There is never a shortage of trendy new health fads at the start of a new year, and 2019 is no exception. Many of these health trends will change in popularity over the years, but some are worth incorporating into your life on an ongoing basis to improve your health in the long term. For example, eating healthy will never go out of style, though countless fad diets may come and go!
Still, it can be a good idea to keep an eye on interesting health trends that may be of benefit to you, and explore incorporating some of them into your life if they seem like a good fit for your lifestyle and health and fitness goals.
Below are a few recent health trends that will continue to gain momentum in 2019, and why they are so popular.
#1: Hemp Oil for Stress
Trying to keep up in an always-on world can be a pretty stressful experience, and minimizing stress is one of the smartest resolutions you could make because stress has a monumental impact on mind and body health.2 Plus, stress and sleep are tightly linked—when you’re stressed you may have trouble sleeping, and having trouble sleeping can be a source of stress.3
Along with word of mouth among wellness-seeking trendsetters, the growing popularity of hemp can be largely attributed to the science of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a bodily system that is highly receptive to compounds in full-spectrum hemp extract, including cannabidiol.4 Stimulation of this system is at the core of hemp extract benefits, including stress support, better sleep and digestive health.
#2. Herbs are Back in a Big Way
Whether your New Year’s resolutions involve goals related to weight, productivity, moving more, stressing less, sleeping better, or just taking better care of yourself overall—there’s an herb for that!
Herbs aren’t new in health and wellness—archeologists have found evidence of herbs being used for health purposes dated as early as 60,000 years ago.8 But this year you can expect to see more of these time-tested health solutions from Mother Nature because modern science is backing up their benefits.
#3: MCT Oil Goes Mainstream
After the popularity of keto dieting in 2018, it isn’t surprising that keto staples are showing up everywhere. Specifically, you can expect to see these three letters popping up a lot this year—MCT, which stands for medium chain triglycerides. MCTs are fatty acids, but your body processes them differently than other fats, using them right away for energy.9 MCT oil is extracted from coconut oil.
The keto diet is low carb but high protein and high fat. The keto diet works by tricking your body into thinking it’s fasting—putting your body in a “ketogenic” state, which burns fat instead of carbs for fuel.10 Read What is a Keto Diet? to learn more about the keto diet, its history, and how it works.
For those on the keto diet, MCT oil is good for helping dieters maintain ketosis and boost energy. But even if you aren’t eating keto, it’s energizing and a better choice than saturated fats with some potential health benefits.10 Supporters say it boosts energy and mental focus while helping with weight management goals when paired with diet and exercise.
#4: Plant-Based Proteins
Meat substitutes and plant-based proteins have been around for a long time, but they’re getting a lot more realistic and the trend is steadily growing. This past year brought increased popularity of meatless burgers that don’t seem meatless at all—innovative new products that provide the texture, flavor and “beefiness” of a real burger without meat. That success has paved the way for expansions in the world of plant-based meats. What’s trending next? Plant-based fish and vegan seafood!
Should You Try the Plant-Based Protein Trend?
Meatless protein options aren’t just for vegetarians and vegans. We could all stand to get more plant-based foods in our diets, but preferably from real food sources. Experts say there is evidence that replacing meat-based protein in our diets with plant-based protein may have benefits for heart health, and plant-sourced foods are packed with nutrients.11 But don’t assume that applies to all of these new meatless options. They may be plant-based, but most are also highly processed, and you’ll still need to keep your eye on the nutritional information to watch for saturated fat, high sodium content, and other ingredients that you may not want in your diet.
We are completely on board with getting more protein from plant-based sources, but the less processed the better. Get your plant-based protein from whole foods that are naturally rich in protein, like nuts and seeds, beans, quinoa, oats, wild rice, and chia seeds. Some vegetables also contain protein, including sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, spinach, and broccoli.