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HEALTH

Where to Buy Nonmedical Cloth Face Masks in the UK

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As of 24th July, it will be compulsory to to wear face masks in shops and supermarkets in England. This is in addition to the mandate announced by the UK government on 4 June making it mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport, including buses, trains, aircrafts, ferries, and when driving with Uber or Addison Lee. These precautions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus by those who are infected with it and are asymptomatic.

For many before the pandemic, face masks were not a part of their at-home collection. Luckily, a selection of retailers have now made protective face coverings available for purchase. For those who do not have masks already or prefer not to make a face mask, buying one is an easy alternative.

In order to properly wear a face mask, it must fit closely against the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include more than one layer of fabric, allow for breathing, and be able to be washed without getting damaged. It’s worth noting that while these cloth face coverings are not medical-grade masks like the N95 respirators and surgical masks, which are being reserved for healthcare workers, they are still useful to put on when out in public. Wearing a cloth mask will not ensure protection against ingesting droplets, but it’s a precautionary safety measure worth taking.

Ahead is a curated list of face masks that are available to buy in-store and online in the UK, including options from our favourite retailers like Boots, Superdrug, and Marks & Spencer, as well as companies and brands that are doing their part by donating proceeds and masks to charities and hospitals to help those working against the virus. If you don’t already have a mask or need another one for yourself or a loved one, shop these picks now and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Additional reporting by Kara Kia and Ange Law



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NUTRITION

The Best Healthy Snacks To Buy

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Preparation is one of the key ingredients of a healthy diet. If you always have healthy meals in mind or even prepped in advance, it’s easier to avoid fast food or a ready meal when dinner time rolls around.

Even if you stick to this resolutely with your main meals, however, snacking can still stymie your attempts to eat healthily. Because when the taste for something sweet or salty strikes, it’s hard to ignore. Fortunately, a bit of prep can once again save the day, because if you load up your cupboard or desk drawer with the snacks below, you can be assured you’re eating something healthier than crisps or chocolate.

Maybe not that much healthier, because for a snack to be satisfying it still needs to hit that sweet or savoury spot, but there will be some kind of redeeming nutritional feature to each of our top snack picks. We promise.

Boundless Activated Nuts And Seeds

Adding nuts and seeds to your diet can bring real benefits, so if trail mix doesn’t do it for you these handy snack packets of those very foodstuffs come highly recommended. We honestly don’t know if the activated (as in, they’re germinating) nuts and seeds Boundless sells are that much better for you, but frankly that’s by the by. The nutritional numbers are solid, with each flavour coming in under 200 calories and packing between 5g and 8g of protein. Unlike their dry roasted cousins, there’s minimal salt here and little saturated fat, which is the one you want to watch (trans fats are the ones you want to avoid). Of the four flavours available we recommend rosemary and cayenne, which delivers an aromatic, herby taste with a little kick in the aftertaste, and the very moreish turmeric and smoked paprika.

Buy from BoroughBox | £17.99 for box of 12 30g packs

The Protein Ball Co

If you’ve got a roaring hunger, these tasty treats will sate the savage beast in your stomach – the whey or plant-based protein will help to fill you up (about 10g of protein with the whey, 5-7g otherwise), as will the healthy serving of fibre (somewhere between 4-6g). There are eight flavours in the original range, with cherry bakewell being our favourite if only for the well-executed novelty factor. There’s also a new breakfast line which adds gluten-free oats to the mix, plus smaller packets that clock in at under 100 calories.

Buy on Amazon | £25.99 for 16 mixed-flavour 45g packs

I Love Snacks

Look, chocolate isn’t inherently bad for you, as long as you eat an appropriate amount. Conversely, nuts – a perennial healthy snack pick – are highly calorific if you inhale multiple servings in one sitting. You can either develop willpower or have I Love Snacks apportion out appropriately-sized servings for you. Of the six options, we’d highly recommend the dark Belgian chocolate (119 calories), the smoked Californian almonds (152 calories) and dehydrated mango (85 calories).

