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Love Your Bones

Posted by Sunsweet - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Prunes and Bone Health

Bone and teeth enamel are the hardest substances in the body, so what is available to keep them healthy and strong? Many people look after their teeth by brushing daily, but what about our bones? When thinking about improving your bone health your first thought probably isn’t to reach for prunes. However research is suggesting that prunes could in fact be beneficial for bone health, due to the nutrients they provide. 

As with most dried fruit, prunes do not contain significant amounts of calcium (43mg/100g), which is commonly and correctly associated with bone health.  However, prunes do contain vitamin K and manganese that among other functions have direct benefits for bone health. Prunes are high in vitamin K, which supports the maintenance of normal bones and helps with normal blood clotting. Prunes are also a source of manganese, which supports the maintenance of normal bones, and the formation of normal connective tissues (a structural part of bones).

If that isn’t enough to get you reaching for the prunes, they contain further beneficial nutrients. Prunes are a source of vitamin B6, which helps make healthy blood cells in our bone marrow and maintain normal hormone levels including those involved in bone health. Additionally, prunes are high in potassium, which helps your muscles work normally, and without our muscles we would not be able to move our bones. Prunes are a source of copper, which helps support normal iron transport in the body, helps maintain normal connective tissues (a structural part of bones), and plays a role in protecting cells within the body from oxidative damage. The human body is very complex with cells working together and separately to perform all our vital body processes and help us go about our daily lives. Our contribution to this is consuming a balanced and varied diet with adequate amounts of all essential nutrients, necessary for optimal body functions.

Our bones provide strength, support and protection to our bodies and help us carry out everyday tasks. Bones are a living tissue, which is continually growing and changing. Bones, become most dense in our early twenties, from then on the density starts to reduce (IOF 2015) so it is important to look after our bone health throughout life; to help maximise the density in childhood and then minimise the loss in adulthood. Reduction in density and quality of bone in turn increases the risk of fractures. 

"Around the world, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture (IOF 2015)."

Often there are no signs or symptoms of osteoporosis until the first fracture which most commonly affects the hip, spine and wrist; and risk increases with age (IOF 2015).   Fractures can affect quality of life, for example, following a hip fracture, only 40% of survivors return to their pre fracture walking ability (Sipila 2011). As walking is an important weight bearing exercise required for bone health, this may increase the risk of further fractures. 

According to Hernlund (2013), 22 million women and 5.5 million men had low bone mineral density (BMD) or osteoporosis in the EU in 2010, with almost twice as many fractures occurring in women compared to men. Hormonal changes in postmenopausal women can increase bone loss and is a major health concern (Hooshmand 2014).

"The 2010 EU costs of osteoporosis, including 5% from pharmacological intervention, were estimated at €37 billion (IOF 2015)."

We know that following a bone friendly lifestyle can help maximise bone health- that means following a diet that is balanced and varied, alongside plenty of weight bearing activity such as walking, running, gardening, dancing and house work. Prunes can make a useful contribution to your diet, together with a variety of foods including sources of calcium such as milk and dairy products, and vitamin D, from oily fish (eg salmon and mackerel), eggs and sunlight*. 

Learn More about Our Collaboration with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)

International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)

Sunsweet are partnering with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) as a Nutrition Sponsor to promote World Osteoporosis day. In collaboration with the IOF, we have prepared a number of PDF fact sheets which you can download from the bone health section of our website - For example our Love Your Bones brochure is filled with easy and practical bone friendly information; exercises, recipes and bone building tips for all the family. 

Research

There are now a number of studies that have investigated the role of prunes in bone health and further research is currently being carried out to explore the mechanisms.

Strong bones help protect against osteoporosis so is there a potential link with prune consumption? Metti (2015) studied older, osteopenic, postmenopausal women who consumed 50g (5-6 prunes) or 100g (10-12 prunes) daily for 6 months (in addition to daily calcium and vitamin D supplements). The results indicate that both doses (50g and 100g) may benefit bone health by helping to slow bone loss, so this suggests that prunes are playing a role, but more research is needed to identify how prunes have this effect.  

The increasing weight of evidence suggests prunes could be an effective fruit to help maintain bone health. Choosing to consume Sunsweet Californian prunes as part of a varied and balanced, and a healthy and active lifestyle could see further benefits than you first thought.

