We continue our look into the future and how everything from a simple vitamin or plant to advances in drug research could shape the way we look after ourselves and how we are treated for our illnesses and old age.
Also referred to as the Keto Diet, the Ketogenic Diet has soared in popularity, with regimes such as Whole30 and the Keto Reset Diet strictly shunning all carbs, grains and sugar in favor of vegetables, animal fat and meat, along with more vegetables, animal fat and meat. Many versions of the Ketogenic diet exist, but all of them ban carb-rich foods.
Problems around the Keto diet’s lack of eco-friendliness have become a big focus with meat requirements impacting the planet as the livestock industry generates the same amount of greenhouse gases as global transport combined. As a result, a new breed of the eco-conscious are adopting the same high-fat, high protein principles that work for those on Keto, just without animal produce. In August this year, functional medicine practitioner Dr Will Cole launched his new book, The Ketotarian, a mostly plant-based Keto diet plan that claims to ‘boost your energy, crush your cravings and calm inflammation’.
Why should adults have all the fun at the Gym? Seems that question is being addressed Worldwide. As Third Space in London gets ready to launch their own kid’s gym in the second quarter of 2019, the trend for dedicated children’s workouts and fitness spaces is starting to take hold.
In Hong Kong, Generation Goji at Goji studios gets kids leaping, rolling, throwing and running using child-friendly equipment.
The Little Gym in the US, claiming to be the world’s ‘premier enrichment and physical development center for children’ ages four months through 12 years, focuses on movement-based learning and imaginative play to help build the confidence and skills needed at each stage of childhood.
In addition, there are many new digital apps designed to enhance the wellbeing of children, such as Mindful Powers, a kids app centered on mindfulness, and the Max Mindpower Bear, a children’s app created by a 30-something neurologist that helps children learn to feel and name their emotions. The new Fitbit Ace is designed to get kids away from computer screens and into activity.
Kombucha Goes Big
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. Not only does it have the same health benefits as tea — it’s also rich in beneficial probiotics. Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.
2018 may have been the year gut-health-friendly Kombucha became more popular than ever. The once-obscure fermented tea drink is now thoroughly mainstream, and with its newfound popularity comes a coterie of small, craft brewers dedicated to next-level, seasonally driven ‘booch.
According to Square, Kombucha sales are up by more than 12 times from three years ago, and one research firm says the category is already worth an annual $600m (and counting).
According the Grand View Research, “The global Kombucha market size was valued at $760m in 2016. This market is projected to be driven by rising product innovations, flavor experimentation, and consumer awareness about health benefits associated with the product.”
Need another reason to drink up? Kombucha is loaded with probiotics, it has antioxidants, improves digestion and overall gut health, enhances energy, stimulates your immune system, reduces cholesterol, aids in weight loss, and helps prevent cancer.
Living Wall Designs
Living walls have entered a bounty of corporate spaces as of lately.
A living wall, or vertical garden, is a collection of wall-mounted plants. Vertical wall gardens are the latest trend in home design and are the perfect way to bring a bit of the outdoors, inside. They can be found on exteriors or interiors of buildings, and can range in size from just a few square feet to entire walls in atrium spaces.
When vertical gardens are used on the interiors of buildings, they can help improve air quality not only because plants naturally remove carbon dioxide and produce oxygen-rich air, but also because plants can filter the air around them by absorbing and cleaning pollutants. When they’re used inside, living green walls frequently act as a three-dimensional, living piece of artwork, providing an aesthetic component as well as a health element.
Did you know Americans have a shorter life expectancy compared with residents of almost all other high-income countries? And it’s actually decreasing?
Globally, the US ranks 43rd when it comes to life expectancy at birth, with an average life expectancy of 80, according to 2017 data from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact book.
A new study conducted by the Circulation Journal suggests that you can prolong your life expectancy by more than a decade! How to do it: never smoke, maintain a healthy body-mass index, keep up moderate to vigorous exercise, don’t drink too much alcohol, and eat a healthy diet.
Top 10 Countries for Longevity
|Rank||Country||Life expectancy||Rank||Country||Life expectancy|
|8||Japan||80||8||Republic of Korea||84.6|
For an interactive World Map showing Longevity for each country, click here.
Across the nation, mindfulness and meditation are becoming part of daily routines and less associated with ‘alternative culture’. Everyone from corporate executives looking to wring out every last ounce of productivity in a day, to the mom in the park with her kids, is exalting meditation and its supposed mental and physical benefits.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that combines focus, controlled breathing, and relaxation. Meditation and Reiki help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and promotes calm body, mind, and spirit.
In recent years, surveys have been conducted to estimate how many people meditate in the world but there are no reliable results. A rough estimation of people who meditate globally ranges between 200 and 500 million people. Different groups of people meditate in different ways.
