Nine months in, and it's clear that one health and wellness trend has reigned supreme in 2017: inflammation. It seems like our appetite for all things anti-inflammatory and gut-healthy is nearly insatiable, but beyond this buzzing topic, there are a number of subtle trends that are quietly shifting the way we care for our bodies and minds.
Jess Barron, the general manager of Livestrong, points out that the current political climate is causing a shift in our health goals and routines. "[It's] incredibly volatile and people are on edge. In order to take care of their health, I've seen friends heading regularly to meditation centers such as UNPLUG meditation in Los Angeles," she tells MyDomaine. Barron says her health habits have changed, too. "I realized how anxious and worried I was feeling each day due to the daily news and the extremely negative impact this had on my feelings of wellness." To shift focus, she committed to running a marathon and channeling her energy through a physical pursuit, which she believes is a rising trend.
Ahead we quizzed Barron and Keri Glassman, leading celebrity nutritionist and founder of The Nutrition School, to find out about the health trends that will be huge in the coming months and beyond. So long, unicorn toast—these eight wellness trends are on the rise and live up to the hype.
IN: Healing Spices
Beyond inflammation and gut health, Glassman says spices are moving into the limelight. "Adaptogenic herbs and spices have taken off. Historically, [adding spices] was always for a great way to flavor food without adding calories and to increase your intake of antioxidants. But more recently, inflammation and chronic stress have become so popular and talked about, so naturally, ways to remedy that have become popular, too."
According to Barron, turmeric lattes are just the start. "People are also putting turmeric and other spices into their morning coffees and smoothies," she says. "I put cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper into my green smoothie every single morning. It has such great anti-inflammatory benefits, and cinnamon helps me feel full longer."
IN: Bespoke Subscriptions
Gone are the days when you had to schlep to CVS to buy tampons or vitamins—new generation subscription brands are taking the pain out of admin. "Not only is it convenient, but a box sent to you directly feels personal, curated, and special," says Glassman of subscription brands like Lola, which delivers organic pads and tampons to your door just before your period. "You can [ditch] an annoying errand like running to the store to grab tampons for an aesthetically pleasing box that appears at your doorstep every month." Expect to see this subscription model applied beyond vitamins, supplements, and tampons. It'll be easier than ever to maintain your routine.
OUT: Fitness Apps
Workout apps and online fitness classes have been trending for years, but this might come to an end. Instead, we predict face-to-face classes and experiences will rise in popularity, as we realize the mental health benefits of connecting with others IRL.
Barron says she's noticed physical challenges like marathons rise in popularity, perhaps as a way to ease anxiety. "I have seen friends and acquaintances sign up for glitter runs, 5Ks, half marathons, and marathons this year in higher numbers than previous years," she notes. "It could be that people are looking to these types of physical challenges to not only improve their fitness and health but to develop their determination and improve their mental focus to thrive in what can feel like an overwhelming political world right now."
This extends beyond fitness, though. She points out that career- and creativity-focused meetup groups are on the rise. More women are "making it a priority to meet up and collaborate with and empower each other at live events including Create + Cultivate, BlogHer, BinderCon, and The Yellow Conference," she says. "When we see political policies that unfairly target women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, the most heartening thing is that people are reaching out to uplift and support each other."
IN: Infrared Saunas
Move over sage smudging—according to Glassman, a torrent of other holistic health specialties are taking the limelight. "Infrared sauna, acupuncture, Reiki massage, meditation, cryotherapy, and even natural beauty products are becoming hugely mainstream and thought of less so as woo-woo," she says. According to New York City–based sauna Higher Dose, the benefits of infrared treatments abound. 45 minutes of infrared light is said to detoxify your body of environmental toxins seven times more than a traditional sauna, and it can burn more than 600 calories.
Barron says that energy healing will also be big. "In addition to crystals and sage smudging, we've seen aura reading and energy healing such as Reiki becoming more and more mainstream. A massage therapist in San Francisco recently used a tuning fork on my head and neck," she says, which is used to "get a person's energy back into proper vibration."
OUT: Groceries That Cost Your Entire Paycheck
Eating affordable, nutritious food shouldn't be a luxury, and thanks to the new deal inked by Amazon and Whole Foods, organic products will be more attainable than ever. On the first day after the internet giant bought Whole Foods, prices were cut as much as 43%, Bloomberg reports. That's just the start. Innovative businesses like Thrive Market and Brandless, which sells organic products for a flat rate of $3, are also leading the charge. "I feel as though the talk has trended more toward nutrients, and real, whole foods, rather than extreme cleanses and restrictive fad diets," says Glassman.
IN: "Workleisure" Clothing
Earlier this year we saw "athleisure," rise to the fore, but Well+Good predicts this trend is only in the infancy stage. The next iteration is "workleisure," where functional, comfortable clothes become work-appropriate. Lifestyle brands like Aday and Kit and Ace are taking this trend to the masses.
"Here's the deal: Successful tech world businessmen such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and AXS TV chairman Mark Cuban have shepherded in an incredibly casual business look for men. Forbes dubbed it 'CEO casual' several years back," says Barron. "Well, what about all the women out there who are founding and running companies?" she asks. "We live in a world where work life and home life are increasingly blurred. The power to wear athleisure clothing at the office makes taking a walk or yoga or meditation break much more manageable."
IN: Functional Drinks
Consumers are getting wiser about vitamin drinks and iced teas, which are marketed as healthy elixirs even though they are packed with sugar. Instead, we're starting to see functional drinks become more popular, such as vinegar or charcoal-infused concoctions. "I think they will definitely still be crowd favorites, but the trend will be taken up a level," says Glassman. "Kombucha floats are already a thing, so I wouldn't be surprised if the next big thing is a combo of a few of these items or one of them with a twist."
OUT: Mermaid and Unicorn Everything
"It was everywhere," says Glassman of mermaid toast and unicorn food, a trend that saw glitter, food coloring, and rainbow toppings liberally added to bread, cocktails, coffee, and more. It might have been Instagrammable, but it's safe to say this trend has passed. Instead she says it'll be replaced by natural food alternatives, which prove that healthy, whole foods can look incredible, too. "I think it is still talked about, but it’s not buzzing quite the way it was. People are all about the color, but they're beginning to do it with ingredients like spirulina and blue-green algae."
If you're searching for the next iteration of the unicorn and mermaid trend, Barron might have found it. "We've seen healthy versions of cookie dough take off," she notes, thanks in part to New York City store, DŌ, which serves edible, bakeable cookie dough by the scoop.
What's your top health trend prediction for 2018? For more, head to our wellness vertical, THE/THIRTY.