Your guide to identifying fake artwork

When you are looking to buy a painting either online or from a dealer, it can sometimes be difficult to know if the piece is 100% genuine. Unfortunately, authenticating art isn’t an exact science so plenty of convincing forgeries can slip through the net, but there are some basic checks you can make.

Dealing with thousands of years of forgeries
Even if the dealer you use is a trustworthy source, this will not guarantee authenticity. Art forgery spans right back to before the Renaissance and many high-profile artists including Picasso, Dali and Matisse have all fallen victim over the 20th century alone. The marks and signatures used to accredit an artist to a painting have been forged countless times and these works have often been wrongly authenticated and passed through the market.

Even the likes of Michelangelo conducted his own dodgy dealings, forging a Roman sculpture by creating his own from marble, breaking it, burying it in his garden and then digging it back up again. Luckily, once the owner of the piece realised it was a fake, the dealer was happy to take it back and resell it as a Michelangelo original.

Watch out for false accreditations
While a painting may be in the style of Rembrandt, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is an authentic piece. While most art dealers are resolutely honest about the pieces they hold, there are some dealers – often those who operate online – who will attempt to pass off work by lesser known artists as something more sought after.

Usually they will attempt to attribute the piece to the artist by marking the artist’s name and date of completion on the piece itself. You can often catch out forged works due to the date not marrying up to the artist’s own timeline. In some circumstances the date that the piece was created was long after the artists had passed away. Or a painting of a particular location may be dated long before the artist even stepped foot there.

Ask for the supporting documentation
Most art dealers don’t conduct forensic investigations of valuable artwork, which means the credibility of the piece is based on the seller’s word along with any supplementary evidence. It’s a legal requirement for dealers to prove that they had good faith the piece was genuine, and you have every right to see this when striking up a deal. The dealer might have a whole host of documentation available in the form of contracts, archival references and receipts. In this case, you can be more certain that you’re investing in the real deal. 

Bear in mind that provenance documentation can too be forged or taken from another item. Be weary of documentation which cannot be backed up by further evidence. For example, if the painting has been displayed solely at galleries you have never heard of and are ‘no longer in business’ this should ring alarm bells.

Examine the front and back
When determining if a piece of art is original, make sure to look at the finer details. Look out for staple holes which wouldn’t align to an older piece, or evidence of manufactured ageing techniques. Often to make artwork look older, forgers may dab pieces with a teabag or spray the surface with nicotine, both of which you could even smell if you come up close.

If a piece is genuine, the aging should be consistent throughout. If it only looks aged in certain areas this could be a sign of forgery. Turn it over and look at the back, does the back of the canvas look relatively new while the painting is over 100 years’ old? Or is it littered with auction labels and owner stamps? These signs could go a long way to discrediting or authenticating your piece.

Hand it over to the experts
Before you spend big money on a piece of art, your best port of call would be to call in the experts to conduct a thorough review of the painting. Here they will analyse the painting in great detail, using UV lighting techniques, x-rays and more to determine its credibility. Using the latest technology, experts can determine the exact materials which have been used to create the piece and whether these are consistent with the alleged date of the painting.

If you collect or sell high-value art, it's vital to ensure you have the right insurance in place to protect the value of your collection. At Paterson Insurance Brokers we specialist in finding tailored cover for fine art, as well as high value antiques and jewellery. To speak to a member of our team, call us on 0113 8314024. 

How will technology affect your home insurance?

Even the most basic of homes are being upgraded, refitted and kitted out with smart technology to enhance our daily lives when in the home. The Internet of Things (IoT) plans to make the integration and usage of these advanced devices simple and seamless.

What does it mean for our home insurance though? And how might it affect insurers? We find out below.

New technology

‘Connected homes’ are nothing new. As with every industry, sector and way of life, technology shapes what we do, how we do it and how it can be improved. It’s this search for improvement that encourages a better, more advanced technological world.

