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Every year brings a new list of food, fitness and wellness trends promising to revolutionise our health and give us the key to everlasting life. Last year it was all about juices, clean eating, cauli-rice, spiralizers, bullet-proof coffees, kale, coconut oil and the holy grail of avocado on everything.
And while many turn out to be fads that don’t make it through to the next year’s round of life-changing trends (does anyone ACTUALLY like the taste of courgette?!) others can be the useful introductions we need to a new, balanced and healthier lifestyle.
So what’s going to change the way we eat, exercise and live in 2017?
1. Purple food
Although this definitely sounds like another eye-roll-worthy health fad created to make headlines, there is some science behind this one.
As well as looking vibrant in your Instagram shots, a purple colour within food indicates nutrient density and higher levels of antioxidants, according to Wholefoods, who have really been pushing the power of purple for 2017.
Purple foods to bring to your plate this year include; purple cauliflower, purple asparagus, acai, purple sweet potatoes and purple corn.
2. Wellness retreats
Health and wellness retreats gained a lot of popularity within Ireland towards the end of last year, with top Irish bloggers like Rosemary MacCabe Snapchatting both her Crete yoga adventure and her bootcamp trip to Ibiza.
As well as making us very jealous, these trips gave us an insight into a new kind of self-care for the body and the mind, in a more luxurious setting.
Molly McKeever from Sweaty Soul Yoga, is just one of the many Irish providers, with a list of incredible wellness retreats lined up for 2017 on her website – within Ireland and abroad.
Juicing was the health buzzword of 2017 but blitzing bananas and peanut butter in your blender is so last year – for 2017, it’s all about souping.
At the beginning of last year, The New York Times claimed that ‘souping is the new juicing’ and the idea soon spread around the world. Instead of going on extreme juice cleanses, swapping meals for sugar-filled fruit drinks, with souping, you can replace five meals throughout the week with a hearty vegetable and lentil dense soup that’s more filling and nutritious.
4. Longevity foods
With your diet being the most important factor in terms of life expectancy, health professionals are urging us to consume more ‘longevity foods’ that will help us live full, extended lives.
We’ve all heard of superfoods and, truthfully, there’s a lot of cross-over when it comes to ‘longevity foods’ which are full of anti-oxidants, disease fighting nutrients and healthy fats.
Some longevity foods to put on your 2017 shopping list are:
- Black garlic; with twice as many antioxidants and traditional garlic.
- Nutritional yeast; a good source of vitamin B12 which will keep your hair, skin and nails looking top notch.
- Maca powder; made from a Peruvian root vegetable, believed to promote energy, stamina and fertility.
- Turmeric; claimed to be the healthiest spice in the world.
5. Golden Lattes
And speaking of Turmeric…
Golden lattes are the new beverage garnering the kind of cult following that the coconut oil-laden ‘bulletproof coffee’ had in 2016.
Cafes around the world are using cold-pressed turmeric oil, blended with almond, cashew or coconut milk as a healthier replacement to tea and coffee.
Western culture is tapping into the well-established phenomenon of turmeric; the proclaimed ‘healthiest spice in the world’ which has been a cornerstone of eastern cooking and medicine for centuries.
Turmeric, which costs around €1 in most supermarkets, has some major benefits for your body and brain. Its main active ingredient, Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties which can fight against diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Although it’s a chilling prospect for most Irish people, an article on the UK’s Guardian website in April 2016, claimed that sober nights out are becoming cool.
As living a ‘cleaner’ lifestyle is the trend du jour on social media, millennials have started swapping pints of beer for pints of booze-free healthy cocktails, with many trendy bars offering these instagrammable drinks.
The article highlights the growing trend for juice crawls, sober day raves and alcohol free bars to capture the interest of young people who are not only more conscious about what they’re putting into their bodies, but who also want to have meaningful experiences that aren’t fuelled by mind altering substances.
7. Seaweed is the new kale
Kale chips, kale smoothies and kale salads dominated 2016 but for 2017, seaweed is coming out on top as green of the year.
This ocean-grown veggie is the gift of the sea, with a heap of health benefits. Seaweed has long been a key ingredient in many Japanese dishes, being rich in nutrients, as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
It’s an excellent source of iodine, which our bodies don’t produce but needs to make thyroid hormones. Many forms of seaweed are also high in Vitamin A, C and B’s, as well as calcium, iron, fibre, magnesium and healthy fats.
The great news is, with our glorious Irish coastlines, there’s no shortage of this amazing superfood and there are many local companies out there which supply a range of edible seaweed, such as Irishseaweeds.com, Seaweedproducts.ie and Wildirishseaweeds.com.
8. Probiotic Water
Probiotics have been big in the health world for a while now, to naturally aid the gut. Let’s face it – you’ve probably seen those oh-so popular ads for probiotic yoghurts with ladies rubbing their stomachs with joy as they drink the yoghurt which instantly heals their digestive systems.
2017 however, sees the introduction of probiotic water as a way to get both the health benefits of water and the added goodness of probiotics. Probiotic water is (as you might have guessed) water which is enhanced with probiotic cultures made from fermented water kefir. And if you need any more convincing, it’s rumoured that Victoria’s Secret models guzzle the stuff before they parade down runways looking ridiculously flawless.
9. Essential Oils
When we say ‘essential oils’, you’re probably thinking of that hippy friend of your mum’s who wears tie-dye and permanently smells like incense. But, this year, essential oils are making mainstream waves.
Essential oils have been used in medicine for more than 5,000 years, originating in ancient China. The chemical constituents in essential oils have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiviral benefits.
The most popular method of using essential oils is with a diffuser in your home, but more and more companies are launching essential oil based beauty products that can be placed on your skin and absorbed into your body.
10. Personalised health-tech
In recent years, apps and technology have really changed our relationship with health and fitness, giving us greater access to information and better guidance on what’s right for our bodies.
As technology becomes more sophisticated, health apps, fitness trackers and online products are now significantly more personalised and specific – with certain online companies even offering meal plans and fitness routines according to your DNA.
As well as smart phone apps, more people are keen to gain deeper insight into their own personal wellness by undergoing health screenings.
At Irish Life, this is something we’re very passionate about and that’s why our members can avail of notable discounts on health screenings from Charter Medical. At a health screening, depending on the level you opt for, you’ll undergo all kinds of tests from blood and cholesterol checks, to urinalysis and vision screening. Find out more about what’s involved at a health screening.
Last year in Ireland there was quite a bit of buzz around Japanese author Mari Kondo’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up’, which encouraged readers to organise their homes and open themselves to a life of minimalism.
This somewhat inspired a total minimalism movement across the world, as people see the mental health value of spending money on experiences, rather than stuff. By spending less money, people claim to decrease their financial stress concerns and there’s also a greater sense of emotional freedom in being tied to fewer physical items.
This doesn’t mean you have to dump all your stuff and go live in a barren cabin in the middle of the woods. A simple decluttering of your wardrobe can make all the difference.
Irish Life is one of Ireland’s leading financial services companies with over 1 million customers. For over 75 years, we’ve been helping people in Ireland look after their life insurance, pension and investment needs.