Northern Guides: 4 Finnish Companies Innovating in Health and Wellness

Does living close to the Arctic Circle inspire a special kind of creativity? Because today some of the most exciting new innovations in health and wellness are coming out of Finland.  Here are four companies to watch:

Four Sigmatic

These are the mushroom guys: Four friends who’ve tapped into the new cultural fascination with mushrooms and their incredible benefits. These guys are deep into all things fungi. They harvest, forage, dry and also manage to come up with all sorts of creative and delicious powders and drinks. My favorite is the Mushroom Coffee Mix with cordyceps and chaga. It clocks in at only 40 milligrams of caffeine and is an all around excellent energy booster. But they also have a Lion’s Mane Elixir; a brain-boosting powder to mix into hot water, Hot Cacao with Reishi and all sorts of smoothie and lemonade blends.

Four Sigmatic’s terrific product line is matched by their vivid content. Everything about them screams fun and joy and “We’re in this health thing together.” Check out their site: They’re not just making videos, they’ve put together “Mushroom Academy,” a twelve-part series that deep dives into the health benefits of mushrooms. (Did you know that human beings share 30 percent of the same DNA with mushrooms?!) Also, every time someone on the site buys products, a little message pops up about the purchase and location: "John, from Santa Barbara, just bought five boxes of Hot Cacao with Reishi.  It’s a little detail, but it’s fun and builds community. So if you’re eager to try the wonders of cha"ga or cordyceps, this is definitely the place to go. I love Four Sigmatic. http://us.foursigmatic.com/

Lunette

It’s never easy talking about menstruation or female products in a meeting, particularly a meeting with guys. Eyes avert. The awkward smiles start. The conversation stumbles. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that paper menstrual products contribute to millions of pounds of waste every year and that for young girls living in third world nations, managing menstruation often gets in the way of getting an education. So no matter how much marketing Tampax does and how much they pretend to empower women by celebrating period positivity and giving money to good causes, they are still polluting.  But there is another approach.

Enter Lunette, a Finnish company that gives women around the globe a safe, sustainable menstrual product called the The Lunette cup (Disclosure: I have done some consulting for Lunette.)  It’s a silicone cup that’s as easy to use as a tampon. You simply fold and insert.  For girls in Africa, this makes the difference between being able to go to school or not.  How many companies can truly say they are making a difference in the world? Lunette can. I highly recommend Lunette. https://www.lunette.com/us

Ambronite

First there were superfoods. Now we have Ambronite, drinkable super-meals. Developed in Finland, Ambronite is comes as a dried blend of foods and is sold in packets. You just add water and shake it up to get 500 calories of high-grade natural ingredients. If that isn’t enough, Ambronite is also vegan and non-GMO. And they often incorporate wild ingredients harvested from those pristine Finnish forests.

Ambronite is worth watching (and drinking) for many reasons. Here are a few: First, they’re not only making a product, they are pioneering a new food category and calling themselves a functional food brand. Think food for high performance. Food as true fuel. Think functional food to go along with functional medicine and fitness. This branding separates them from the pack of green powders out there which position themselves as more “additive.”   Second, Ambronite is extremely practical. How many times have you found yourself traveling or stuck at work without a healthy food option? Ambronite is ideal for those occasions.  Third, word has it that Ambronite is exploring nutrigenomics and ways of tailoring food to individual genetic profiles. This is exciting stuff. I like this product a lot and will be taking Ambronite on my upcoming plane trip to the West coast. Hopefully, I’ll get my family to drink it too. https://ambronite.com/

GoSleep Sleeping Pods

If you’ve been to the Dubai International Airport (DXB) or Helsinki Vantaa International Airport this past year, you may have seen a batch of human-sized pods (they look like tiny spaceships) with a sign encouraging people to take a nap. These pods are built by GoSleep, a Finnish company at the forefront of making sleep available when you might really need it. The pods block out the noise and light of the airport and come with a space to safely store luggage. Inside the pod there’s an outlet in case you want to use electronics. But why limit these peaceful pods to airports? The GoSleep pods are ideal for offices where employees stay late or just need to recharge during the day. I’m betting that by this time next year, we’ll be seeing more pods in new places. The timing is so right for GoSleep. For more info: http://www.gosleep.aero/