Today, the U.S. is the epicenter of the legal cannabis market and it appears it will hold that position for the foreseeable future. In 2017 the worldwide legal marijuana trade grew by 37% and was worth $9.5 billion. At $8.5 billion, the U.S. accounted for 90% of it . At $0.6 billion Canada’s 2017 share was 6%. The rest of the world combined made up the remaining 4%.
By 2022, legal cannabis revenue in the U.S. market is projected to hit $23.4 billion (73% of the market). During the same period, Canada is projected to reach $5.5 billion (17%) and at $3.1 billion, the rest of the world will represent almost 10% of the legal cannabis market.
The global legal marijuana market is expected to reach $146.4 billion by end of 2025,
Here in the US, Michigan recently voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, while Utah and Missouri legalized it for medical use.They join 31 other states that have already gone the medical route, and nine others that have gone fully recreational. But Tennessee — based on its choice for a new governor — is not moving with the pack. Bill Lee, a Republican businessman who handily defeated Democrat Karl Dean in the gubernatorial race, has said previously he is opposed to medical marijuana legislation and marijuana decriminalization.
In more enlightened States the benefits, both in health and economic terms have been well documented. As more States move to accepting Marijuana, it could lead to a decrease in demand for opioids.
But there is conflicting evidence about how the use of marijuana might affect pain, and whether or not legalizing marijuana might lower the necessity for prescribed opioids, says Lynn R. Webster, M.D. writing on www.prahs.com. “States where it is legal to use medical marijuana do appear to have lowered their use of opioids. There seems to be a correlation between the availability of medical marijuana and a slower rise in the increase of prescribed opioids. While it can’t be proven the two are related, the association is strong. The Rockefeller Institute of Government has found that, in states where patients have access to medical marijuana dispensaries, Medicare patients use 14.4% fewer opioids.” Not what Big Pharma wants to hear, but potentially good news for the rest of us.
While green tea has long been a recommended part of a healthy diet, another brighter shade is becoming increasingly popular: Matcha. Although it’s just now catching on, this ancient drink has been enhancing lives in Japan for over 1000 years, where it is revered for its mental and medical remedies.
Matcha is a fine powder of ground whole green tea leaves. Unique from other teas, it is the only tea where the entire leaf is consumed. It can be used in a large variety of ways, from hot and cold drinks, an added boost to smoothies, green tea flavored sweets, and even baked goods like cookies.
Matcha green tea benefits include:
A high amount of catechins, which are plant compounds in tea that are natural antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect you from harmful free radicals, which can damage cells and cause chronic disease.
Matcha green tea has been shown to improve attention, memory and reaction time. It also contains caffeine and L-theanine, which may improve several aspects of cognition.
Green tea has been shown to reduce levels of cholesterol, and studies have also shown that drinking green tea is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
At first glance, the future of mental health can seem disheartening. Depression is currently the most common mental disorder, with 300m people affected globally (over 43m Americans). The World Health Organization expects that by 2030 Depression will have become the largest single healthcare burden, costing $6 trillion globally. For perspective, that’s roughly equivalent to the total global healthcare spend in 2012.
Technology has opened a new frontier in mental health support and data collection. 1000’s of Apps on Mobile devices are giving the public, doctors, and researchers new ways to access help, monitor progress, and increase understanding of mental wellbeing. Some interesting future developments as outlined by Dr Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, include:
- Earlier diagnosis and early intervention.The goal is to try to delay, modify, or ameliorate serious mental illness by using both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.
- A tsunami of genetic discoveries.Almost weekly, psychiatric geneticists are discovering genes associated with serious psychiatric disorders. Ultimately, these genetic discoveries will lead to the holy grail of psychiatric treatment: specific, biotechnology-driven, disease-modifying drugs rather than merely symptom-control agents.
- Neurostimulation for brain repair.The next “big thing” may be deep-brain stimulation (DBS), which is becoming a routine treatment for neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. DBS has potential to provide major treatment breakthroughs, and DBS research is progressing rapidly.
- Pharmacogenetic screening in clinical practice soon will become routine—it already is at a few U.S. academic hospitals—and will enable psychiatrists to customize drug treatment to achieve better efficacy and tolerability for each patient. This will help us adapt therapies to address genetic variations within our ethnically diverse society.
- Intertwining of physical and mental disorders.A comparatively high mortality rate from cardiovascular disease has been documented in persons with serious psychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and anxiety. Similarly, persons with obesity, diabetes and hypertension suffer from higher rates of psychiatric disorders. The optimal psychiatric practice is becoming a collaborative model of care between psychiatrists and family physicians, so that patients receive integrated, comprehensive physical and mental treatments.
