The fourth and final instalment in our Wellness Essentials series continues to showcase some of the new, innovative and sometimes bizarre trends in the wellness world to help you navigate this exciting (and sometimes, confusing) space.
This time we look at the growing popularity of Activated Charcoal & Nut Milks, the rise of the Social Media Detox and the idea of replacing the accepted '3 meals a day' eating model with Intermittent Fasting.
Activated Charcoal is turning up in everything from toothpaste to bread, but what does it really do, and should you be adding it to your daily routine?
In a nutshell, the excitement about Activated Charcoal comes down to its well known detox and cleansing properties. The idea is that adding charcoal to foods and cosmetic products will flush out toxins in our body leaving us feeling and looking great.
What the hype often omits though, is that Activated Charcoal works by binding to everything in your system, which means if taken at the wrong time it can render medications inert or effect the absorption of essential nutrients in your food. According to this article on Livestrong maximising the benefits of Activated Charcoal comes down to understanding the best times to use it.
As people become more aware of where their food is coming from, Soy milk - popular among vegetarians and the lactose intolerant for many years - is on the out, while alternatives such as Almond & Cashew milks are seeing massive growth.
The popularity of Paleo & Gut Health diets, which focus on "real" unprocessed food have shone a spotlight on the soy industry. According to Livestrong's resident Health Expert Jess Baron ""Health-conscious consumers in 2017 are consuming far more cashew milk, almond milk, and hemp milk. People in 2017 have concerns over consuming GMOs (and 93% of soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified). One of the other knocks against soy is that it contains phytoestrogens, a group of natural compounds that resemble estrogen organically and can be endocrine disruptors."
Social Media Detox
Have you noticed more and more of your Facebook friends announcing they're "taking a break' from social media recently? Well, you're not alone!
The idea of a Social Media Detox is growing in popularity as more people realise their reliance on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is becoming detrimental to their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Wondering if you could benefit from a Social Media holiday? Check out this article from Mind Body Green: "5 signs you need a social media detox"
The idea of fasting isn't new, but there has definitely been an increased focus on this style of eating recently. The theory behind this style of eating is that it more closely resembles our Hunter Gatherer origins than maintaining a state of constant satiety.
Incorporating regular periods of fasting has been shown to help the body repair cells, manage fat stores, reduce insulin resistance and increase heart health.
The 16/8 method recommends that concentration eating into 8 hours per day, and fast for the remaining 16 to allow the body to focus its efforts on health increasing activities like cell repair rather than constantly being in the process of digesting the latest meal.
Interested to know more? Read more about the benefits of intermittent fasting here.