With the vegan trend only gaining steam, a growing crop of freshly converted plant eaters are figuring out the nutritional ins and outs of their diet. MegaFood to the rescue: The whole-foods supplement pioneer just launched a certified vegan line that's formulated to meet vegans' needs—and bolster a few common nutrient weak spots.
For instance, Vegan Daily multivitamin provides plant-based support for bones, nails, and hair, as well as extra vitamin B12 (found most commonly in meats), iron (ditto) and chromium for energy. Other products include Vegan B12, detoxifying Vegan Protect and digestion helper Vegan-Ease.
“Clean, plant-based nutrition.” You can’t argue with Vega’s cool, appealing tagline. (Did we mention vegan is in?) At Expo West, no one was trying; they were all too busy elbowing in on the action with their own vegan protein powder and meal replacement offerings, from Garden of Life to Twinlab.
Vega started out with niche products aimed at nutrition-minded performance athletes. But Vega One shake is a true crossover product that boasts better flavor—and appeals to anyone trying to squeeze nutrient-dense foods into a busy life. One serving yields probiotics, fiber, greens, omega-3s, antioxidants, and yes, protein—from pea, hemp, flaxseed, brown rice, chlorella, sacha inchi and maca.
Americans are getting older—and achier. A blend of 10 anti-inflammatory herbs including ginger and turmeric, Zyflamend (No. 1 selling herbal product in natural products stores) may positively affect joint health—and also claims to support a healthy inflammation response in the body. New on the shelves: Targeted Heart, Prostate and Breast Health versions of Zyflamend. Whole-food-based and prevention-focused, these products look sure to become favorites with boomers and beyond.
This innovative new omega-3 supplement is sourced from algae, so it's suitable for vegans. It also neatly skirts the pesky issues—toxins and sustainability—that have plagued fish oil. It boasts parent company DSM/Martek's ingredient, life's DHA plus EPA, making it a complete source of the two key, research-backed omega-3 EFAs.
Sugar-free gummies are the next wave—and many, like this high-dose vitamin D, are aimed at adults that want to take fewer pills and enjoy a guilt-free sweet fix at the same time. Rainbow Light also has yummy new gummies for kids (Probiolicious probiotics) and adults (Berrylicious 2,500 IU Vitamin D3), but none without sugar yet.
This brand-new joint-pain supplement—which Solgar is boldly calling "the next generation after glucosamine"—combines seven ingredients (vitamins, herbs and type II collagen) and promises relief within seven days. No. 7 is aimed at younger, more active people and people who never got relief from glucosamine. Unlike glucosamine, it's also shellfish free, a boon for those with allergies.
Twenty percent of pregnant women in the United States are iron-deficient, yet traditional iron supplements can be difficult to digest and absorb. Made from certified organic curry leaves, this whole-food, plant-based, new product may be better tolerated by the body—and it’s vegan.
Stress depletes energy, a growing problem for many people—but overdosing on caffeine isn't the answer. This yummy herbal tea offers a more balanced solution, combining black and green tea (L-theanine in green tea promotes both calm and mental focus) with Ayurvedic herbs gotu kola and ashwagandha, which may help the body adapt to stressors.
Folic acid is one of a select few dietary ingredients to boast a qualified health claim, having a body of evidence supporting its role in prenatal development and in preventing neural tube defects in pregnant women. As prospective parents increasingly trade up to organic to ensure a toxin-free upbringing for their progeny, an early start is likely desirable. Derived from lemon peel, the Certified Organic Folic Acid from Futurebiotics plays directly to that desire.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a health issue affecting millions of Americans, and one that is only expected to grow as hordes of Baby Boomers enter their golden years. Protecting vision is paramount for these aging consumers, and sales of lutein and zeaxanthin-fortified products—like Ojo here—are only expected to grow. In 2013, results from the second iteration of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)—the long-term eye health trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health—are expected to shore up the positive effects of lutein and zeaxanthin in slowing the onset of AMD. Developed by an ophthalmologist, Ojo is a supplement drink featuring lutein and a host of other synergistic vitamins and extracts.
Brain health is a category brimming with opportunity, and Prevagen is a standout in terms of science. Numerous finished-product clinical trials bolster Prevagen efficacy in supporting memory and focus. The active ingredient, apoaequorin, is a calcium-binding protein originally discovered in jellyfish—its discoverers won a 2008 Nobel Prize for their research on the compound. Quincy Biotech developed a method to synthesize the ingredient, and is continually sponsoring research to support its benefits.
Mood and stress supplements are on trend, with many focused on ensuring natural solutions for restful sleep. Swisse, a major Australian supplements maker, just announced its foray into the U.S. market at Expo West this year. Australian supplement manufacturers are held to much higher standards than U.S. companies, and Swisse can use this as a point of differentiation. And the unique bottle may attract new customers tired of the countless lookalikes on supplement shelves. Sleep is one of Swisse’s bestsellers.
From gummies to drinks, organic to vegan, eye health to brain health, this year's Natural Products Expo West supplement picks run the gamut of new and emerging trends.