Growing consumer demand for luxury health products has led to a new raft of designer supplements, packed with custom-made ingredients to recharge both body and brain. A couple of examples? Lyma (1) is billed as ‘the world’s first luxury super-supplement’ and created by a team of world-class nutrition scientists. It contains seven patented ingredients to boost skin and hair, improve energy, immunity, sleep and reduce stress. Lyma Starter Kit is £199 (including copper vessel), then it costs £149 for a month’s supply; net-a-porter. Developed by a micro-nutritionist with a PhD in pharmacy, beauty supplement range Aime (2) comes in French Glow, Pure Glow and Urban Glow, which can be used individually or in combination to target specific skin concerns (£30; liberfy.com). Lumify is a two-step beauty supplement, designed to target the body’s ageing processes. Users report better sleep, more energy and clear skin (£79 for a 4-week supply; lumifylife. com). Meanwhile, WelleCo has just launched the first of its Super Booster collection – wellness supplements designed to complement The Super Elixir, (£40 for a week’s supply; welleco.co.uk).
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‘Designer supplements fall into two main camps,’ says Dr Sarah Brewer, Healthspan medical director and medical nutritionist. ‘Those I’d recommend include a synergistic blend of carefully selected ingredients that target a particular aim, such as heart, brain or joint health. Those I wouldn’t recommend are the ones that combine a range of expensive ingredients that seem to be selected for their cost and exclusivity -such as just-patented ingredients – which have a more scattergun approach. These may claim, for example, to benefit stress, immunity heart and brain function, hair, skin and nails all in one go.’
Hof on the heels of high-end, healthy home-delivery services such as Detox Kitchen and Pure Package, fresh meal kits where you receive a box of pre-portioned raw ingredients along with recipe cards -are becoming increasingly popular. Brands such as Gousto, Hello Fresh and Mindful Chef fake the hassle out of planning meals, shopping and measuring ingredients and allow you to retain the pleasure and satisfaction of cooking your own Instagram-worthy dishes. And supermarkets are following suit – more are set to stock external brands and some have even launched their own-label versions, nixing the need for a subscription.
Sea greens have been steadily gaining in popularity over the past year, and this trend looks set to continue. New delicacies such as seaweed butters, kelp noodles and jerkies, plant-based tuna alternatives made from algae, and crispy snackable salmon skins rich in omega-3s will join current marine plant savouries. Look out tor Sea Chips (sea-chips.co.uk), handcrafted from salmon skin. ’We’ve been promised great things from algae, the ultimate superfood, for some time, but powdered pond water has struggled to catch on,’ says Harley Street nutritional therapist Yvonne Bishop-Weston. ‘Meanwhile, a flurry of other fish alternatives – from vegan prawns to seaweed-coated vegan “fish” fingers -have been launched by supermarkets.’ Try Waitrose’s Fishless Fingers (£3.99 for six; waifrose.com).
‘Laver – also called nori – is a type of algae that contains virtually all of the minerals found in the ocean, including iodine and iron, which are essential for many bodily functions, particularly supporting energy levels,’ says nutritionist Fiona Lawson (fionalawson. co.uk). ‘Seaweed also contains several B vitamins, such as riboflavin and pantothenic acid, which the body uses meal kits are healthy – many are higher in fats and sugars than you may like – so be discerning.’ Bishop-Weston agrees: ‘Kits are definitely a step-up from ready meals, but make sure you do your research. Some still lack nutritional density with not enough vegetables included. And while there are some fully plant-based meal kit options out there, there still aren’t enough.’
CBD oil was the go-to supplement of designed to act as a naturally calming rescue remedy to replenish body and mind after each caffeine hit. Green Goddess Wellness recently unveiled the Bliss Bar (5) – a vegan dark chocolate bar containing 10mg CBD (£3.99; greengoddesswellness.com). Even Coca-Cola is reportedly in talks with a Canadian producer about CBD-intused soft drinks to help relieve pain.
‘In theory, CBD has positive effects on reducing anxiety and can also aid digestion,’ says Walford. ‘However, it’s not easily absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract, and more than 90 per cent of that absorbed will be metabolised found in blue spirulina; and mood-lifting saffronal, found in saffron. Kajsa Ernestam, in-house dietician at Lifesum (litesum.com), explains: ‘Instead of drinking a turmeric latte, which would provide you with macronutrients of turmeric, but only a small dose of curcumin, meso-dosing 2018 – and this multi-tasking cannabis compound, said to relieve pain and anxiety, is now making in-roads into the food and drink industry, too. Last autumn saw vegan restaurant chain By Chloe showcase the hugely popular limited-edition CBD-intused range of brownies, cupcakes and cookies at its two London eateries. Hackney-based by the liver before it enters your systemic circulation and has a chance to exert any effect. So I wouldn’t rely on CBD-infused foods as a source of CBD, and would instead suggest an oil-based CBD supplement with a better chance of absorption and bioactivity. ’ Meanwhile, Johan Obel, co-founder of online CBD recommends that you take a natural curcumin supplement on a regular basis to ensure you absorb the right amount.’ Try Healthspan Opti-Turmeric (£10.99 for 30 capsules; healthspan.co.uk).
Healthy eating is no longer just about getting your macros (proteins, carbs and fats) and micros (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals). Attention has now turned to mesonutrients – the bioactive compounds found in supertoods that make them good for the immune system and health in general. Examples include anti-inflammatory curcumin, found in dosage,’ says Walford. ‘It’s hard to compare the benefits of taking a meso supplement to eating the plant it originates from, as the plant will contain other compounds that may increase the activity of the meso, or work synergistically with it. But meso quality will vary from plant to plant, depending on growing conditions and varieties. Supplements take away the guesswork and have reliable ingredients.’
Yes, mindfulness is still big news – and big turmeric; energy-boosting phycocyanin, business – and a crop of new books and diets advocate a more mindful approach to eating. In Shrink: The Diet for the Mind (Aster, £9.99), psychotherapist Philippe Tahon reveals his easy programme tor eating mindfully, intuitively and positively to banish emotional eating. Laura Holland’s Your BeUtiful Body (6) (Motivational Press, £17.95) also recommends eating ‘mindfully and with intention’. The trick is to think about what you’re eating and why you’re eating it. It sounds obvious – but as the food industry continues to bombard us with an ever-growing menu of choices, health experts are keen to bring things back to basics. Before you plan a meal or reach for a snack, pause for a moment, tune into your body and ask what it really needs to eat, then savour it slowly and without the distraction of the TV.
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