Almost every woman will have cystitis (an inflammation of the bladder usually due to a bacterial infection) at least once, and about 20 per cent will get it again. The usual treatment for recurrent cystitis is antibiotics, but GPs may prefer not to prescribe them because of the risk of antibiotic resistance. North American cranberries have high levels of PACs (proanthocyanidins), which are effective at preventing the bacteria that causes cystitis from sticking to the bladder wall. Cysticlean capsules – a cranberry supplement – are now authorised to be used for the prevention and treatment of cystitis. Vita Green Cysticlean, £24.99 for 30 capsules.
Dame Gillian Lynne, 88, Director and Choreographer
Exercise is vital as you get older. Without it people don’t wear well – they get sloppy and lose their energy and willpower, and the blood doesn’t flow so well.
You don’t have to do hours daily. In my fitness DVD Longevity Through Exercise (£12.95, gillianlynne.com), there are three short segments, 60 minutes in all. I want people to stretch and feel their muscles, to breathe properly and keep their body working.
I don’t like shouty exercise DVDs. I thought it would be nice for older people to have something softer, which also explains about your muscles.
I am unusually limber for my age, because I never gave up exercising. I have had both hips replaced, one foot is held together by two screws, a spur was removed from my shoulder and I had pneumonia recently, but I would never have kept going without exercise.
I have kiwi fruit every morning – it is wonderful for the bowels. Then I make a little dish of blueberries, topped with gluten-free oats, a dab of butter and water to cover. I bake it for 20 minutes and serve it with an egg-cupful of chopped cucumber and a little cinnamon.
I follow the Hay [food-combining] diet, which is very good for me. I take a lot of vitamins including co-enzyme Q10 [for energy], pycnogenol [for heart and circulation] and oregano oil [to support the immune system].
One of the things about keeping going as long as I have is that you mustn’t say no. If someone asks me to do something I just leap in the deep end. Believe you can do it and don’t be afraid: sit on the fear by throwing yourself into it.
It’s nice to have a love in your life. There is a 27-year age gap between my husband [actor] peter land and myself. People were quite bitchy when we married, but we have just celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. We are such friends, and we are always brilliantly happy together.
I am currently re-creating the wartime ballet Miracle in the Gorbals with Birmingham Royal Ballet, which opens in October. I am very, very happy in a rehearsal room full of people that I have chosen to make a piece of theatre with.
3 OF THE BEST NATURAL SWEETNERS
Chosen by nutrition expert Patrick Holford, author of The Low-GL Diet Bible (Piatkus, £14.99*)
This liquid sugar from the agave cactus pours easily and tastes good. The glycaemic index (Gi) is under 19 but it contains 90 per cent fructose, which has been linked to obesity and heart disease. A recent meta-analysis does not support this but play safe by regarding it as a treat rather than consuming lots.
Recommended brand: Biona Organic Agave Syrup, £2.85 for 250ml, planetorganic.com
Stevia Rebaudiana (aka sweet-or sugar-leaf) is sweeter than sugar but with zero GI. Some brands leave a slightly bitter or liquorice-like aftertaste but NatVia, made from stevia leaf tips plus a natural nectar called erythritol, is a clean-tasting powder – perfect for coffee, cooking and baking.
Recommended brand: NatVia 100% Natural Sweetener Canister, £5.27 for 200g, amazon.co.uk
Extracted from corn husks or wood, xylitol tastes just like sugar but has a very low GI of eight, thus little effect on blood sugar; it is also good for teeth and bones.
Recommended brand: XyloBrit Sugar-Free natural Sweetener, £2.99 for 250g, totallynourish.com