Buy on Amazon | £12-£15.60 for 12 25g packets

Munchy Seeds

There is a lot to like here. From the rip-and-tip (into our mouth) opening on the packet, to the few grams of protein and gram or so of fibre, to the bonanza of micronutrients, to the fact that the 25g packet really does tide you over. The flavours are great, although anything sweet does come with a lot of natural sugars, but you can always opt for the ever-so-slightly salty Sesame Sprinkles (with only 0.2g salt) or Chilli Bites. Beware the latter though – we love spicy foods but these tickled our tonsils something rotten.

Buy from Munchy Seeds | £14 20 25g mixed flavour packets

Kind Bar

This is a textbook example of a snack that isn’t exactly healthy, but is sensationally tasty and certainly better than grabbing a Mars Bar. Kind Bars are relatively high in protein and fibre, which will help ensure you won’t need another snack after you’ve finished the first one, and the prevalence of nuts in each means that the fat is mostly of the “good” unsaturated kind. While they are sugary and contain around 200 calories per bar (for reference, a standard Mars Bar is 230), Kind Bars are widely available and a decent option when your snack drawer is empty and you pop to the shops for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Buy from Amazon | £15 for 12 40g bars

The Curators Beef Jerky

As long as it doesn’t go overboard on sugar and salt, jerky can be a terrific snack, and The Curators range of beef jerky sure is terrific. In fact, we’re not sure there is a more satisfying way to munch your way through 88 calories than the slightly spicy Sweet Sriracha flavoured jerky. There’s only 5.1g of sugar and 0.39g of salt a pack. The serving size isn’t huge, but the 11g of protein will help keep you full until your next meal.

Buy from Amazon | £19.98 for 12 30g packs

Rude Health Cornitas Black Bean

Our advice here is to only get the 30g packets of these tortilla chips, which are a mix of black bean (30%) and corn to make them slightly healthier than your standard triangular treats. The reason we’d avoid the 100g packets is that it is impossible to leave any of the chips uneaten because they are so darn tasty. They are a healthier alternative to standard tortilla chips, with less than half the fat, and far more protein and fibre than, say, a pack of Doritos.

Buy on Amazon | £9.99 for 6 30g packs

Well & Truly Crunchy Smokey Paprika

There are several salty options in the Well & Truly range, but forget all others and grab as many bags of these paprika-flavoured Nik-Nak-alikes as you can handle, because they are a taste sensation. They’re not really that much healthier than crisps apart from containing half the amount of fat, but they’re so delicious any relative nutritional benefit really is just a bonus.

Buy on Amazon | £25.55 for 20 100g packs

Bounce Balls

Bounce Balls are available in pretty much any supermarket nowadays, making them a great option when you’re stuck for snacks. There’s an impressive range of flavours (our top pick is Cacao Orange) and each is high in protein, contains a decent amount of fibre, and has a fat profile that leans heavily towards the unsaturated kind.

Buy on Amazon | £14.86 for 12 42g balls

Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks

These salty sticks are as winning a combination of rice and green peas as we’ve ever come across. They will mush up and stick in your teeth long after the packet is empty, but that just prolongs the enjoyment. The standout flavour is Soy & Balsamic Vinegar, and in terms of nutrition you’re getting around half the fat and twice as much fibre and protein as with regular crisps.

Buy from Amazon | £15.52 for 24 21g packs

Seven Mexican Fajita Beef Cuts

Delicious little packs of beef jerky (Seven also does chicken cuts, but we greatly preferred the beef variety), each of which contains under 100 calories and a chunky 17g of protein. Sugar and salt are kept well in hand as well, meaning these jerky snack packs get the thumbs-up for taste and nutritional goodness.

Buy from Muscle Food | £6.25 for three 35g packs

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NEWS

TytoCare signs first major retail partnership with Best Buy for its self-exam devices

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TytoCare’s TytoHome product will be offered online through BestBuy.com and brick-and-mortar stores in Minnesota. Availability is also coming soon to locations in California, North Dakota and South Dakota.

