10 reasons why fruit is your best friend

Fruit is your best friend

Fruit has all sorts of attractive qualities, but here are our top 10 reasons we should all make friends with fruit.

1. High water content – Many fruits are made up of over 85% water which means eating fruit helps hydrate you and keeping your body hydrated is kind of one of those things we have to do to stay alive. Being hydrated also helps with concentration levels (as I type sipping on my water which is very unusual for me, but writing this is reminding me to DRINK MORE).

2. Natural sugar – Fruit is full of natural sugar (don’t run away screaming yet): natural sugar is the sugar we should be eating – it’s the naughty refined sugars that goes into cakes and chocolate that causes peaks and troughs in your blood sugar causing problems like mood swings, lack of concentration and feeling tired. Natural sugar actually helps stabilise blood sugar so you don’t get the craving for more that you get when you eat refined sugars.

3. Antioxidants – Antioxidants are the good guys in fruit, they help protect the cells from becoming damaged by the free radicals which we encounter when we are exposed to chemicals (such as pollution). Believe it or not the tiny little blueberry is one of the best sources of antioxidants, also other types of berries and darker skinned fruits like plums and red grapes are full of these little warriors!

4. Good source of dietary fibre – Most fruits are high in dietary fibre and this is great for making you feel fuller for longer. Dietary fibre is also key for keeping your gut health and moving.

5. Naturally low fat – Fruit is naturally low in fat; in fact most fruit does not contain any fat.

6. Good for your skin – ‘You are what you eat’ and this is very true when it comes to your skin. The high water content in fruit is a bonus for your skin; keeping hydrated keeps your system flushed through which helps prevent breakouts. Also hydration helps prevent dry spots and the antioxidants help prevent cell damage.

7. Brain power – Did you know your gut and your brain work together? Your gut sends messages to the brain about producing hormones that affect our cognitive function, so our ability to process new information and focus on the task in hand and our guts are stimulated by when and what we eat.

8. Supports the immune system – We all know vitamins and minerals are good for supporting our immune system and fruit is packed full of them. Eating a variety of colourful fruits means you will get a great variation of vitamin and minerals.

9. Lowers the risk of developing some diseases – Eating the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables can help lower the risk of developing some diseases such as heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Fruits such as apples, grapes and citrus fruits can lower cholesterol as they are rich in Pectin which lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad one).

10. Easy to grab and eat – Fruit is easy to have in your bag, on your desk or on the side at home, most fruits are a simple pick it up and eat it, some others may take up a little more time like having to peel it but that’s not to complicated (unless your me with an orange – I always struggle to get them started, maybe I need more practice).

After reading all that who else is reaching for the fruit? Better skin, better concentration, help lower some risks to diseases – definitely my new best friend!

Does mental health really affect businesses?

Heads Together campaign

Did you know not talking about ‘it’ is more damaging and then talking about ‘it’…

…and what is ‘it’? Mental Health!

I don’t think there are many people who wake up in the morning and think “Today I’m going to ruin someone’s day” but many employers, managers, and work colleges do this unintentionally on a daily basis. One small comment – or even saying nothing at all – to someone who is struggling with their mental health could really make or break someone’s day. Many employees are too worried to talk about any mental health problems as they fear they may be shamed or even worse lose their job, but not talking about ‘it’ usually makes mental health worse.

1 in 6 British workers are affected by mental health issues.

The term Mental Health covers a very broad range of illnesses including depression, anxiety, and stress. 95% of employees who ring in sick when suffering from a mental health issue will give a different reason to cover the truth. Simply having someone to talk to without being judged can be enough to relieve a little pressure off those who are suffering.

Mental ill-health costs UK businesses nearly £26 billion each year and is the leading cause of absence from the workplace.

Approaching mental health issues at work benefits not only the employees but also the business, potentially saving the average employer thousands of pounds per year in sick days and lost productivity. In the last few years various initiatives have been launched to raise awareness of mental health, including Time to Change, #LetsTalkMentalHealth, the Health & Safety Executive’s Go Home Healthy campaign, and the Heads Together initiative spearheaded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Prince William recently attended the Workplace Wellbeing Conference with senior business leaders to highlight how important it is for business leaders to ensure that workers get the support they need.

Healthy staff makes a healthy business!

Here are a few great websites to help support you and your employees make a change and bring mental health out into the open in the workplace instead of pushing ‘it’ away.

https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/get-your-workplace-involved/employer-pledge

http://www.hse.gov.uk/gohomehealthy/stress.htm

The Duke of Cambridge introduced Heads Together & Mind’s new workplace mental health initiative.