By Steven Riley, Director of Consumer Health, OptiBiotix Health PLC.
Health and wellness have been a major focus for us over the past year – and for good reason. With the ongoing pandemic, increasing loneliness and mental health exhaustion, we are acutely aware that our personal health and wellbeing is a top priority. Between employers being open to flexible working to academic institutions moving into full-time virtual learning, we are taking what we learned last year and adjusting it to fit around our daily lives. If 2020 was all about a change of routine to survive, then let’s make 2021 the year to discover inner strength, wellness and positivity to thrive with these top trends.
Unlocking the path to inner strength
A top trend for 2021, if you are looking to ‘unlock your inner strength’, you’re already paving the way to a much more positive and healthier outlook. It’s a trend with multiple layers – both emotional and physical – and carries a multi-faceted meaning too. In one sense, it means to put yourself first, rest and focus on doing the right thing. On another level, it’s about establishing a meaningful connection with your individual microbiome, strengthening gut health, immunity and more.
With so many moments in life simply out of our control right now, those who are putting themselves first are leading the charge with a focus on their physical and mental wellbeing. New research has even suggested that many are interested in overall wellness, versus selecting a product that will address a specific issue, so there’s a wide range of potential products to be found in this area. Those solutions that are backed by science, including those from OptiBiotix, have demonstrated that they are able to deliver significantly improved results in digestive, metabolic and heart health when taken as part of a balanced diet.
The need for mindful or ‘intuitive’ eating has grown rapidly over the last couple of years, and has since been heightened by the ongoing pandemic. This means we are beginning to move away from yo-yo dieting trends and replacing these with much more sustainable and healthier lifestyles. Yet mindful eating isn’t just about what and how much we eat, we are now taking into consideration the impact our food choices have on the planet. With the arrival of Veganuary, more are switching to sustainably sourced and healthy plant-based proteins and meat alternatives. The Flexitarian market is also experiencing a surge, with a UK survey reporting that 30% of Britons identify themselves as such.
Plant-based protein is also good for the heart too. New research published by the BMJ suggests that plant-based protein is specifically associated with reduced risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke. So, if we are willing to change our dietary lifestyle earlier in life, it could be a breakthrough in prevention of chronic diseases.
For those who are looking to become more mindful about their wellness in 2021, try ingredients that are suitable for vegans and products that are gluten-free, non-GMO and lactose-free. Not only are they good for the environment, they are great for your gut too.
Wearable heart health trackers
According to the British Heart Foundation, 7.6 million UK adults are currently living with heart and circulatory diseases, with more than 100,000 hospital admissions each year due to heart attacks. Heart health is a major focus for 2021 – and one we must combat together as a nation. Fortunately, we are beginning to recognise that this is a cause for concern, with a surge in popularity for heart health wearable technology.
With wearable monitors predicted to experience an uplift this year, there are many brands out there that are keen to support individuals on their heart health journey. If you are concerned about your heart health, we recommend speaking to a healthcare professional. Or if you are looking for great resources, the British Heart Foundation, Heart UK and more are great places to start.
Last but by no means least is our final trend for 2021: home wellness. With the ongoing pandemic, many working professionals have been turning their homes into wellness spaces. From adjustable coloured lighting in the bedroom to appeal to the body’s natural circadian rhythm to sleep diffusers and smart beds, there is a clear need right now to separate work from home. You can easily transform your home into wellness spots by making areas, such as the bedroom, an electronic device-free zone.
So, with 2020 firmly behind us and a light at the end of the tunnel, individuals that are looking to rejuvenate their health and wellness goals this year only need to start with the basics. After all, with better science comes better health. A true vision of 2021.
About the expert
Steven Riley is Director of Consumer Health at OptiBiotix Health PLC. OptiBiotix was formed in March 2012 to develop compounds that modify the human microbiome – the collective genome of the microbes in the body – to prevent and manage human disease.
The aim of OptiBiotix is to discover and develop microbial strains, compounds and formulations, which modulate human microbiome activity and can be used as food ingredients and supplements or active compounds for the prevention and management of human metabolic diseases, examples of which include obesity, cholesterol and lipid distribution and diabetes.
To find out more, please visit www.optibiotix.com