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NEWS

Thermo Fisher to buy gene therapy contract manufacturer Brammer Bio for $1.7B

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Brammer specializes in contract services for viral vector-based gene therapies. Panelists at a conference last week stressed the importance of manufacturing for gene therapy investors.

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NEWS

Philips will buy Carestream’s health IT business

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Carestream Health, a medical imaging technology company, will sell its healthcare information systems (HCIS) business to Philips.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The companies hope to close the sale during the second half of 2019 and will operate independently until the deal closes.

The Rochester, New York-based company’s HCIS business offers imaging IT tools to hospitals, imaging centers, radiology services providers and specialty medical clinics.

Meanwhile, Carestream’s medical imaging, dental and industrial films, non-destructive testing and precision coating businesses are not impacted by the acquisition.

Through the deal, Philips broadens its healthcare IT business. It will now feature Carestream’s enterprise imaging platform, which includes a vendor neutral archive, a workflow orchestrator, diagnostic and enterprise viewers, multimedia reporting and clinical, operational and business analytics tools.

“By becoming part of Philips, the HCIS business will have a greater opportunity to thrive and grow,” Ludovic d’Aprea, Carestream’s general manager for healthcare information solutions, said in a news release. “Both organizations share a commitment to meaningful innovation which is deeply embedded in each company’s culture. Customers will have access to a broader portfolio of healthcare IT solutions to simplify medical image management, enable effective collaboration and enhance patient care.”

In a statement, Robert Cascella, Royal Philips’ chief business leader of precision diagnosis, added: “The combination of our successful innovations in imaging system platforms, workflow optimization and artificial intelligence-enabled informatics, combined with Carestream’s cloud-based enterprise imaging informatics platform and complementary geographic footprint will provide a solid foundation to deliver on the promise of precision diagnosis.”

In other IT news from Philips, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital recently announced plans to expand its virtual care capabilities with remote monitoring services from the Dutch company.

The hospital’s affiliated doctors at Weill Cornell Medicine will utilize the Philips eCareCoordinator and eCareCompanion solutions. Additionally, its affiliated physicians at Columbia University Irving Medical Center anticipate using the tools.

Photo: AndreyPopov, Getty Images

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FOOD

What Herbs and Spices Should I Buy?

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If you’re new to cooking, or not very adventurous with your recipes, you may find herbs and spices a little overwhelming. Every recipe seems to call for half a dozen different spices, seeds, and dried herbs, and we end up with random jars of asafoetida or nigella seeds lurking in the back of a cupboard, never to be used again. However, there are some dried herbs, spices, and spice mixes that are worth keeping on hand as they can really lift a dish and help you to be more experimental in the kitchen. If you’re due a kitchen clear-out, or you just want to start stocking up your spice rack with things you’ll actually use, here are some popular herbs and spices to start with.

Dried Herbs:

Oregano
Thyme
Rosemary
Sage
Tarragon

(Most herbs are much better used fresh, as they lose a lot of their unique flavour when dried. This is particularly true of mint, basil, and dill, which is why they’re not on this list).

Spices:

Ground Cinnamon (use in curries, tagines, festive dishes, and sweet treats)
Ground Coriander (very different to fresh coriander; this is used in many curries)
Ground Cumin (add to curries, chilli, and other savoury dishes; also sometimes used in baking)
Smoked Paprika (great in European dishes like paella and goulash; adds spicy saltiness)
Ground Turmeric (adds an earthy flavour to Indian dishes; adds yellow colour, like saffron)
Chilli Powder or Chilli Flakes (for heat in chilli, curries, pasta sauces, etc.)
Ground Ginger (used in Chinese dishes and curries, and also in baking)
Cloves (adds spicy warmth to Winter dishes, and also used in mulled wine and baking)
Fenugreek (another famous curry spice with a slightly bitter scent)
Nutmeg (grate into everything from béchamel sauce to custard!)