The Rise of the Mesonutrient
2018 was the year we learned to separate our macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) from our micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Now get ready to start obsessing over your Mesonutrients.
Mesonutrients are the active compounds inside superfoods that make them so “super” and good for us to eat. To take full advantage of a superfood’s mesonutrients — aka their active compounds or active ingredients — you can actually skip the superfood entirely and go straight to the source.
Let’s take Turmeric, for example. The laundry list of Turmeric’s health benefits includes helping manage inflammatory conditions such as metabolic syndromes (like high blood pressure and high blood sugar), arthritis, anxiety, and high cholesterol, according to an October 2017 paper published in the journal Foods. The paper’s authors also wrote that turmeric can alleviate exercise-related pain and inflammation. Additionally, a “low dose of the [turmeric] can provide health benefits for people that do not have diagnosed health conditions.”
Despite the health benefits of Turmeric drinks, you can get a higher, more concentrated dose of Curcumin — the active ingredient in turmeric that’s responsible for the plant’s anti-inflammatory benefits — in a supplement or powder form. This way, you can still take advantage of Turmeric while bypassing any of the health risks of sweetened turmeric lattes.
Mindfulness and Breathwork
With a market size of $1.1 billion as of 2015 (it’s only grown since), which is part of the overall $16 billion market of alternative health according to market research firm IBISWorld, it’s clear that stressed, anxious, and goal-oriented people are looking for ways to manage, respond to technology’s unrelenting poke, and improve their relationship with their own minds and bodies.
A market this large gives rise to segmentation, and mbg predicts Breathwork will be a buzzword in 2018. At the annual Mind Body Green conference this year, Breathwork sessions were by far the most in-demand. Teacher and meditation guide Ashley Neese, as well as human performance expert Brian Mackenzie and neurobiologist Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., discussed how Breathwork is quickly becoming the next frontier in wellness. “I’ve seen a huge increase in demand for this work on the private, group, and corporate levels because of its effectiveness and accessibility,” Neese said. “Breathwork is a foundational practice making it such a popular wellness modality.”
“Meditation, while useful too, is not available in moments of stress whereas specific patterns of breathwork can be used anytime, anywhere to buffer stress, raise energy levels, and impact clarity of thought and decision making,” said Dr. Huberman, who runs the Huberman Lab, a research division of the neurobiology department at Stanford University. “People are interested in how they can control their internal real estate,” he said. “Specific patterns of breathing are a powerful knob on the nervous system and the body, in order to control state.”
Conscious breathing activates the diaphragm, which stimulates the vagus nerve, much like laughter. “Through conscious manipulation of one’s breath, an individual can adjust personal chemistry and personal well-being,” said Nevine Michaan, founder of Katonah Yoga who teaches breathwork as an integral part of the practice.
2018 has seen a major uptick in people seeking out wellness experiences. Think wellness retreats, spas, and meditation studios. While the trend here isn’t new, more and more wellness- and mindfulness-focused experiential businesses are popping up and helping people create space for themselves.
“Going to a retreat allows us to take time to utilize our neural plasticity and make real changes in our brain. We can create traits that we choose for our lives such as acceptance, peace, wisdom, and self-compassion,” explains Heather Prete, a UCLA- certified mindfulness facilitator, self-compassion teacher, mindfulness in recovery coach, and teacher at The DEN Meditation. “We deserve to take time for ourselves and dedicate several days to develop the well-being that is our birthright.”
No matter if you call them resolutions, goals, or intentions, there’s a wellness retreat to help you create the life you want.
The growing interest and research in Mitochondrial health have spawned a pro-fat revolution. The increasing popularity of the Ketogenic diet, which is based on high fat consumption and credited with a number of positive health benefits, has only helped the pro-fat movement spread faster
According to leading advocate, Dr. Lipman, “The Mitochondria are power plants in the cells that turn your food and oxygen into energy in the form of ATP. These mitochondria power the biochemical reactions in your cells.” When they’re not functioning optimally, people can expect to “get less from (their) body and brain, feel more tired, and age quicker.”
The best way to fuel the mitochondria? Eat more healthy fats. “At this point, I hope most people know that healthy fats are not only good but necessary for proper bodily function,” Dr. Lipman explains. “Mitochondria prefer to be fueled on fat, not sugar or carbs.
Keep your eyes peeled for bigger brands, with more high-fat focused and Ketogenic products becoming available in grocery stores all around. Until then? Make your own fat bombs, keep eating that coconut oil and stock up on avocados.
Move over Matcha—the latest natural ingredient to hero in your morning smoothies is here! Moringa powder—a velvety green powder called a “miracle” in its native India—is tipped to be 2019’s superfood of choice.
