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Super Citrus

The ‘spring clean’ may be something we associate exclusively with the homewares sphere, but the season of regeneration is also time to hit refresh on your meal mindset! With spring just around the corner, it’s time to pack all the veges and superfoods we can into our days; citrus may be just what you need to kickstart your health! We check out some of our favourite ways to pack in the nutrients.




SUPER CITRUS: It’s no secret citrus is a great source of immunity-boosting vitamin C. But there’s other lesser-known benefits to these tasty, fresh fruits, too. Did you know eating and drinking citrus may improve brain and lung function, and speed up your metabolism?

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS: Lemons are always in season in New Zealand, and the yellow gems can help hydrate, improve your skin and aid digestion. A squeeze of lemon will add a health-promoting zing to your water, tea, or salad dressing.

MARVELLOUS MANDARINS: Mandarin season is in full swing, and these handy little guys with their own natural packaging and convenient segments are an easy-to-eat addition to the kids’ lunch box (or your hand bag) for a no-fuss on-the-go health boost.

PHYTO-FIT: Citrus contains phytonutrients, clever little chemicals produced by plants which the fruit itself uses to stay healthy. When you eat or drinks foods rich in the compounds – like citrus – you benefit from the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, too.

NAVEL GAZING: New Zealand produces about 9 million kilograms of navel oranges between July and December, so it’s no surprise they’re one of our favourite fruit bowl residents. However, you may be surprised to learn they’re also a great source of fibre and potassium.

ZEST FOR LIFE: There’s more to citrus than juice (though a freshly squeezed glass of OJ never goes astray). Consider freshening up your next winter salad with slices of orange or grapefruit, or use the zesty delights for tart desserts like an orange cheesecake or sweet-but-tangy lemon curd.

HANDY TIP: Focus on the nutrients count and not the calorie count, if you want to improve the quality of your diet.


New Year, new you!

Although New Year’s resolutions come in all different shapes, sizes and styles, it seems many of them lean towards health and wellness. After all, healthy body, healthy mind, right?

So if you’re looking to make 2020 your healthiest year yet, we’ve got the inside scoop from women’s health expert, author and speaker, Holistic Nutritionist Jessica Giljam Brown BSc, from Wellness by Jessica.

Can you tell us a bit about your personal journey to better health and wellbeing and how this came about?
I was diagnosed with chronic pain at age 17 after an accident and my journey began there.

It wasn’t until later that I really found out how much control I had when it came to looking after myself and healing.

At university, I learned about the science of the body, the chemistry of food and the reactions that take place, but it wasn’t until several years later, once I began working, that I learned about the immense healing power of food.

There is a vast array of options outside of the traditional medical matrix that can help heal the body.

It took a lot of trial and error to find exactly the right balance that worked for me; how best to reduce the inflammation that was triggering the pain, which nutrients I needed to boost to help support my mood and what steps to put in place when my pain did flare up again.

Since my early days in clinic, I have grown immensely and have been very lucky to have some really great mentors who have opened my eyes to the wider world of both natural and mainstream medicine.

I enjoy working right in the middle of natural and mainstream medicine, and pulling treatment options from both sides alongside my clients’ GPs and specialists.

How critical is healthy eating to overall health and wellbeing?
Your food supplies the energy and nutrients you need in order for every single function in the body to happen.

Without energy and nutrients, your body can’t function as it should, so it is absolutely critical to eat well in order to function well.

Food should always be the foundation when making health changes and trying to resolve issues, with sleep and stress management being on par too.

What are some of your favourite foods and meals that contribute to health and wellbeing?
Real food provides us with the best density of nutrients, so I try to make sure my diet is predominantly real foods, rather than processed.

Green leafy vegetables are one of my favourite food groups because they provide so many nutrients.

Kale, cabbage, lettuces, spinach, silverbeet and herbs contain vitamins A, B, C and K as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and lots of fibre.

These nutrients support all of our processes in our body.

Fat rich nuts and seeds are something I encourage everyone to increase their intake of.

The low-fat era has thankfully ended, but there still seems to be some residual fear around nuts and seeds.

These foods are rich in heart-healthy fats, vitamin E, fibre, zinc, B6 and magnesium.

These nutrients are particularly important for healthy sex hormones and skin health.

