Little as this red dot may be, it's been the birthplace for a variety of really cool products that aim to help improve your health and enhance your wellbeing. Here are 7 picks that are proud to be Singaporean.
My Maha – All-natural dietary supplement
Diadem Candles – Hand-poured soya wax candles
Available at Excluniqueeee, #02-339 Marina Square
I’m a complete sucker for nice smells. But while I shamelessly hoard scented soaps, hand creams and hair oils, I usually steer clear of scented candles because the soot they release into the air irritates my nose and eyes, and leaves me with a headache.
Unlike paraffin wax candles, Diadem Candles burn with hardly any soot build-up. Made from pure soyabean oil and essential oils, the candles are 100 per cent natural and non-toxic. Even the pretty colours in the cotton-wick glass jar candles ($24.90, burns for around 35 hours) are all-natural, achieved with vegetable dyes.
The White Tea and Ginger candle offers a soothing, herbal aroma that transforms your living room into a spa. For a more seasonal pick, try Cranberry Current. It’s creamy and sweet, like Christmas in a jar. The zesty and fresh Lime Basil and Mandarin is my favourite, while Sandalwood is a classic that is popular among male customers for its amber, musky notes.
Also available are the plain candles in vintage enamel mugs (from $34.90, burns for around 40 hours) for a touch of sophistication. We love the wood wick, which crackles softly when lit and burns more evenly than a traditional cotton wick.
Amazin’ Graze – Go nuts with trail mix, nut butters and more
Available at Tangs Orchard, Naiise outlets and Four Seasons Organic Market outlets.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean cutting out snacks completely. You just have to choose the right ones. According to the Amazin’ Graze team, that means nutrient-dense real foods prepared in small batches.
Freshly baked granola, anyone? Amazin’ Granola comes in delicious and unique flavours with gluten-free options. Our favourite is the Asian-inspired Salted Gula Melaka (from $11 for 250g) made with traditional rolled oats, mulberries, cranberries, almonds, cashews and coconut, coated in what else but homemade gula melaka sauce. The fragrant mix is sweet and tart with a touch of saltiness that feels almost too sinful to be good for your health.
Also try the stone-ground organic cashew and almond butters ($12.50 for 180g). They’re rich, creamy and full of antioxidants, without added fat, sugar or salt. Flavoured nut butters are available too. We liked the Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter – the ground spice adds warmth and sweetness but makes the thick blend just a tad grainy, which gives it an interesting mouthfeel that is unexpectedly satisfying.
For something that packs a crunch, go for the Tom Yum Kaffir Lime nut mix ($7 for 120g). It is full of playful and bright flavours like lemongrass and citrus leaf and pleasingly sour notes with a tiny bit of heat that hangs back like an afterthought, perfect for spice-lovers and mild enough for kids to enjoy, too.
If you’re craving something sweet, try the Zesty Maple Glazed nut mix ($7 for 120g) – maple syrup-laced, tangy with orange zest and protein-packed with walnuts, almonds and cashews.
Aerospring Gardens – For urban farmers
Available at #01-01 120 Sunset Way
Aspiring farmers in Singapore get a chance to show off their green thumbs within a confined space thanks to the Aerospring vertical edible garden (from $680 for nine hexagonal sections).
While space constraints ordinarily limit the variety and quantity of things you can grow at home, with the vertical garden system, you can maximise your yield and grow up to 36 different plants in cylindrical cups arranged neatly around a plastic column.
The planter has a built-in watering pump and timer to delivery water regularly to each plant site with little fuss. Tending to your own herb and vegetable garden has never been this simple.
Each system comes with live herbs and vegetables like mint, basil and tomatoes, organic seeds and a liquid plant nutrient mix to start you off. Place the unit in a sunny spot and start growing. Aerospring Gardens also sells gardening accessories such as organic pesticides, liquid nutrients and a wide selection of seeds.
So even if you live in an HDB flat, you’ll get the freshest produce right from your own backyard. Figuratively, of course.
Juicy Licks – They sneak veggies into your desserts
For every person who’s a fan of leafy greens, there are 10 others who detest them. Whether you’re a veggie lover or someone who can’t stand the sight of a salad, Juicy Licks has the solution to getting nutritious greens into your diet.
The local dessert brand adds a refreshing twist on the usual green juices by turning them into frozen popsicles, dubbed Healthsicles ($4 each). These icy treats are full of fruits and veggies so they’re low in calories and high in nutrients.
And they’re pretty, too. Feast your eyes on an assortment of bright and bold colours from orange and green Kale Carrot Cucumber to yellow and red Spicy Pineapple.
Home delivery is available and includes a disposable icebox and dry ice for a small logistics charge, so the popsicles are perfect for kids’ parties as a healthy alternative to ice cream.