Moringa contains vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, alongside Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and Essential Amino Acids, which, in layman’s terms, converts to an ability to fight free radicals, prevent disease, reduce inflammation and protect our cardiovascular and brain health.
With a glowing scientifically-backed review, it’s no surprise Moringa is emerging on store shelves in the form of powders, oils and capsules that can be supplemented into your daily diet (think, subbing in Moringa as a replacement for protein powder in smoothies). Containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and a plant protein value that rivals the benefits of our beloved, moringa is proving to pack a punch in the latest line of ingestible health and beauty trends.
Natural Beauty becomes the next ‘Organic Food’.
We are now more aware of what’s going into our products thanks to watchdog organizations like the Environmental Working Group (and its ingredient database and ranking system, Skin Deep) and this has led to increased demand for transparency. A recent study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, revealed how a short break from certain shampoos and lotions made with chemical ingredients can result in a significant drop in levels of people’s hormone-disrupting chemicals.
but large corporations are finally hearing the call. Manufacturers and retailers have been quick to realize the potential this marketplace has.
For example:, Target recently implemented a new chemical strategy that is one of the most comprehensive chemical policies in US retail. It promotes ingredient transparency and bans certain chemicals in beauty, baby, personal care and household cleaning product categories by 2020.
Another example is Unilever. It has emerged as one of the most progressive players in the natural beauty space. Earlier this year, the company promised improved transparency in its ingredient lists, specifically lifting the veil from “fragrance,” one of the most mysterious items on a product’s ingredient list. The company also launched a new in-house brand, ApotheCARE Essentials, in November 2017, to meet the needs of consumers demanding hair care, body wash, in-shower oils, and body moisturizers with a cleaner ingredient list.
In addition major players in the industry such as L’Oréal, The Body Shop, and Estée Lauder launched several organic products that target the aging population.
Natural deodorant is another hot topic, which is projected to grow more than 15 percent every year until 2022. Procter & Gamble got a head start and bought the brand Native, which is aluminum- and paraben-free. Like Unilever, the corporation vowed to disclose the ingredients in “fragrance” by the end of 2019.
Gregg Renfrew, founder of Beautycounter, a cosmetics and skin care e-retailer that tries to educate consumers about the potential toxicity of some makeup said “In fact, natural and safer brands are outselling their traditional competitors by two to threefold.” Late last year, the research firm Kline & Company reached a similar conclusion, predicting that the synthetic cosmetics sector will decline in the next two years, while the natural skin care segment will grow. Already, the firm found, naturals have grown by 7% in the U.S., compared to a 2% rise in the overall beauty market in 2015. The global organic personal care market size is projected to reach USD 25.11 billion by 2025,
Non Alcoholic Events
While most dance parties end in the wee hours, these trending events starting at 6 a.m. are inspiring yogis across the country to rise and rave—minus the alcohol and drugs.
The 3-hour morning party, known as Daybreaker, is part of what its creators call a “movement” in 16 cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Paris, and Tokyo. (though the one in Nashville has, for the moment, no plans to hold any more events).
“You get some exercise in, you feel great physically, and it’s an incredible dance party,” said Matthew Brimer, 27, a co-founder of Daybreaker. “Dance culture and underground music tends to be boxed in to this idea that you need alcohol or drugs to enjoy. What we’re trying to say is that there’s a whole world of creative experience and dance, music and art.”
Daybreaker may be the latest party to hit the sober social scene, but isn’t alone in its mission. Phi Slam started throwing “alcohol-free raves” at the University of Georgia in 2005, Gravity House hosted its first Solo cup-free party at Gordon College in the fall of 2016, and the Collegiate Recovery Program (which started in 2012 at the University of Michigan) now has 135 chapters hosting dry events at schools across the country.
Osteoporosis and Bone Health
Approximately 10 million men and women in the U.S. have Osteoporosis a metabolic bone disease characterized by low bone density and deterioration of bone architecture that increase the risk of fractures.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, “Worldwide, 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men aged over 50. 80%, 75%, 70% and 58% of forearm, humerus, hip and spine fractures, respectively, occur in women.
While there is no cure for osteoporosis, various medicines and lifestyle approaches can help slow the rate of bone loss and reduce one’s risk of bone fractures.
Non-pharmacological management of osteoporosis includes adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, weight-bearing exercise, smoking cessation, limitation of alcohol/caffeine consumption, and fall-prevention techniques.
Looking to the future the emphasis is more on prevention rather than cure…a calcium rich diet (better than taking supplements), exercise and a healthy lifestyle are the key to avoiding or delaying the onset of Osteoporosis.