Some of you will know that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a mental health issue caused by low levels of vitamin D that leads to many depressive symptoms. It’s steadily got worse for me over the years so I’m always on the lookout for food products that can increase my vitamin D levels and lessen those awful side-effects that stick around for pretty much half of the year. That’s why I was intrigued by Red Orchard’s new vitamin D gel pouches, which promise your 100% RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of the stuff. This isn’t just useful for those of us with SAD either, as 20% of UK residents are estimated to have a profound vitamin D deficiency, and as much as 90% of our multi-ethnic population suffer from a deficiency according to Public Health England. Vitamin D is important for concentration, mood, and general wellbeing, so it’s an important one to focus on.
***This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own***
Red Orchard Mission Statement
Our mission is to help fight the effects of poor diet, vitamin deficiency and health inequalities. To offer an alternative way of taking supplements that aren’t unappetizing tablets, capsules or fiddly sprays.
We wanted to find a new way.
Something that was tasty, enjoyable and easy. Something that encouraged people to top-up their levels of vitamin D.
That is why we founded Red Orchard.
(Taken from Red Orchard’s website)
The gel pouches themselves are about the size I expected – they are the perfect size for children and can be held in one hand. As they are small you can easily fit them into a lunchbox and, being a gel product contained in simple packaging, they are also very lightweight.
The taste wasn’t what I expected but I actually really liked them – I tend to shy away from strawberry-flavoured foods as I find them to have a very manufactured flavour about them, but the addition of honey into these gel pouches adds a more natural sweetness and that honey flavour really comes through. The vitamin D comes naturally from both honey and mushroom (you can’t taste the mushroom though, don’t worry!) and the product is organic, meaning it tastes and feels much more natural than many other gel-based products on the shelves. The addition of the honey also lends to the colour of the product – I was expecting the gel to be bright red, however it’s actually a light golden colour. I was pleased to see that nothing artificial has been added to change the colour, and the pouches are certified organic and vegetarian meaning no strange or unsavoury ingredients will be found within. They are also approved by The Soil Association and The Vegetarian Society.
The strawberry gel pouches contain just seven ingredients which, alongside providing 100% RDA of vitamin D, also offer just 28 calories per 40g serving and about a teaspoon of sugar which comes from the honey. They’re convenient – ready to eat from the moment you receive them – and don’t need to be stored in the fridge. The gel texture is actually quite nice to consume and it feels very light, though it’s important to remember to shake them before opening so that the gel mixes together properly. I wouldn’t say they’re a filling snack, being that they are purely gel, but they’re a food that make a nice refreshing addition to the lunchbox and are fun and easy to eat for kids and adults alike.
The only thing I wasn’t so keen on was the cost, as I generally aim to purchase very budget-friendly items and I didn’t feel this fit into that category. At £7.50 per box of five they are quite steep if you’re looking to consume them daily, but for more occasional inclusion into diet it’s not so bad – they certainly make a change from the less than appetising vitamin D pills that I have to take over winter, or various other capsule and spray options that again have no secondary purpose of taste.
Although the cost might stop me from eating Red Orchard’s vitamin D gel pouches regularly, I really enjoyed the strawberry flavour and the experience of consuming them was a positive one. I can see how appetising they would be to children and I’d certainly like a storage of them in my cupboard for those winter days where the sun just isn’t there for me. I’d recommend these to anyone concerned that they have a vitamin D deficiency (in particular multi-ethnic people of the UK, sufferers of SAD, and anyone living in a low-sunlight environment), or simply for parents looking for something healthy and different to add to their kids’ lunches.
If you’d like to buy a box of vitamin D gel pouches from Red Orchard then you can do so via the store on the Red Orchard website.
Do you also suffer from SAD, or is Vitamin D something you actively take as a supplement? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to like and pin, too! You can read some of my other product and service reviews here: