Health Features

Viva! Health unravels the most recent scientific research and makes it easy to understand. Here we update you on the latest findings...

Folate occurs naturally in some plant foods but in its synthetic form, it’s known as vitamin B9 and folic acid. It mostly tends to be talked of in relation to pregnancy but despite this, it is a vitamin vital for everyone – and many people in the UK are at risk of deficiency.  
How friendly is your gut flora – the billions of bacteria that inhabit your intestines? This is your intestinal microbiome and it helps you absorb and digest nutrients, synthesises vitamins, boosts your immune system, helps regulate metabolism and combats disease in ways that we are only just beginning to understand. Gut health has a huge influence on your overall health and when unfriendly bacteria move in, trouble soon follows.
Carbs – love them or hate them, we all need them. Despite a wealth of low-carb fad diets there’s no good reason for avoiding carbohydrates. The key is in choosing the right ones. 
Coconut oil is everywhere these days; used as a butter substitute, in baking, smoothies and in beauty treatments for moisturising skin and hair and improving oral health via oil pulling (a folk remedy where oil is swished around the mouth).