Editor’s picks: 5 products to help Hongkongers live an even healthier life

‘Functional’ rice, vitamin D-boosted mushrooms and alternative pasta to eat, chia seed facial oil and cologne for your skin, and a ‘best water’ filter were among hundreds of products shown at Lohas Expo

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 March, 2016, 8:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 March, 2016, 8:15am

Trends in health foods and products are arguably as fickle as fashion, and fairs such as the recent three-day Lohas Expo at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre are a great opportunity to discover what’s hot and what’s not.

About 200 exhibitors and brands from more than 25 countries and regions displayed their natural and organic wares at the city’s leading showcase for goods to foster a “lifestyle of health and sustainability”, as Lohas stands for.

Here’s our pick of the products that caught our attention.

1. Alternative pasta

Made only of beans and water, Explore Asian’s gluten-free and organic pasta is ideal for people with various dietary needs, including gluten allergy/celiac disease, vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, fitness, kosher, halal and more. The noodles, made from black bean, adzuki (red bean), soy, edamame or mung bean, cook in seven minutes, much like traditional spaghetti. But nutrition-wise, the bean pasta contains more protein and fibre, and fewer carbohydrates, than typical pasta: each 56-gram serving of cooked black bean spaghetti, for example, has 17 grams of carbs (of which 12 grams are dietary fibre) and 25 grams of protein. The same amount of regulation pasta has 43 grams of carbs (2 grams dietary fibre) and 7 grams of protein.

Available at foodforlifehk.com

2. Fun and functional rice

Unwashed white rice is coated with natural ingredients such as purple sweet potato, lotus leaf, turmeric and a red yeast called hongkuk to add not only colour but nutrition to the humble grain. Based in Busan, South Korea, BaBijoa has developed about 50 kinds of functional rice since the company started in 2010. The rice is said to be especially popular with children in Korea who do not want to eat white rice regularly.

Find out more at babijoa.co.kr

3. Chia facial oil and cologne

Chia, the minuscule seed that earned superfood status about a decade ago, is well-known for its heart-healthy benefits when eaten. Now an Australian range of personal-care products has incorporated the oil of chia seeds into facial products that are said to have good anti-ageing properties. Chia is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids – the active ingredient in the Zagati and Femi facial oils; the same stuff is good for your heart when you eat chia seeds. The manufacturer promotes the facial oils as being non-greasy and able to be absorbed very quickly into your skin. For extreme chia addicts, there’s even a cologne made of chia seed oil.

From organicmarketsdirect.com; available from organicplus.com.hk

4. Vitamin D-boosted shiitake mushrooms

A Hong Kong-based company, Excellent Food, has somehow naturally bred shiitake mushrooms to have 570 per cent more vitamin D than normal mushrooms. Just three whole mushrooms, the company claims, provide a full daily supply of vitamin D – good for people who may miss out on sunlight that triggers the natural production of vitamin D in the body.

Find out more at excellent-intl.com

5. Magnesium-added table water filter

For those worried about lead in tap water, BWT, or best water technology, is a German brand of table water filter jugs that claims to remove 97 per cent of the heavy metals in your water. It also removes copper, chlorine and other flavour-disturbing substances, and replaces the hardening mineral calcium with beneficial magnesium.

Find out more at bwt-filter.com.hk