With a tough 2020 finally behind us, the need to support our health and wellbeing is more important than ever....so what can we expect to see? We breakdown the top 10 health trends we anticipate for 2021...
If you agree with the environmental principles of veganism but also love a fat, juicy steak, then join the conscientious movement of climatarianism. Instead of abstaining from animal products, climatarians choose foods based on their environmental impact, including carbon emissions, water usage and packaging. From waste-free meal plans (we love this one), carbon neutral meal kits and subscription boxes of ethically farmed meat, to 100% grass fed, ethically farmed animals and a broadening range of meat substitutes (vegan seitan jerky, anyone?), there’s an ever expanding list of environmentally friendly options for meat lovers.
2. Personalised nutrition
The pandemic has forced the nation to evaluate diet’s impact on health and as we travel through 2021, we could see an even more granular examination of diet’s effect on longevity. Genetic testing, with its ability to inform us of our body’s predisposition to certain health problems, is rising in popularity, and could be used to create personalised nutrition plans. Rather than diet plans to slim our waistlines, we predict food could be used as a way to help us conquer illness and disease. Diabetics, for example, could embrace keto meal delivery schemes and NHS-prescribed soups and shakes, while those with heart health problems could look to nutrition plans low in saturated fat and salt and high in oily fish (yep, the Mediterranean diet is back).
3. CBD has a rival
CBD will continue its expansion into everything from canned drinks to vitamin supplements but there’s a new mellow kid in town: copaiba. A legal essential oil derived from the resin of the copaifera tree, it contains terpenes, a natural compound that interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body to provide similar therapeutic benefits to CBD. You have probably already used copaiba as part of a blend (Neal’s Yard and Neom both have essential oil mixes featuring it) but you can buy it solo from dōTERRA, and add it to water or juice.
4. Omnichannel fitness
After a year of fitness providers pivoting to apps, audio and streaming to give clients their endorphin hit, the omnichannel model is set to stay. Newly launched Apple Fitness+ serves up workouts based on the intensity of a user’s last session, alongside personalised, instructor-led HIIT, strength, yoga, dance, cycling and treadmill classes. Home gym service Tonal has introduced Smart Flex tech that adjusts the machine’s weights while you’re lifting. Nike is upping its training plans on Apple watches, and Peloton Tread – the high-end home running machine paired with trainer-led workouts – has finally launched in the UK. Away from the tech behemoths: gamefied workout app Apocalypse Survival Training will take you through your paces while you listen to a scripted sci-fi story.
5. Stress tracking
The effects of chronic stress – from high blood pressure to sleep disorders – are well documented but there are several new technologies to help you understand and manage it. The Apple Watch Series 6 uses a built-in blood oxygen monitor to sense quick and shallow breathing, while FitBit’s Sense device tracks stress through electrodermal activity. Just launched Cove is a strap that wraps around the back of your head, and tracks stress via the your heart rate, vibrating behind the ears to calm and promote better sleep. Finally, the Garmin Fenix 5 and Forerunner 935 prompt users to do a breath-work exercise when the watches detect high stress levels.
6. Immune health
It’s no surprise immune support will take top priority in the coming months, especially as we return to office life, public transport and socialising (remember that?). Gut health specialists Atlas Biomed will launch a new inflammation and immunity profile this year. Pill popping will be trounced by food supplements that can be blended with food and drink. Finnish American company Four Sigmatic specialises in mushroom-based tea and coffee powders that support – among other things – the immune system, as does Bulk Powder’s Complete Immune Support, while Haskapa’s powders utilise the power of haskap berries, which are high in anthocyanin and associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cardio-protective benefits. For an extra boost, mix new immunity-strengthening liquid supplements Truth Origins, which contains echinacea and chaga mushroom, or IMMUNE 52, which has 52 vitamins including A, B, C and D, plus magnesium and zinc, to water, and sprinkle a handful of broccoli sprouts on your salads for a shot of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
7. Functional foods
Foods with benefits is the mantra for 2021. Add some probiotic chocolate to your next shop, and while you’re at it, throw in a pack of Pulsin’s Keto Bars. Thirsty? Remedy’s canned kombucha, switchel and kefir drinks are designed to aid digestion and improve gut health – speaking of which, the skin-gut axis highlights the relationship between intestinal bacteria and skin health. Try a collagen drink such as Beauty Chef’s Collagen Inner Boost or WelleCo’s Super Elixir, which combines 40 ingredients to support gut health and promote healthy skin and hair.
8. Lab-grown meat
Lab-grown meat doesn’t just taste like meat – it is meat. However, instead of your ‘chicken’ nuggets starting life as a bird, it begins in a petri dish of animal cells and a long list of growth agents, often including foetal bovine serum. It’s not for vegans, that’s for sure, but it is for environmentally minded consumers: one study found lab meat could be produced with 96% lower greenhouse gas emissions and 99% less land than large-scale industrial farming. Dutch company Mosa Meats created the first lab-meat burger at a cost of $300,000 and a year of research, and so far, only Singapore and Israel have passed lab meat for human consumption, but we predict we’ll be hearing a lot more about it for the UK market this year.
9. Super ingredients
Chickpea-based foods will still reign in 2021 (take note of this vegan chickpea flour omelette mix) but we predict a rival lining up to take the legume’s place: seaweed. Shown to reduce cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels here.
10. Lifestyle-based eating
We’ve already seen a movement away from strict diet trends, towards a more intuitive approach, and this year we’ll build on that, incorporating measured and mindful approaches to food and alcohol. Alcohol consumption fell during 2020 while non-alcoholic and low-alcohol brands such as CleanCo gained popularity. And while you don’t need a guide to eating sensibly, two new books stand out: Mastering Mindful Eating by Michelle Babb, which outlines how to practice mindful eating for improved health and digestion; and Intuitive Eating for Every Day by Evelyn Tribole, the co-founder of the intuitive eating movement. Turns out, it is possible to only have one Jaffa Cake.
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