By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
As we continue to navigate the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve seen an increased focus on healthy and balanced eating. That’s in part because there’s strong evidence that obesity, diabetes, and heart problems can increase your risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. Of course, in many cases, you can’t make those issues disappear entirely simply by changing your diet. But you can give yourself the best possible chance of staying well by committing to eating nutritious meals and snacks every day. Here, I’ll give you a quick primer on the health and wellness food trends that can make a difference in your life.
Whenever wellness trends come up, you’re sure to hear mention of these. And that’s with good reason: unlike fad diets, these tried-and-true strategies can be part of your healthy lifestyle for the long haul.
Doctors and other health experts are always talking about the Mediterranean diet. That’s because it may be the single best change you can make for your health—now more than ever. Mediterranean eating focuses on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; fish and seafood; nuts, legumes, and beans; poultry and eggs; and healthy fats from sources like olive oil. Dairy and red meat are acceptable in modest quantities. The emphasis is on unprocessed, heart-healthy foods, and the benefits are clear. Following a Mediterranean diet can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, and avoid age-related cognitive decline. And don’t worry—herbs, spices, and healthy fats mean that eating this way can be satisfying to your taste buds, too.
These days, consuming a diet that’s fully vegan or mostly plant-based is easier than ever. Thanks to tasty options like the Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger, it’s a cinch to swap red meat for satisfying vegetarian entrees. And you don’t need to ditch meat, cheese, and eggs entirely to reap the benefits of plant-based eating. If you commit to switching out animal protein for plant protein most of the time, you’ll lower your risk of cancer and diabetes. Bonus: a vegetarian, vegan, or mostly-plant diet is significantly better for the planet than the standard American diet.
Meal delivery kits are food trends that can help you along your journey to health and wellness. They make it easy for you to try delicious new recipes without having to go shopping or measure ingredients. And delivery kit services like Sun Basket and Splendid Spoon offer healthy meal choices to suit your dietary needs and personal taste. Sun Basket allows you to choose from options like vegetarian, gluten-free, Mediterranean, and diabetes-friendly. Splendid Spoon’s offerings are entirely vegan and gluten-free. We’re all staying at home, avoiding restaurants, and experimenting in the kitchen anyway, right? So if you’ve been wanting to try a meal kit service, there’s no time like the present. Consider it an investment in your health.
So, after reviewing some healthy food trends, you may be ready to make some positive changes in your eating habits right now. Here are some quick tips for getting started.
Right now, it’s crucial (maybe more so than ever) to be as healthy as you can be. Check out a few more food and health trends that could make a significant difference in your life.
If you follow wellness and health food trends, you’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is an eating cycle that may help you to lose weight and lower your risk of diabetes. One popular method is fasting for 16 hours, followed by an eight-hour period for meals and snacks. This is called 16:8 fasting. If it’s something you’d like to try, check-in with your doctor to see if it’s appropriate for you.
Until it’s safe to go back to the gym, the best place for your workouts these days may be in your own home. And if you’re tired of jogging around your neighborhood or rewatching old exercise DVDs, you’ll love the variety offered by fitness apps. Choose from on-demand workouts or live streaming classes on apps like OpenFit, obé fitness, and Fiit. Even better—the year-long subscription plans cost far less than most gym memberships.
It’s no secret that the future is uncertain. It’s difficult to know when (and how) social distancing will end and what life will look like when it does. Many people aren’t sure when they’ll be able to return to work—or if they’ll have jobs to return to. Practicing simple mindfulness meditation exercises can help you to cope with the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out an app like Calm, which offers guided meditations, bedtime stories for kids and grown-ups alike, and peaceful soundscapes. When it comes to trends for health food and mental wellness, meditation and mindfulness maybe some of the easiest and most effective to introduce into your routine.
This has been a very strange year, and you may not see a return to the norm for many months to come. Right now, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to take good care of your health. Making good choices about eating, exercising, and engaging in self-care are all more important than ever. And even when the pandemic is finally over, your good habits will serve you well for a long and happy life.