Trends in health and wellness over the past year have brought us an increased focus on healthy fats like ghee and coconut oil and an explosion in plant-based food options. And the future looks just as bright for 2019, with trends that show an increasing focus on full-body wellness and holistic health.
Here are six trends we're super excited to see in the health and wellness space in the New Year.
1. More Choices in Plant-Based Alternatives
Plant-based meats and dairy have skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years, with the plant-based food and beverage market growing a whopping 62 percent since 2013 and plant-based alternatives conquering the hearts of omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike.
The growth in this sector will continue into 2019, with New York Times bestselling author and Bulletproof Founder Dave Asprey predicting plant-based products will be increasingly common in new supermarket aisles, notably coffee creamers: Google Analytics data shows that searches for non-dairy creamers have increased 500 percent.
Whole Foods Market, meanwhile, predicts that the plant-based alternative trend will extend to shelf-stable meat snacks like pork-free rinds and “baconless” bits.
“While plant-based foods aren’t exactly a new trend, our experts noted more people — even those who don’t eat only vegan or vegetarian — are exploring plant-based snacking as their palates crave adventure, want a break from meat or seek more ways to add savory umami flavors into snacks and meals,” Whole Foods explains. “Mushrooms like king trumpet will play a key role here, flexing their flavor and texture powers in tasty jerky, ‘pork’ rinds and ‘bacon’ snacks to offer up a satisfying crunch.”
2. Alternative MCT Oils (and Other Healthy Fats)
Coconut oil emerged as a natural health and wellness darling a few years ago due to its status as an MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil. Clinically proven to increase stamina and focus and help curb cravings, MCT oils have become even more popular this year, thanks in large part to recent advances leading to products that can isolate these benefits better than coconut oil alone.
Bulletproof’s Brain Octane oil, for example, is derived from coconut oil but boasts higher quantities of the ketogenic elements of this core substance, leading to improved health benefits whether you're on a ketogenic diet or not.
Whole Foods Market also recognizes the growing trend in better-quality fats, noting that MCT oil and other healthy fats like ghee are appearing in shelf-stable products. Ready-to-drink vegan coffees inspired by butter coffees and granola bars boasting MCT oil are on-trend for 2019.
3. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has become a popular technique for improved weight loss and reduced inflammation, often paired hand-in-hand with the keto diet. Asprey predicts that intermittent fasting will continue to grow in 2019, as people become more aware of its benefits.
This is especially true for women. While past science on intermittent fasting has largely centered on the male experience, women in this space, including New York Times bestselling author Naomi Whittel, are exploring the ways in which intermittent fasting can be targeted specifically to women's health. Expect even more developments on the ways in which this protocol can be adapted for women's bodies in 2019.
4. Fermented Foods and Other Digestive Wellness Products
An ever-increasing emphasis on the mind-body-gut connection has emerged in health and wellness circles over the past few years, and as a result, probiotics, fermented foods, and more have been on our minds (and plates).
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These foods will continue to grow in popularity in the New Year, according to consultancy New Nutrition Business. Both Kroger and Whole Foods added gut-healthy foods like kimchi and shelf-stable probiotic-enhanced foods like granola bars, cereal, and but butters to their list of trends for 2019.
“Medical studies show that a healthy gut is the foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems,” Kroger says. “Our consumers will find a growing number of products rich in probiotics — good bacteria — and flavor.”
Gregory L. Paul, marketing director of global consumer segments for DuPont Nutrition & Health, predicts that probiotic-enhanced plant-based products, such as fermented non-dairy drinkable yogurts, will likely be a huge part of the sector in 2019, telling Food Business News that new product launches into the space are experiencing phenomenal 40 percent annual growth.
5. Wearable Fitness Tech
On the fitness side of things, wearable tech like smart watches, fitness trackers, and heart monitors will likely increase in popularity over the next year. According to one ASCM survey, which sampled responses from more than 2,000 health and fitness pros, the prevalence of these gadgets makes up the top growth category for fitness trends in 2019, coming in above group training, HIIT, and bodyweight training.
Some attribute this to an increased focus on health metrics in wellness circles, while others claim that this rise in popularity stems from manufacturers correcting previous monitoring inaccuracies. Either way, investing in these gadgets will likely help folks achieve their fitness goals in 2019; here are a few of our favorites:
6. CBD Oil
We’ve seen massive growth in the popularity of CBD oil over the past year – in fact, we recently published a series on the supplement, exploring the clinically-tested benefits, the cleanest products on the marketplace today, and frequently asked questions about the substance. You can check our extensive CBD product guide here if you are considering adding CBD to your wellness regimen.
According to Whole Foods Market’s projections, CBD oil's popularity will only grow in 2019, despite it still being somewhat of a taboo in certain circles.
“It’s clear that hemp-derived products are going mainstream, if not by wide distribution, then by word of mouth,” says Whole Foods.
The retailer also notes that non-cannabis derived sources of phytocannabinoids will increase in popularity, like the products from Emerald Health Bioceuticals, which promote the health of the body's own endocannabinoid system.
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