High Street Health in the UK – Top 10 essential buys for students

By Tiffany Lo – Studying at University of Birmingham 

Studying abroad forces you to be independent. All of a sudden, you need to do everything by yourself: to learn how to live alone, to learn how to cook, and ultimately, to take a good care of yourself.

My first year of studies in the UK was a disaster. Throughout the years, I have discovered numerous health products and types of food that would boost my health and relieve my stress. It helps a lot, especially in this last semester when I am usually knee deep in exams!

Here are the top ten things I have secretly arranged for all of you, who are in the same boat with me.

1. Fruit and Fibres

These products help students who have poor eating habits (admit it, that means all of us!) or a sudden change in diet. It is made with the natural goodness of figs, tamarind, and rhubarb that are very efficient in improving intestinal transit! The chewing cubes produce the ideal recipe to prevent constipation. You can find it easily in Superdrug (£6.40), or Holland and Barrett (£8.31)!

2. Chia Seeds

One of the healthiest foods on the planet: Very few calories, massive amount of nutrients, loaded with antioxidants (contributes to anti-ageing!), high in quality protein. For most, it helps you to lose weight! You can find them easily in any supermarkets and health shops, such as Holland and Barrett (£2.99).

3. Porridge Oats/ Rolled Oats

This has always been my top breakfast choice in my uni life. Not only does it give you plenty of nutrients, it will also lower your cholesterol levels and improve your blood sugar control! Porridge Oats only take a few minutes to cook, and it is tasty with honey or condensed milk. For a healthier recipe, you can always put Chia seeds and banana to your porridge. A taste of sweetness would boost your energy level and mood! Get it cheap in supermarkets, such as Tesco or Morrison!

4. Manuka Honey

You must have heard a lot of statistics proving how honey is the cure for sore throats. In fact, it does something more than that. If you accidentally hurt yourself during a night out, honey is for you! Manuka honey speeds up and improves wound the healing process because of its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics. And by taking it on a regular basis, it can help your seasonal allergies! Holland and Barrett sometimes do PENNYSALE which you can get two Manuka Honey 12+ (500g) for just £37.

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5. Bee Pollen

This is a natural energiser that would keep you going all day and a perfect booster for the immune system! It can serve as a dietary supplement if you are experiencing a lack of appetite or under physical or mental stress. They can be found in Holland and Barrett (£6.99). With PENNYSALE, it is sold for £7 for two.

Fact: Bee pollen is the food of the young bees!

6. Prunes

Perfect for women, Prunes are very high in fibre, which means it prevents constipation! And for both sexes, prunes are an excellent source of potassium that assists vital bodily functions, such as controlling blood pressure, heart rhythm, and digestions. It also provides iron that keeps your body with sufficient red blood cells! Have one or two dried plums as snacks will keep you full for longer! Sounds like an incredible weight management choice, yea? They are found in all good supermarkets.

7. Moisturising Mist

A hydrating mist is a must have for all ladies. This is the little thing that you can carry around in your handbag to keep your face hydrated and refresh your mind. Some of these products can also be sprayed on over makeup that helps to give a non-greasy look! I get my  Thermal Spring Water for £3 in Superdrug .

8. Products for Hayfever

New research reveals that a staggering eight out of 10 students (81%) believe that hayfever symptoms can affect their exam performance and could cause them to drop a grade.

Superdrug’s in-store pharmacists are on hand across the country to offer advice on how to treat hayfever and other allergies by recommending treatments such as eye drops, nose sprays and a variety of different anti allergy tablets. Superdrug pharmacist, Niamh McMillan adds “Few people know that you can take a combination of treatments to help relieve symptoms including a nasal spray, antihistamine tablets and eyedrops.  It’s advisable if you are a hayfever sufferer or prone to allergies to treat ahead.“

9. Raw Juice Drink

Bioglan Superfoods Raaw Juice comes in four different flavours: Veggie power, Berry Blast, Go Green, and Tropical Escape (I like this the most!). Says on the package, the juice powders are made from ‘the purest whole fruits and vegetables’ that provide you with natural vitamins and minerals. Very simple to make: you just mix with water! It can be found, again, in Holland and Barrett (£9.99).

10. Detox Drink

There are numbers of different brands providing detox tea across UK’s supermarkets and health stores. The one brand that I have tried was the award-winning BOOTEA 14 Days Teatox (£11.75). It comes with teabags of loose leaf tea which you just soak it in hot water before you drink it. It significantly reduced my belly size as it has boosted my metabolism and has a ‘cleansing’ effect to your body. Expect to go to the bathroom regularly!

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