Sleep, stress, and soul food: check out the top health trends of the year
Most of us want to be healthy and full of energy in 2020. But what can help you feel that way? Health trends are constantly changing and while some of these trends hold great promise, others are mere fads that will pass away. How can you differentiate among them?
Here’s a look at the most promising health trends for the year ahead….
Look at the cause, not the symptoms
The beginning of a new year is a good time to focus on your health
One of the biggest health trends of the year is about looking at the how and why of illnesses, instead of finding quick cures. In the past, doctors and healthcare professionals used the “Band-Aid” approach of squelching symptoms and not looking at the root cause of a problem.
This branch of medicine, often called ‘Functional medicine’ has been spoken about as the number one trend in healthcare in many recent studies and reports. This involves ‘root cause resolution’, like lowering inflammation, restoring the microbiome in your gut, addressing deficiencies, keeping away environmental toxins, improving detoxification, addressing stress, improving sleep and looking deeply at the quality of your relationships.
Stress is the enemy
Keep stress at bay even at the work place
As life gets more complicated, stress levels are also on the rise. There was a time where it was almost cool to say that you were under stress. That’s no longer the case today, because each of us is getting used to a certain level of stress in every area of life. The problem, however, lies in the fact that we think that this stress does not affect us in any way.
Think of what happens when go away on a vacation. If you face a high level of stress every day and you go on a vacation, there is a good chance that you will either fall sick during your holiday or come back and succumb to an infection. The reason for this is that when your adrenals need to slow down from the pace you have set for it, it relaxes, your adrenaline drops, and you fall sick.
Stress equals inflammation. It is, therefore, important to take even ten minutes out in your day to include stress-coping activities like deep breathing, yoga and meditation. These can heal the most complex of conditions. Try and lead a life of balance. Just as you work out your body with exercise, work out your soul with stress-reducing activities.
Restore the microbiome
There is a living microbiome in every human body
With a massive number of startups that are now focused on fermented foods like kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut, and probiotic foods, the last decade has truly been the era of the discovery of the microbiome.
The discovery that there is a living, breathing community of life living within each person, and that this community of viruses, fungi and microbes control a great many functions in the body, has been profound.
Did you know that only 1% of you is your DNA and that 99% of you is that of your microbiome? The microbiome, and whether it is more beneficial or pathogenic, decides many things. They control inflammation, gut permeability, nutrient absorption, hormone metabolism, circadian rhythms, sleep and much more.
Supporting your microbiome is the most promising way that you can positively impact the state of your health. Remember that fermented foods are not the only approach as you could be sensitive to foods like kombucha. The better way is to increase the amount of plant fibres from vegetables that feed your microbiome and increase the number of beneficial microbes in your body.
Sleep is the best medicine
The factors that can improve sleep must be implemented for optimum health
More and more studies are emerging that sleep quality controls health much more than anything else. Insomnia can no longer be countered with coffee and sugar. Poor sleep alters your digestive function, increases inflammatory cytokines or chemicals, reduces satiety, increases hunger, increases cravings, upsets blood sugar balance, disrupts hormones, reduces your ability to detoxify the body and affects your emotions.
In other words, poor sleep can make you nasty and dull. Most systems within your body come into balance if sleep improves. Just getting to bed earlier at night, getting a good night’s sleep and maintaining a sleep rhythm through the week can be powerful tools that can address any health challenges you might have.
More and more studies are coming out to prove that sleep is truly the new medicine. Don’t miss those important hours of deep slumber.
These health trends of the year are the result of many years of study and effort by the healthcare industry. Take the help of your doctor or a good nutritionist to get started and soon, with some discipline and a bit of self-control, you can enjoy a healthy, happy year ahead.