Nuts and seeds provide valuable fats to our meals to help us feel more satisfied, keeping us feeling fuller for longer.

You take quite a holistic approach to healthy living, so it’s not all about just eating well. What are some of the other key areas we should be focusing on when it comes to looking after ourselves?
The body is affected by stress, sleep, environment, connections and relationships and movement, so all of these areas need to be focused on alongside what you eat in order to be truly well.

I work with my clients on all of these areas, pulling in extra expertise as needed.

I find that stress management and sleep improvement is what is most needed for the majority of people and is something I always address.

I encourage clients to set up relaxation practices that work for them, it could be meditation, a short yoga sequence, breathing exercises, walking, reading, or dance.

I also help them set up a sleep hygiene routine that helps them get more restorative sleep.

Once stress and sleep are better managed, I find that people can make far better choices about what they eat.

What’s your biggest piece of advice when we start struggling with our resolutions or fall off the bandwagon completely?
Focus on getting ‘more’! It’s so much easier for the human brain to want ‘more’, so play to your strengths.

Instead of ‘eat less chocolate’, change the goal ‘to eat more fruit’, or instead of ‘lose 5kgs’, set goals like ‘increase veggie intake to seven handfuls each day’, ‘walk 15-30 minutes per day’, ‘take a filling lunch so I don’t have to buy lunch each day’.

What does 2020 have in store for you?
I am really excited about 2020, there is a lot happening for me both professionally and personally.

I am really proud to have a team behind me to help me bring all my ideas to life.

We have lots of women’s health courses coming this year to help women resolve their hormone concerns and some couples’ fertility courses to help prep couples for a healthy pregnancy.

To stay up to date with what is happening, you can follow along via Facebook and Instagram.


Add natural vitality to your family’s health

Now taking its rightful place in the global spotlight as a ‘cannonball of goodness’, the humble blackcurrant was once known mainly for its high vitamin C values and as the basis of the free wartime children’s drink, Ribena. Turns out, vitamin C was only a small part of blackcurrants’ superpowers.

After extensive clinical research blackcurrants, and more specifically New Zealand blackcurrants, have been found to contain a key nutrient vital to brain and whole body health – enhancing cell growth and slowing age-related cognitive decline.

The nutrient is a neuropeptide called cyclic Glycine-Proline (cGP).

When available to the body in high enough quantities, cGP regulates the availability of an essential hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1).

With New Zealand’s proud tradition of biotech innovation, Associate Professor Jian Guan of Auckland University discovered cGP in the early 90s.

Research shows our levels of cGP decline as we age.

If cGP is in short supply, then IGF-1 cannot function sufficiently, and neuro-degenerative illnesses are more likely to occur and be severe.

Sufferers of Parkinson’s disorders and stroke have been observed to have low levels of cGP.

Administering cGP to stroke patients within 12 to 48 hours after a stroke greatly reduces brain damage and speeds up recovery.

Our bodies’ need for cGP is beyond dispute, with benefits for all ages, from babies in utero, to infants, children and adults.

Anecdotal evidence from large numbers of people suggests cGP improves not just neuro degenerative disorders, but symptoms of Angelman’s, Autism and ADHD. In a published paper on Rett Syndrome, administration of natural cGP showed significant and ongoing body and cognitive function improvements.

North Canterbury’s own Vitality NZ has captured cGP from blackcurrants in capsule form and, for obvious reasons, named it Brain Shield™.

Director David Eder is one of the most long-standing growers of blackcurrants in New Zealand, while Managing Director Jim Grierson, an agronomist with 38 years in the blackcurrant industry, knew there was something special about the health benefits of NZ blackcurrants.

“We know what goes into Brain Shield and it is in a very natural form,” Jim says.

The blackcurrants are grown, processed and made into the capsules here in Canterbury.

“Brian Shield delivers an average daily dose of cGP via your brain signalling pathways and whole of body function. New Zealand blackcurrants are truly a superfruit when you understand the benefits you get from them,” David says.

Brain Shield is the only product in the world marketed with cGP under a full Novel Patent.

“There is no pharmaceutical equivalent or alternative, it is unique to the blackcurrant species,” Jim says.

“Each capsule delivers an average daily dose and it is very safe – you cannot overdose,” David adds.

Vitality NZ has five further products in their health and wellnes product range – Active, Digestive, Eye, Omega, and Women’s Health.