Health trends in 2022: expect the focus to be on gut health, mindful consumption, and plant-based diets

With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly nowhere in sight, health and wellness continues to be a priority for many Americans.

Health experts expect many people to look to improve their mental health or their relationships with food and alcohol – aspects of health hit hard by the pandemic – as 2022 begins in the midst of a boom. another wave of coronavirus.

Here are seven health trends that are expected to take more shape in the New Year.

1. Gut health

Google searches for “gut health” increased 83%, according to researchers from the international health insurance company BUPA. And they predict more people will focus on it in 2022, according to Country Living.

Gut health is not a new term. It describes the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. When the intestine is healthy, it contains a high percentage of healthy bacteria and immune cells to fight off harmful bacteria and other harmful pathogens such as viruses and fungi.

Too many harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to serious illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Poor gut health can also impact the immune system, heart, and brain. So, better gut health means better overall health.

Diet plays an important role in the health of the digestive system. That’s why it’s important to eat a variety of whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as stay away from more processed foods, according to experts. Good sleep hygiene and regular physical activity are also good for gut health.

2. Mental health monitoring

The mental health crisis among adults and children in the United States received a lot of attention during the pandemic. Fear of the unknown, stress, financial worries, and heartache over the loss of loved ones have exacerbated an already growing problem.

Some health experts predict that people will be monitoring their mental health more closely in 2022. Whether that’s keeping a mood journal or practicing relaxation strategies, like spending more time in green spaces or practicing personal care to reduce stress, mental health will continue to be a priority next year.

3. Drinking mindfully

The link between binge drinking and stress cannot be denied. When people use alcohol as a crutch to deal with negative emotions, it makes them more prone to binge drinking, research shows. This is why a more mindful approach to alcohol consumption can be helpful.

The annual “dry January” trend refers to more intentional alcohol consumption. The idea is that every time people pour a glass of wine or beer, they wonder why they are drinking. It’s not about eliminating alcohol altogether, but rather consuming less of it.

4. Awareness of male fertility

Traditionally, when a couple is having difficulty getting pregnant, it is the woman who takes responsibility. In recent years, however, there has been more recognition, according to MindBodyGreen.

Reproductive health experts say more attention will be paid to low sperm counts and other issues that can affect a man’s ability to have children in 2022.

5. Sound healing

Are there any sounds that can help us heal? This is the belief behind another expected trend. Psychoacoustics is the study of the perception of sound and its effects on the body and mind.

Dr Ilene S. Ruhoy, founder of the Center for Healing Neurology, told MindBodyGreen that there is a strong connection between sound and healing.

The idea is that vibrations produced by instruments or the voice interact with a person’s cells or brain wave frequencies to promote healing.

Whether it’s the use of custom, artificially created soundscapes or the use of sound baths, more and more people will explore how sounds can affect their health, according to Ruhoy and others.

6. Herbal diets

Plant-based diets will be on the rise in 2022, as more people seek to reduce their meat consumption, Esmee Williams, vice president of consumer and branding strategy, told EatingWell. at Dotdash Meredith.

She said interest in plant-based items and meal plans increased by 31% in 2021 and is expected to increase even more as more people choose to eat healthier and more sustainable way.

7. Brain-food connection

People will also choose more foods that are good for their brain health, Williams said. People who are worried about their risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s will be looking for ways to keep their brains healthy as they age.

According to nutritionists at Harvard Health, oily fish, berries and leafy green vegetables are some of the best food choices for boosting brain power. They stress, however, that the most important strategy is to follow an overall healthy diet that “includes lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.”

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