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Life can throw you some hard-hitting curveballs, leaving you to neglect your health and overlooking the “common” headache you get once in a while, and actually might even be more than that. You often brush it off, masking the often fleeting but sometimes unbearable and constant unease with a painkiller, and hope for the best.

Headaches are one of the most common health problems, and they can get so bad that you’ll find yourself experiencing bouts of nausea and vomiting. Popping painkillers every time you have one can do more harm than good in the long run, and leave you in the wake of some nasty side effects.

Here are some more effective ways that are gentle on your body while helping you to manage persistent headaches.

1. Drink herbal tea

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Green tea, chamomile tea, ginger tea, and peppermint tea are just some of the beverages known to be able to relieve migraines and some of their accompanying symptoms. Drinking them can help to ease your mind, and thus relieve the throbbing pain in your head.

Chamomile is packed with antioxidants, and together with its ability to calm anxiety and reduce inflammation, chamomile can help to lessen the impact of headaches. Ginger, too, has anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties, while peppermint has the ability to relax the nerves and reduce spasms in your gastrointestinal tract that can actually aggravate headache symptoms.

So if you find yourself frequently experiencing sudden and recurring migraine attacks, you can get yourself a cup of warm Nilufer Tea and let it work its magic. With quality herbs and fruits, the organic herbal tea will not only help ease your headaches, it can also confer a range health benefits for your body.

2. Go gluten-free

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Many of us get headaches every now and then. But if you’re especially prone to them, you may have a gluten allergy, or even a celiac disease. So get yourself checked and take the necessary steps to cut gluten out of your diet. Common foods that contain gluten include wheat, oats, certain types of noodles, pancakes, waffles, and malt beverages.

3. Take B-complex vitamins

Various forms of vitamin Bs aid in the formation of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which may be lacking in those who suffer from migraines. When your body is short on one or more of the essential B vitamins, it causes energy slumps, unfocused thinking, and headaches. As these vitamins are crucial in regenerating brain cells, and improving immune function and cardiovascular health, it isn't surprising then, that a lack of them can cause your body to feel less than optimal.

To help your body synthesise adequate amounts of vitamin Bs required for a more optimised body and mind, you should consume foods that are rich in B-complex vitamins. Such foods include rice, whole-wheat pasta, potatoes, eggs, chicken, fish, milk, and green leafy vegetables.

4. Keep active

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Staying in one position for an extended period of time, like sitting in front of your computer hunched over, can lead to body tension and induce headaches. This position, with your head jutting out, puts an extra 20 to 30 pounds of pressure on your neck!

So to ease the immense strain you’re putting on yourself, try to take a break every 30 to 60 minutes. Stretch regularly and move your head and neck around in a circular motion. This will relieve the built up stress and can help prevent headaches.

5. Stay hydrated and well rested

The body is made up of around 70% of water. Hence, it is no wonder a feeling of unease wells up in the body when one is not properly hydrated. Consuming too much coffee, sugary drinks, and alcohol can leave us dehydrated and this is certainly one of the contributing factors that lead to a throbbing headache. Hydrating yourself with water may just be that simple (and free) remedy you need to keep you feeling full, energized and headache-free.

Image cred: Jez Timms on Unsplash

You can also quench your thirst with fruits and vegetables – watermelons, strawberries, cauliflower, and   spinach contain about 92 percent water per volume, and they may hydrate your body twice as effectively as a glass of water.

Having poor sleeping habits can also cause frequent headaches. Not getting enough shuteye and sleeping too long can trigger migraines. So get some proper rest and change up your hectic lifestyle, so you no longer have to suffer through each day!

Written by: Anna Fernandez

The natural goodness of herbs is a widely accepted – not only are their flavours used in food and drink but they are also used to relax the body and can be used to treat common ailments.  Many of us herb enthusiasts have dreams of planting our own herbs in soil and harvesting these plants that we helped nurture while they nurture us with their nutrients. However, if the idea of growing plants gives you flashbacks to the shrivelled up plants that you have tried and failed to grow, you are not alone. We’ve compiled a few tips which will help you achieve your herb garden dreams.

The thing about many herbs is that their natural climate to grow in might be different from Singapore’s tropical one. For this reason, you either have to pick plants that adapt well to our climate or replicate the conditions of their natural habitats. Mint is a plant with a high adaptability and is therefore an easier plant to start with. Furthermore, it has a range of health benefits!

1. Pick the Best Mint For You

There are a great number of mint varieties for you to choose from. From the popular spearmint and peppermint, to the lesser known horsemint, there is something to suit every taste and fancy. There are slight variations with use so pick a plant that suits how you use them. For instance, many people use spearmint for garnishing savoury dishes and use peppermint for sweet ones. The tastes of each variety are different as well so be sure to pick a mint that you like best.

2. Pick the Best Soil

Image cred: Aquaponics Wiki

The soil required for mint plants is a loamy type. This means that it should have different sized soil particles in order for air and water to penetrate. Soil available here is often clayey and retains too much moisture so mix it with lightweight expanded clay aggregate pellets (LECA) so that it is better for your mint plant to flourish.

