Healthy investments you should make

Susannah Hickling 8 June 2021

What can you buy that will give you the biggest health bang for your buck? Here are some of the healthiest investments you can make

Home blood pressure monitor

Someone with a home blood pressure kit

Home monitors are accurate and easy to use – get one with an arm, rather than a wrist, cuff. They allow you to keep a regular check on blood pressure without even leaving your armchair. This could lower your risk of a heart attack and prevent white coat syndrome – where your blood pressure shoots up at the sight of a medical professional and gives a higher reading. Contact your doctor if your reading is consistently high or low (between 90/60 and 120/80 is considered ideal).

Pepper grinder

Pepper grinders

Rather than filling it with pepper, load it with healthy linseeds and grind over cereal, yoghurt, soups and stews. Linseeds contain valuable phytochemicals (thought to protect cells from damage), fibre and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have also found they reduce levels of hormones associated with breast cancer.

Sunglasses

Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts and incurable age-related macular degeneration, which can cause blindness. So if you buy shades that are close-fitting – even better, wraparound – and which block out 99 per cent of damaging UVA and UVB rays, you won’t just look cool on hot days, you’ll be making a great investment in your vision.

Pair of 2 kg weights

Use them to maintain muscle mass, something we lose as we get older. They can also help to improve posture and mobility, and reduce the risk of injury. Keep your weights near you when you’re watching telly and use them during commercial breaks.

Veggie cookbook

This will give you ideas for meals that use alternatives to meat, such as lentils and beans. These are great sources of protein and soluble fibre, which can improve blood sugar, help you control your weight and lower cholesterol.

Kitchen timer

Intriguing, huh? This neat little gadget will help you eat only what you need. Set it for 30 minutes when you sit down to eat dinner, then eat slowly so that you take your last bite as the timer dings. When you’ve finished eating, set the timer again for two hours. If you’re feeling really peckish when it goes off, allow yourself some dessert. Otherwise, just congratulate yourself for your self-control!

Walking poles

Lightweight poles can help you feel more stable on uneven ground. They also encourage you to bend your elbows and use your arms as you walk, helping to provide a complete upper- and lower-body workout. You’ll burn more calories, strengthen your muscles and take the strain off your knees too. What’s not to love?

Vegetable grater

Use it to grate veg such as carrots, cabbage and celery into your meals to add volume. You’ll take in fewer calories while eating more food. An added bonus – it’s a way of hiding vegetables in casseroles and sauces for those who are none too keen!

Read more: Sexual bereavement: The grief we don't talk about

Read more: The mulling spices you need in your kitchen

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter