Wellness trends that are set to soar
Trends are exactly that: transient fads that come and go; anyone remember life before juice fasts? No, me neither, but ‘souping’ soon stole its crown as the go-to detoxing cleanse. Similarly, there was a time when the most health-conscious among us wouldn’t be seen dead without a carton of coconut water, but now it’s all about Kombucha – pronounced ‘kom-boo-ka’, it’s a sparkling drink made by fermenting black or green tea with bacteria and yeast. Health is a hotbed of trends that, like or loathe their often short-lived staying power, most of us fall hook, line and sinker for. Polly Humphris rounds up the biggest wellness crazes that have sunk their teeth into 2016 and look set to soar.
The New Vegan
There was a time not so long ago when ‘true’ vegans would look down their noses at anyone who even so much as looked at an egg with longing, but times, they are a changin’. Adapting rather rapidly to become more of an overall philosophy of health rather than a rigid ‘diet’, new veganism accommodates pegans – paleo vegans; flexivegans, who choose to eat animal free, part time; and, the latest subgroup, ‘veggans’ – vegans who choose to eat eggs (as long as they’re cruelty free) to add extra protein to their diets. The rules of veganism are no longer hard and fast, which won’t please the purists, but does mean that many more people can subscribe to veganism’s commendable ethical values.
Move over quinoa and take a bow kale, the superfoodie’s must-have ingredient is now…seaweed. Underwater and a little slimy it may be, but high-quality seaweed is on the lips of every nutritionist out there and is being lauded for its massive density of nutrients and minerals. Chefs are starting to use seaweed as a healthy option in place of salt, and its bioactive goodness is being leapt upon by skincare brands for the functional, cellular-level role it plays in keeping our skin, hair and nails healthy. It’s even usurping courgetti’s position as the go-to carb substitute – try Seamore’s ‘I sea pasta’ seaweed tagliatelle; you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.
Minerals not vitamins
If health were a rock band, showy old vitamins might be the lead singer, but the songwriter? Minerals. Who are finally getting their moment in the spotlight. Particularly magnesium, the queen of all minerals it seems, and one that’s been singled out by doctors and health professionals as the key to improving muscle and bone strength, helping keep our blood pressure in check, and supporting a strong immune system. Around 80 percent of us are deficient in magnesium alone and the stresses, sleepless nights and bad habits (too much coffee; processed foods) of modern life are all depleting our precious mineral levels. Grab a supplement, or try a topical mineral spray to keep yours topped up.
Known energy boosters and resilience increasers in the face of stress, adptogens – effectively plants with superpowers – have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, but are in the midst of a massive comeback. Able to adapt their function to whatever our bodies need, these fatigue-fighting superherbs help us to combat pressure situations in a healthy way, so we can sidestep feeling run down, and you can expect to see adaptogenic ingredients like ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, maca and ginseng cropping up in foods, drinks and skincare by the bucketload. We love What Skin Needs ‘Hydrating Facial Serum’, which is packed with gotu kola, a rejuvenative adaptogen.
Even if it’s been your skin’s best friend for a decade, it’s time to ditch the foaming facial wash in favour of an oil cleanser. Now for the science bit…remember being taught that ‘like dissolves like’ in chemistry? An expression explaining how some solvents work, ‘like dissolves like’ refers to polar and nonpolar solvents and solutes: water is polar, oil is nonpolar; water will not dissolve oil. But, oil will. Using a spruced-up, natural plant oil to cleanse your face therefore, will tackle any dirt and oil on your face directly – much more effective than water-based cleansers that need surfactants to create a lather to clean your skin. Simples.
Calorie Count Out, Confidence Count In
Hallelujah! It seems the diet industry has final realised that modern women are not just a calorie-controlling bunch of ‘hangry’ maniacs, desperately trying to be skinny, but that today’s ‘diets’ are wellness focused and much more about weighing our feelings, confidence and achievements, not just our bodies. Aimed at eating healthier, getting more active and discovering new ways to define your success, Weight Watchers’ new ‘Beyond the Scale’ plan has shifted the diet’s emphasis well away from losing pounds and instead focuses on achieving self-care, inner strength, and an overall healthy lifestyle. Bravo.
Drink Yourself Glowing
Beauty may be only skin deep, but the key to unleashing its potential is all about what’s happening on the inside if a new wave of drinkable skincare is to be believed. It seems the light switch link between skincare and nutrition has finally been flicked on, as health and wellness shelves are now stocked high with beauty-boosting elixirs packed full with…you guessed it…adaptogens, and lots of other superfoods and antioxidants such as spirulina, lemon and bee pollen, all of which help us glow with health, youth and happiness. Equi London’s ‘Beautiful’ is a brand new collagen-infused drink that’s making waves on the skincare scene; it’s full of marine collagens and all sorts of other natural goodies to fight ageing and promote skin regeneration.