Sustainable eating: How can we eat to promote our health and the health of the planet?

What, and indeed, how we eat can have a huge impact on not just our own health and wellbeing, but also the health of the planet and ensuring sustainable food supplies for future generations. When we bear in mind that agriculture is responsible for around 25% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 80% of deforestation, occupies about 40% of the earth’s surface and uses 70% of the whole planet’s freshwater resources we can really appreciate that the foods we eat directly affect the planet’s future in a big way.1 The production of our food is also one of the largest drivers of biodiversity loss, species extinction and the degradation of natural resources, both on land and in marine systems which are heavily overburdened, with 60% of the world’s fish stocks fully fished, and 30% overfished.2

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Walking for health

Walking is one of the safest and most effective forms of exercise to do and regular walking can help to increase energy levels, increasing productivity throughout the day. Building a walk, or several small walks, into your daily routine can encourage good habits and can make significant improvements to your overall health and well-being. The government recommends at least 10,000 steps per day and research has shown that a minimum of just 10 minutes brisk walking a day or 150 minutes a week, can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.1

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The road to wellbeing

We all know that self-care is important to our mental and physical health and wellbeing. And we probably all know, at least in part, how to practice self-care. So, in the words of Nike ‘just do it!’ If only it was that straightforward. In fact, if looking after our body and mind – the vehicles that carry us through life – was that simple, we would all be ‘just doing it’.

In this blog our guest writer and mindfulness, yoga and stress management consultant, Bev Alderson, shares her advice on self-care and explains how you can create a ‘wellbeing wheel’ as a flexible and individualised framework that can be used in both overcoming challenges and achieving goals.

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Cardiovascular disease – the role of inflammation and oxidative stress

Our cardiovascular (CV) system carries out many essential functions within the body. It is a complex system of pathways of veins, arteries, and capillaries, along with the heart, that transport nutrients, oxygen and hormones to cells throughout the body whilst also removing metabolic waste from the cells for detoxification and excretion. It offers protection to the body by transporting white blood cells, antibodies, and complement proteins in the blood to defend against foreign microbes and toxins. Clotting mechanisms are also present that protect the body from blood loss after injuries and our CV system also regulates body pH and temperature, so it is easy to understand why damage to this system can have a huge impact upon our health.

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