3. Sunlight

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The great advantage Singapore has is that it has sun all year round. For most types of mint, getting enough sunlight is a must. If you grow your plant indoors make sure you place your potted plant close to a window or at a location where it can get as much sunlight as it can get.

4.Water

 

Most mints grow naturally along the bank of streams and other water sources. This means that growing mint requires more care than simply sticking a cutting to the ground. You should monitor that the plant gets enough water daily. One way to check this is to put your finger in the soil to check its moisture. The soil should feel moist to the touch.

5. Pruning

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One thing that remains constant across all mint varieties is their ability to invade spaces completely. These plants are very hardy and they produce runners which can cause them to over-run and get out of control. One way to prevent is by planting them in separate pots. Another is through pruning. Pruning is an excellent way to keep plants producing new leaves and to prevent them from over-growing.

Armed with this knowledge, you are now prepared to embark upon the complicated journey of gardening. Though it requires some extra time and effort, the pleasure of being able to harvest fresh herbs for yourself makes all the work worthwhile. With a little practice, you may be able to grow an entire potted garden for your herb needs.

Mint is also a great addition to your teas. If you would like a minty tea, Nilufer Tea offers Orange & Chamomile herbal tea which has notes of mint for your drinking pleasure. Shop here now!

Kick start your day with a smoothie to increase fruit and vegetable intake in your diet. Smoothies are nutritional powerhouses that provide you with essential minerals and vitamins. Great as a nutritious breakfast or an energising afternoon snack, smoothies are fun to make and do not have to be as complicated as you think. However, smoothies come with caveats too. Store-bought smoothies may expand your waistline with artificial ingredients and excess sugar. But fret not, I’ve some healthful smoothie recipes to share. Fresh and fuss-free, each recipe packs a ton of flavour and allows you to whip up your delicious concoction in a flash. Here are five basic yet fabulous smoothie recipes to try at home.

 

1. Apple Avocado Smoothie

My favourite smoothie recipe is a somewhat-strange mishmash of apple, pear, avocado and spinach but when combined together, these ingredients create a luscious blend of flavours. The use of avocado in a smoothie may sound bizarre but be reminded that avocados will give your smoothie a dreamy creamy texture and a boost of heart-healthy fat, so nourish yourself and blend away without fear.

Image cred: pixabay

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

Juice the apples and pear first then add the fruit juice, avocado and spinach into your blender. Blend until smooth then add a drizzle of Manuka honey. To keep myself satisfied for longer, a teaspoon of chia seeds and some protein powder are my favourite smoothie add-ins. But of course, feel free to leave any of these extra ingredients out.

 

2. Berry Banana Oat Smoothie

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With a medley of berries, half a ripe banana for natural sweetness and some oats for fullness, the Berry Banana Oat Smoothie is the perfect power-packed breakfast to sip on the go. Why, you may ask? Berries are loaded with antioxidants, bananas are a great source of potassium and oats provide soluble fibre – vital nutrients for your digestive tract. It’s easy to prep and berry easy to drink so there’s no excuse for you to skip breakfast anymore!

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

For a creamier and frostier smoothie, I use frozen whole fruit to achieve a quick and thick effect. Blend all ingredients until smooth then pour, drink and love. Lactose-intolerant friends may substitute milk with almond, coconut or soy milk for a dairy-free alternative. Oh, and here’s a sneaky tip… Omit the oats to turn your smoothie into a healthier version of a banana split dessert.

 

3. Peach Perfect Smoothie

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Reinvent the old berry-banana routine and make a fresh, juicy Peach Perfect when peaches are in season. If you tend to get in a rut with the addictive berry-banana smoothie combination (like me), I’d recommend you to give this a go.

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

Blend all ingredients until smooth and spark it up with some ground cinnamon for a pinch of yum.

 

4. Tropical Mint Smoothie

Image cred: pixabay

Beat the heat with a refreshing Tropical Mint Smoothie. Fruity with a fresh finish of mint, this glass of green goodness will have you forget about the weather in a minute. If the green colour scares you, imagine you’re on a beach under a tropical palm tree and let your worries be washed away with the sound of waves. I promise you won’t even be able to taste the kale.

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

Blend all ingredients until smooth. I garnish mine with a wedge of pineapple and some coconut flakes to create a virgin green Piña Colada. It’s a definite winner for alcohol replacement. Enjoy!

 

5. Rooibos Tofu Smoothie

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Stave off colds with Rooibos Tofu, a powerful immune-booster with unconventional smoothie ingredients. It works when you’re tired of bananas or want to cut back on carbs. Red rooibos tea is an excellent base for a smoothie as it produces a herbaceous sweetness, without the caffeine. Protein-rich tofu creates a lovely thick texture whilst frozen grapes and raspberries deliver a deep flavour of additional antioxidants.

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

Steep tea for 8 to 10 minutes, discard teabag and chill in refrigerator. Once cool, blend the tea with all other ingredients until smooth and serve cold. Add an optional scoop of protein powder for a tea-rrific workout drink.

You can get your fix of rooibos tea here!

Smoothies are incredibly easy and convenient to make. At the same time, they hold a wealth of rich essential nutrients. If you are lacking time to make a wholesome meal, make a smoothie. It's the next best thing.

 

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