Wellness trends for 2016 - Soups are the new juices and carbs make a comeback
This year health advice will focus on the benefits of carbs, grains, exercise 'air miles' and going vegan.
Published 05/01/2016 | 02:30
Some have called it a wellness revolution, others a right pain in the backside. Whatever you think of the obsession with all things natural and healthy, one thing is certain - it's not going away.
In 2015, it was wearable fitness, farm-to-table, bean-to-bar, green juicing, kale and avocado with everything, and mindfulness everywhere.
In 2016, we face more jacked-up versions of all that (get ready for kale skincare and mindful decorating), plus a host of all-new health trends promising to make us feel better and live longer. In this month's global food and drink trend report for 2016 from market research company Mintel, eight out of the 12 trends identified related to health and well-being.
"Consumer demands for natural and less-processed food and drinks are forcing companies to remove artificial ingredients," the report said, declaring "artificial" to be Public enemy No 1. Here are the health trends to watch in 2016:
Exercise: Fitness Prozac
New feminist icon Lena Dunham, star of the hit series Girls and the force behind the new women's chat website lennyletter.com, recently gushed about how much she loved her regular trips to the New York studio of A-list trainer Tracy Anderson. Dunham's objective was not weight loss, she said, but alleviating anxiety.
"To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression, I know it's mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me 16 medicated years to listen. I'm glad I did. It ain't about the ass, it's about the brain."
Get ready for a host of new fitness classes and books piggy-backing on the trend, kicking off with The Feelgood Plan: Happier, Healthier and Slimmer in 15 Minutes a Day by Dalton Wong - Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence's trainer - and health journalist Kate Faithfull-Williams (out this week).
Nutrition: The carb comeback
Rice, oats and even - whisper it - bread, are back on the menu as we get smart on carbs and learn to distinguish between the types that provide nutrients and lasting energy from those that make us fat.
One study of 5,000 consumers, published last month, found that one person in two could now distinguish between a "good" and "bad" carb. Seven out of 10 Europeans, meanwhile, had tried to limit their intake of sugar (a bad carb, for the record), and 60pc linked wholegrains, fibre and complex carbohydrates (good carbs) with sustained energy.
Body Fuel, a new book by a former trainer of US special forces, Mark Lauren, published later this month, separates carbs into "slow-fuel" (that's vegetables, fruits, wholegrain rice, oats, pasta, etc) and "fast-fuel" (sugars, processed and refined foods) and puts both back on the menu, albeit in controlled amounts.
Plus, just as you finally learn how to pronounce quinoa, a new family of supergrains is introduced, such as farro, amaranth and kamut, thanks to a new book, Power Grains (out in February).
Technology: Get fit, get rewards
A swathe of start-ups are now applying the air miles concept to fitness and health. Free app Earth Miles links with fitness tracking devices such as Jawbone Up and FitBit or step apps such as Strava, Runkeeper, Moves and Map My Run, and allows you to earn discounts and offers depending on how active you are.
The premise? It converts the distance you walk, run or bike into 'Earthmiles' - points that translate into free classes and discounts on healthy products
Diets: Souping - the new juicing
In 2015, New Yorkers queued for miles at bone broth bar Brodo to replace their caffeine fix with a new savoury steaming liquid.
At home, healthy chef super bloggers Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, above, made bone broth a staple in their cooking repertoire.
In 2016, green juice fasts and detoxes are set to be replaced with cleanses and diets that use healthy soups - thick, runny, chunky or smooth - as a weight-loss tool. In their new book The Soup Cleanse (out this week), Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella, the founders of Soupure, bring you soup detoxes of one, three or five days, on which you can lose weight and feel nourished and satisfied. Meanwhile, the cookbook Skinny Soups by Kathryn Bruton brings you 80 recipes, each under 300 calories (and most 150 to 200).
Eating: Go 'veggan'
In 2012, when vegan US comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres came out about eating eggs, the vegan community were down on her like a ton of tofu bricks. But there are no hard and fast rules on veganism any more, and a growing number of vegans now eat eggs - if they know they're cruelty-free.
"I like the philosophy and health benefits of veganism, but I like to add extra protein, so I choose organic free-range eggs," says nutritionist Rick Hay, who is known as a "veggan" (vegan plus eggs). "I see lots of people choosing this route."
Indeed, not-quite-veganism is everywhere. We've had flexivegans, who eat animal-free part-time, and pegans, who cross a paleo diet with veganism.
Most recently, the vegan-curious are those thinking of making the transition during, for example, Veganuary, a campaign to get people eating vegan for January which launched in 2014 and last year had 12,800 participants.
In her book The New Vegan (out on Thursday), Aine Carlin - Peta's most stylish vegan of 2015 - aims at those thinking of making the transition with luscious supermarket-friendly recipes that resemble real food, such as black bean taquitos with enchilada sauce and blueberry cream pie.
Drinks: Kombucha - the new coconut water
Fermented foods are the big news of 2016 as it becomes clear that our gut bacteria, increasingly recognised as key to health, could benefit if we add fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir (fermented milk) and miso paste, to our diets.
Kombucha (pronounced kom-boo-ka), a sparkling drink made by fermenting black or green tea with bacteria and yeast, is fast replacing coconut water - in California, at least - as the drink of the moment.
A-listers Amanda Seyfried and Jake Gyllenhaal have been spotted holding store-bought bottles of the stuff in Hollywood. But be warned: it's an acquired taste, a bit like a flat cava (sans alcohol). You can find recipes to make your own - and a huge array of fermented foods that are easier to make than they sound - in Cultured Food for Health by Donna Schwenk (out now). © The Daily Telegraph