Roaring into our new decade feeling healthier, lighter and brighter. Great fan of aloe, Claire Cotton, reminds us about a few useful healthy habits.

Here are Claire’s top tips for improving your health in 2020

Quality Sleep and Fresh Air

A good night’s sleep is essential for the body to repair and replenish itself. Getting the recommended 8 hours sleep helps to reduce stress, regulate blood sugar levels, and aids efficient cognitive performance throughout the day. Ways to improve sleep quality include:

Daily exercise – even taking ten minutes to walk outside every day and breathe deeply and slowly helps increase the amount of time spent in deep sleep, which is crucial for cell regeneration. Tailoring your sleep environment – you are more likely to feel relaxed and ready for sleep if you associate your bedroom with restfulness. Avoid activities such as working or watching television in the bedroom.

Limit screen time – the light from our phones or tablets stimulates wakefulness. In the age of smartphones, we need a chance to switch off. The current technological advances mean that we are constantly accessible, even while we are sleeping! Avoiding screens for 30 minutes before bedtime and placing devices in a separate room (or even out of-reach and shutting off notifications) provides a necessary safe space in which to switch off and rest. Our brains need signals to prompt and reinforce desirable behaviours. Creating a routine before bedtime helps let your body prepare for sleep.  You could enjoy a hot bath, take some time to meditate, practice yoga or enjoy a caffeine-free herbal tea such as Aloe Blossom herbal tea (available from www.healthyincome.cc/shop).

Drink more Water

The best way to start your day is by drinking a large glass of water. Water helps to flush out toxins, aids digestion, absorption and transportation of nutrients as well as clearing the skin. Our bodies are 60% water, which needs replenishing; current advice is to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Investing in a reusable bottle and keeping it with you throughout the day is a great way to form and reinforce this habit. It also avoids the use of single-use plastics and keeps your water chilled for 12 hours.

Eat a Rainbow every day

The best nutritional advice is often the simplest; eating more fruit and vegetables boosts antioxidant levels and increases fibre and vitamin C intake. Incorporating a variety of colourful vegetables to your meals is an easy way to add more nutrients to your diet.

Eat More Gut Friendly Foods

The human body contains trillions of good bacteria which form the microbiome: a crucial part of our health which helps control our moods, the types of foods we crave, immune function and digestion. These bacteria are most densely populated in our gut and a healthy balance of guy bacteria is crucial for good health. What we eat and drink affects our microbiome and therefore overall health for the better or worse. Here are a few simple dietary changes to help the balance:

Eating natural bio yoghurts containing live cultures increases the friendly bacteria in your gut. Cheese, especially cottage cheese and mozzarella is a great gut friendly option. Fermented foods are a great dairy free alternative to support your gut’s microbiome. Tasty examples of these include kimchi (fermented vegetables), pickles, sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kombucha (fermented tea) and miso. My favourite is Miso which is made by fermenting soy beans. A good way to have Miso is in soups (sachets are available in most supermarkets) or as a delicious marinade for oil rich fish such as salmon. Drinking quality aloe vera every day. Aloe cleanses the gut, and replenishes the body with vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. A variety of flavours are available at www.healthyincome.cc/shop

Try a Cleanse to Reset Your Gut

After over-indulging at Christmas with lots of delicious but gut-unbalancing food and drink, a cleanse is a great way to replenish your micobiome and refocus on your health. My favourite is the C9 which is a 9 day programme using the cleansing properties of pure aloe vera. It involves daily aloe, protein shakes, supplements and a 600 calorie healthy meal. I find this programme a great way to reset my gut after overindulging and to kick-start the new year prioritising my own sense of wellbeing, usually losing 2-4kg in the process. You can order a C9 from www.healthyincome.cc/fit

Here’s to a Healthy 2020 for all our Darling readers!

To find out more contact Claire via email: claire@healthyincome.cc or text: 07802 411587. Free delivery in the UK