Wellness can be a minefield. What’s good for you today might be poo-pooed by tomorrow. But here’s a quick cheat card for the latest and greatest ways to tap into your own health.
Blue light glasses
You know how you can get sore eyes when you’ve been staring at your screen for a while? Turns out, there’s a solution: blue light glasses. Essentially, these block out blue light (clue is in the name, really), which is the responsible party for digital eye strain, since this scatters more than other colours, which makes it harder to focus on your screen.
More than that, though, blue light can also mess with your sleep cycle, since it it blocks melatonin – aka the sleepy hormone – and alerts the brain. This is helpful during the day (the sun also emits the same rays, which is how our circadian rhythm works), but less helpful at night. By wearing a nifty set of blue-blockers, you essentially allow your body to become naturally drowsy. If you fancy taking it a step further, the latestest update is red filter glasses, which also block green light, another culprit in the lowering of natural melatonin. By exposing your eyes to blue and green light in the evening, you are essentially working against your body’s circadian rhythms by tricking it into thinking it is daytime. So make the switch. Thank me after your restful eight hours..
Learn more about the science behind the glasses here.
Vitamins are those things that seem to come with a ubiquitous ‘yeh I know I should’ kind of response. Personally, I have two drawers in my larder dedicated to various vitamins, supplements, etc, all at varying degrees of openness. The trouble I have with supplements essentially boils down to forgetfulness. I need something I want to take. Something that is desirable as well as necessary.
Enter edibles. Now. I’m not talking first gen gummy vits, which all had that kind of metallic, medicinal after-taste. No. These ones happily masquerade as sweeties (without the calories or sugar. USUALLY – always worth a check of the label), and I’m far more at risk of doubling up for a tasty snack than forgetting to take them. There’s science in it, too – traditional delivery methods can often be destroyed by corrosive stomach acid before the good stuff reaches our small intestine for absorption.
One of the most impressive solutions on the market at the moment is Aguulp, which uses liposomes (tiny, fat-like particles made up of two layers, similar to our own cell membranes), which liposome bind around the nutrients like a life jacket shielding their journey through the stomach delivering them directly into our cells. Each Aguulp dose is consumed like an energy gel (if you’ve ever dabbled in endurance sport, you’ll know the kind), and is individually packaged for portability.
Nourished – The pleasingly layered vitamin stack is 3D printed to my bespoke requirements, thanks to an initial questionnaire completed at the beginning of the process. Each stack is individually wrapped, which makes on-the-go supp-ing a dream.
HUM – I’ve spoken about HUM before, and my opinion hasn’t changed: they’re awesome. Their plain-talking packaging makes it easy to know exactly what you are taking, and can be taken in combination. I particularly love Glow Sweet Glow, which contains Hyaluronic acid to help skin retain moisture, and antioxidants vitamin C + E to reduce oxidative stress (the common culprit in dull skin that’s lost its radiance).
Feelgud – If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that I’ve struggled with issues like anxiety and low mood in the past. Right from the get-go, I was recommended Ashwaganda, because of it’s well-studied ability to reduce cortisol levels and support things like stress-relief, anxiety, quality of sleep, and concentration. My issue? See above: I consistently forgot to take them. But I recently stumbled upon Feelgud Ashwaganda, a highly potent gummy that offers an impressive 1500mg per serving and has a mild strawberry flavour. My daily health pick n mix is growing…
Kansha Alchemy – If you prefer your supplements in traditional form, go for ones that usurp bulking agents. Kansha Alchemy uses pure active ingredients (ie zero synthetic fillers), and are clinically developed for optimum effectiveness. I’ve been using Good Hair, which combines hair-supporting essentials like selenium, silica, zinc and biotin which contribute to the maintenance of normal hair; as well as keratin building amino acids
Lumen metabolic tracker
There has been chatter amongst the health and fitness industry about carb cycling for years, but personally I’ve always felt the concept a little confusing – how do you KNOW how much carbs you need and when to need them? Lumen offers a solution to this, by analysing what your body is using for fuel based on CO2 in your breath.
You can then use this to understand whether you are burning fat or carbs at any particular time, and adjust your nutrition accordingly. Our bodies naturally store energy as fat for times when food might be less readily available – it’s like your body’s back-up generator. Thing is, fat stores are harder for the body to convert into fuel that carbs, so when you have high amounts of cabs in your diet, your body will use these as fuel rather than burning fat, which is why it can sometimes seem as though even a very clean diet isn’t helping towards your health goals. There’s loads of science behind Lumen, and I’m only just getting started but there’s something very reassuring about finally understanding what is going on inside, and taking the guess-work out of my nutrition plan.
Infrared saunas are nothing new. But being able to experience one in a teeny tiny London flat is. MiHigh is a completely portable blanket that plugs in and heats instantly and packs away into a neat little bag (post-cleaning, obv). Put simply, infra-red heat increases blood circulation and heart rate, speeding-up oxygenation and regeneration of red blood. This means our cells get oxygen and nutrients faster, and toxins are released more efficiently. Although sauna blankets are relatively under-researched, benefits are thought to include detox, reduction in inflammation, immune system boost, and post-workout recovery.
Another little badger that’s been around a while, but again something that I’ve resisted using. Mainly because I didn’t really know what, why or how. So I did some research. What acupressure mats essentially boil down to are an at-home way of stimulating pressure-points to harness the power of accupuncture and acupressure. Benefits include pain relief, break down of toxins (it’s always a good idea to remain super hydrated afterwards, to encourage elimination of said toxins), and restoring healthy sleep cycles. Mats come in various different guises to suit specific needs (pillow, wrap, floor mat), and once you get used to initial feeling, it’s quite addictive. I tried sitting with a neck wrap, and te best way I can describe it is that complete tingly release you feel when you get a massage. One word: epic.