It’s that time of year again! Out with the old and in with the new — health trends that is. Each year fitness and nutrition gurus find new ways for us to take care of our minds and bodies. We did some digging and put together a list of what you can expect to see take off in 2017.
Self-care is about taking stock of your own headspace. Practicing self-care requires you to look inward, examining how and why you’re experiencing certain thoughts and feelings, and then looking for healthy ways to deal with them.
More people are becoming aware of their mental health status and seeking ways to ease stress, anxiety, and depression, particularly after the 2016 election. Look for this trend to grow in the coming year.
This is an important change from the past, when mental health was often overlooked or not discussed. Being able to interpret your thoughts and feelings can help you address personal mental health issues and seek help if you need it.
Fat is back
Fats are no longer a taboo at the table. In a major shift, the latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines swapped out its focus on limiting fats, particularly healthy ones, and instead targeted sugar. Turns out we’ve been consuming sugar in unhealthy amounts. The average American takes in about 20 teaspoons per day.
For that reason, more and more Americans are beginning to welcome healthy fats, such as those in nuts and avocados, back into their kitchens, and shying away from sugar.
This year, we’ll see more people adding products that contain healthy fats to their diets instead of buying the sugar-free varieties.
As more women embrace their natural beauty, going fresh-faced will be a trend for 2017. Musician and singer Alicia Keys got a lot of attention (both positive and negative) when she showed up at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards and the Democratic National Convention without makeup. Recently, several other celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kylie Jenner, and Jennifer Lopez, have posted no-makeup selfies on Instagram.
Keys, like many champions of the fresh-faced movement, says she felt stronger and more empowered by being makeup-free.
And in addition to saving you lots of time in the morning and boosting your self-confidence, not wearing makeup can free you from exposure to dangerous ingredients and keep your skin clear. You’re not clogging pores, causing acne, or applying possible irritants to your skin. Just remember, if your make-up was your sunblock, be sure to use sunblock on bright sunny days to protect your natural skin.
There was a time when many believed that quality protein only came from meat. Today, as vegan and vegetarian diets become more popular, we’re exploring more plant-based proteins than ever. And this trend will continue to expand in 2017.
Beans, nuts, and even grains like quinoa are known sources of protein that have been on the scene for a while. Now people are turning their attention to hemp, pea, and sunflower seed protein. Plant proteins have phytonutrients, which help lower cholesterol and fight disease.
Expect to see hemp and pea protein in particular take off. In addition to being a good source of protein, hemp powder is also a good source of fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. For people who’re sensitive to dairy, hemp or pea proteins may be a good alternative to the traditional whey protein powder, which is dairy-based.
The term “sobriety” used to be reserved for those in recovery from addiction. But now many millennials are choosing to abstain from alcohol for general health reasons. You may have heard of Dry January, which involves starting the new year off with a month of sobriety — a concept that’s been growing in popularity.
As a generation, millennials are more health conscious at a younger age. Many know the negative effects alcohol can have on the body, including weight gain, higher risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and liver damage. Regular drinking can also visibly age you, causing your skin to look older.
The sobriety movement is about being comfortable in your own skin and making authentic connections with other people. Events like Daybreaker, an alcohol-free dance party that takes place in the morning, are gaining momentum going into 2017.
Prescriptions for exercise
We’ve known about the many physical health benefits that come with staying active. But have you ever had your doctor or therapist prescribe an exercise plan? This could soon become common practice with Exercise is Medicine making the 2017 top 20 worldwide fitness trends from the American College of Sports Medicine.
Exercise is Medicine is a growing movement encouraging doctors to recommend exercise as part of treatment. The organization’s goal is to help trained exercise professionals play a role in patient care.
The benefits of regular exercise go beyond fighting weight gain and heart disease. According to the American Psychological Association, exercise can be an effective part of treatment for mood disorders, like anxiety and depression.
Kimchi —a popular staple of Korean cuisine made of fermented vegetables — is starting to take over the shelves in mainstream grocery stores. Not only is kimchi tasty, it also contains healthy bacteria called probiotics because of the fermentation process.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, one type of probiotic, is a form of bacteria that’s found naturally in your body, usually in your intestines and mouth. It produces vitamin K as well as lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose (the sugars in milk products). For this reason, probiotics are often recommended by doctors for lactose intolerance and other various digestive issues, and is used in milk to make it lactose-free.
A study on kimchi in the Journal of Medicinal Food discovered other health benefits due to the fermentation process. These include antioxidant properties and positive effects on brain, skin, and immune system health.
Goat meat hasn’t quite taken off in the United States. Expect that to change this year, as people discover the health benefits to this lean red meat.
It’s lower in fat and calories than beef, pork, and even chicken. Goat is also higher in iron and lower in saturated fat. The difference is clear when you compare three ounces of goat meat to the same amount of beef.
For many years, water exercise has been associated with arthritis and physical therapy. Not anymore.
Classes are emerging for people without joint issues who are still looking for a high-energy workout — like water Zumba! The newest water exercise craze, called FloatFit, involves a combination of yoga and high-intensity interval training all done on a mat while floating in a pool.
While water exercise started to grow in popularity in 2016, expect to hear even more great things about it in 2017, with more classes offering water workouts, and swimwear brands like Speedo launching full lines of water exercise gear.