By GMB Health Advisor, Nutritionist Melissa Fine
While some forms of technology are far from health-promoting, certain iPhone apps can do you a world of good when it comes to your health. Providing everything from exercise rewards to dietary education and mindfulness training, here are five of our favourite health apps; there’s something for everyone here.
Former junk food addict turned health foodie, Taline Gabrielian is the brain behind Hippie Lane, which, true to its tagline, is all about ‘Treats with edge’. Divided into four sections (including Recipes, ‘How to’ video demos and a Shopping List that you can enter recipe ingredients into with one click), this app is just as easy to navigate as it is easy on the eye.
Each recipe sounds better than the next, from the Baklava Breakfast Bowl, to healthy remakes of commercial confectionary (think raw Twix Bars and Top Deck). Recipe Packs are also available for a small extra price, including the colourful, veggie-filled Nourish & Glow if you’re needing that extra bit of inspo.
The app itself is $4.49, a small price to pay considering what a valuable resource this is for anyone with specific dietary requirements – be it gluten free, dairy free, raw, refined sugar free or vegan. And yes, you can get health foodie recipes for free online, but coming from someone who’s sampled Gabrielian’s creations, these really are something else.
This app has been downloaded more than 5 million times, indicating just how much so many of us want clearer head. Described as the ‘personal trainer’ for the over-stimulated modern mind, Headspace was created by Meditation and Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe; halfway through his university studies in Sports Science in his early 20s, he embarked on a 10 year journey around the world to study meditation.
The app is an ideal starting point for those new to the meditation game, and who feel daunted at the thought of sitting still for too long. Begin with the FREE Take 10 Programme, where for just 10 minutes a day for 10 days, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to have some headspace…You may just want to get your hands on (or your head, in) all the other features afterward, from the Foundation Courses to Series in Health, Performance and Relationships.
With countless ingredients in packaged foods containing gluten, individuals with coeliac disease will know how confusing gluten free grocery shopping can be. In coeliac disease, the microscopic finger-like projections (‘villi’) that line the small intestine become inflamed and flattened upon exposure to gluten, and so cannot perform their role – which is to aid nutrient absorption into the bloodstream.
If coeliac disease isn’t treated with a strict gluten free diet, severe nutrient deficiencies and a range of related health complications may occur down the track. For this reason, a strict gluten free diet is the only way to treat coeliac disease, and this app makes adhering to the diet that much easier. Covering over 800 ingredients and 300 food additives, it’s a nice little digital handbook to whip out at the supermarket.
Individuals who don’t have coeliac disease, but who seem to do better without gluten or with less gluten in their diet will also find the app a handy resource. Worth far more than the $12.99 you’ll buy it for, it’ll likely be something you use daily.
Low what? FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable carbohydrates, which can cause gut distress for certain individuals, particularly those with irritable bowel syndrome (Onions, garlic, wheat and stone fruit are common culprits). If you have digestive issues, the app is a great tool for educating yourself on this revolutionary diet, and is also the gold-standard guide for which foods are and aren’t suitable on the diet using a traffic light system.
More and more foods are being tested for their FODMAP content by Monash University, and the app is regularly updated. You can also do a 1 Week trial of the diet, with the app providing a food and symptom diary; Here, keep track of whether or not you feel any better on the low FODMAP diet before discussing with your healthcare professional. Worth the $12.99.
Need something to keep you accountable when it comes to sticking to healthy habits? Look no further than Qantas Assure, which is offering Wellness Rewards for your efforts in keeping active. Simply set your personal exercise goals – be it a certain number of daily steps or cycling distance – and you’ll receive Qantas points once you reach your target.
If you’re trying to increase your daily steps, the Qantas Assure app is compatible with your iPhone’s inbuilt step tracker…no other devices needed! For the competitor in you, get some friends involved in the app’s 7 day step challenge and see who can outstep who! You’ll also be encouraged to exceed your own goals with daily motivational notifications.
And whether it’s a flight or an upgrade, YOU get to choose your reward. See what all the fuss is about with 28-Day Trial, no Eligible Qantas Assure Product required…time to get moving!