Top 5 Natural Health Trends 2016

These wellness trends can help you wrap up 2016 feeling your healthiest

Credit: CHFA

These wellness trends can help you wrap up 2016 feeling your healthiest

While 2015 was a progressive year in nutrition with innovations like protein-enriched smoothies and healthy food bowls becoming diet staples, 2016 has continued to fuel our obsession with wellness.

We catch up with Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA)’s in-house holistic nutritionist Michelle Book and registered dietician Jessica Tong for the top 5 natural health trends to watch.

Click through to find out easy ways to add more nutrition to your diet this year…

Credit: CHFA

Sea greens

Sea vegetables such as kelp, nori and algae have amazing nutritional benefits. Not only are they rich in minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll and enzymes, they are fat-free and packed with flavour. Sea greens also help reduce sodium while supporting thyroid health and regulating metabolism and weight.

A great way to get your sea greens? Poke bowls. According to Tong, the concept is to combine marinated cubes of fish or seafood with your choice of whole grain rice, seaweed salad, leafy greens, mango, avocado, and more. Fittingly, three poke bowl eateries have just opened within the last month or so in Vancouver and more are promised to follow.

Credit: Zespri

Fibre and kiwi fruit

Fibre is the new protein. We all know fibre is good for digestive and intestinal health, but it can do so much more, from improving skin health and helping with weight maintenance. Book notes that it also boasts heart health benefits and has been shown to lower cholesterol.

Tong suggests adding kiwi fruit to your diet, which is naturally rich in fibre and vitamin C, two nutrients that many of us are not eating in sufficient amounts. It is nutritionally superior to apples, oranges and bananas, and just as accessible. One serving of this superfood contains 16 per cent of your daily fibre requirements and more vitamin C than oranges.

Credit: CHFA

Hemp for health

Perfect for herbivores and carnivores alike, hemp boasts an ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids to help maintain heart health. It’s easy to add hemp to your meals to contribute to a healthy, balanced diet. You can find hemp as a raw seed, ground into flour, sprouted, as hemp milk or juice, in lip balm, as a protein or fibre supplement, and in other products including clothing and paper. Hemp is also a great vegan protein alternative for people who are allergic to nuts. Canada has a thriving hemp industry, so many products available in your local CHFA health food store are Canadian grown and made. Check out the location nearest you here.

Credit: CHFA

New sweets and savouries with a health kick

Say goodbye to traditional potato chips and hello to bean, lentil and root veggie chips. You’ll get all the snacking satisfaction without the guilt!

Natural health food stores are also packed with treats that will satiate your sweet tooth but also pack a healthy punch, like dark cocoa, good-for-you gummies and tea pops.

Credit: CHFA

Vitamin C and D

Most of us know that increasing your vitamin C intake can aid in preventing colds and flus, but did you know it can also help your skin? Vitamin C-rich creams protect the skin during the harsh winter months and Book recommends that incorporating lesser-known winter veggies into your diet, like squash and Brussels sprouts that are loaded with the vitamin.

Vitamin D is also incredibly versatile for boosting bone and heart health. Especially in the winter months, Book recommends vitamin D and C supplements to maximize your health.