*for more information on how to protect your skin and eyes in the sun, visit http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx 

References:

Hernlund E, Svedbom A, Ivergard M, Compston J, Cooper C, Stenmark J, McClosky EV, Jonsson B, Kanis JA (2013) Osteoporosis in the European Union: medical management, epidemiology and economic burden. Arch Osteoporos. 8; 136.


Hooshmand S, Brisco JRY, Arjmandi BH (2014) The effect of dried plum on serum levels of receptor activator of NF-kB ligand, osteoprotegerin and sclerostin in osteopenic postmenopausal women: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 112; 55-60.


Hooshmand S, Metti D, Kern M, Arjmandi H (2015) Dose response of dried plum on bone density and bone turnover biomarkers in osteopenic postmenopausal women. Presented at the International Symposium on the Nutrition Aspects of Osteoporosis, June 17-20, Montreal, Canada. 


International Osteoporosis Foundation (2015) http://www.iofbonehealth.org/ 


Metti D, Shamloufard P, Cravinho A, Cuenca PD, Kern M, Arjmandi B, Hooshmand S (2015) Effects of low dose dried plum (50 g) on bone mineral density and bone biomarkers in older postmenopausal women. FASEB. 29; 738.12. 


Sipila S, Salpakoski A, Edgren J, Heinonen A, Kauppinen M, Arkela-Kautiainen M, Sihvonen S, Pesola M, RantanenT, Kallinen M (2011) Promoting mobility after hip fracture (ProMo): study protocol and selected baseline results of a year-long randomized controlled trial among community-dwelling older people. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 12: 277.

Boost your happiness and wellbeing by spreading some Gratitude. It’s scientifically proven!

Posted by Sunsweet - Thursday, August 23, 2018

Super simple ways to significantly – and sustainably - boost your happiness levels and enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing, in the process. Read on for research-based evidence about accentuating the positive and getting grateful. Start small and – before you know it – you'll have a whole heap of happy!

Start loving the Gratitude!

The Spring can be a great time for an overhaul. A chance to rid ourselves – once and for all - of the old habits that no longer serve us and to embrace some healthy, new ones. Habits like acknowledging events - like Mother's Day and Easter - and commemorating them, in a way that feels meaningful to you. Habits like celebrating successes large and small. Habits like noticing the positives, however tiny they may be, and expressing gratitude for them. And there's research-based evidence about the value – from both an emotional and a physical point of view – for making these super-simple step changes to your everyday habits.

The Science of Celebration

The Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), at the University of Berkeley, offers up some compelling reasons for all of us to get into the gratitude habit. Because according to Juliana Breines, writing on the organisation's website, happiness research – spanning some 20 years – has one key message for us all: give thanks.

After analysing the results of countless scientific studies, the GGSC found that developing an attitude of gratitude can, amongst other things:

  • have a positive impact on our emotional wellbeing and on our relationships
  • reduce our likelihood of becoming depressed
  • increase our resilience when faced with life's many and inevitable challenges

Grumbling and thinking negatively can, all too easily, become a habit. If you look at the messages that we're bombarded with - from the myriad 24/7 news channels, for example - the vibe is predominantly downbeat. But there's no need to panic. The GGSC have come up with four simple tips that should help you to cultivate a healthy sense of gratitude, no matter what life throws at you!

Get Grateful: In 4 Simple Steps

  1. Count your blessings

    Remember that even on the very worst of days, something positive will have happened. Spend a few minutes jotting down these good things, however small or insignificant they may seem. According to a study by the Positive Psychology Center, at the University of Pennsylvania, “completing this exercise every day for one week led to increases in happiness that persisted for six months”. Impressive stuff!

  2. Mental subtraction

    Without stressing yourself out too much in the process … imagine that something you currently have is gone. Applied to possessions, to jobs and even to people, this simple trick alone might be just enough to make you appreciate those things and to stop taking them for granted!

  3. Savour

    In their book, “Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience”, Fred B. Bryant and Joseph Veroff extol the virtues of a regular “Savoring Walk”. Walking for just 20 minutes, on your own, every week and paying hyper-close attention to the sights, smells and so on of your surroundings can – the authors found - have a positive effect on your happiness levels, a full week later.

  4. Say “Thank You”

    Really, could it get much more simple than that? And just imagine the warm glow that the recipients of your gratitude will experience, too. Now, that's what we call a win-win.

Reasons to feel grateful – think prunes!

And while we're feeling celebratory and expressing gratitude for the small things, let's hear it for the prunes!