Physical safety has always been on our minds, which is why new technology enabling you to see who knocks on your door when you’re out has seen a huge surge in demand. Other security devices, including smart alarms and smart camera footage, means that would-be criminals face more deterrents and a higher chance of being recorded if they go ahead with the crime.

Of course, environmental change is fuelling the technological advancements in the home, too. Smart meters are already commonplace, and smart water systems and other energy tracking and management devices are in development to help give us more control over our energy usage.

These devices don’t only provide us with a greater sense of control over our effect on the planet either. It also means that some of the common ways homes could suffer an accident—burst pipes, water damage, fire hazards—are being reduced or eradicated entirely.

How do we benefit?

Aside from providing more control to our environmental efforts and a greater sense of protection, smart technology will almost certainly result in fewer claims and, consequently, cheaper premiums. Aviva found that escaping water, storm damage, theft and floods were the biggest causes of home insurance claims, and all of these are being targeted by intelligent technology.

Do insurers benefit?

Ultimately, smart home technology and IoT is expected to decrease claims and reduce premiums. Whilst old-school insurers need to be ready for the change—and the implementations of the change—other insurers are already on the ball in anticipation and some are planning on providing incoming weather warnings to their customers.

Are there any downsides?

Naturally, smart home technology has its pitfalls. One issue is the simple cost of the technology itself. Whilst these devices may reduce the cost of other risks, what happens if the devices are damaged, lost or stolen?

What’s more, this level of technology usually requires an ample amount of data. Data privacy is a constant source of attention in recent years, and people of all generations will no doubt be discouraged by the data breach that could occur.

What about the future of the future of smart homes?

With home assistants already a thing in the home, the next step is surely physical home assistants. In theory, a home assistant could remove valuable assets from your home during a fire or warn you of a break-in during the night as we become more reliant on robotics. Sounds scary, right?

Thrill seekers abroad – insuring your adventure break

The majority of travel policies won’t cover activities that could be considered dangerous due to the increased level of risk involved. Here’s what you should think about when planning an adventure break.

1) Check if all activities are included under your existing insurance plan
If you have a multi-trip/annual policy in place, you will need to check if the activities you’re planning are covered. Otherwise, you may need to pay extortionate medical expenses out of your own pocket.  If you’re arranging a new travel policy, ensure you make your broker/insurer aware of the full scale of any activities you’re planning.

2) Don’t rely on credit card or cruise insurance
The cover you get with credit cards and cruise insurance won’t usually apply to adventure activities. You may find that even if your cruise arranges an activity, you won’t necessarily be covered if you suffer an accident or injury whilst participating in it. In general, only travel insurance agencies can provide additional cover for activities with a higher risk level.

3) Arrange cover for any equipment you bring
If you’re going on a trip which requires bringing your own equipment, make sure it’s protected. Professional equipment can be expensive and won’t generally be covered by a standard travel policy but they may offer additional sports equipment protection. Additionally, you may be covered by personal property protection and your home insurance for high-value equipment.

4) Check your medical cover
Your medical cover needs to provide sufficient cover to pay for the full cost of medical protection in an emergency. Consider seeking additional cover for medical evacuation, which ensures your travel insurance will arrange, coordinate and cover the cost of an evacuation and fly you home after.

Contact Paterson Insurance Brokers today to find out how we can help you get insured for your next big adventure.

Fishy Business – Are you ‘fin’sured against ornamental fish theft?

Certain species of fish are increasingly becoming a target for thieves due to their hefty price tag, accessibility and lack of traceability. Such a theft can be distressing for their owners. Monetary value aside, they’re often considered beloved family pets and may have been bred in the family for decades.

The focus of theft appears to be on koi carp, of which the finest grade of the species can be worth up to many thousands of pounds. These are usually kept in large garden ponds leaving them more vulnerable to theft than animals kept indoors.

Intrusive methods
Thieves use Google Earth to find homes with large fish ponds with the potential to house these high-value fish. They have also been known to use drone technology to get a closer look, a practice which is currently mostly unregulated. Garden centres are frequently targeted and in 2017, Squire’s Bagshot Lea garden centre in Surrey lost £7,500 worth of fish during a theft, including 10 koi carp and a sturgeon.

