Move over coconut oil, kombucha, and Impossible Burgers. You’ve had your 15 minutes of fame. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 will usher in health trends that have at their core, the ability to support a healthy immune system.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at what are likely to be the top wellness trends for next year…
#1: Vitamin D Blood Tests & Supplements
Maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D during the long, dark winter has never been more important because of the pandemic. Numerous studies show that people who have optimal levels of “the sunshine vitamin” are less likely to develop severe Covid symptoms.
Unfortunately, as this blog has recently covered, the only way to know for sure if you have adequate levels of vitamin D is by getting a blood test. And now that there is a surge of coronavirus cases reported, it’s likely that health checkups are going to be postponed.
The good news is that you can order a vitamin D test online, without needing a prescription from your doctor. For this reason, it’s likely that lab testing companies and enterprises that sell the tests are going to do a brisk business in 2021.
Because vitamin D is difficult to obtain from food, and almost impossible to synthesize from the sun in winter, unless you live in Miami, vitamin D supplements are poised for explosive growth next year.
#2: Managing Blood Sugar
Without doubt, blood sugar management is an evergreen topic, so what makes it likely to be one of the most important health trends of next year?
Certainly, there are always going to be people, even those living with type 2 diabetes, who don’t closely monitor their blood sugar levels. But because of the insidious nature of Covid on those with diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders, we can hopefully expect more people to start paying attention to blood sugar levels.
Earlier this year, the Miracle Noodle blog covered the many negative impacts of sugar on health. What wasn’t mentioned in this previous article was blood sugar’s effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, Covid-19.
Studies show that the virus replicates itself by feeding off of sugar in the cells. This perhaps explains why those with type 2 diabetes who also have high blood sugar levels are more at risk for developing severe Covid symptoms.
Are ultra-low carb diets the answer to reversing the ever-increasing rates of metabolic disorders? Can a ketogenic diet, which allows for a maximum of 50 grams of net carbohydrates (carbohydrates minus fiber and/or sugar alcohol) per day be a simple solution for minimizing severe Covid outcomes?
The short answer is maybe. Unfortunately, sticking to a low carb diet is unsustainable for many people. The answer, then, is to stress the importance not of minimizing net carbs, but added sugars. With the recent addition of “added sugars” to nutrient labels, it’s never been easier to eliminate added sugars from the diet.
In addition, blood sugar monitoring devices and smartphone apps make managing blood sugar far easier than in previous years.
Yes, Americans will still eat lots of junk. But because of Covid, many will finally get the message that keeping blood sugars steady throughout the day can make the difference between life and death.
#3: Deep Breathing Exercises
This is another topic that was covered on this blog earlier this year, and for good reason. What better way to strengthen the lungs and support immune function than lying in bed and simply taking deep breaths.
And because of the pandemic, with many gyms and fitness centers, many people have temporarily lost their outlet to workout, not to mention their motivation. It’s far easier to exercise in a group setting. But to commit to climbing up and down the stairs at your home, or dropping down to do pushups, when it’s far easier to remain an object at rest watching TV, is a tough hill to climb.
Practicing deep breathing exercises is something that practically everybody who has functioning lungs can do regardless of age or fitness level.
Deep breathing is supported by research to increase macrophage activity. Macrophages are harmful bacteria and viral assassins. And not only does deep breathing support a robust, balanced immune system, its other main benefit is managing stress. And that’s something almost everybody needs these days.
It’s no surprise then that online searches for relaxation, meditation and breathing were at an all time high earlier this year.
But for many people who need constant stimulation, meditation may be too difficult to stick with. Deep breathing offers a more practical solution as it can be performed while watching TV (Obviously, it’s better for stress management not to watch TV while focusing on your breathing technique.)
#4: Eating Organic
The main reason why more people will buy organic foods, especially produce and grains, is because of the high-profile lawsuits surrounding Roundup. Roundup is both a weed killer and pesticide, and its main active ingredient, glyphosate, is at the center of over 125,000 lawsuits.
Although the Environmental Protection Agency claims that glyphosate poses no health risk to humans, a slew of research studies suggests the opposite. Glyphosate is sprayed on GMO crops.
These GMO crops were engineered to resist glyphosate. Unfortunately, the GMO plants absorb glyphosate and as a result, we’re being bombarded with glyphosate residue in the food supply. Over 90% of corn, soy and wheat are GMO and glyphosate-based products are the most widely used in the world.
People are waking up to the fact that you are what you eat. And if you don’t want to be contaminated with a compound that the World Health Organization’s main cancer research agency considers a probable human carcinogen, then you may want to pay the extra couple bucks for organic food.
For this reason, not only will organic food sales increase, so will a relatively new certification label: Glyphosate-free. Organic food can still contain glyphosate but to a lower extent than non-organic crops.
#5: Gut Health Still Matters But Probiotic Sales Will Dip Slightly
Gut health isn’t a recent health trend but it’s link to immune function makes it more relevant than ever. But the prediction for 2021 and beyond will be that probiotic supplements will take more of a back seat to gut health.
Although still vital for sound gut and immune function, probiotic supplements won’t be considered nearly as much of a panacea as prebiotic fibers like resistant starches. That’s because friendly gut bacteria can’t be fertilized without prebiotic fiber.
That gut bacteria only colonize by consuming prebiotic fiber remains a relatively unknown fact by most people. For this reason, probiotic supplements will continue to rake in billions in sales next year. But the sale of prebiotic fiber may expand by a higher percentage year over year, over the next decade. And so, too, will symbiotic gut health supplements, which combine the best of both worlds, probiotics and prebiotics.
The devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in more people paying attention to their health. For this reason, these 5 health trends will endure in 2021. It could probably be said that they will be the top trends of 2031 and far beyond.