For quite a while I have been using a number of products sent to me by the generous Neal’s Yard Remedies, a company well-known in the UK for its organic skincare, beauty and superfood products. I’m a big fan of Neal’s Yard and regularly buy their cosmetics, so I was very excited to try some different things they make. The main things I’d like to review include one of their newer products, the Organic Greens Complex, as well as their Organic Beauty Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil. On top of that, I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of their book ‘Healing Foods’ – this has become like a bible to me and I’m absolutely in love with it, so I’ll talk about this first.
‘Healing Foods’ is a book that multiple experts from Neal’s Yard have contributed to, so for this reason it is one of the most detailed and useful nutritional resources I have read. It covers the importance of different aspects of your diet, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of different cultures’ diets, appropriate balancing of macronutrients, and the importance of adopting a diet based on natural wholefoods and supplements wherever possible. The entire book is written so that even those with no prior knowledge of nutrition can understand it, but also has a wealth of detail for anyone wanting to delve deeper into the underlying science of ingredients. For this reason it is a fantastic resource suitable for everyone and there is always something new to learn every time you open it.
The first main section of the book covers individual ingredients and their properties, ranging from fruit to grains, herbs, superfoods, and everything in between. What I loved about this section was the key at the top of each page – symbols are included to tell you what that food is particularly good for, such as heart health or good digestion. This key therefore makes it really easy to flick through and identify foods according to your specific needs. Each ingredient’s page also covers what health concerns it is suitable for, what to look for when buying it, and ideas for how to use the food in meals or your daily routine. I found this incredibly useful and so interesting to understand the deeper effects of foods on the body – I cannot recommend the book enough purely because this section is so informative!
After this, there are a few pages dedicated to each different health concern that suggest a meal plan for a day of food that will address that condition. These include ‘A Day of Women’s Health’, ‘A Day of Good Digestion’, and ‘A Day of Stress Relief’ to name just a few. Again, this was really useful to provide a starting point for anyone with specific health issues or someone just looking to feel their best.
Finally, the last main section of the book contains a huge range of recipes – the symbols for different benefits is again used here. Recipes for drinks, condiments, meals, sweet treats and more are all covered, all of which are perfect for individuals or larger parties alike. In addition, different options for certain dietary requirements are catered for, something I found very useful and accomodating when testing out recipes myself.
Overall, this book is an absolute necessity for anyone interested in learning more about the benefits of different foods, or even someone just looking for healthy recipes that not only taste good but do good too. I can’t be without it now!
As well as the book I have also been trying out three Neal’s Yard products. The first of these is their Organic Greens Complex that was launched earlier this year. The Organic Greens Complex is a powder containing various ingredients and superfoods, all designed to detoxify the body and provide essential nutrients and elements that support your health. This can be added to smoothies, stirred into sauces, sprinkled over food or even just taken with water, and I found the powdered form made it extremely versatile as I could blend it with various other ingredients and incorporate it into my daily life with no effort required.
The complex contains ingredients such as spirulina, chlorella, spinach, parsley, wheatgrass and green tea powders, plus several more, all of which provide unique benefits and are organic, vegan and a natural source of fibre and non-animal protein. Acerola cherry powder supplies Vitamin C to support the immune system, whilst the chlorella powder also encourages immune system functioning and is an effective purifier. In addition, the green tea extract promotes fat breakdown and aids metabolism, and spinach maintains the body’s alkaline balance to ensure optimal cell functioning.
I found that the powder has a pleasant subtle taste to it with slight flavours of the herbs coming through, so it was not as overwhelming as other green powders made from single ingredients such as the algae. When added to my smoothies it did not take away from the taste of the fruit at all, so I enjoyed using it a lot. I even added it to my Pea and Mint Soup here for extra goodness!
I’ll mention the Neal’s Yard Coconut Oil briefly now, although I have a much more detailed post on the general benefits of coconut oils here. The product from Neal’s Yard is completely virgin, unrefined and unbleached, so retains most of the nutritional benefits of the original product and also has a fantastic purity to it that makes it excellent for use in cooking or beauty routines. Suitable for vegans, this coconut oil never uses GM plants and has no other preservatives or additives, so is about as natural as you could wish to find. I’ve really enjoyed using it to cook with as well as baking with it, adding it into raw desserts and smearing it on my face for an all-natural moisturiser ideal for sensitive skin, and I have definitely noticed an improvement in my complexion.
The third thing I’d like to mentionis the Organic Beauty Oil, intended for internal use rather than topical use as I’d first assumed! The oils of flax, hemp, avocado and evening primrose are all combined to improve the condition of skin, hair and nails from the inside out. This is thanks to their nourishing omega fatty acids and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and carotenoids – the omega fatty acids protect your cells and encourage the repair and growth of skin and hair, whilst the antioxidants combat the damaging effects of free radicals that contribute to the aging process of the body.
Neal’s Yard recommend using the oil in a variety of ways: simply take it from the spoon, use it in salad dressings, soups or smoothies or drizzle it over pasta and rice dishes. I do take this from the spoon but find that it leaves my mouth feeling slightly oily, so my favourite way to add this beneficial product into my diet is to mix it with some herbs or spices to make a simple salad or pasta dressing. I really enjoy using it in this way, partly because it is so easy and pleasant but also because I know the world of good that it is doing for my body. I also added it into my recipe for Frozen Soygurt ‘Brittle’ here as a sweeter alternative that is equally healthy. I’d recommend this particularly to those people struggling to get their hair or skin in good condition as a great way to complement external treatments, as well as for people that find it difficult to include sufficient levels of these healthy fats and omegas in their daily meals.
As always, Neal’s Yard certainly delivered with all of these products. The company always strives to source ingredients of the highest quality and this is apparent in all those I reviewed here. They also sell a large variety of other superfoods and supplements such as chia seeds, hemp powders and herbs that I sampled some of and was very happy with – I will definitely continue to buy those I’ve tried and can’t recommend this company enough to anyone who will listen. If you only buy one thing, I’d definitely recommend their book as an ideal gift for yourself or a friend, it is fantastic. Thank you Neal’s Yard!
To find more information or buy any of these products, visit nealsyardremedies.com