Protecting your fish
Review the security of your gardens and surrounding areas. It’s worth investing in physical measures such as high fences, secure gates and high-grade locks. You might consider CCTV security which can be easily managed through your mobile or tablet device, and motion activated security light to deter thieves.  Putting these measures in place will also serve towards protecting the rest of your garden and outbuildings following a break-in.

For some ponds, you may want to fit a grille over the pond to protect your fish whilst you’re away from home, however, this isn’t a frequently utilised option.

You may consider microchipping your fish so that if police do uncover them, they can identify them and return them to you. It’s also wise to take pictures of your individual fish so that if they are found, they can be identified by their distinct markings. If your fish have been stolen, you can also request that other keepers keep an eye out on social media in case they pop up for sale in the following weeks.

Following a theft, think about contacting your local koi clubs, rescue groups and local pet stores to check that they haven’t come across your stolen fish.

Damaged equipment
During break-ins, expensive equipment is often damaged in the process. The pond filter itself can cost as much as £3000, not including the cost of installation and repairing any damage to the pond itself. The ponds can also house heaters, aerators, thermal lining and more – all of which are subject to damage during a theft.

Paterson Insurance Brokers can ensure that you’re covered against this damage so that following a break-in, you’re able to get your pond back to a useable condition as soon as possible. We can also look into arranging a specialist policy to cover the financial cost of replacing your fish.  Just give us a call on 0113 8314024 to see how we can help.

Are house fires more common in a heatwave?

This summer, the UK has experienced unprecedented levels of heat, seeing the hottest ever temperature of 40.2C recorded at Heathrow. This, along with significantly reduced rainfall, has caused a draught to be declared in many areas of the country, along with crop failures, wildfires, power outages and transport issues.

As a result of these record-breaking temperatures, individuals and businesses are starting to see new risks emerging that weren’t on their radar before, including an increased risk of fires in their buildings, subsidence and even theft. With scientists predicting that the frequency and severity of extreme weather will increase in the coming years, action needs to be taken now to educate people on the increased risks that they face in the summer months.

Increased fire risk in a heatwave

In usual circumstances, domestic fires peak in the winter months when people use fuel-burning devices in their homes. However, the summer months aren’t without risk – with the number of incidents relating to garden fires steadily rising over recent years. As we experience hotter and more extreme temperatures, the risk of a house fire increases, and may occur in areas you don’t expect.

We can see this in the Wennington fires, occurring on the hottest day in the UK, which tore through 40 hectares of grassland, farm buildings, houses and garages – forcing 90 families to evacuate their homes. This was thought to have occurred when a compost pile spontaneously combusted and caused London Fire Brigade to declare a major incident.

Where there’s smoke…

Did you know that you can cut the chance of dying in a house fire by 50% just by installing a working smoke alarm? Yet 10% of British households still don’t have working alarms in place.

Many local fire brigades will carry out free inspections of your home to check for hazards and offer advice. They will check your smoke alarms are in the right locations and install any extra alarms if required. The eligibility criteria for smoke alarm installation varies from region to region, but the advice on its own can be a lifesaver, nonetheless. If you’re not eligible for a free smoke alarm, you can obtain these cheaply from DIY stores and supermarkets. They will also run through a checklist to determine the risk level of your home and what measures you can take to reduce it.

What you can do to stay safe

We take a look at some areas you should consider to reduce the risk of a fire in your home during a heatwave.

  • Keep technology out of direct sunlight
  • Keep reflective items out of direct sunlight including mirrors, glass and crystals
  • Do not leave charging devices under soft furnishings
  • Avoid overloading plug sockets
  • Clean fans out regularly to avoid dust build-up
  • Don’t leave tumble dryers on overnight
  • Regularly clean lint out of tumble dryers
  • Be extra cautious when charging Vape batteries as these carry more of a fire risk than smoking
  • Close curtains on windows that face the sun during the day
  • Regularly discard combustible rubbish, including garden waste and cardboard
  • Discard cigarettes in suitable ashtrays
  • Position barbeques on a flat sturdy surface, far away from combustibles
  • Never light a BBQ in an enclosed space

Does Home Insurance cover fire damage?

