How to make real sustainable changes.
With the weather heating up, many of us are turning our attention to the extra pounds we gained during lockdown.
Are food intolerances more common now?
Can you grow out of a food intolerance?
Could food intolerance be causing your joint pain?
Sore, aching, and stiff joints are something we commonly put down to ageing, or a natural response to exercise. We often excuse aches and pains without much thought, managing the symptoms with over-the-counter medication
Could something in my diet be causing my eczema?
Struggling with your weight. Could food intolerance be to blame?
From bangers to burgers. Could you have a meat intolerance?
Plant-based diets may be on the rise, but it’ll be a while yet before they completely replace meat.
4 reasons why your Nutritional Therapy consultation is the most important part of your food intolerance test.
Food intolerance: Testing methods under the microscope
Food intolerance and depression. Is there a link?
With Easter out of the way and spring in full swing, many of us are looking forward to casting off the winter blues and enjoying sunnier days.
Could your lockdown diet have triggered a food intolerance?
Should I just give up dairy?
What’s behind the bloating?
We’ve all been there. Tucking into a delicious meal, we overindulge until the waistband is digging into our stomach and the button is ready to pop. That uncomfortable feeling of fullness is a common result of overeating, and generally nothing to be concerned about.
What are the common symptoms of a food intolerance?
Are food intolerances and food allergies the same?
Research grant helps Smartblood make food intolerance testing more affordable.
At Smartblood, we’re delighted to be able to offer our most comprehensive food intolerance test at a market leading price, thanks to a new research grant.
Q&A with Smartblood Nutritionist Sheila.
Smartblood Q&A - Marathon
6 key effects of stress on the body
It’s natural to feel stressed at different times in our lives. From micro stresses such as deadlines and traffic to more prolonged episodes of difficulty, we all succumb to the negative aspects of anxiety from time to time.