Prunes; A super-quick and fruity snack. A rich, indulgent note in an elaborate feast. And lots of things in-between. Convenient, natural and a wonderfully versatile addition to a range of dishes, both sweet and savoury - really do deserve a dollop of gratitude.

So, we've acknowledged that prunes are delicious but did you know that they're actually pretty good for you, too? Follow the link to discover even more reasons for you to be grateful for Sunsweet prunes!

Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

Healthy treats for the kids, just perfect for the summer

Posted by Sunsweet - Thursday, August 16, 2018

“Mum, I’m hungry!” It’s a fairly constant chorus over the long, school holidays. And it can be tricky – with all that round-the-clock snacking - not to overload on the nasties with fat and sugar and artificial ingredients. Our Frozen Yoghurt with Raspberry Prune will be a welcome addition to your repertoire.

Ingredients

200 g natural yoghurt, mild (3.5 % fat)
100-125 g Sunsweet prunes
250 g frozen raspberries, not defrosted
Optional: 4 ice-cream cones

Instructions

  1. First place the yoghurt and then the prunes and raspberries into a blender. Purée at slow speed, then at medium speed until smooth, repeatedly pushing the raspberries downwards with the pestle. If the ice cream is not firm enough, divide the mixture into portions in dessert glasses and leave to refreeze for 30 to 60 minutes in the freezer. Otherwise, immediately divide the mixture into portions in dessert glasses or, alternatively, divide into portions in ice-cream cones.

Vegan variation: soya yoghurt can be used instead of dairy yoghurt.

Tip: a powerful blender makes the ice cream particularly creamy. A hand-held blender is not recommended. However, if only a hand-held blender is available, first thaw the raspberries, then purée all ingredients together. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker (in accordance with operating instructions) or leave it to freeze in the freezer. To freeze, divide the mixture into portions in 4 silicone muffin moulds and place in the freezer for 1-3 hours (do not let the mixture get too hard). Remove the ice cream from the moulds and place on plates to serve.

Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation

Posted by Sunsweet - Thursday, August 09, 2018

Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation is surprisingly common. And with a range of distressing – and potentially life-limiting – symptoms, it's something that you're going to want to nip in the bud. Fast. But don't worry. Help is out there. And there are a number of simple, self-care solutions that might just do the trick.

The Surprising Prevalence of IBS

If you are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) you are not alone. According to the IFFGD (*), 10-15% of the World's population suffer from this common complaint. Women, interestingly, are twice as likely to be affected by the syndrome as men. 40% of people have mild IBS, 35% of people have moderate IBS and 25% of people have severe IBS. And yet many people don't recognise their symptoms

(*) International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder

What is IBS and what causes it?

IBS is a condition that relates to symptoms - otherwise unexplained – that affect the digestive system. Symptoms can vary dramatically in their severity and duration and they can also come and go. Although the specific causes of IBS are not clear, psychological factors like stress can be a trigger factor for bringing on symptoms. Diet, food and eating can also affect symptoms with many sufferers noticing that their symptoms appear worse after a meal leading them to speculate about potential food allergies or intolerances. IBS has been subcategorised based on the symptoms: IBS with diarrhoea; IBS with constipation: or mixed, which includes both diarrheal and constipation traits.

Sufferers from IBS with Constipation (IBS-C), suffer from constipation.

Prunes and Normal Bowel Function

Prunes are high in fibre and contribute to normal bowel function when 100g prunes are eaten daily and as part of a varied and balanced diet and active lifestyle. And unlike many juices, prune Juice is a source of fibre.

Managing the Symptoms of IBS-C

The symptoms of IBS-C can often be managed by making dietary and lifestyle changes. People with IBS-C can take steps to alleviate their symptoms by modifying the amount of fibre that they include in their diet. The two main types of fibre are soluble (that the body can digest) and insoluble (that the body can't). Soluble fibre foods include oats, fruit and vegetables. Insoluble fibre foods include wholegrain bread and cereals. If you suffer from IBS-C, it makes sense to try to boost the amount of fibre in your diet and also the amount of fluids that you take in. The IBS Network, in the UK. echo traditional dietary advice for treating constipation and advocate:

  • Boosting the amount of fibre in the diet, adding linseed to cereals and so on.
  • Eating oats with dried fruit – especially prunes and apricots – for breakfast each morning
  • Upping your fruit and veg intake, prunes and beetroot are particularly helpful.

Is there support available for people suffering from IBS-C?

