If the published information detailing health trends for 2018 is correct, we can expect to become more mindful, more rested and even more efficient in our daily lives in the coming year. What better time to embrace some new health habits than the dawn of a brand-new year?
We scoured everything from gut health and staycations to caffeine-infused foods and the extension of the “athleisure” category into “workleisure.” (Breathable, stretchy work-appropriate attire? Yes, please!) And after extensive research and combing through the dozens of healthy-living buzzwords you can expect to hear loud and clear next year, here’s a list of the ones that rose to the top not only because of their rampant popularity, but also their legitimacy.
Top 5 Health Trends to Watch for in 2018
The Ketogenic Diet
Many experts are saying the ketogenic diet was the most Googled nutrition term of 2017. This method of eating puts the body in a state of “ketosis,” where the body’s main fuel source comes from the burning of fat instead of carbohydrates. Although seen as a somewhat extreme eating plan, which all but eliminates carbs and focuses on high amounts of dietary fat and moderate amounts of protein, the results of being in a state of ketosis transcend fat loss and are reported to include enhanced energy, mental clarity and a drop in hunger. And who doesn’t want all of that? I can give up potatoes to achieve this zen-like state of keto-phoria. Can’t you?
According to paleo and keto pioneer and author Mark Sisson, it takes as little as 21 days to reprogram your metabolism to burn fat for fuel by ditching processed grains, sugars and refined vegetable oils in favor of nutrient-dense, high-fat foods. There are a number of websites, books, blogs and cookbooks to help you along the way. We like Sisson’s The Keto Reset Diet for its thorough explanation of why the keto diet works, tips for how to mentally prepare to do it and recipes to help you get started.
While we believe there is (and likely always will be) the desire for bricks-and-mortar fitness destinations and group classes, 2018 is expected to bring a rise in at-home fitness options. Exercise movements such as CrossFit have enabled participants to set up a gym in their garage at home complete with Olympic lifting equipment and a number of other fitness doodads (kettlebells, ab mats and jump ropes) with minimal expense. The key benefit? Convenience. Additionally, smaller boutique studios are getting digitally savvy as well, offering online classes for members to take in the comfort of their own homes and whenever their schedules allow.
Factor in companies such as Peloton and Flywheel, which offer live streaming and on-demand classes from some of the world’s top instructors right to your exercise bike at home, and you don’t have to go anywhere. These bikes allow riders to decide when they take a class and who teaches it, while providing a group environment even though you may be riding alone.
Yes, the farm-to-table movement has been going quite strong in recent years — and 2018 shows no signs of slowing. In fact, Forbes Magazine reports that the USDA’s latest Census of Agriculture shows that the number of farmers under age 35 is increasing, which is only the second time that’s happened since 1900. The article goes on to say that younger, smarter farmers will bring us into a new era of agriculture. As has been the case for several years, restaurants — both high-end and casual — are proud to work directly with local farmers to use local ingredients whenever possible, many also modifying their menus based on what is in season in order to source local all year long. Taking a page from locally owned restaurants’ success, some major restaurant chains are even bringing local farms to our tables in a fast-casual setting. Franchises such as GrabbaGreen and Sweetgreen believe in a transparent supply chain and list clearly the farms their produce and meat are sourced from. Expect to see more food retailers get on board in 2018.
The mind-body connection of today’s consumer is influencing the marketplace to become — and let its consumers know it is becoming — more conscious and aware of the environment. A recent Forbes article describes the mindfulness of 2018 as being more conscious and aware of the world around us. Companies are starting to pay more attention to waste and are creating campaigns for giving back as well as promoting mindfulness among their employees.
Major corporations from Google to Target offer their employees mindfulness courses. Participants in Google’s “Search Inside Yourself” program reported being calmer, more patient and better able to listen. The program was also reported to help employees better handle stress and defuse emotions. Target began offering mindfulness meditation training at the retailer’s Minneapolis headquarters, which is now open to all employees at multiple locations.
There is no shortage of herbal and natural remedies that are seemingly a cure-all for basically anything that ails you. Do a little research online, and you will start drinking apple cider vinegar like water because it is credited with helping everything from hiccups and diabetes to cancer and heart problems.
But the newest agriculture to take the herbal remedy market by storm is activated charcoal. Often used in hospital emergency rooms and endorsed by the World Health Organization as an antidote to drug overdoses, the black powder is also showing up in everything from toothpaste to deodorants and face masks. The claims are that activated charcoal can cure indigestion, reduce body odor and bad breath, stop gas and bloating, brighten skin, clear acne and even whiten teeth.
Although there is little research to back all this up, the products are flying off the shelves. The popular wellness blog Paleohacks says activated charcoal has been used for thousands of years. Researchers studying activated charcoal found that orally administering it half an hour after ingesting a toxic substance decreased the substance’s absorption by 47%.
The beauty of activated charcoal is that unlike most supplements, you don’t have to take it daily to see its benefits. You can take it regularly or just keep some on hand for specific occasions, such as a bout of bloating or gas, or when you want to whiten your teeth or remove toxins from your skin.
As you embark on setting some goals for 2018, make sure to incorporate some mindfulness into your plan, and be on the lookout for all of these health, fitness and nutrition trends. Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!
Want to learn more about healthy living? Check out our Health & Fitness section.