While most Home Insurance policies do account for fire damage, the amount that will be covered is judged by your individual policy. To get this right, it’s important that you accurately value the rebuild cost of your home, as well as the full value of your contents. If you underestimate this figure, you could be underinsured and at a loss should the worst happen. At Paterson Insurance Brokers, we can talk you through everything you need to know so you know exactly what is and what isn’t covered. For a no-obligation chat, just get in touch on 0113 8314024.

Will Thailand make travel insurance compulsory?

Thailand’s Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) has put forward legislation which means travel insurance would be mandatory for all visitors to the country. It is now awaiting approval from the country’s Tourism and Sports Ministry before being sent to cabinet. We take a look at some of your burning questions pending the decision.

Why is it being considered? 
This legislation has been put forward following a series of tragedies affecting tourists in Thailand. In 2018, a boat accident killed 47 Chinese tourists off the coast of Phuket and in December of the same year, their highways were again highlighted as ‘the most lethal in south-east Asia’ when a record number of road-related deaths were recorded. In 2015 there was a 54% increase in tourist deaths in the country and in 2018 the foreign office warned of a high terror threat in the country.

It is hoped this new ruling will encourage tourists to continue to visit Thailand by reassuring them they will always have financial protection in place.

When will it come into force?
All going to plan, it is anticipated that this legislation will come into force later this year.

How much will it cost?
The compulsory cover comes at a nominal fee of 52p – or 20-baht – which will be paid by travellers at the airport. This premium will go toward funding insurance pay-outs made following the rollout of the legislation.   

What will it cover me for? 
Once a tourist has purchased this insurance, they will be covered in the event of death up to the amount of £26,000 or 1m baht.

What will happen if I don’t take it out?
As the fee is paid at the airport upon entering Thailand, it seems that taking out this insurance will be a pre-requisite before leaving the airport.

Is this the only insurance I will need?
As the purpose of this policy is to cover tourists in the event of death, you should consider taking out further travel insurance to account for other factors. Nel Mooy, head of travel insurance at Axa reinforces this sentiment, warning tourists not to rely on this cover alone when travelling into Thailand. The policy doesn’t account for accident or illness and won’t protect travellers leading up to their trip.

Wherever you’re travelling to this year, it’s worth your while finding an insurance policy that suits you and the nature of your trip. At Paterson Insurance Brokers, our friendly team can help you get covered for high-risk activities, cancellation, medical expenses and much more, so you can travel with back-up in place. Should you need it, we will also help you with making a claim. 

How to make the most of your lunchtime workout

We’ve all fallen victim to lunch al desko from time to time when we have a lot to do, but don’t let this become part of your daily routine. 

Avoiding taking regular breaks at work can not only be detrimental to your physical health, but also to your mental wellbeing. Try tearing your eyes away from the computer screen and take some time out for yourself over your lunch hour. This will not only help you rack up some steps on your step counter, but it can also increase your ability to concentrate and get the most out of your work performance.

Let’s look at some ideal lunchtime workouts you can do to get you motivated.

  • Go for a walk

Walking regularly can reduce your risk of a stroke and heart disease by helping to regulate blood pressure. Don’t worry if it’s just a quick stroll around the building, as scientists at Essex University found that our emotional wellbeing is boosted significantly with as little as five minutes of outdoor exercise.

  • Find a gym that’s close to work

If you have a gym either in or close to your workplace, lunchtime is a great opportunity to fit in a quick workout. If you find it’s usually busy over the lunch period, why not try bodyweight workouts on a mat? This way, you don’t need to wait around for equipment. HIIT training classes are also a great way to get an effective workout in a short space of time. 

  • Get running

With the right preparation, taking a lunchtime run is a great way to release endorphins and crank up some energy for the remainder of your day at work.  If your office doesn’t have a shower, freshen up with a flannel and a small towel. Finish off with a quick spritz of deodorant and voila! 

