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ARTICLE

HEALTH- 7 essential steps to a better you.

We've never had more information at our disposal about how to keep our bodies in optimum working condition, so you might think basic advice for living has long since had its day. Perhaps with the exception of social media and dating app etiquette. Not so.  
  
The reality of Britain in the 21st Century suggests otherwise. With terminal illness, obesity, and general ill-health still plaguing the population, and many cases avoidable through lifestyle change, it seems that sometimes we all need reminding of a few simple home truths. Here are seven essential steps to a better you, then.  
  
Change your perspective  
Easier said than done, nevertheless toning down the complaints is a good way to begin improving overall mood, which in turn can encourage us to be more active. Setting life goals is a proven way to help with this.  
  
Get active 
The relationship between exercise and the brain is cyclical. Exercise improves mood, but when we're feeling low sometimes exercise comes secondary to a binge on junk food. The answer? A regular exercise regime, so we don't even think about not hitting the gym.  
  
Hydrate  
This is the most obvious on our list, but that's because it might be the most important- stop hydrating completely and you die pretty quickly, after all. In addition to preserving precious life, lovely water clears out toxins, and keeps your toilet trips regular.  
  
Eat vegetables 
AKA just eat well in general. Veg is the most important part of the diet because of how rich so much of it is in everything from antioxidants to vitamins. You might want to add fruit to your shopping list too, mind, which is also pretty vital.  
  
Sleep well  
We've all heard about the late-Margaret Thatcher's insanely high tolerance for tiredness, and everyone has a friend who claims they 'really don't need that much', but on average people require eight hours per night. So go to bed on time.  
  
Supplement shortcomings 
Rather than a reference to social situations, here we're talking about boosting the body with the likes of powerful omega-3 and other key nutrients. It will improve skin tone,  lower inflammation, and even reduce stress...  
  
De-stress 
...speaking of which, stress has a huge impact on physical and mental health. Clearly it is best avoided. This is simpler to do when you try and get organised- decluttering, starting to actually use iCal or Google Calendar, not forgetting to set your alarm etc etc. 
  
Image (C) Aaron Newcomer 
This article was downloaded from http://www.freefeatures.com.  
     

Feature

The Herb Corner

ANISE

Anise is an herbaceous annual plant growing to 3 ft (0.9 m) or more tall. The leaves at the base of the plant are simple, 3⁄8–2 in (1–5 cm) long and shallowly lobed, while leaves higher on the stems are feathery pinnate, divided into numerous small leaflets. The flowers are either white or yellow, approximately 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) in diameter, produced in dense umbels. The fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp, 1⁄81⁄4 in (3–6 mm) long, usually called "aniseed".

Anise is a food plant for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (butterflies and moths), including the lime-speck pug and wormwood pug.

Cultivation

Anise was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East, and was brought to Europe for its medicinal value. It has been cultivated in Egypt for approximately 4,000 years.

Anise plants grow best in light, fertile, well-drained soil. The seeds should be planted as soon as the ground warms up in spring. Because the plants have a taproot, they do not transplant well after being established, so they should either be started in their final location or be transplanted while the seedlings are still small.

Production

Western cuisines have long used anise to flavor dishes, drinks, and candies. The word is used for both the species of herb and its licorice-like flavor. The most powerful flavor component of the essential oil of anise, anethole, is found in both anise and an unrelated spice indigenous to northern China called star anise (Illicium verum) widely used in South Asian, Southeast Asian, and East Asian dishes. Star anise is considerably less expensive to produce, and has gradually displaced P. anisum in Western markets. While formerly produced in larger quantities, by 1999 world production of the essential oil of anise was only 8 tons, compared to 400 tons of star anise.

Another herb another time.

For delicious recipes using Anise visit  https://www.yummly.co.uk/recipes?q=anise+cookies&taste-pref-appended=true

 

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