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Health and wellbeing | 22.05.2015

The 9 biggest health trends of 2015

1. Organics

Products grown and produced without the use of toxic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are one of the biggest trends of the modern era. As scientists and researchers discover more about the toxic residues in food and in soil, or chemicals in our clothing that we inhale, or in cosmetics that we absorb through our skin, more people are turning to certified organic products. Not only are they proven to be better for our health, organic farming practices are inherently more sustainable for our planet.  

2. Cutting out chemicals

This one follows on from organics and the two are interrelated. Concerns about carcinogens and other toxic chemicals in our food, drinks, skin care products, household furniture clothing – in fact, everything we consume ­ has led to much higher consumer awareness about toxic chemicals and how to reduce them. Smart consumers read labels and avoid numbers and ingredients that sound like they've been cooked up in a lab (and usually have been). There’s a growing concern that our government regulators aren't policing potentially harmful chemicals in our environment as well as they should be, so we need to take matters into our own hands. We're also getting smarter about greenwashing, learning to spot marketing hype when we see it, avoid products that purport to be clean and green and saving our dollars for the real thing.   

3. Holistic health

While mainstream medicine should be given a healthy amount of respect and used where necessary, it’s no longer seen as the be all and end all. Its tendency to treat symptoms as separate to the whole person, and a reliance on medications that often have undesirable side effects, has prompted more and more people to seek out natural alternatives to maintain health. Preventative health is a huge trend, with increasingly more people eating a wholesome diet high in unprocessed, fresh and often organic foods and avoiding too much of the naughty stuff (sugar, alcohol refined carbs, bad fats), as well as taking dietary supplements. There are a multitude of diets out there but the main point is it needs to be enjoyable, sustainable, affordable and provide your body with optimum nutrition. In the pursuit of holistic health, more people are opting for exercise that’s either incidental, like walking or cycling to work, or enrolling in fun classes like pole dancing, surfing lessons or ballet. The key is to treat your overall health as a product of your state of mental, physical and emotional health. 

4. Superfoods ­­

Goji berries, acai berries, kale, hemp seeds, chia seeds, wheatgrass juice, green tea, coconut oil, quinoa... whatever your superfood of choice, they all have one thing in common: they pack a big nutritional punch. We lead super-busy lives, so any foods we can throw into a blender, sprinkle onto our salads or stir into our yoghurt is helpful in the quest to provide our bodies with all the nutrients it needs to keep humming along smoothly.  

5. Healthy sweeteners

Sugar is bad, artificial sweeteners are evil, so what do you use to inject a little sweetness into your life? Stevia is the top choice, but other good sugar alternatives are xylitol, organic maple syrup and rapadura sugar. Coconut sugar is also gaining popularity as it’s preservative free, unbleached and has an extremely low GI of 35, with a much higher nutritional and mineral content in comparison to cane sugar and artificial sweeteners. It provides sustained energy and is especially high in potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron and is a natural source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. 

6. Supplements

Like superfoods, supplements are a good idea if you want to take a holistic approach to your health. Probiotics aid gut health, which all of the systems of your body rely on, especially the immune system. Immune boosting supplements like echinacea, astaxanthin, olive leaf extract are always popular, especially at this time of year when the weather turns chilly and viruses like influenza are circulating. There’s been a huge surge of interest in magnesium supplements, whether used in oils, bath flakes, or creams. Magnesium supplements can help you sleep better, relax your nervous system, assist with muscle strength and flexibility, aid bone strength, alkalise and hydrate the body and has been shown to improve asthma, high blood pressure, migraines, restless leg syndrome and PMS. Brain support products like gingko and protein powders are also highly popular supplements.  

7. Keeping tabs on yourself

Wearable technology like UP from Jawbone, as well as diet and exercise apps for your smartphone are a big trend that shows no signs of slowing down. They allow you to monitor your exercise levels, diet, heart rate and sleeping patterns and best of all, give you feedback so you’ll know when you’re going off the rails and need to get back on the straight and narrow.  

8. Natural sunscreens

Two sun-related trends are becoming increasingly more prominent. Firstly, more people are opting for natural sunscreens that don’t contain potentially harmful chemical UV blockers and nanoparticles, which it’s feared penetrate the skin and could possibly lead to internal damage. Read this excellent piece by the Environmental Working Group about why it’s best to avoid sunscreens containing nanoparticles and opt for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, considered the safest sunscreen ingredient. http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/report/nanoparticles-in-sunscreen/ The other trend is people opting to have a sensible amount of sun exposure each day, in order to maintain vitamin D levels.  

9. Being strong rather than skinny

OK so skinny is still the thing in Hollywood, but for the rest of us, it’s more achievable (and a lot healthier) to focus our attention on being fit and strong, rather than stick-thin. Eating well and not starving yourself, exercising regularly to tone and build muscle and having an abundant amount of energy with which to enjoy life sounds like a lot more fun to me!

How has your life improved after adopting a new health trend?

@bymukti

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Join the discussion

MaryMary says:

Sep 23, 2015 07:49pm

Amazing tips Mukti! Ive also tried to switch to natural sunscreen, but the zinc oxide leaves a white sheen on my skin that im not fond of...any advice on how to avoid this? Thanks!

Reply

MuktiMukti says:

Sep 25, 2015 11:27am

Hi Mary,
The zinc oxide in our new improved formulation does not leave a white sheen. You can order samples on line. The spf is 15+ and suitable for everyday use.

Jessica MaddenJessica Madden says:

May 22, 2015 10:18am

Cutting out chemicals from my skincare/ make-up was the best decision i've ever made... i no longer have breakouts woo hoo

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