Health and wellness seem to be taking a center stage in every aspect of our lives. Everyone seems to be considering innovative approaches to fitness and health in order to have a better well-being. Plant base foods are moving from the side dish to the entree, meditation is being taught in office boardrooms and even becoming an everyday movement. We are refocusing our priorities and working on being versions of ourselves from the inside out.
Since wellness is taking over, it only seems right we discuss on what wellness trends you should look out for in the near future.
Vegetables and Veganism Are In
Veganism as an aspiration is another interesting and impactful trend. Most consumers continue to eat meat (and all the sales data points to an increase in consumption of meat); however, the frequency with which we hear of vegetarianism and veganism as an aspirational diet points to something else going on. There is a sense among many consumers that no animal products are healthy.
Because vegetables are, conversely, the healthiest thing, veganism must be the healthiest diet. From a nutritional standpoint, this isn’t true, of course, but that’s another matter. In practice, this makes engaged and younger consumers much more open to meat/dairy alternatives than older consumers. It also means they experiment at higher rates with vegetarianism and veganism.
Looking to the future, this might mean a long-term decline in meat/dairy consumption as more discover the range of possibilities beyond meat — or maybe not. But the aspiration is there for personal health, and it is shored up by a range of emotional and ethical pillars (animal welfare, sustainability, social justice) that give it lasting power.
Truth be told, ‘clean‘ eating has been popular since the dawn of time, especially given the Paleo diet is based on what Neanderthals would have consumed thousands of years ago. However, Wilson says in 2020 the focus won’t be on meat — but rather, on innovative plant-based foods. Thanks to the cult following that Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have cultivated, major companies like Burger King are starting to offer meat-free patties as part of their menu items.
“We’ll be seeing continued strides made towards eating less meat and incorporating plant-based foods into a wellness plan,” Wilson says. “Considering it’s better for our health, the environment, and the animals, the same will hold true for more plant-based products such as skincare, vitamins and fashion. There’s even an all-vegan hotel now in Scotland!”
Medicinal Mushrooms Becoming Mainstream
We have all heard about all the great benefits certain food can give us. One of the food items that completely took over last year was acai. Acai has been known for having numerous benefits that include its ability to lower blood pressure. Along with helping you feel full for an extended period of time and being able to help you maintain a healthy weight. Acai is now taking a step back and giving the spotlight to mushrooms. Mushrooms are no longer only a staple in culinary. They are now actually becoming part of our healthy lifestyle change, according to Brighter Health. As many medical experts, have discovered its abilities to fight cancer, quell inflammation, balance blood sugar and more.
However, this is not a new discovery, as experts have always slightly known about the abilities that mushrooms have, and studies are backing this up. “Mushroom extracts are unique because they contain polysaccharides and beta-glucans, compounds that activate the immune system by increasing white blood cell count” says Dr. Mark Stengler. It has also been noted that mushrooms are one of the few food items that offer a natural source of vitamin D. They offer anywhere from 140 to 2,000 IU per 100 grams of mushrooms of vitamin D. The benefits of mushrooms are endless, they are also able to help your body detoxify all on its very own.
Healthy Fats Are Here
Going mainstream are healthy fats, particularly full-fat/whole-milk dairy products (e.g., butter, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese). Consumers are still divided on whether they should be adding (42% say they’re adding/increasing healthy fats to their diet, and 23% say they’re adding/increasing full-fat dairy to their diet) or avoiding these. This suggests that full-fat dairy has trickled down from trendsetters to more of the average health-concious crowd, who’ve heard that fats can actually be good for you.
It’s still a trend, but it’s becoming well adopted among those who are inclined. Of course, keto and paleo diets are now mainstream, and fats are essential to those. We see this as similar to probiotics in 2017 — once you see good-sized adoption among Periphery and Outer Mid-level consumers, it’s gone mainstream.
Infrared Saunas and Spa Treatments
Infrared Saunas is a new trend that is gaining major momentum in the wellness community right now. It features saunas that use a different type of heat wave similar to the ones used at the hospital to keep premature babies warm. These saunas essentially raise the body’s core temperature in order to provide different health benefits. Essentially infrared saunas are cooler than traditional saunas. They reach about 125 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, while traditional saunas can easily reach 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since infrared saunas have a different heating system they provide different health benefits such as soothe muscles and joints, according to the Mayo Clinic. Along with better detoxification and deeper relaxation. They also make you sweat more which in essence helps remove toxins from within while helping you rid of excess water weight. Although, infrared lighting has been around for a while they are now taking momentum because of all the health benefits that they provide.
Intermittent Fasting Replacing Keto
For the past few years, it seems as if every celebrity, your next-door neighbor and your favorite podcast host is on the keto diet. Short for ketogenic, this regimen sends your body into the fat-burning state of ketosis, by balancing healthy fats and protein, and admitting carbs. Though it is still a popular way of eating, health expert and wellness entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Splendid Spoon Nicole Centeno thinks intermittent fasting will be even bigger in 2021. While there are many ways to forgo food to benefit your health, the most common method is eating only in an eight-hour window every day, and fasting the rest of the hours. Fasting may even contribute to brain health.
“Fasting has been studied extensively for its anti-inflammatory effects on the body which lead to increased longevity and reduction in risk profiles for diseases like diabetes, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis,” she continues. “It will continue to gain popularity because it doesn’t require a lot of behavior modification for many busy Americans who already skip breakfast. Plus, intermittent fasting doesn’t have pesky lists of foods that you can and can’t eat — which tends to be more realistic for us to stick to in the long term.”
Being Mindful of Self-Care
The language and logic of “mindfulness” — including the significance of feeling present, in the moment, and being aware of one’s own reactions — has become a critical part of the modern approach to well-being, especially in coping with anxiety and stress. While mindfulness is a contemporary ideal, 10 years ago the concept of “self-care” existed, but it didn’t have a name that mainstream consumers could use to talk about things they did to cope with anxiety and stress.
This is related, of course, to the destigmatization of mental/emotional health (51% of consumers strongly agree with the statement “mental and emotional balance is every bit as important as physical health“). Self-care has emerged as a mainstream vocabulary for practices that previous ascetic definitions of health and wellness disavowed (e.g., taking a personal day, treating yourself, making something nice for yourself).
It also indicates how mainstream the holistic vision of health and wellness is. It’s about loving yourself rather than flagellating yourself, which is closer to mindfulness than the traditional sin/salvation dialetic that is associated with health and wellness talk.