The new year calls for celebrations now that the infernal year that was is finally over, COVID-19 vaccines are on their way, and for innovative health and wellness trends. Here are five that you absolutely need to incorporate in your life.
If there’s one thing the global pandemic taught us, it was to value your immunity. One way to keep your body COVID-free, or for that matter of fact, disease-free, is to boost your immunity levels. And while daily moderate exercise, getting enough sleep, lowering your alcohol intake and reducing stress are factors that definitely help, maintaining a balanced diet replete with natural immunity boosters goes a long way. Incorporate foods rich in vitamin A, C and D as well as zinc and protein. So we’re taking more citrus fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, whole grains, fish, etc.
Listen to your gut
Sure, you’ve heard and read a dime and dozen articles about probiotics, good for your gut bugs found in fermented foods such as yoghurt and kimchi. However, they’re not the only biotics that matter. Prebiotics, a type of fiber and Postbiotics, a functional fermentation compound, are making their presence felt. They not only improve your gut health, which in turn, boosts your immunity but also do wonders for your skin. Available in both food and supplement forms such as garlic, asparagus, artichokes, berries and more, they maintain your skin’s barrier health and keep it soft and supple.
Eat like the Mediterranean
Inflammation is inevitable and to an extent necessary. It’s when it goes into overdrive and morphs into chronic inflammation that things take a painful turn. The good news is, there’s a remedy for that, and it’s called the Mediterranean Diet. Turns out, eating a diet rich in fish, nuts, plant oils, fruits, vegetables and whole grains will not only lower your inflammation but also improve blood vessel function and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. It may not, however, make you look like an exotic Greek god or goddess. So effective is the diet, there’s a reason it’s been ranked the best diet in the world, for the fourth time in a row, by the US News and World Report.
Show some love for plants
There’s been a huge shift across the world in the past few years when it’s come to eating habits. More people are opting for plant-based nutrition and vegetarianism or veganism over meat, and this trend continues to grow. You can see the results in terms of the number of vegetarian/vegan options that have cropped up at restaurants simply because there is a demand for them. Gone are the days of soy protein dominating the table when it comes to plant-based proteins. It’s now the turn of pea, flaxseeds and chia to step up to the table, pun intended. And if you think once you go plant you can never look back, think again. Many companies, such as Ahimsa, Good Do – The Vegan Eatery, Vegeta Gold and Vezlay develop mock meats derived from plant proteins.
A for Adaptogens
Adaptogens are everywhere – from your relaxing chamomile tea to your vitamin C infused face cream to your acai berry smoothie pre-mix and more! Rooted in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, adaptogens are essentially herbs that help your body deal with all of life’s curveballs, stress, anxieties and help you power through it all. Best taken in supplement or capsule form, adaptogens such as Ashwagandha, Reishi and Schisandra help elevate stress, boost immunity and improve gastrointestinal problems respectively. A word of caution though, don’t pop them with doing your research or consulting a doctor.
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Image courtesy Xiaolong Wong from Unsplash