Monthly Archives: January 2022

  1. How to help boost your immunity this year

    How to help boost your immunity this year

    Now that we are in to 2022, we all have hopes for a positive year that will bring us happiness and wellbeing. A good immune system is so important for good health and trying to live a healthier lifestyle will help give this a boost.

    We all know that It’s not always easy to stick to our good intentions – and sometimes it can be hard! However, there are some easy changes to make that will help support our own health and that of our family. We’ve come up with a few tips.

    Spend more time outside…

    Vitamin D is essential for helping our immune systems to function and we can get some of this from a small number of foods, such as oily fish. However, it is also created by our body when we are outside. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, the UVB rays interact with a protein called 7-DHC in our skin, converting it into vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D. From late March to early October, we can make enough vitamin D from being out in the sun daily for a short period with our forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered. Obviously, as the sun gets warmer throughout the year, make sure you don’t expose your skin for too long without the protection of a good sun cream - and always take extra care with children’s delicate skin. For the winter months, when our bodies can’t make as much vitamin D by being outside, check with your pharmacist or health shop to see what vitamin D supplements they advise.

    ‘Me’ Time…

    It’s important that we are kind to ourselves because it is a well-known fact that stress can affect the efficiency of our immune system. The everyday stresses of work and busy family lives often don’t leave us much time to relax and do something that makes us feel calmer – but it’s so important that we make the time and not feel guilty about it. So, take time out for that long, relaxing bath in luxurious natural bath oils, book yourself a massage or have an early night with a good book.

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  2. Why we have been snuggling into duvets for 5000 years

    Why we have been snuggling into duvets for 5000 years

    Duvets have been around a lot longer than most of us realise. This is probably because it took a while for them to become popular in the UK and they have been through various transformations throughout their history.

    Some archaeological digs have suggested that an early form of duvet was used in China, as far back as 3,000BCE. In Ancient Rome, patrician Romans used both blankets and quilts on their beds (lecti cubicidates) but the first documented use of a duvet dates back to the Viking era. Many of the largest and most richly equipped Viking burial mounds discovered contained beds with several types of bird feathers and down from pillows and duvets. This has included down from the Eider duck and feathers from the Eurasian Eagle Owl, the largest owl in northern Europe. The luxury of owning a pillow and duvet was reserved for the wealthiest in Norse society.

    In the mid 18th century, Thomas Nugent, an Englishman on a tour of Europe, passed through Germany and remarked that there was one very peculiar thing about the people there: “They do not cover themselves with bed-clothes but lay one feather bed over and another under. This is comfortable enough in winter, but how can they bear their feather-beds over them in summer, as is generally practised, I cannot conceive.”  Of course, if they had used wool then this wouldn’t have been so surprising perhaps… but more on that later!

    By the early to mid 1800s, eiderdowns were popular with affluent Victorians and continued to be so until well into the 20th century. These tend to be heavier than duvets and balance on top of the bed, without any overhang. They were used to add warmth to sheets and blankets in the coldest months, and older generations in the UK today will remember these still being popular in their childhood. In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy story ‘The Princess and the Pea’ (published in 1835), the princess has to lie on 10 eiderdown quilts to avoid being b

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