Beat the January Blues

publication date: Jan 3, 2022
author/source: Suzie Sawyer

suzie sawyerTry one meat-free day a week

While a recent Alive! survey revealed that 89 per cent of UK adults struggle to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables in their diet every day, have you ever thought about taking a break from red meat? You’ll find you automatically include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, all bringing great health benefits. 

You don’t have to take the drastic measure of cutting it out entirely. You could start small, such as opting for one meat-less day a week and this could reap many health benefits.

  • Give your heart a chance - Vegetarian meals are generally higher in fibre, which helps keep cholesterol levels in check, with plenty of fruits and vegetables being rich in heart-loving potassium.  The mineral potassium can help to lower blood pressure which can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Reduces the risk of degenerative disease – Antioxidants are rich in fruits and vegetables and play a key role in protecting your body against damaging free radicals, putting you at greater risk of disease.  Excellent sources of antioxidants include broccoli, kiwi fruits, citrus fruits, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and kale.
  • Protects against type 2 diabetes - Whole foods (including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes) which should be staple foods in vegetarian and vegan diets, are lower on the glycaemic index, therefore providing sustained energy and stable blood sugar levels.
  • Supports your digestive health - Choosing plant-based foods provides prebiotics which nourish the good gut bacteria.  This in turn helps to support your immune system, reduce inflammation, and regulate ghrelin (the hunger hormone), especially in already overweight people. What’s more, fermented varieties of vegan food – such as kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kimchi – help to create a more diverse gut bacteria – essential for overall wellbeing.


Take up swimming

Swimming is a great exercise for staying healthy. It can keep your stomach trim and work wonders for your mental wellbeing. Furthermore, there’s been a massive rise in people taking up open water swimming, providing even greater health benefits, especially to mental wellbeing.  Swimming can:

  • Lower risk of chronic illnesses – swimming can reduce the risk of heart disease[7], type 2 diabetes, dementia and depression[8].
  • Burn calories - A gentle swim can burn over 200 calories in just half an hour. What’s more, exercising for 30 minutes in water is worth 45 minutes on land, as your body works harder in the pool. 
  • Boost your energy levels - Swimming boosts your metabolic rate, which in turn can boost energy levels, sharpening your focus and making you feel more alert. 
  • Work your entire body - swimming uses all the muscles in the body.


Add berries to your diet

When it comes to health benefits, berries have a fantastic reputation. Their wonderful colour ensures that berries are loaded with antioxidant compounds, specifically resveratrol and flavonoids.  Make sure you include them regularly in your diet. 

However, one berry, namely elderberry, has the edge when it comes to fighting upper respiratory tract infections. Black Elderberry can be found in Nature’s Way Sambucus Immune Support Gummies.


Walk your way to better health

UK Chief Medical Officers say that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, like walking, every week.


  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • Improves circulation, reducing risk of stroke
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Strengthens muscles and joints
  • Lightens the mood due to the release of endorphins
  • Slows down mental decline


Make sure you’re getting plenty of iron

Iron plays an important role in producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. A lack of iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia which can cause tiredness, shortness of breath, and a pale complexion. 

You can get iron from a range of foods, including:

  • Dark-green leafy vegetables – such as curly kale and spinach
  • Liver
  • Meat
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Wholegrains
  • Nuts
  • Beans


Bridge those nutrient gaps

Read why you may not be meeting your nutritional needs here.


Formulated in the UK, the Alive! range of multivitamins and minerals provides perfectly balanced, complete formulations for the whole family and for targeted needs. Each Alive! supplement includes a broad spectrum and high levels of vitamins and minerals, together with the all-important Vitamin D, as well as a unique blend of 26 fruits and vegetables. The range includes one-a-day tablets, gelatine-free gummies, and one-a-day Ultra Wholefood Plus tablets. With prices from just 27p per day, the Alive! range is available in Boots, Holland & Barrett and online at