From Collagen to Keto – Reflecting on the Top Health Trends of 2018

Can you believe that 2018 is almost over? This year, in the world of health and wellness, fitness lovers got technical when it comes to exercise, nutrition and what we do in our spare time in order to enhance performance and become the best version of ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I found that this past year saw more health trends emerge than ever before – everything from the increasingly popular keto diet, to collagen supplements, and everything in between. These are some of the notable health and wellness trends that emerged in 2018:

The Keto Diet

It seems like everyone is talking about the Ketogenic – or Keto, for short - diet for weight loss. Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet designed to lower blood sugar and insulin levels. It shifts your body’s metabolism away from burning carbohydrates and toward using fat as a form of energy. Now more people are trying the cyclical keto approach, which allows for a couple of days of carb intake to be cycled in to the strict high-fat, low-carb ketogenic meal plan. Cycling carbs into your diet replenishes your body’s glucose reserve and helps fight cravings. Cyclical keto is thought to be better for boosting strength and muscle in addition to its weight loss benefits.

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Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting isn’t about depriving yourself of nutrients but cycling between periods of fasting and eating. It activates your body’s cell repair mechanism by forcing it out of its usual patterns. Your body adjusts hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible, insulin levels go down and cell growth and repair speeds up. All of these variables make it easier to lose weight and build muscle. Studies show it can be a good strategy for people who already have a nutritionally balanced diet and are physically active. Here are 3 popular approaches to intermittent fasting:

  • 16/8 method - Restricting your daily eating time to eight hours (say 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) with a 16-hour fast between (HINT: you’re asleep for half of that).

  • Eat-Stop-Eat - Incorporate 24-hour fasts twice a week. Eat as you normally do the rest of the time.

  • The 5:2 diet - Restrict your calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, then eat normally the other five days.

If you are interested in trying out Intermittent Fasting in 2019, check out this HIH blog post for more tips and tricks. 

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Turmeric

If you love Indian food, you’ve probably eaten turmeric. In India, turmeric is a key ingredient in most curries and is recognized as both a spice and a medicinal herb. It contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin that can help fight off diseases, decrease joint pain and more. Curcumin also encourages production of oxidant fighting enzymes and boosts growth hormones in the brain, which may prevent or delay brain diseases. It can reduce exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, promoting recovery and better performance. With all these positive health effects, no wonder turmeric has become so popular over the last year.

Hint: There’s an ENTIRE library of fantastic HIH posts all about the healing powers of Turmeric and how to incorporate this magical spice into your lifestyle. Check them out here

The Digital Detox

Canadian adults estimate they spend as much as 90 percent of their time staring at a screen, including time on their mobile phone and other digital devices. The average person checks their phone 200 times a day - that's once every six and a half minutes! Spending so much time connected online leaves us feeling anxious, tired, depressed and alone. 

Although most people think they’re being more productive by making themselves available 24-7, the reality is regular breaks from technology can actually increase productivity and creativity. That concept took off this year, as the idea of a ‘digital detox’ became popular. More people made the conscious decision to power down and reconnect with nature, our own thoughts and friends and family than ever before.

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Collagen

Collagen is a protein made up of long chains of amino acids. It is the most abundant protein in the body, and is essential to the function of blood vessels, bones, ligaments, joints, muscles, and of course, skin. Think of collagen as the “glue” that holds everything together; it provides strength and structure for our connective tissues. As we age, our body loses its ability to make collagen, causing this essential protein to break down. Loss of this essential protein leads to a collapsing dermal layer, which is why our skin develops wrinkles, our hair becomes thinner and dull, joints stiffen and become less flexible, and bones weaken and become more brittle.

Collagen is an important ingredient for the heath and maintenance of our skin, joints and gut, but it also does more than that. Collagen has also been shown to assist with other bodily functions, like energy levels, mood and appetite. When collagen is abundant, our system is working seamlessly to rejuvenate our skin, tissues and joints, and we experience a truly restorative sleep. 

One of the major reason’s collagen has become so incredibly popular over the last year is because it actually works! Research has shown that when ingested, collagen gets absorbed in the gut, and gets delivered to wherever it is needed most in the body. Collagen is proving to be a very effective way to get amazing health benefits, such as increasing bone density (very important, especially for women), improving cardiovascular health and more.

Check out this HIH blog post for the top 10 health benefits of collagen. 

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