  • Find a staircase

OK, we’re not suggesting you do this in your busy workplace staircase, but if you can find a quieter area in your building or even park steps, a staircase workout is an ideal way to work up a sweat over your lunch period. Combine running, walking and lunging up and down the stairs to optimise your workout. 

  • Seek out classes

Sometimes your work will offer classes over lunch or discounts for popular classes nearby. Classes such as Pilates and yoga can help strengthen both your body and your mind, giving you some much needed time to recharge before you return to work. 

Does your place of work encourage lunchtime activity? Or is there a culture of desk dining? With over 55% of UK workers choosing to eat their lunch at their desks, something needs to give. Research shows that not taking lunch away from your desk can lead to increased stress, a lack of productivity in the afternoon and overall frustration.

What can businesses do? 

With physically active employees shown to take 27% less sick days than non-active employees, it’s worth making changes to encourage employees to get up and out on their lunch break. Try offering a company discount for your local gym, hold lunchtime classes in any unused areas of the building or advertise any nearby classes on your intranet. You could also launch an incentive such as a competition to see which colleague can rack up the most steps in a day or raise money for charity through different lunchtime activities. 

A healthy workplace is a productive workplace and as a business owner, you can encourage the required changes necessary to ensure your employees remain healthy and happy. Similarly, if you haven’t already got health insurance for your employees, this may be something you want to consider. To talk about your options, give our friendly team a call on 0113 8314024.

How to switch off as a small business owner

According to a study conducted by Simply Business, almost half of small business owners cancel social plans at least once a week because they are too busy with work-related matters and 25% have fallen ill due to stress and overwork. As a small business owner, it can be easy to fall into the trap of being stuck in ‘work mode’ but it’s important to look after yourself to avoid an inevitable burn out. We take a look at some tips that may help you reach a happy equilibrium between your work and personal life.

Take a techno-free hour
Set aside an hour of every evening to turn off your phone and any other technology where you can truly take time out for yourself without any distractions. Don’t be tempted to sit and scroll through social media and pass that off as downtime, either. It will be all too tempting to check your emails or pick up a message.

Keep doing what you love
Whether it’s spending time with your family, taking long walks, playing sports or something else, it’s important to make time for your hobbies and interests as a small business owner. While it may be difficult in the first few years of operation to take extended time off, there’s no reason why you can’t take an extended lunch break with your friend or enjoy a quiet afternoon walking the dog. It’s easy to forgo these things for a seemingly endless list of tasks to complete but with good timekeeping and prioritisation, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. 

Build a support network
Running a small business can sometimes be incredibly isolating, and that’s not just for those who work alone. It can be difficult if you have nobody to work through challenges with or bounce ideas off. To tackle this, there are many networks of small businesses across the UK where you can network with other like-minded entrepreneurs and build up your list of industry contacts. Try to schedule in a meeting at least once a week with a mentor, a close friend or relative, no matter how informal, to get any worries off your chest.

Schedule your day
While many believe that setting your own hours is a major perk of being a business owner, it can prove detrimental to your mental health if not done effectively. Schedule your day with set times to wake up, have lunch and clock out for the day. Within your schedule, don’t forget to take time out, whether that’s in your lunch break or through a series of small, regular breaks. If you work from home, you have the added benefit of playing to your strengths. If you’re not a morning person, push your working schedule into the afternoon and use the morning to kick back and look after yourself.

Avoid overburdening your schedule
It can be tempting to want to take on anything and everything when you’re running your own business because at the end of the day, who can do it better than you? Yet one of the key skills of effective management is effective delegation. Consider at what you’re doing now and decide what it is that only you can do and what you can outsource or delegate to others. This will free up your time to work on important tasks and make some time for yourself.

If you’re worried about your insurance and feel overwhelmed at the number of options available to you, Paterson Insurance Brokers are here to help. After having a chat with you to find out the nature of your business and what you need from your cover, we will find a policy that meets your unique requirements. We won’t bombard you with jargon or brush over the small print. We’ll talk you through exactly what you need to know so you can focus on growing your business. Call us on 0113 8314024 to book your free insurance review. 

