There is always an abundance of exciting new products and discoveries in the wellness industry each year, and 2016 was no different! Here are 5 popular health trends we noticed this year.
Many ancient cultures have a history of seaweed consumption as part of their core diets, and although the health benefits have been recognized for centuries, popular wellness culture has really started to show its appreciation for these salty superfoods in recent years. This trend is largely because sea vegetables offer such a wide range of nutrients, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean, and interestingly, many of same minerals that are found in human blood. Sea vegetables are also an excellent source of iodine, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B2.
There are many sea vegetable products and supplements available in health food stores these days, but always be sure to do your research on the origin of each product before purchasing. Some seaweeds may contain traces of heavy metals depending on the region they are harvested in.
Touted as the new coconut water, maple water is the latest natural health drink that seems to have the wellness community buzzing. In most minds the word "maple" is usually followed by the word "syrup", however, unlike its delicious byproduct, maple water is light, clear and can be consumed in the same way as regular water. It is derived directly from the sap of the maple tree with minimal processing and is far more sustainable than many other natural drink products, as the maple trees are left unharmed by the harvesting process.
Legend has it that maple water was first discovered by the earliest inhabitants of Canada when they supposedly witnessed a squirrel drinking the sap from a maple tree. The natives then consumed it as a tonic which helped nourish and hydrate their bodies when water was in short supply. According to maple water producer "SEVA", pure maple water contains over 46 bioactive nutrients, including phytonutrients unique to tree waters. These nutrients, including 25+ phytonutrients, 9 minerals, 11 amino & organic acids, help boost immune health, aid in the prevention of degenerative diseases and act as a prebiotic to support digestive health.
It wasn't long ago that Kombucha took center stage as the "next big thing" in health and wellness, so it doesn't come as too much of a surprise that one of 2016's craziest health trends is the growing number of kombucha bars popping up around the world.
Kombucha bars are basically the healthy daytime equivalent of cocktail bars and usually serve the ancient probiotic beverage on tap as well as in take-away bottles. Many of these quirky little businesses even ferment their own brews using traditional methods and wild-foraged native flavors. Some kombucha bars also offer a range of healthy, wholesome meals to go with their delicious brews and even run fermentation workshops, as well.
When we think about stress, we usually think about environmental factors and cortisol-boosting products such as caffeine; however, most people don't realize that there exists a range of ancient herbs called adaptogenic herbs, that can actually help your body adjust to the effects of mentally and physically stressful situations.
Adaptogens considerably improve your body's ability to adapt to stress, whether it's a crazy work schedule, unfamiliar heat or cold, severe noise, high altitudes or any number of other stressors. This elite group of herbal products impart strength, energy, stamina & endurance while also improving mental clarity. In many non-Western countries, adaptogens are widely used in high-risk professions, from athletes to miners to deep sea divers. Some of the most common adaptogenic herbs include ginseng, ashwagandha, astragalus, codonopsis root, goji berries, licorice root, reishi mushroom, schizandra berry & tulsi.
Imagine being submerged in a sea of divine sounds that help to heal your mind, body and soul - that's the philosophy behind one of 2016's most interesting wellness trends, the sound bath.
Built on a similar philosophy to yoga and other reflective exercises, sound baths focus on providing a rich, meditative environment which allows your body to find its natural balance while creating space for insights. People often find solutions to complex emotional issues when participating in a sound bath and often describe a sense of "coming home to themselves."
During most sound baths, participants sit or lie down in a dark room with something gently covering their eyes while the facilitator plays a range of calming sounds either through recordings or with specially chosen instruments such as gongs, digeridoos, harmoniums, drums and Tibetan singing bowls. The results are waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation which some people find to be especially healing.