Juicy Licks also makes vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free baked goods. Spinach Goji Cookies ($8.50 for 10) are less than 15 calories a pop and are high in fibre and antioxidants. But the real winner is the Zucchini Cocoa Almond Fudge Cake (from $4 for a slice) which is gooey and decadent, yet bursting with vitamins and fibre and ridiculously low in calories – just 100 per piece!
Made Real – A snack subscription service by your online nutritionist
A subscription plan for office snacks? Sign me up! Made Real curates a box of nutritious snacks ($24.90) according to your dietary needs and preferences, exercise profile, fitness goals – be it weight loss, or increased muscle mass – and snacking frequency. Just fill in their online form and they’ll stock your snack box with the appropriate goodies.
Each box contains six pre-portioned snack packs that you can easily slip into your handbag and reach for when you’re hungry. Expect a rotation of cookies, granola, nuts, dried fruit and vegetables, beans, and seeds on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Each pack equals two servings of 25g to last you throughout the day.
You can also share the goodness by ordering a box for your entire team (from $110 for a team of five), which will be delivered straight to your office. If you’d like to choose the snacks for yourself, Made Real also has an a la carte menu of individual packs that you can order without subscription. Choose from quirkily named savoury options like Wassup-B Nut Mix ($11.90 for 150g) to crowd-pleasers like Rock Salt Vanilla Ancient Grain Granola ($9.90 for 150g).
Rania Hasna Nature Elements – Plant-derived natural products for hair and skin
Available at Chijmes, Wed and Thu 6 – 10pm.
Certified aromatherapist Rania Hasna creates face, lip, hair and body products that smell incredible. And they’re made with organic natural ingredients sourced from Australia and tested extensively in labs there to ensure they’re friendly to all skin types.
Her bestselling Rose Geranium range (from $12 for 10ml face cream) contains geranium oil, which balances sebum, oxygenates the skin and reduces inflammation. Other natural ingredients include watermelon seed oil, containing unsaturated fatty acids that are deeply nourishing but will not clog pores, and organic aloe vera with healing properties to treat blemishes and acne.
Refresh your skin with the Regenerate Damask Rose Facial Spritzer ($12 for 10ml). It diminishes redness on the skin and reduces inflammation with active ingredients like organic Damask rose hydrosol and gotu kula.
The easy-to-apply Sleep and Dream essential oil roll-on ($22 for 8ml) is made with a blend of lavender and vanilla, a soothing concoction for those who have trouble sleeping.
Treat dry skin, scrapes and burns with the Healing All-Purpose Balm ($30 for 50ml), which contains calendula-infused oil that is antiseptic and antibacterial to promote wound-healing, yet is mild enough for a baby’s skin.
Botanicaire – A natural air purifier
Developed by researchers at Nanyang Technological University, the Botanicaire Air Detoxifier harnesses the power of nature to purify the air and is said to remove up to 99 per cent of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in an indoor area within an hour.
The system draws air in, passes it through an activated carbon filter and into a water reservoir to remove dust, odour and water-soluble VOCs.
Insoluble VOCs are absorbed by an organic filtration system comprising Botanicaire’s proprietary technology that uses Nuvoc microbes, a mix of 12 different naturally-occurring probiotics to break down contaminants into harmless particles, and specialised plants that absorb toxic gases.
Each unit (from $198 for 200 square foot range) contains a self-watering and lighting system so maintenance is minimal. You can also add a few drops of organic essential oil to the water reservoir for aromatherapy, or use it as an aquarium for small fish.
Mlk – Creamy, dairy-free goodness
Available at The Organic Grocer, 17 Mohamed Sultan Road.
Soya and almond milk are deemed as healthy alternatives to milk, but the amount of processing that goes into store-bought brands leaves much to be desired. Pasteurised almond milk found in the supermarket tends to be watery with little nutrient and almond content, thickened with chemicals like carrageenan, xanthan gum or cellulose gum.
Homegrown brand Mlk makes raw almond milk (from $24.90 for 1 litre) with a careful extraction process so most of the vitamins and nutrients in the almonds, which are sourced from the US, are retained. It’s full of mono-unsaturated fats that are good for you and vitamin E that protects your skin from sun damage. The almond milk also comes in matcha, houjicha and macadamia flavours.
One-time orders of less than four bottles incur a delivery fee of $8.50, but there are subscription rates available that are a much better deal, from $24.28 for 1 litre with $4.99 delivery fee for a weekly subscription plan.
If you like this story, check out other interesting stories on Singapore's artisans and artisanal food supplier here:
- Step into the home of Bynd Artisan's founders.
- Where to buy artisanal candles.
- Indie grocery stores for artisanal foods.
Article by Davelle Lee, originally appeared in Simply Her.