In a year where we continue to battle a global pandemic, it’s perhaps unsurprising that our health and wellbeing is on our minds more than ever before. With a greater emphasis on both physical and mental health, many of us have spent much of this summer trying to get back on track with our wellness routines, saying goodbye to the excessive wine-drinking that was part and parcel of lockdown and getting ourselves back to the gym in a bid to shape up.
As we head towards autumn and winter, plenty of us are now turning our attention towards how we can give our bodies the best possible chance of withstanding the season’s viruses, so we can expect to see our efforts ramping up even further as we look for new ways to get ahead.
These days, we’re taking a more holistic approach to health, and seeking to further understand the relationships between the physical, mental and emotional. And, as we move more and more towards the natural solutions we need to keep our health in check rather than relying on prescribed medications alone, the two are set to come together to form the trends of this final quarter.
These are the health and wellness trends we can expect to see dominate the final quarter of 2021, as we strive to make our way into 2022 happier and healthier than ever.
In light of the recent pandemic and its lasting effects, it’s perhaps unsurprising that we’re more focused on boosting our immunity than ever before – and as we head into autumn and winter, which is the season when most viruses thrive, it’s set to take on a new importance. With Google searches for immunity-boosting ideas at an all-time high, it seems we’re all getting set to whip up a plethora of nutrient-packed soups, stews and smoothies to see us through the cooler seasons ahead and stock up on superfoods and array of vitamin and mineral supplements like vitamin D and zinc for an added layer of protection.
Sleep, regular exercise and gut health also have an important role to play when it comes to immunity, so it’s likely we’ll see an increased focus on each of these, too.
On that note, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see that gut health is included on the list, but beyond its links to immunity, it deserves a place here in its own right. Food allergies and intolerances are at an all-time high, with a record number of people reporting digestive issues including Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohns, and even more opting to cut gluten and dairy out of their diets. Suffice it to say that we’re becoming more and more mindful of what we put into our bodies, as well as what we don’t – and we’ll continue to see probiotics and prebiotics becoming daily essentials as we seek to optimise our gut health.
In recent years, gut health has been linked to a range of conditions unrelated to the digestive tract itself, including anxiety, depression and autoimmune conditions – and as more of us look for alternative approaches to relieve the symptoms without the need for medication – or at least, to support it – prebiotic foods and drinks like sauerkraut and kombucha will fill our fridges to the brim.
It stands to reason, then, that alternative medicines are becoming increasingly popular, with more of us looking to natural remedies, Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine than ever before. With a desire to support our bodies with what nature gave us, these days there are natural alternatives to just about everything, with CBD perhaps one of the most notable and versatile trends we’ve seen of late.
Now available in everything from oils and tinctures to soaps, chocolates and even beer, CBD products are now more accessible than in previous years, and it seems our demand and desire for it still remains strong. Shown to be beneficial for a range of mental health conditions as well as chronic pain, inflammation and insomnia to name but a few issues and ailments, we’ll continue to fill our cupboards with all-things CBD as we head into autumn.
We’re becoming more and more clued up on the perils of excessive inflammation in the body – and not just when it comes to pain. Over time, chronic inflammation – which can often result from a diet high in processed food and alcohol, amongst other things – can trigger the immune system to attack healthy tissue and organs in the body, thus resulting in autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, lupus and fibromyalgia. Add to that the increased risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, and it’s no wonder we’re becoming more switched onto the risks.
Inflammation is a normal bodily response designed to protect us from injuries and protect the body from foreign invaders, but too much and it can prove a huge health risk. In response, we’re changing up our diets and adding in more anti-inflammatory foods and supplements like turmeric, Omega 3s, berries and dark green leafy vegetables, which goes hand in hand with our efforts towards improving immunity.