Expert Travel and Wellness Tips

You may not be sure what nootropics are, but chances are you’ve already been using one or two.

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I’ve been hearing a lot about nootropics – what are they?

You may not be sure what nootropics are, but chances are you’ve already been using one or two. Defined as supplements boosting brain function, mood and mental energy, two examples are coffee (caffeine) and Korean ginseng. There are a growing number of fans, but experts are sceptical. Bear in mind a nootropic that’s the holy grail of productivity for you may not work for the next person.

If you’re lacking the supplements’ avalanche of vitamins and minerals, you’re likely to feel the benefits; if not, maybe not. The good news is side effects are usually minimal, so try one and see. For example, Alpha Brain stacks 11 ingredients for brain boosting designed to increase circulation to the brain and stimulate neurotransmitters, putting concentration, memory, focus and motivation into top gear.

New Mood optimises body and brain function while busting stress. It includes serotonin to help boost happiness and regulate appetite and sleep. It’s not new, but fish oil has a beneficial effect on metabolising sugar, boosting cardio function, clearing the complexion and aiding depression.

What are the new wonder foods this year?

Maximise your green intake by pouring liquid chlorophyll into your smoothies or swirling it into your yoghurt. Why? Boosting your digestion and delivering antioxidants are just two benefits; among others it may also help with suppressing hunger and speeding healing. Move over quinoa, amaranth seeds are the new grain in the bowl.

This native plant of Peru (one plant can apparently produce up to 60,000 seeds), is a complete protein, gluten-free and crammed with calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron, plus loads of fibre. Cook it in porridge, in place of rice or quinoa, or pop like corn. Look out for superherbs this year, aka adaptogens. Think moringa, maca, ginseng (again), holy basil and schisandra. They help the body grow more resilient to physical, mental and emotional stressors.

I need a change of scenery – where is good for a Hong Kong staycation?

Hong Kong is one of Asia’s most exciting yet stressful cities. Escape the concrete jungle at one of these hotels. Ovolo Southside in Wong Chuk Hang, with its industrial, arty interiors and Southside views, gives you the perfect excuse to take the kids to Ocean Park or create your own healthy retreat. Test your abs at Flex Pilates studio, book a gong bath and yoga class at Red Doors Studio and eat goodness at 3/3rds.

The Hyatt Regency Sha Tin, next to University MTR station, is a weekend one-stop-shop of eat, drink, spa, stay, repeat. Taste legendary buffets or Chinese specialities, cocktails at Tin Tin Bar, try local honey and pomelo spa treatments and recharge in contemporary rooms that overlook greenery and water. For a dip into the SAR’s history head to Tai O Heritage Hotel. Originally the 1902-built police station for the fishing village, it’s a stylish journey into yesteryear, while outside the bustling village overlooks the coast with hiking trails, local street food and festivals galore.

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