The market has gone mad for health orientated consumer products, but it’s so often that on closer inspection the product is not designed with our optimum health in mind. The other day I was inspecting a snack bar which had the word “Nature” in it. It’s second highest ingredient was sugar (and not from natural sugars). Akin to snacks, the drinks industry can be just as misleading.
Below are a collection of food and drink products that keep it simple, with carefully selected ingredients, and the majority focusing on helping us to achieve our 5 to 7-a-day. You are sure to see some familiar products here, but also some unique and interesting finds that are going to be big in 2015 and beyond. Let’s start with some drinks…
B.Fresh JuicesDirect and cold pressed from Shropshire, probably the closest product you will get to home juicing. In 8 different varieties, B.Fresh have a great vegetable to fruit ratio (we should try to have whole fruits, and juiced vegetables, remember), and have some really refreshing combinations. One of my favourites being their #leanandgreen – cucumber, kale, ginger, lemon, celery, romaine lettuce and spinach. Each juice is one of your 5 a day and the packaging is simple, clear, and highlights each juices greatest qualities (i.e. high in vitamin K etc.).
£15.00 for 6 bottles, and also available as a recurring order / subscription to provide you with your weekly fix.
Bulk Powders – Complete Fruits
Vegan friendly and GM free, Complete Fruits serves as a supplement for those (like me) that need more fruit in their diet. A unique fruit blend of 10 premium quality freeze-dried fruit powders, with one serving equating to 2 of your 5 a day. Bulk Powders also offer Complete Greens with one serving that equates to more than 5 of your 5-a-day! These products should be used in line with a healthy diet, not as a substitute. £31.99 for 100 servings (100 days if taken daily).
I would probably be considered crazy not to include some form of coconut water within my top picks of healthy drinks. Coco Mojo is my favourite of all brands out there. Deemed more beneficial than sports drinks filled with electrolytes, coconuts are everywhere right now. I like Coco Mojo’s “Soul” and “Passion” varieties as they are blended with other fruits and best of all, botanical herbs. Check their website for stockists in your area. RRP £.1.79-£1.99p each.
Leader Natural Foods – Detox Smoothie
Vegan friendly smoothie sachets also available in a Balance and an Energy variety. Full of vitamins and vegan-friendly proteins (pea, hemp etc). I concoct my own supplement shakes at home every day, which isn’t viable if I am travelling so usually have a few of these stashed in my bag for a convenient pick me up. They taste pretty lovely too- the Detox smoothie comprising mainly of pineapple, banana, and apple powders. Power foods such as spirulina, nettle leaf, and barley grass also feature in this “superfood” smoothie. Add to coconut water for an extra boost.
£1.99p each. Available at Superdrug.
Arctic Power Berries
Enjoy added to smoothies or home made juices, or alternatively sprinkled atop salads, breakfast or healthy desserts. Available in Blueberry, Cranberry, or Sea Buckthorn. Just a teaspoon of these equates to the goodness of a handful of fresh berries. Dried and powdered with nothing added. Peels and seeds included. Created by two Finnish ladies with backgrounds in nutrition, I have a feeling Arctic Power Berries will be a hit this year. I add the Blueberry to my shake at home.
£7.50 (50g). Available direct. Check their website for other stockists.
Perfect pick me ups with clear information on the packaging- highlighting if they are one of your five a day on the front with their 30g Snack Packs (dried; apple, apricots, raisins, dates, kiwi, mango and many more). How many calories each pack contains are also boldy boasted on each pack. Their range of “Shots” are also scrummy! With a huge pack of dates in front of me I find it hard to self limit with portion, but with these Snack Packs you know exactly how much you’ve had.
£0.45p Snack Packs (30g). Available from most supermarkets and online
The Primal Pantry
Founded and created by a nutritionist in her own kitchen. Primal Pantry cleverly offer the first convenience snack of it’s kind, aimed at people on the popular Paleo diet. Using organic ingredients where they can, and only 4-5 ingredients used per bar, and then cold pressed. Simplicity at it’s very best. Great packaging too. Varieties include; Almond & Cashew, Brazil Nut & Cherry, Coconut & Macadamia (my favourite), and Hazelnut & Cocoa.
£1.49p per bar- Available from Superdrug & others.Boxes of 18 available direct.
Bounce Energy Balls
Founded by a personal fitness trainer and a life coach, aiming to inspire positive change in the way people eat. I like these purely because I find them rather odd. They make a change from the traditional bar shaped product. I particularly like the Spirulina & Ginseng ball as it’s an interesting and tasty ingredient combo. All gluten free and often packed with protein power.
RRP £1.79p per ball. Stocked in most supermarkets and Holland & Barrett and online
Trek & Nakd Bars
Natural Balance Foods offer many varieties of their delicious Trek & Nakd bars. I’m pretty certain all of you reading this would have heard of either of these bars and will agree they are all delicious. Again, another product providing us with 1 of our 5 a day. Doesn’t mean you can eat five a day though! Tempting as it may be. I’ve switched to Trek recently for their higher protein content. Are there any other protein bars out there that also equate to one of your 5 a day? Nope.
Check their website directly for special offers and big boxes. http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/
£0.75p-£0.90p per bar. Available at supermarkets.
USN Diet Whey BarsWarning. These are dangerously good. More suited to those looking for a sport snack, so if you have recently taken up an exercise regime in the new year, give these a go for a protein packed guilt free snack, with only 5g of sugar per bar. The peanut butter brownie flavour is a proper sweet tooth fix. £35.99p (Box of 18).
“Cooking Food Is One Thing… Sharing Food Is Everything” – From sunny Brighton, if you love my work then you’ll love my new book ‘Food For Friends’ – Available for Apple, Android and Kindle devises from TheGayShop.co.uk – Enjoy.