You'll be relieved to hear that there is some excellent support out there. In fact, we've collaborated with The IBS Network UK – the country's national charity for sufferers of the syndrome - to produce a comprehensive, fact-based document packed full of up-to-date info and useful advice about managing IBS-C. The Network aims to facilitate a programme of self-care for sufferers by providing them with good quality information and support.

Why not download the 'Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Constipation' booklet to find out about:

  • Dietary hints and tips
  • The importance of fibre in the management of IBS-C
  • Foods to include
  • Foods to avoid
  • An example of a daily food plan

PS: Looking for more info on digestion-related topics? Check out our Digestion 101.

Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

Danish Wholegrain Sandwich

Posted by Sunsweet - Thursday, August 02, 2018

There are sandwiches and then there are sandwiches. Celebrate all-things hygge and rustle up our Danish Wholegrain Sandwich. Topped with soft cheese, avocado and smoked salmon it makes a hearty breakfast, a substantial lunch or a super-duper snack. And Sunsweet prunes add a flavourful twist!

Ingredients

100 g California prunes 
½ bunch of dill 
100 g cream cheese 
50 g yoghurt 
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard 
1 tbsp. honey 
2 avocados 
200 g cherry tomatoes 
300 g smoked salmon 
6 lettuce slices of Danish wholegrain bread  
100 g sprouts 

Instructions

  1. Finely chop prunes and dill and stir with cream cheese, yoghurt, mustard, and honey. Halve avocados, remove pit and slice the flesh. Cut tomatoes in half. Cut the salmon into wide strips.
  2. Toast bread and spread prune mixture. Top with lettuce and remaining ingredients. Garnish with sprouts and serve.

Don’t let your travels upset your tum!

Posted by Sunsweet - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

With holiday season well under way, we’ve all heard our fair share of anecdotes about travellers’ tummy troubles. Each of them more “TMI” than the last. But did you know that, by following just a few simple steps, it’s possible to dramatically improve the chances of you – and your family - maintaining good digestive health while travelling?

Concerns about food safety issues and the likelihood of subsequent, unpleasant illness. The digestive system getting out of synch. And a relaxed family holiday, memorable for all the right reasons. Are these three things something of a paradox, perhaps, a contradiction in terms? Because a survey by CondéNet and the California Dried Plum Board, found that digestive health problems were far from uncommon amongst holiday-makers.

  • More than 75% experienced occasional digestive problems while traveling
  • 42% suffered from constipation

What causes ‘travelers’ tummy’?

When travelling, it’s important to be sensible and aware about food safety and health. But you need to balance this caution; becoming paranoid about every morsel could just as easily spoil your holiday!

Simple precautions include:

  • Checking if the local tap water is safe to drink. If in doubt, opt for bottled water.
  • Holding-off on ice cubes (salads, deserts and drinks) if you think the local water could be an issue.
  • Sticking to cooked food that has been freshly cooked and served piping hot.
  • Choosing the more popular cafes and restaurants; locals are likely to avoid the duds!
  • Using wipes and antibacterial gels - they can be really useful for keeping the family’s hands clean, when you’re on the go.

If you’re unlucky, don’t panic. Take in plenty of fluids. Chamomile and raspberry leaf tea are natural remedies that you can try, to gently relieve diarrhea. And crystallized ginger is said to help alleviate nausea.

And what about the opposite side of the coin, Constipation?

Letting healthy eating habits slip, while on the road. Grabbing convenience food and snacks that are far from optimum, nutritionally. Not getting enough sleep. Not getting enough to drink. Struggling to get used to dramatic changes in temperature. Finding it stressful, the whole experience of being away from home. Getting used to unfamiliar ingredients and new flavours. There are a whole host of reasons why the fine-tuning of the digestive system may end up a little out-of-whack.

"The disruption of one's normal routine/schedule is inevitable when one travels. But eating poorly is controllable by the individual. People really need to look at their food choices either while traveling or at home. They don't realize that there are simple preventative solutions which may help alleviate bouts of digestive discomfort that can occur on the road," says Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Where possible, include plenty of fresh fruit and veg in your holiday diet. But make sure that you pack some non-perishable dried fruit, too – like Sunsweet prunes. Prunes are known to help maintain good digestive health. And the whole family will love their super-sweet flavour.

Good digestive health – it’s what we do!

At Sunsweet, we’re passionate about good digestive health and we’re more than delighted to share our expert insights. Check out our top four tips for good digestive health and Simple Health Tips for People on the Go.

And – for even more comprehensive info - why not download our Healthy Living Guide ?

Bon Voyage!

Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

Crunchy Asparagus Salad with Mozzarella

Posted by Sunsweet - Thursday, June 21, 2018

Every family should have a dish like this – that makes the most of scrummy, super fresh and seasonal veggies - in their recipe repertoire. Our Crunchy Asparagus Salad with Mozzarella makes for a fresh and tasty lunch or supper dish. It also makes a stunning and substantial side-dish that's just perfect for BBQs.

Ingredients

500 g green asparagus 
60 g sundried tomatoes (without oil) 
30 g pine nuts 
1 bunch of basil 
300 g baby spinach 
150 g California prunes 
4 tbsp. lemon juice
8 tbsp. olive oil 
1 tbsp. vinegar
Salt & pepper 
Fennel seeds, toasted and chopped 
300 g mini buffalo mozzarella 
Pine nuts for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Peel lower third of asparagus and remove ends. Then cut diagonally into 4 cm long pieces. Cube dried tomatoes. Coarsely chop pine nuts. Cut basil into strips and slice prunes. Clean and wash spinach.
  2. Blanch asparagus for about 4 minutes in salted water. Stir lemon juice and oil with vinegar, salt, pepper and fennel until smooth. Add asparagus, dried tomatoes and prunes and allow to soak through.
  3. Cut mozzarella into halves. Add spinach and basil to the asparagus and serve with mozzarella. Sprinkle with pine nuts.

Summertime and the living is easy

Posted by Sunsweet - Thursday, June 14, 2018

Summer weekends are a brilliant opportunity for catching up and chilling out. There’s one very simple trick that you can have up your sleeve, to ensure that you have as much fun during your get-togethers as your guests: advance planning!


Keep your menu simple

A showstopper dish – like a marinated whole chicken or a side of salmon with a herby crust - can be put in the oven and left to its own devices. And then around an hour before your meat or fish is ready, pop some baby new potatoes into the oven, too. Keep the potatoes whole and unpeeled and toss them in oil, herbs - rosemary works well – and a little sea-salt. Simple and delicious.

Enlist help

Guests often ask if they can bring something to gatherings so don’t be too shy to answer, “yes, please!”. Give each guest a theme, for a salad, and leave them to it. A green salad, maybe, or something tomato-based or involving mixed beans. You could even ask them to bring a fruit salad, for pudding. And – if they’re stuck - you can always signpost them to our recipe pages, for inspiration!

Keep everyone moving

A great way to break the ice at summer events – especially when there are little people involved – is to ask each family to share their favourite outdoor game idea. Tag. Hide and Seek. Pretty much anything involving bubbles or balloons. The fun factor will be boosted instantly. You’ll all work up an appetite for that yummy, healthy meal. And the kids will have bonded well enough to continue the fun, after the food, while the adults enjoy a well-deserved rest.

When it comes to summer celebrations, prunes are something of an unsung hero. And yet they can add a fruity scrumptiousness to a range of dishes and drinks. For sweet and savoury nibbles, think prunes baked with chorizo or – even simpler – flavoured mixed nuts (most supermarkets stock an interesting selection) combined with chopped prunes. As part of a fruity marinade or BBQ sauce, prunes add a rich flavour that complements a range of meat and fish and livens up grilled veggie kebabs. Prunes make a zingy addition to salads – both savoury and sweet. The fruit is the perfect partner for choc-themed puds – prune brownies, anyone? And prune juice makes a fabulously flavourful base for a range of drinks from smoothies to mocktails, from fruity cocktails that are strictly for the grown-ups to refreshing frozen treats that the whole family will love.

Our recipe pages are full of ideas for you to follow or be inspired by. And our comprehensive guide to entertaining is packed full of tips to help your summer celebrations sparkle!

Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

There's lots to love about yoga!

Posted by Sunsweet - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Whether you're a man or a woman, a child or a pensioner, whether you're looking for a strenuous workout or a more relaxing - even spiritual - practice, there's a style of yoga to suit you. And don't worry, uber-bendiness and hippy-print harem pants are optional. But the health benefits that you'll experience aren't. From boosting digestion to alleviating chronic conditions, there's lots to love about yoga!

International Yoga Day

The first UN International Yoga Day took place in 2015, in recognition of:

  • The holistic benefits of the practice and its compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations
  • How crucial it is for us all to make healthy lifestyle choices and to develop habits that support our physical and emotional wellbeing

Will you be inspired by this year's event – on the 21st June – to give yoga a go?

