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How To Use Massage And Nutrition To Upgrade Your Healthby The VITL Nutrition Team

If you’ve downloaded the new VITL app and taken your free nutrition consultation, you’ll know your scores in the 5 key areas of wellbeing. To celebrate our partnership with Urban Massage, we explore ways you can improve your VITL health scores through nutrition, massage, and other effective holistic health hacks.

Download the free VITL app to find out your scores!

Low digestion score? Try this...

Probiotics

If you scored low in the digestive pillar in the VITL app, you personalised nutrition pack will include a probiotic supplement to help alleviate your symptoms. Natural unsweetened yoghurt, miso, raw sauerkraut and apple cider vinegar are all good sources of probiotics, too.

Are you getting enough fibre?

The RDA for fibre is 30g per day, however, the average adult in the UK is only managing to include 18g into their diet (1), which may partly explain the prevalence of digestive issues. Oats, apples, chia and flax seed are all excellent sources.

Hydration!

Adequate hydration cannot be underestimated for optimal digestive function, try 1.5-2 litres of water per day. If you find water boring, try adding lemon, ginger, mint, lime or even chopped up fresh fruit.

Beyond nutrition…

Sluggish digestion can be noticeably improved by increasing the blood flow around the body and abdomen. Enzymes in your stomach work hard to break down food and an increase in blood flow helps stimulate these enzymes. Wave-like contractions throughout your gut, help shift food from your oesophagus right through to your large intestine where it is prepared for excretion. Swedish and deep tissue massage have been shown to release blockages in the gut, increase blood flow and help regulate contractions (2).

It is not just the stomach area that needs focus when addressing digestive issues. Due to the remarkable interaction between all systems and areas of the body reflexology massages have been shown to be an effective tool in the quest for a healthy and happy gut (3).

Exclusive VITL offer! Get 10% off any massage from our friends at Urban Massage using code PVITL!

Low energy score? Try this...

Via the VITL app we don’t just look at sleep and its effect on energy levels; a key focus of your consultation is on food cravings and stress, as these can have a significant effect on blood sugar balance.

Carbohydrates are our primary energy source, however, if they are released too quickly into the bloodstream, energy levels can peak and subsequently dip, causing slumps in energy. Make sure you are including protein with every snack and meal to balance out your blood sugar, as well as healthy fats and complex carbohydrates (think brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato).  

Nutrients such as chromium, selenium, iodine and magnesium can positively affect energy levels, as well as a Chinese herb called Ginseng which can contribute to improved glycemic control. If your energy score is low, we will include these ingredients in your personalised vitamin pack.

In terms of holistic therapies, a massage that improves circulation can really help towards improving energy levels. Blood flow is key to optimal energy due to the delivery of oxygen to the cells around the body. Exercise is a well-known energy booster, and a deep tissue or sports massage can enhance both your athletic performance and recovery time.

Suffering with your sleep, mood and stress levels?

It is often easy to forget how entwined our emotional and physical health is. Physical signs of stress such as headaches, digestive issues and fatigue can be in response to emotional triggers.

Equally, our physical state plays a role in how we react to a stressor. The fact is, life is stressful! What is important is our ability to cope with stress without feeling overwhelmed; nutrition, supplements, exercise and holistic therapies all have a role to play here.

Immune system not up to scratch?

The job of our overall immune system is to recognise and dispose of invading and foreign cells, as well as old and damaged cells of our own.

The lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and secondary organs in the body, plays a prominent role in the immune system. It is responsible for transporting cells involved in immune system function.  

How can you support your immune system through nutrition? Fruit and vegetables! Try and aim for 7-10 portions per day, variety is key for ensuring you get all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids and fibre you need. These all help in preventing and fighting inflammation in the body (5).

A variety of different mushrooms can strengthen the immune system (6), oily fish can help downregulate inflammation and we should all be supplementing vitamin D, especially during the winter months as this plays a pivotal role in fighting off infections.

Self-care is an absolute must for boosting your immune system. No matter how healthy your diet, or how many supplements you are taking, if you are under high amounts of stress your immunity will suffer. Getting enough sleep is crucial, and finding the time to relax and unwind cannot be underestimated. A hot bath with delicious smelling oil, a soothing massage, or something as simple as a really good book, can all help with stress and relaxation.

Massage is a wonderful tool for increasing serotonin levels (4) especially for those who suffer from trouble sleeping or unwinding. Serotonin promotes the production of melatonin which helps control your sleep and wake cycle.

Feel like you need a detox?

Our bodies are busy detoxifying all the time so the concept of going on a ‘detox’ can be misleading. Through the VITL app however, we can identify how well your liver is performing and whether it needs a helping hand.  

Heavy pollution, coffee, alcohol, over the counter drugs, cosmetics, cleaning products and exposure to heavy metals all play a part in overloading your poor liver, so being conscious of your exposure to all these things can help towards giving you detox pathways a boost.

Green tea is a wonderful way of supporting your daily detoxification, as are green leafy vegetables, probiotics, berries and cutting back on fructose (no fruit juice please!)

As well as playing an important role in immunity, the lymphatic system is key for detoxification as it helps flush out toxins and waste from your body. Tiredness and sluggishness are symptoms commonly associated with inefficient detoxification in the body, and a lymphatic drainage treatment can really help here. By encouraging the flow of lymph fluid and blood flow around the body, the detoxification process is assisted and toxins are more efficiently flushed out.

To find out your wellbeing scores, download the free VITL app today. With helpful, targeted information personalised to you, we’ll help you feel 100% more often.

Exclusive VITL offer! Get 10% off any massage from our friends at Urban Massage using code PVITL!


References

  1. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/basics/fibre.html
  2. http://www.bodyworkmovementtherapies.com/article/S1360-8592(10)00106-3/abstract
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715585/
  4. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207450590956459
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18469275/
  6. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2014.950391


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