Spice Blends

Chinese 5 Spice
Curry Powder
Garam Masala
Ras-el-Hanout
All-Purpose Seasoning

Though it’s always better (and more fun!) to make your own blends, you can use prebought ones to cut down on the number of individual spices you keep in the cupboards if budget and space are tight, and they’ll help you to make all kinds of dishes, from curries to tagines. All-Purpose Seasonings are available from many brands, and the exact mix varies depending on who makes it, but most mix salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and a few other ingredients. My favourite is made by Dunn’s River. I use this for everything from seasoning meat to roasting vegetables, and I also throw half a teaspoon into most sauces!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim



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NEWS

The Adidas UltraBoost 19 Is Finally Available To Buy

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Given the popularity of the original UltraBoost you can forgive Adidas for the fanfare that has surrounded the first major update to the shoe. The UltraBoost 19 gets it general release today, 21st February, after four limited-edition colourways were put on sale first to whet runners’ appetites.

The Laser Red shoe was the first to launch in late 2018, followed by Dark Pixel, Refract and Bat Orchid, with the black and pink colourway of the last of those inspired by the flower of the same name.

The full launch comes with four new colourways, including the Inline, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Laser Red colourway, though the upper is lighter.

There will also be two black and white versions of the UltraBoost available for those looking for a more understated shoe, and an indigo colourway which might just be the best yet – although it’s currently only available in the women’s range.

The UltraBoost 19 looks very different to the original shoe and it feels different when you’re running as well. We found the new shoe firmer and bouncier, owing to the extra 20% of Boost foam Adidas has crammed into the midsole, a change which has been balanced out elsewhere so the shoe isn’t any heavier.

As well as the changes to the midsole, the upper has been overhauled, with a full Primeknit sock sitting on top of the foam. This wraps the foot entirely to keep it in place as you run, with some sections of the knit being less stretchy to avoid your foot moving around.

The plastic midfoot cage on the original UltraBoost is gone, replaced by a tight mesh that’s far more comfortable, and the heel counter has also been changed from a full plastic piece to a plastic-wrapped wire frame that allows the heel to expand on landing.

All these changes add up to a more comfortable, springier shoe that’s great for long and easy runs, though the substantial wedge of Boost on the shoe make it a mite unwieldy for faster running, where something like the Adidas Boston 7 or SolarBoost is a better bet.

Buy men’s from Adidas | Buy women’s from Adidas | £159.95

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NUTRITION

When Should You Buy Wedding Bands?

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There are so many factors to consider when planning your wedding. Whether it’s hiring the best photographer to capture your day, coming up with a gourmet meal that you (and hopefully, your guests) will love, or picking out the perfect dress, wedding planning is all about choices — big and small — that will make it the ultimate expression of you and your fiancé’s love for each other.

While big-ticket items like the venue and catering are usually at the top of your to-do list, other pieces of the puzzle might go unnoticed until it’s too late. Deciding when to buy your wedding bands can sometimes be one of them. But the right time to pick and purchase these typically depends on a few factors.

It’s not necessarily the end of the world if you wait to buy your wedding bands till a couple of weeks before your wedding day, but planning ahead can have its perks. The earlier you start looking, the more choice you’ll have, so consider starting two to four months before your wedding. This may seem excessive, but beginning to look this far ahead of time means you can revisit the ones you liked. Plus, if you have a strict budget and particular tastes, looking in advance will give you an idea of what styles are out there, and at what price points.

Also keep in mind that if you’re considering custom bands, they could take six to eight weeks to make or longer, depending on the jeweler. And if your wedding bands need to be resized or you require custom engraving, getting a head start will mean you won’t be spending the days leading up to your wedding anxiously awaiting the arrival of your wedding bands.



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NUTRITION

The Best Protein Shakers To Buy

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It might seem like just a plastic container, but it’s also the breeding ground for that god-awful stench that appears if you forget to wash it out quickly enough. Which means you, like us, are probably in the market for a new protein shaker pretty regularly. But which one to choose?

When it comes to picking a protein shaker a good starting point is where you’ll be using it. For instance, we think a flip top is far more convenient if you’re exercising outside, whereas a screwtop is far less likely to leak all over your treadmill.