Holiday home insurance: Q&A

Owning a second home is a multi-faceted venture. It can be a getaway for you and your family when Blighty gets the better of you, providing winter sun or summer shade. For business heads, house ownership is a solid investment regardless of what you plan on doing with it. You can rent it out in the meantime, or keep it unoccupied, ready for your use as and when you please.

As well-known holiday home insurance brokers, we get lots of questions on second and holiday home ownership, so have put together a little Q&A to help with the most common problems.

Q: I haven’t decided where to buy my second home yet. Does location matter?
A: Aside from being a huge factor in your decision, location can mean everything for your insurance, too. Quieter, more secluded areas often pose a smaller chance of theft and other crimes. Flood risk areas naturally pose water damage issues, but it doesn’t mean we’re not able to include this in your policy. The key aspect is to find somewhere that suits you.

Q: Do I need second home insurance? / Can’t I just buy regular home insurance?
A: Whilst some policy features may overlap between the two policies (buildings and contents), the conditions are very different. Emptiness, theft and storm damage are insurers’ primary concerns when insuring second homes. As you won’t be around, you won’t be able to quash or minimise an issue, either.

Q: What happens if I just tell my insurer that I live full-time at my second home?
A: For your own sake, you should always be honest with your insurance company. If you’re not and something happens, your insurance company may be reluctant to pay out if it is deemed you withheld the truth. In turn, this could leave you with significant shortfalls to make up and your assets could even be in jeopardy.

Q: Can I let the property out?
A: Many of our clients rent their second home out over winter, summer or even the whole year. It’s advised you consider public liability insurance. This cover can pay for legal and compensation costs if, for example, your tenant falls in your premises and injures themselves due to your negligence or omission.

Q: Can I employ somebody to check over and clean my second home every so often?
A: That’s fine. In fact, we recommend it, as it could deter would-be criminals planning a burglary. If you do employ a member of staff, however, you’ll need employers’ liability to protect you and your employee. This is a legal requirement and it can cover legal and compensation costs in an incident was due to your negligence.

Q: What are some common ways to reduce the chance of a claim?
A: Having somebody go into your property can help drastically, even if it’s simply a family member or friend. Keep the property looking ‘lived-in’, ensure gates, doors and windows are locked and secure. It’s worth checking your policy document as some insurers demand you use a specific type of key.

Q: Is there anything else I should look out for?
A: Take necessary precautions in relation to the location of your second home. For instance, if it’s very cold during the winter months, consider insulating your pipes. If there’s lots of rain, ensure drainage systems have no chance of becoming blocked. If your home is abroad and experiences unpredictable or extreme weather, try to plan for this where possible.

We have considerable experience in providing second home insurance, as well as an array of other policies, and are more than happy to answer any other query you may have.

Give us a call on 0113 8314024 to speak with one of our team.

Love your liver

The importance of looking after your liver

This blog has been created in collaboration with Usay Compare, a top Private Health Insurance comparison service. You can find the original blog here.

The third leading cause of premature death in the UK is liver disease with a staggering 90% of liver disease being preventable. That’s right, 90% is preventable, or in other words the majority of liver disease can be avoided but do you know what the preventable causes are outside of alcohol? Why is the health of your liver so important? What lifestyle changes can you make to look after your liver and prevent liver disease?

We will be exploring healthy eating, exercise, and reducing alcohol intake to help you put practical steps in place to look after your liver. We have shared tips and guides in this blog post around lifestyle choices to look after your liver and keep your overall health in check.

Why is your liver health so important?

You may be surprised to learn that your liver has over 500 vital functions. This includes carrying out important jobs such as processing digested food and controlling fats and glucose in the blood. It also carries out less well-known, but still extremely important jobs, such as helping to combat infections by destroying bad bacteria. The liver plays a big part in keeping infections at bay, providing the body with vital energy, and storing essential vitamins and iron. This is just to name a few!

You may be aware that the liver can be forgiving in that it has the capacity to regenerate itself after damage has taken place. But that doesn't mean it can withstand endless damage and there comes a point where there is a limit to the damage it can endure. Diseases and certain exposures can ultimately lead to irreversible damage which can come from fatty liver disease and alcohol-related liver disease which has a number of stages.

Getting the balance right

It is not uncommon that many of us fall back off the wagon as we fall back into old habits, lose motivation, and start to over indulge more than we should. Lifestyle changes when it comes to your diet are ultimately more sustainable, easier to keep to, and less restrictive than you may initially think.

How does a balanced diet help with the health of your liver? Getting a good balance between enough nutrients and vitamins and keeping sugar, fat, and salt to small amounts keeps the risk down of fatty liver disease developing.

What does a balanced diet look like?

5 A day: the more vegetables and fruits the merrier when it comes to getting a sufficient amount of nutrients, fibre, and vitamins that your body needs. Aiming for 5 A day is the golden number but it can be hard if you are not sure of the quantities required for one portion. How much is needed for one portion? You will need 80g of fresh, canned, or frozen fruit or vegetables which would look like two heaped tablespoons of spinach for example. Top tip: dried fruit and vegetables in convenience foods and soups all count towards your 5 A Day.

Cutting down on sugar: as well as reducing the risk of fatty liver disease it will also reduce the risk of tooth decay and obesity. It is the added (or ‘free') sugar added to food and drinks that should be avoided or cut down on. Top tip: checking food and drink labels for sugar content will help you make informed choices. If you see above 22.5g of total sugars per 100g then the sugar content is high and for low sugars, it needs to be 5g or less. In real terms, it means less alcohol, sweets, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, fizzy drinks, and sugary breakfast cereal. The NHS provides support on less sugary alternatives to your favourite foods such as cereal.

What food and drink are good for liver health?

Liver healthy food: fruits with antioxidants are great for your liver health as they help to rid free radicals which can cause disease and damage your liver. What are the best fruits for antioxidants? Grapefruit has plenty of antioxidants along with vitamin C, and blueberries and cranberries are packed full of antioxidants. What are the best vegetables for liver benefits? Cruciferous vegetables are ideal as they help to protect liver from damage which include broccoli and brussels sprouts. There are plenty of delicious recipes for brussels sprouts on the BBC good food website to add flavour to them, and healthy dessert and breakfast recipes for blueberries.

Liver healthy drink: you may be very pleased to learn that your morning cup of coffee may just provide you with health benefits for your liver. A report published by the British Liver Trust includes evidence that drinking moderate amounts of coffee is linked to the prevention of liver cancer and to reduce the risk of conditions such as fibrosis and cirrhosis. It is of course important to consume coffee alongside a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated. However, it is great news that your daily coffee may just be contributing towards good liver health.

Moving towards good liver health

Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is a key way to not only reduce levels of liver fat and ultimately disease, but helps to manage your weight and keep it at a healthy place. Added benefits include better quality sleep, brain function, and reduced anxiety and stress. Studies have linked exercise with improving fatty liver disease through decreasing fatty acid synthesis. Exercise is really important as it helps to prevent obesity which is a risk factor for liver disease.

Starting with small, manageable goals is the best way to go with exercise especially if you are starting to build it into your lifestyle. How much should you be exercising? The NHS guidelines recommends that adults should do 150 minutes of exercise in a week that includes moderate and/or vigorous intensity exercise. But what does moderate exercise look like? Brisk walking, dancing, and riding a bike all count as moderate exercise. What does vigorous exercise look like? Running, swimming, aerobics, and football all count as vigorous exercise. There are plenty of online classes available and even a short and gentle yoga class is a great place to start.

How Paterson Insurance Brokers can help keep you and your employees healthy

At Paterson Insurance Brokers, we know the private health medical industry inside and out and will work with you to find the right insurer and policy for Private Medical Cover. Want to know more? Get in touch on 0113 8314024.