Berry good: say "cranberry" and most people think sauce or Irish rock. But this small red berry has health benefits, too. A recent US study found that elderly women who drank cranberry juice every day were 58 per cent less likely to develop a urinary tract infection than those who drank a placebo. Research suggests that cranberry may stop bacteria sticking to the bladder wall. If sugar-added cranberry juice is too calorie-loaded, try supplements instead.

Cantassium-concentrated cranberry tablets, pounds 6.95 for 60 tablets, are available from healthfood shops and (post-free) from Larkhall Green Farm, 225 Putney Bridge Road, London SW15 2PY,0181 874 1130.

Cold comfort: support stockings soaked in a special solution have a use in a cooling treatment that provides relief for tired, heavy, hot legs, and helps to improve circulation. Twelve home treatments cost - you might like to sit down at this point - pounds 131.

The Frigibas treatment is available from J-F Lazartigue outlets and by mail order, 0171 629 2250.

Salubrious salon: goodbye neck-cricking hair-washes, hello Stuart Philips Japanese reclining bed-chairs and foam-covered basins. Carefully designed overhead lighting stops the usual interrogation-style glare and makes the set-up so comfortable that the accompanying 15-minute head massage is not only bearable, but blissful.

Stuart Philips salon, 25 Monmouth Street, London WC2, 0171 379 5304.

Hope on a rope: the Nortech Speed Rope can help you to burn up to 400 calories in 30 minutes. Forget the frayed rope and slippery handles of your youth: this hi-tech version has scruff-resistant, easy-grip handles and a speed washer to make turning smooth and fast. By the way, the cool way to skip is on the spot; running round went out with scabby knees.

Nortech Speed Ropes, pounds 4.99, by mail order, 01202 840 590

Eat and be merry: Recipes for Health are a series of easy-to-follow cookbooks to help migraine, cancer and diabetes sufferers. The dishes. which include Caribbean sweet potatoes, brie and courgette soup and summer pudding, are perfect for anyone who enjoys eating well.

Recipes for Health: Migraine by Cecilia Norman, Cancer by Clare Shaw and Maureen Hunter, Diabetes by Azmina Govindi and Jill Myers, are available, pounds 5.99 each, from Thorsons.

Pasta its sell-by date: keeping pasta in glass jars may seem like the perfect finishing touch to your Mediterranean-style kitchen, but it's not so good for your health. Exposure to light can cause pasta to lose up to 80 per cent of its riboflavin content in three months. Keep those strands in a dark cupboard - or at least oil them with suntan lotion factor 25.

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