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We regularly publish some great healthy living tips, new recipes and other Prune tidbits on our blog

  • The key to keeping well in winter? Keeping warm!

    Posted Thu, Feb 26, 15 by Sunsweet

    The key to keeping well in winter? Keeping warm!

    Being cold can have a negative impact on health, causing colds and flus and even things like heart problems and depression; that's according to Live Well, healthy living advice from the NHS. So read on, for our top four keeping toasty tips.

    1. A study by the Yale School of Medicine found that wrapping up warm, snuggling that nose into a cosy scarf, may help to keep colds at bay. That's because the common cold virus is able to multiply more readily when temperatures drop. Professor Akiko Iwasaki says, “If you can prevent the airway temperature from getting lower, it’s probably a good thing." What a fabulous excuse for stocking up on a chic scarf or two!
    2. Drawing the curtains after nightfall, keeping drafts to a minimum by closing internal doors, using hot water bottles to air your bed... Simple, old-fashioned and cost-effective tips for a cosy home. Try to keep active, even when you're planning to stay in the house. By moving around and dressing in cosy layers, you can help to stop your body's core temperature from plummeting.
    3. Choosing hearty, nourishing and warming dishes – like soups and stews – can help to stop the body from feeling chilly. Choose ingredients that punch above their weight when it comes to nutrition. Prunes, for example are a source of vitamin B6 and copper which support a healthy immune system. Oats are rich in fibre and release energy slowly. Combine the two – with water or milk - to make a deliciously fruity and satisfying porridge that the whole family will enjoy. An excellent way to kick-start the day, no matter how wintry the morning.
    4. Hot drinks - enjoyed regularly throughout the day - have an important role to play, too, in keeping warm. Research at the Common Cold Centre, at Cardiff University, studied the effect of hot drinks on colds. Professor Ron Eccles found that, “Both drinks were beneficial, but the hot drink was much more beneficial.” Why not try adding mulled wine spices to prune juice before gently warming it? Delicious!
  • 5 Steps to a Healthier Lunch

    Posted Wed, Feb 18, 15 by Sunsweet

    5 Steps to a Healthier Lunch

    1. Get organised

    To eat healthier you need to make your life as easy as possible. Before you even consider what to make for lunch, check your selection of lunchboxes, containers and beakers and think of what else you might need. A large traditional lunch box is great for sandwiches, but if you are hoping to be more adventurous, you might consider purchasing a flask or range of smaller clip boxes for soups, fruit and of course dried fruits such as Sunsweet prunes. Plan your lunches for the week at the weekend and include your ingredients as part of your weekly shop. 

    2. Vary your offering

    You wouldn't want to eat the same thing for dinner every day, so why do the same with lunch? Too often we get stuck in a rut of making or indeed ordering the same sandwiches every day. Try a wrap, an open sandwich, a pasta salad or a baked potato to vary it up. If cooking the evening before, think of how you could use some of those leftover vegetables, meat or fish to make your lunch the next day. This will add variety into your diet and save you money too. Try out our vegetarian tortilla wrap  to liven up your lunch box. 

    3. Soup glorious soup

    It's cold out, so what is more satisfying at lunchtime than a bowl of hot nourishing soup? For the carnivores among you, making stock out of your next roast chicken will ensure any soup you make will be flavoursome. Or just buy pre-prepared stock cubes or liquids as the basis of your soup, add some dinner leftovers and vegetables and you are good to go. For increased protein, add chickpeas or bacon pieces and to enhance the flavour, a dash of olive oil, a teaspoon of parmesan cheese, or a sprinkling of fresh herbs is all you need. 

    4. Include some proteins

    Protein is essential for filling you up for longer and balancing blood sugar levels and therefore is essential to eat at regular intervals throughout the day. Good sources of protein include meat, fish, cheese, nuts and tofu which can often get left out with the traditional bread based lunch. Add to sandwiches, salads, or serve as a side but make sure to include some in your lunch. For kids' lunches, you could go American and try out some peanut or almond butter. Served on wholegrain bread with either bananas or jam, these nut butters will provide some healthy midday protein.   

    5. Drink, drink, drink

    For those who don't have access to a kitchen or water cooler in work or school, don't forget to bring a bottle of water with you. We all know we should be drinking two litres per day but unless it is at your desk beside you it is easy to forget. While obviously fizzy and sweetened drinks are to be avoided, fruit juices and even tea and coffee in moderation can all count towards your required daily fluid intake.
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