What an incredible year for wellness! We learned that everything we thought we knew about immunity and digestion was wrong—and that we’re only beginning to understand the billions of microbes that rule our life. We saw green juice go mainstream when it hit the shelves of Starbucks. Yogis blew up on Instagram. Everyone and her brother gave up gluten. Suffice to say, 2013 was a big year for wellness and we expect 2014 to be even bigger. Here are 14 trends to watch:
We’ve been on the hunt for a better, healthier sweetener. Agave was the darling of the wellness world until word got out about its high fructose content and processing, meaning it wasn’t as healthy as we thought. Enter coconut sugar, a low-glycemic, unrefined sweetener that tastes great. It might just be what your sweet tooth’s been waiting for and I expect brands like Big Tree Farms to make serious headway in 2014.
Backlash Against Hormonal Birth Control
Lights For Health
Science shows that poor lighting can seriously impact your sleep, your mood, and even your health. Some studies will go as far as saying that artificial lighting wreaks havoc on your body clock, which is the driving force behind unexplained disease. Expect to see more companies like Definity Digital coming out with bulbs that can give us more energy and even help us sleep better.
Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike Fuelband, Focus/Trainr, and S Health from Samsung are leading the way in “wearables.” These gadgets (typically worn on your wrist) are designed to measure everything from how many steps you take, to how well you sleep, and even how efficiently you work out. Wearables are here to stay and I expect the next generation of products in 2014 to be even more robust, accurate, and personalized – helping us reach all of our health goals.
I believe in the power of data. Having insight into our genetic predispositions, whether it’s something serious like heart disease (or something fun and fascinating like discovering our true ancestry) can help us optimize our diet and lifestyle for maximum health and wellness. Companies like 23andme will become invaluable tools for wellness enthusiasts to make more informed lifestyle decisions. Even though the FDA is carefully watching these companies and the claims they make, $99 for DNA analysis makes me think there are going to be lots of people charging genetic testing to their credit cards next year.
Meditation As A Performance Booster
There's no question that we're in the middle of a juice revolution with brands like Suja, Evolution Fresh, LoveGrace, and BPC leading the way nationally, while The Juice Press (NYC), Jugo Fresh (Miami), Kreation, Pressed, and Moon Juice (LA) have been focused on local markets. Thanks to the technology HPP (High Pressure Processing), what was once a local, raw, business (and able to stay on shelves for only 24 hours) is now able to reach national scale. HPP technology uses pressure instead of heat, to inactivate microorganisms (such as bacteria, virus, and yeast) to extend shelf life—making it possible for these juices to show up in national chain stores. HPP can make some juicing purists cringe, but we’ll see more HPP beverages and juices on the shelves in 2014. I’m thrilled to see anything that makes it easier for more folks to get some greens.
Back To The Basics Workouts
Fake Meat And Eggs
Companies like Hampton Creek (fake eggs) are getting the attention and big bucks from Bill Gates. Other big brands entering this space include Gardein and Beyond Meat (fake meat). These knockoff meat products, typically made from soy, are a vegan’s dream! With Veggie Grill (fast veggie food) leading the way in serving up these substitutes, a carnivore could enjoy “meat” and “egg” dishes while eating out, without noticing that the protein isn’t actually from a chicken or a cow. Expect to see the above brands (and many more) make major headway in 2014.
Corn Is The Next Gluten?
Whether we like it or not, we live in a hyper-connected world. Now we're starting to see how this can negatively affect our health. Enter the digital detox, which officially became a word in the Oxford dictionary’s online version earlier this year. More people are embracing "disconnecting" and entire businesses exist to help you un-plug. Levi Felix actually runs a "Digital Detox" retreat, which has become incredibly popular. If you don’t have time to get away, LinkedIn just posted a list of 5 free apps to help you simplify your technological life.