Superfood schizandra berries loved by Gwyneth Paltrow

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Schizandra berries are red and look a little like redcurrants but they are mostly ground down into a powder. Its name translated from Chinese means the five flavour berry because they are said to have the five flavours of salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and pungent or spicy


You may not have heard of the latest obscure superfood loved by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, but that’s all about to change.

Native to Asia and North America, red schizandra berries are the latest ingredient to be vaunted for their health benefits – and they’re set to take the UK by storm.

Consumed in powder form, these berries are stirred into smoothies and are said to help reduce muscle aches and pains, make you feel less tired and even make you more focused at work.

The Oscar-winning actress turned wellness guru Gwyneth Paltrow was revealed as a fan when she shared a recipe for her breakfast smoothie on her Goop website, and told how she liberally sprinkles it with Moon Dust – or Sex Dust – a ‘botanical blend’ that contains the powdered berries. 

But leading Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert has warned health fanatics to take the claims with a pinch of salt – as she said there is no one food that can truly transform health.

Schizandra berries are red and look a little like redcurrants but they are mostly ground down into a powder. Its name translated from Chinese means the five flavour berry because they are said to have the five flavours of salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and pungent or spicy

Schizandra berries are red and look a little like redcurrants but they are mostly ground down into a powder. Its name translated from Chinese means the five flavour berry because they are said to have the five flavours of salty, sour, sweet, bitter, and pungent or spicy

Schizandra berries have been used for thousands of years in Asian medicine to make the skin glow, to cleanse the liver, to improve the power of the brain and to reduce stress.

It’s also claimed the fruit will help reduce muscle aches and pains as it can improve blood oxygenation.

There are also experts who say the berries can help you feel more energised and recover faster after exercise.

Goop founder Gwyneth is among the high-profile health fanatics that consume the berries in powder form regularly.

Gwyneth Paltrow uses adaptogenic Moon Juice dusts in her smoothies, she has published on her wellness website Goop, one of the key ingredients of which is schizandra berries

Gwyneth Paltrow uses adaptogenic Moon Juice dusts in her smoothies, she has published on her wellness website Goop, one of the key ingredients of which is schizandra berries

The fruit are supposed to boost your energy levels and reduce muscle aches and pains

The fruit are supposed to boost your energy levels and reduce muscle aches and pains

Gwyneth Paltrow uses adaptogenic Moon Juice dusts in her smoothies, she has published on her wellness website Goop, one of the key ingredients of which is schizandra berries. The fruit are supposed to boost your energy levels and reduce muscle aches and pains

Schizandra berries are a key ingredient in her famous smoothies, as they are included in pots of adaptogenic Moon Juice ‘Sex Dust’ which was ridiculed as being inaccessible a few years ago when Gwyneth touted it on her wellness blog.

But while pots of Sex Dust cost $60 a pot, the berries are now coming to the UK at much more affordable prices.

Holland and Barrett sells a packet of Schizandra Berry Extract Powder by Hybrid Herbs for £15.99 for 57g, which can be mixed into smoothies.

There are also new healthy energy drinks by British company Flyte, which use the berry powder as one of the natural active ingredients that claims will give the drinker a natural energy boost without a crash. 

You can buy the berry powder from Holland and Barrett where a 57g pouch costs £15.99. It can then be added to smoothies, teas and other foods

You can buy the berry powder from Holland and Barrett where a 57g pouch costs £15.99. It can then be added to smoothies, teas and other foods

Schizandra is also an ingredient in natural energy drinks by Flyte, which are available in red berries or green mango flavours

Schizandra is also an ingredient in natural energy drinks by Flyte, which are available in red berries or green mango flavours

You can buy the berry powder from Holland and Barrett where a 57g pouch costs £15.99. It can then be added to smoothies, teas and other foods (left). Schizandra is also an ingredient in natural energy drinks by Flyte, which are available in red berries or green mango flavours (right)

However Rhiannon Lambert, author of Re-Nourish: A Simple Way To Eat Well, said that there is no such thing as a superfood – and that drinking the berry powder in a smoothie will not make you any healthier.

She said:  ‘Few lies about health and wellness can be told in a single word, but ‘superfood’ manages it. Schizandra berry appears to be the new superfood on the scene. 

‘It’s such an appealing idea, isn’t it, that some foods are healthy, some unhealthy and some super healthy. Why change your habits, when you can correct them by adding schizandra berry to your smoothie?

‘According to Bupa, 61 per cent of British people have reported buying foods because they were supposed superfoods. The worrying thing is that the very people who blitz up kale and acai smoothies to future proof their health are the ones already eating a healthy diet. 

‘The truth is that nutrition is amazingly complex and different for everybody. We know that if you eat a balanced diet and do regular exercise, you will benefit from it. And if you don’t, no superfood will save you. 

‘While these exotic foods often from far far away are fun and offer a feeling of discovery, they’re expensive with wildly exaggerated claims.’ 

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