History

The idea of an International Yoga Day was first mooted by the United Nations after a compelling proposal from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his proposal, Modi stated that, “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action ... a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”

The Health Benefits of Yoga

The World Health Organization has implored member states to take steps to address the growing inactivity of individual citizens – an unhealthy trend that is a key risk factor in diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a non-profit committed to clinical practice, education and research - the potential health benefits of yoga include:

  • Stress reduction, a better night's sleep, improved mood and an enhanced sense of well-being
  • Improved fitness, balance, flexibility and strength
  • Management of chronic conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure

Something for Everyone

Whatever your age or ability level, there's a yoga style and approach that is just right for you. From active kids who need an opportunity to wind down, after a hectic day juggling school, homework and after-school activities. To elderly people and those who are less mobile and would appreciate the mind, body and spirit benefits of a gentle armchair practice.

Here are a few of the more popular styles:

  • Hatha yoga is a foundation of all yoga styles and can be a good choice if you're looking to improve flexibility. It’s controlled breathing can help improve oxygenation of the body and alleviate stress.
  • Iyengar yoga: Using Props - belts, blocks and pillow-like bolsters – that assist with correct alignment, it is gentle and can work well for those with an injury or a chronic condition.
  • Ashtanga yoga can offer a new challenge for those who already have a decent level of fitness.
  • Bikram Toya: Bikram yoga is the favourite of anyone who loves to sweat! The poses are done in a heated room to facilitate the release of toxins and designed to provide a challenging, invigorating, rejuvenating yoga experience.

Whatever style you choose, an initial one-to-one session with an experienced teacher can be really worthwhile, to assess your unique needs and to get you off to the best possible start.

Find yourself a nearby class, get yourself signed up for a course and enjoy the sensations of lightness, ease and relaxation that will surely follow. Bliss!

PS If you're feeling inspired about getting your body moving, why not download our Healthy Living Guide? Good luck!

Please Note: Prunes are good for digestion and help keep you regular, when 100g are eaten as part of a varied and balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Always consult a GP if you have any health concerns.

Get Healthy. Get Motivated. Get Sociable.

Posted by Sunsweet - Friday, June 08, 2018

It’s the perfect time of year to establish those healthy foundations that will help you to sail through the winter. But if you're concerned about your resolve and motivation for regular exercise slipping, why not get a group of friends and family together?

Having the support of friends and family is a very strong motivator to lacing up those runners and to get going! Not only is being sociable written into our DNA but studies have found that exercising with a friend is more fun, helps you to stay in shape and gets you out of the house. A study of 1000 women found that 31 per cent consider their friends to be the motivation they need to stay in shape! And, what’s more, there can be a lot of truth in the cliché, “Friends and Families who play together, stay together”. So, when you consider the stats about how much more motivating it is to exercise with a buddy or two, it really does make sense to get a posse together. It’s all good - No excuse!

Four tips to getting a posse of friends together!

  1. Get sociable and start to recruit your motivator posse
  2. The school gates. The office. The gym. Your friends on Social media. These are all rich sources for members of your gang. In fact, anywhere is. Be inclusive. Ask people to invite a friend. And a friend of a friend. When it comes to your posse going, the more, the merrier!

  3. Get creative and brainstorm ideas for trips out and activities
  4. Perhaps there's a park near you, with a walking trail. (Tea room a bonus!). Zumba class, swimming, Yoga, boot camp, lunchtime or evening brisk walk, hiking, cycling, dance classes, Pilates. Or what about staging an old fashioned sports day in the local park? Rounders. Egg and spoon races. Tag. All excellent fun, whatever your age.

  5. Get picnicking
  6. There's something so scrumptious about food eaten out of doors, when you've done a bit of exercise to work up a healthy appetite! Check out our recipes pages for yummy and portable, prune-related ideas.

  7. Get planning
  8. When are you going to meet? Every month? Every fortnight? Every week? Get some dates in the diary. Make sure that you're all committed to sticking to those dates. After all, a few spots of rain never hurt anybody!

Carpe Diem

Autumn is the perfect time of the year to establish some solid foundations – around diet and exercise and all-round healthy living – that will help to see you glide, effortlessly and healthily, through the long, winter months ahead. What’s more, there are often a few quieter weeks to be savoured, in the Autumn - a welcome little breathing space between the stresses and strains of our summer travels and the coming chaos of all-things Christmas.

So, with a little help and motivation from our friends, the perfect time is right now to, Seize the Moment!