But that isn’t the only thing you need to consider: Does it mix your protein well? Does it do anything else? Can you justify the price tag for those extra features? Have you the time and inclination to look after an expensive do-it-all battery powered mixer, or are you likely to leave it to fester at the bottom of your gym bag, destined to end up in the bin as you recoil from its hellish stench?

Here are a few of our top picks to help you decide. 

The Joe Wicks One: The Body Coach Shaker Bottle

Joe Wicks recently launched his own range of supplements with MyProtein and what range of supplements would be complete without a shaker? Or even two shakers, because the Body Coach’s range has two – this 700ml option and a 400ml mini shaker for those short on space in their gym bag. Both are basic but effective, with a blending ball inside to aid a smooth mix.

Buy from Myprotein | £2.49

The Gold One: TPW Black N’ Gold Shaker

For those who want to add some glamour to their post-workout refuelling routine, try this glitzy shaker from The Protein Works. The steel shaker is leakproof and easy to clean, and it has a large capacity of 739ml so you have plenty of shaking space to mix up your drinks.

Buy from The Protein Works | £12.99

The Stylish One: PhD Stainless Steel Shaker

If you’re a member of a high-end boutique gym, you don’t want some nasty plastic beaker ruining the artfully designed space. Do the management a favour and pull this stainless steel shaker from PhD Nutrition out of your gym bag. Sleek and slender it may be, but it’s not a case of style over substance – the shaker still does the job thanks to a 750ml capacity and flip-top lid. Style aside, the reinforced steel is less likely to break than plastic.

Buy from Amazon | £8.50

The All-Singing One: Promixx 2.0

The Promixx 2.0 uses an X-shaped blade and 16,000rpm high-torque motor in its base to mix the ingredients. Trust us, it’s as fast as it sounds – within ten seconds, you’ll have a lump-free shake. And rest easy – you won’t have to buy expensive batteries every few months, a rechargeable lithium battery and a USB charging cable are included.

Buy from Amazon | £29.99 

The One That Mixes Like A Champ: Cyclone Cup

If you quite reasonably don’t want to invest in a protein shaker that has a motor-powered mixer but are frustrated that your powder is not mixing properly, give the Cyclone Cup a try. The tapered cone in the shaker is designed to churn up even the toughest ingredients so you get a smooth shake every time. If you’re partial to a scoop of the notoriously tricky-to-mix creatine powder with your post-workout protein shake, the Cyclone Cup could be a godsend.

Buy from Amazon | £8.85

The Multi-Tasking One: BlenderBottle GoStak

Carry your various supplements and snacks with you in the most convenient manner possible with this set of stackable beakers, all of which have leakproof lids. So if you want to take protein powder, BCAAs, creatine, vitamins and any other supplement after a workout, you can bring them all with you separately and mix them at the gym. The stacks also fit inside BlenderBottle’s classic protein shaker, though you can also just chuck your powders into the biggest tub and mix them in there.

Buy from Amazon  | £14.99

The On-The-Go One: SmartShake

The SmartShake is the original protein shaker with compartments, giving you the opportunity to pack your post-workout power, snacks and supplements in one place. Plus, the compartments conveniently fit inside the shaker when they’re empty. This one’s perfect for anyone who likes to be organised – so if your headphones always end up tangled, you’re not ready for this.

Buy from Amazon | £5.95

The Cheap One: Bulk Powders 600ml Shaker

Sometimes simplicity is king, which is where this shaker from Bulk Powders comes in. It’s got one job – to mix your protein shake – and sure as day turns to night, it does that job just fine. If it’s zero frills and cheap thrills you’re after, this is the one.

Buy from Bulk Powders | £2.99

The Big One: Alpha Bottle

If this were a game of Top Trumps, we’d be playing the Alpha Bottle’s capacity stat every time. It stands head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to volume, holding a massive 750ml. It gives you the chance to double-down on protein powder without the shake getting too thick, as well as helping you stay hydrated if you let it do double duty as your water bottle. As an added bonus, it’s shape makes it easy to hold on to, meaning you don’t need mitts like Eddie Hall to grasp this monster.

