January 2019 health news

Patsy Westcott and Jane Garton / 04 January 2019

The innovations, research and products you need to stay in good health.

Read it

Bury your head in a book. Reading Friends a new launch from the Reading Agency is designed to encourage us to share stories in groups or one-to-one. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, it’s great way to connect with others.


Sweet lavender

Well known for its power to relax, lavender is starting to attract the attention of scientists. A Japanese lab study reveals that sniffing linalool, a lavender compound, reduces anxiety to a similar extent to Valium. It’s early days, but this could pave the way to the medical use of linalool.

How smell affects body and mind

Time to dechox

Get sponsored to give up chocolate this February and raise money for lifesaving research for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK. You’ll be helping to improve your own heart health and supporting a good cause.


Stay warm this winter

Cold can damage your health. Enter TOM. An easy-to-read digital thermometer, it displays the temperature in numbers and words, flashing a warning if it falls too low. Perfect if you have a long-term health condition or struggle to be active. £22.99 (springchicken.co.uk)

Thumbs up for organic

People who put organic food on the menu most often have a 25% lower risk of several cancers than those who do so the least. So says a study of almost 70,000 French men and women reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.  It’s not known exactly why, but, as well as avoiding pesticides, organic food eaters tend to eat more healthily as well as being more active than non-organic eaters. Watch this space.

Try our organic recipes

Organic braised beef with horseradish dumplings

Organic pear tart

Easy as 1-2-3

The path to a healthier lifestyle starts with one small change. That’s the message of The British Society of Lifestyle Medicine. Here’s how to take the first steps:

  1. Find a trigger. Choose something you do every day like brushing your teeth
  2. Establish a new habit – a step at a time. if you want to do squats, for example, do one every time you brush your teeth
  3. Celebrate your achievement. Reward yourself every time you do it and share your success with friends.

Visit bslm.org.uk/1change/ or enter #CHANGE on Twitter and pledge to change just one thing in your life.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.