The Wellbeing Tips Our Founder Nicola Elliott Has Learnt This Month

From eating more herbs and prioritising probiotics to the book she just can't put down, here's the latest...

The Wellbeing Tips Our Founder Nicola Elliott Has Learnt This Month

I love to keep my finger on the pulse when it comes to wellbeing tips, tricks and trends and am always speaking to experts, scrolling Instagram and TikTok, reading books and listening to podcasts. If you've been following me over on Instagram, I'll often share some of my favourite musings, but here I delve a little deeper into the things that have caught my attention this month...

1. Eat More Herbs

If you've followed me for a while, you'll know I live by the 80/20 rule with most things but especially when it comes to my diet. I try to get as much goodness in as possible and then not sweat about the treating myself to the things I fancy. A small but mighty addition, I didn't actually know just how great herbs were.

"Herbs are one of nature's superfoods, often having a very high concentration of goodness like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - compared to other vegetables by weight," says Alice Mackintosh, Nutritional Therapist and Co-Founder of supplement brand Equi London. "They also contains a wealth of phyto-chemicals that are often totally unique to each individual herb. Oregano is rich in compounds that are fantastic for the immune system and gut, coriander helps to remove toxins from the body, whilst thyme is one of the most powerful natural anti-histamine’s. I’m also a big lover of rosemary as recent research has shown it contains flavonoids that support our brain and memory," she adds.

Top tip: I've been chopping up lots of fresh herbs and freezing them in ice cubes with some olive oil. Not only does it mean less waste but they make a readymade and tasty base for most dishes.

2. Invest In (And Stick With) A Good Probiotic

It does seem like everyone's talking about probiotics at the moment and like with most supplements, it can be pretty overwhelming to know which to go for. I had a good stint with Symprove a few years ago but have picked it back up again lately as there really are so many benefits to looking after your gut health.

3. Calm Your Nervous System By Getting Outside

I've always been a big advocate of getting some fresh air and it's something I do everyday. Not only is doing it in the morning great for helping to regulate your circadian rhythm which is fantastic for better sleep, but it can also help to calm your nervous system to help with feelings of stress too.

"There are so many benefits of being in nature," says Chartered Psychologist, Suzy Reading. "First up, it helps to facilitate the experience of panoramic gaze (watching the trees moving is the distance for example) which is the opposite of narrow focal vision that we get from looking at ours screens. Look for the horizon and take it all in... this can be deeply soothing for the nervous system. Another mental health benefit from exposure to daylight is that when sunlight enters the eye, it affects parts of the retina that trigger the production of serotonin - our happy hormone. This therefore helps boost our mood AND helps us to feel calmer," she adds.

4. Eat Your Veggies Before Your Meal To Help Reduce Glucose Spikes

Another thing that seems to be flooding my feed at the moment is talk of glucose and blood sugar spikes. Whilst I take most things which a pinch of salt and try not to obsess over things, Eleanor Hoath (Nutritionist and Healf's Editor) did explain that a quick and easy way to keep on top of this is by a few small tweaks here and there... like the order in which you eat your food. Yup - eating your veggies before the rest of your meal has been said to help reduce the rise in blood sugar.

"There are multiple benefits to eating your veggies first both from a blood sugar and digestive health perspective," says Eleanor. "The fibre content of the leafy greens acts as a fibre-rich buffer in the digestive tract which helps to slow down the digestion and release of energy and sugar into the blood stream. This then helps to slow down (and reduce) blood sugar spikes. From a digestive perspective, I tend to advise my clients to start meals with a leaf salad - igniting that digestive fire for a happy and healthy digestion. This is one of my go-to tricks with my clients who suffer with post-meal bloating or discomfort. Rocket, watercress and radish salads for the win."

5. Read Anxiety Josh's New Book

I'm a big fan of Anxiety Josh - his content is always realistic, relatable and easy to implement and I urge anyone who suffers with anxiety to give him a follow. His latest book 'And How Does That Make You Feel?: everything you (n)ever wanted to know about therapy' has been one I just cannot put down. It depicts the journey of four patients but from his perspective... as a therapist. It's a real emotional rollercoaster and will leave you feeling enlightened but also entertained. I won't spoil it too much but there are some really great practical takeaways that anyone's mental health could benefit from.

For more wellbeing tips and advice, check out my book - The Four Ways To Wellbeing or follow me - @nicolaelliottneom.

You may also like - Six Things Our Founder Nicola Does To Find Her Feel Good and Five Takeaways From Our Founder's NEW Book.