Buy from Amazon | £7.99 

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NUTRITION

The Best Spiralizers To Buy In 2019

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It’s always worth expanding your repertoire of culinary techniques, especially when a new approach makes it easier and quicker to prepare veg. Get yourself a spiralizer and you can transform veggies into satisfying curly strands.

Spiralizers are especially useful if you’ve decided to adopt a low-carb diet to lose weight but are really missing huge bowls of pasta. Sure, curly ribbons of courgette or butternut squash aren’t the same, but not only will you save on calories (courgetti contains around 300 fewer calories per 100g than pasta) you’ll also save time as they only takes around 20 seconds to boil.

Convinced? Sure you are, so take a look at our picks of the best spiralizers to buy right now, from hard-working heavyweights to an affordable handheld device.

Best All-Rounder: Mueller Spiral-Pro Professional 4-Blade Spiralizer

For such a compact tool, the Spiral-Pro sure packs in a lot of features. There are four separate blades to create spirals of all sizes, from angel hair noodles to flat ribbons and the narrow corer ensures there’s minimal waste. Most importantly, it makes light work of more substantial veg including carrots, cabbage and even butternut squash. The handle can be switched to suit left- and right-handed chefs, and you can store all the attachments in the base unit.

Buy on Amazon | £25

Most Versatile: Cuisique Premium Spiralizer

With eight different blades and accessories, this impressive gadget from Cuisique offers more slicing and dicing options than any other spiralizer. As well as a spiralizer you get a mandolin, a grater, a citrus fruit attachment and even a juicer, so although the device is on the large side you can save space in your kitchen overall by binning some of the other tools you have lying around. Its vertical design is a winning feature, because you can let gravity do some of the hard graft, and it comes with a bowl to neatly catch your cut veg.

Buy on Amazon | £22 

Best Electric Device: Morphy Richards 432020 Spiralizer

This surprisingly slender electric appliance looks sleek on your worktop thanks to its curved stainless steel design and discreet cord storage. It comes with a detachable bowl and is fitted with two tucked-away blades to create neat spaghetti and ribbon shapes without posing any risk to your fingers. Morphy Richards also includes some spiralizing recipes in its Cook & Create app in case you’re in need of some inspiration.

Buy on Argos | £30 

Best Handheld: OXO Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer

If you’re short on space, this handheld device will keep your surfaces clear because it can slip into a kitchen drawer. To create long ribbony strands you just need to twist veg in a clockwise motion against the blade and when you’re near the end, the handy food holder attachment keeps your fingers safe while cutting the last bits. It’s best kept for occasional use, however, because you won’t be able to use it for long without getting a sore wrist; while the single blade can tackle most vegetables you’ll need to put some muscle into spiralizing harder veg like carrots. Despite its limitations this is an affordable introduction to spiralizing.

Buy on Amazon | £10 (RRP £16)  

Best For Spiralizing Connoisseurs: Lurch Super Vegetable Spiralizer

This top-of-the range gadget from Lurch is the business. The German brand has been making spiralizers for over 20 years, long before the courgetti trend crossed the Channel, and this latest version is its most full-featured model. It lets you switch between three different blades for fine or coarse spaghetti and there’s even a tornado blade to prettify your potatoes. It may be on the pricy side but it’s a cut above the rest.

Buy on Amazon | £40 

Best For Speedy Spiralizing: Veggie Bullet by NutriBullet

If you’re serious about spiralizing – so serious you’ve developed a form of tennis elbow from all that cranking – you might want to consider the Veggie Bullet, a powerful 3-in-1 electric spiralizer from NutriBullet. As with the standard NutriBullet, you get a sturdy power base with a bunch of attachments that can be stacked on top including separate blades for spiralizing, slicing and shredding. It’s fitted with a 500-watt motor so it makes a bit of a racket but you probably won’t have it on for long since it can curl your courgettes in seconds.

Buy on Amazon | £113.20 (RRP £129.99)

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