Healthy eating and wellness trends are becoming more and more mainstream. Last year quinoa, sriracha, and chai were a few of the popular go-to superfoods. Zumba had been a popular fitness class. 2015 marks a new year with new trends. Here are a few wellness trends to keep an eye on in 2015.
Healthy Restaurants Continue to Expand
More and more restaurants are offering healthy menus. Even McDonald’s will soon be offering antibiotic-free chicken, but they still have a long way to go when it comes to other meat and chemicals.
Look for more restaurants adding healthy, organic, local farm to table, and even superfood options. Many are not even advertising them, just making them part of their menu.
Keep An Eye on Telomeres
Telomeres are caps at the ends of DNA strands that protect chromosomes and affect aging in the body. I like the analogy of plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces that protect them from unraveling.
A study by Dr. Dean Ornish showed that improved diet, exercise, healthy stress management, and social support could result in longer telomeres. Look for more studies and info coming out about the role of telomeres and how to prolong your life.
Consider Forest Bathing
Contrary to what the name implies, forest bathing is basically mindfulness combined with a walk in the forest. The Japanese term is shinrin-yoku, which means “taking in the forest atmosphere.”
Pay attention, or be mindful of your surroundings, by focusing on the senses in the forest. What do you smell? What do you hear? How does the air feel and taste? What colors do you see? When you get distracted, simply notice this and re-focus on your surroundings.
Some studies indicate health benefits of forest bathing include lowered blood pressure, heart rate, cortisol, and sympathetic nervous system.
One notable study indicates that the exposure to phytoncides (chemicals or oils emitted by many forest trees) can have a long-term effect on immune markers, which boost natural killer and cancer fighting cells by 40 percent.
GI health has been a popular trend for years now, whether it’s Candida overgrowth, probiotics, antibiotics, intestinal flora, gluten sensitivity, and more.
Now, gut health is taking a new trend, which focuses on the GI’s environmental system called the microbiome. By focusing on the microbiome, you can affect it’s makeup and improve your body’s immunity, which can ward off health conditions, and reducing obesity.
Some are even speculating it can help improve your mind as well.
Swap Out Your Chai Tea with Matcha
Matcha cafes are becoming more and more prominent, pushing aside the popular chai tea. Matcha is a Japanese ground combination of green tea leaves that are slowly grown in gradual shade, handpicked, and stone ground.
This careful nurturing results in a hot drink that is the nutritional equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea. Matcha has less caffeine than green tea, but provides a “calm alertness” due to the amino acid L-Theanine.
Work-Sponsored Wellness and Fitness
With the health care crisis and subsequent release of ObamaCare, companies are starting to focus even more on wellness and prevention care.
It’s cheaper to prevent a disease than treat it as it occurs, right? This also benefits employers as it results in less work being missed by employees.
A survey done by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust showed that 98 percent of large companies (over 200 workers) and 73 percent of smaller companies offer at least one wellness program to their employees.
Wellness can be in the form of smoking cessation, gym discounts or memberships, on-site exercise equipment, personal health coaches, nutrition classes, or biometric screening.
Instagram Can Make You Eat Healthier
Do you get on Instagram and notice foodie photos that make you drool to the point where you have to try it yourself? Now healthy food blogs are generating interest with yummy food photography, which prompts people to not only check out their blogs, but eat healthier too.
Go To a Fitness Boutique
Instead of heading to the sporting goods section of your local superstore (or even sporting goods store), you can now find trendy workout clothes in boutique settings as it gains its own retail category.
Think “luxury athlete” from retailers like Bandier, Net-A-Sporter, and Carbon38. Now you can dress head to toe in luxury fitness apparel and go about your day.
Consider a Home Juicing Machine
Instead of heading to your local juice and smoothie bar, consider getting your own home juicing machine instead of spending $10+ on one smoothie.
Joe Cross, the maker of Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead relates home juicing to the “Starbucks effect,” meaning people go to Starbucks, but now make it at home too. Now the trend is happening with juices and smoothies as well.
Lean Towards Shorter, More Intense Workouts
Instead of the traditional 1-hour cardio workouts, the trend will continue towards high-intensity, shorter workouts. You’ve probably heard of the 30-minute P90X workout.
No need to push your body for 60 minutes when studies show that shorter, more intense workouts are just as effective. Look for exercise programs like High Intensity Interval Training, CrossFit, and 20-Minute Body.
More Celebrities Publicly Embrace Meditation
Oprah has been popular for her meditation segments with Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge. Celebrities such as Iron Chef Mar Forgione, Suze Yalof Schwartz, Congressman Tim Ryan, and Kobe Bryant are just a few who are mainstreaming meditation.
Edible Insects Are In
You probably hear the random story about someone eating bugs, but did you think they would become a food trend? According to Suzy Badaracco, President of a food trend company called Culinary Tide, edible insects make 3 popular 2015 food trends: eating invasive species, wild foraging, and more protein.
Apparently, you can get just as much protein from a grasshopper as you can a chicken breast. You do not have to go foraging on your own for bugs. Now you can purchase power bars with insects or cricket flour from the company Exo. Quite the spin on protein bars.