Are the healthy resolutions you set at the start of the year now a distant memory? Did your commitment to eating better or exercising more slow down as the excitement of the New Year wore off? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to reset!
With the new season and warmer days ahead, now is the perfect time to kick-start those heathy habits—again. To help, we want to share the top five natural health trends identified by Healthier by Nature that will still help you make 2020 the best year yet.
1. INTERMITTENT FASTING
This new style of eating has become very popular as an alternative to constant calorie restriction. It allows you to severely limit calories during certain times or days of the week.
During fasting, calories are completely restricted and no solid or liquid food, more than 50 calories, is consumed.
Today, many of us are accustomed to eating from morning to evening, giving the digestive system little time to rest, and the body less opportunity to repair. Intermittent fasting is beneficial because it gives the body a break, which helps with cellular repair, weight management and reducing inflammation.
Although no food is consumed during fasting, hydration is still important. Staying hydrated with water and herbal teas is ideal. (Some drinks are designed for fasting.)
It’s important to note that intermittent fasting is not for everyone, and before trying it you should speak to your health care practitioner to find out if it’s right for you.
2. PROGRESSIVE PROBIOTICS
Our body is home to hundreds of billions of bacterial cells that play an important role in a number of bodily functions, including helping us digest and absorb nutrients from our food.
Preliminary studies are also showing the important impact probiotics have on our immune system, helping to reduce the number and severity of symptoms associated with the common cold.
We know that probiotics are beneficial, but what makes them trendy is all
the innovative ways they can now be consumed, from supplements in the form of fizzy fun to snack food fortified with probiotics. As the trend to consume probiotics continues, so do the ways in which they can be consumed.
Move over morning smoothie, elixirs are the new trend. In today’s fast- paced, time-deprived world, many of us are guilty of consuming lattes or sodas filled with too much sugar and empty calories, for a morning or afternoon energy boost.
Elixirs typically consist of a base of a warmed liquid (water or a nut milk) combined with a beneficial natural ingredient such as a healthy protein or fat source, spices, fruit or a sweetener. Popular elixirs include chocolate lattes infused with ashwagandha (adaptogenic) and cinnamon, or a lemon ginger steamer (to help support digestion.)
The mix of ingredients rounds out the texture and flavour of the beverage, but can also act synergistically for greater benefits for your health. For example, the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory compounds in turmeric are made more absorbable by the addition of fat; and black pepper boosts their potency, which is why the traditional elixir golden milk is so beneficial —you can find a great recipe on healthierbynature.ca.
Other elixirs made with natural boosters and healthy ingredients can benefit a range of health concerns from digestion, inflammation, fatigue and stress to warding off colds and flu!
Just as nourishing meals contribute to health, elixirs offer a fortifying, easily digested boost of nourishment that can become a part of your daily lifestyle.
Collagen supplements have been getting a lot of attention, and for good reason. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, acting mainly
as a building block for structural and connective tissues: bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, hair, nails and skin.
Until recently, it was disputed that dietary collagen could influence tissue levels, but researchers have discovered collagen peptides can be absorbed intact from the GI tract and delivered to target tissues throughout the body.
The results have been touted by collagen’s growing fan base, who credit their daily dose of collagen for youthful skin, reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, healthy joints, lustrous hair and nails, injury recovery, and strong bones.
As more of us jump on the collagen bandwagon, we will continue to see more innovative ways to consume collagen from powders to bars.
5. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
As more people become conscious about what they put in their bodies, they are also becoming more aware of what they are putting into the environment. We are seeing a demand from Canadians for products that are environmentally sustainable, and seeing many companies respond to this demand in innovative ways.
Canadians can now find dog treats, juices and soaps from less than perfect fruits and vegetables that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Or bandages made with sustainable bamboo fibre that is 100% compostable, biodegradable and toxin-free, and personal and home cleaning products made with more natural ingredients.
Starting new health habits can be tricky, but pick one or two to try this week and build slowly from there. It’s not too late to restart those resolutions and set yourself up for a successful new season!
More Insights: You might also enjoy this insightful article on 8 foods to avoid when grocery shopping.
Author: Michelle W. Book is the in-house Holistic Nutritionist and spokesperson for Healthier by Nature, a website focused on educating Canadians on the benefits of natural health and organic products. As a busy professional with a young family, Michelle strives to spread the message that small changes in our everyday lives can have significant, positive effects on our health.