Health trends in the new year

You’re all about your calorie counter and walking tracker, and those gadgets certainly spurred you on your health journey. What’s on the horizon for 2018? Here are a few health bandwagons to jump on.

Hush up

Boost your health this year by staying quiet. Silence is set to be one of the hottest health trends. This ranges from silent eating to silent yoga. At the 2017 Global Wellness Summit lifestyle experts focused on silence wellness destinations and spas. Their take: “Future destinations will need to put a deeper, more comprehensive focus on the true “art of living” – from helping people “do” to helping them “be” – and that will include a much more powerful focus on silence and nature.” This entails space and silence being treated as luxuries to help people restore inner silence, and make contemplation possible.

Spice up your life

Cheap, flavourful and full of goodness; spices have been making a comeback for a while now. More people are turning on to the effectiveness of kitchen standbys like turmeric, capsaicin, garlic, pepper, horseradish, and wasabi, to name a few hot and spicy health helpers. They’re packed with natural antioxidants, help with everyday niggles, flu and colds – and the hotter spices are could boost your metabolism too.

Go with your gut

With obesity on the rise everywhere, medical experts are preaching the pros of a gut-friendly diet. It’s telling that most of our health concerns start in the gut so tis’ the season to pay more attention to this crucial element. Google Trends for the last year shows that “gut health” and “bloating” are among the most popular search terms. Look into gut-friendly diets and foods to boost your gut health; studies show that fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, pickles and kimchi, are on the rise. Consider taking a daily probiotic as well.

Best of both

A flexitarian mindset is the best of both worlds: it’s a semi-vegetarian diet with the occasional bit of meat and fish. A report by the US National Library of Medicine says that there’s an increasing movement to a flexitarian diet. “There’s evidence suggestive of benefits for body weight, improved markers of metabolic health, blood pressure, and a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. A flexitarian diet may also have a role to play in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease.”

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Cosy nights in

Your health is going to love this one. Nesting is the new going out. Pinterest tags about “self-care” are up over 120%, says research. “Whether to decompress after a crazy work week or prevent early burnout, people are getting cosy and getting down with a self-care mindset,” says Pinterest researcher, Larkin Brown.


Google Trends predicts cryotherapy making a resurgence. This is the process of exposing your body to extremely low temperatures in a controlled environment. The point here is to lower your skin’s surface temperature, which stimulates receptors in the body – bringing on a release of endorphins. The benefits are said to increase circulation, reduce inflammation and regenerate cells.

Don’t bother with…

  • Juicing. Much of the good fibre is lost in the process of juicing, explains Theresa Marais, a registered Cape Town dietician. “This is necessary for the gut and to prevent constipation. People also add too many things like yoghurt and protein powders into the mix.” Juicing removes the juice from fresh fruit or vegetables, producing liquid that contains most of the vitamins, minerals and chemicals found in whole fruit. But, whole fruits and vegetables have valuable fibre that’s removed during most juicing.
  • Carb mania. Sugar has been identified as the real culprit in food; linked to all sorts of lifestyle diseases. Go easy on the carbs but focus more on eliminating sugar from your diet as much as possible.