Here are GutMatters wellness predictions for 2016.

This year is all about the gut.

Gut health is a very hot topic in not just the health and wellness world but also in mainstream media.

So what do we predict will be important in 2016?

1. The organic trend will continue in fast food chains making more good food available. Food companies will need to adapt or fail if they don’t provide good quality healthy food for busy people who are time poor. There are now even healthy options in vending machines.
Eg on a recent trip to New York the healthy fast food meals were a popular section in chains like Whole Foods. Even in normal supermarkets we noticed the trend to fresh already prepared meals.

2. There will be an emphasis on good fats and oils. They will no longer be seen as the villains and major contributors to weight gain.  Eating avocadoes, using coconut oil in everything, changing to butter rather than margarine will gain in usage.

3. Good quality coffee and healthy teas such as Matcha green tea and Rooibus are now more readily available. With Matcha powder, people are becoming increasingly aware of its antioxidants and health benefits and will add it to smoothies, sweets and even breakfasts.

4. Smoothies in all forms will continue to be popular. Variations of green will dominate but more mix and match opportunities to create your own will be commonly available at smoothie bars. Plant based milks such as almond or rice will continue to be offered as alternatives to dairy.

5. While the challenge of managing weight or dealing with obesity continues, the emphasis is less on weight loss programs and more on healthy living. The Mediterranean and Scandinavian ways of eating with fresh vegetables, fish and seafood rather than red meat, dense darker bread and berries over other fruits are very influential in choosing healthy eating.

6. The popularity of fermented foods such as kombucha tea, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut to help heal the gut and improve the immune system will continue to be a hot topic. More research is coming out as to how important are the good gut bacteria for the prevention of chronic diseases and generally for our physical and mental wellbeing.

7. Drinking our vitamins and supplements is now on major supermarket shelves. Anything from smoothies, superfood powders, blends of vitamin rich whole foods, iced teas, cold pressed juices, fermented drinks are all available.

8. Yoga will become more mainstream to counter balance the stresses of a modern fast paced life. Opting to step away from technology to reconnect with nature or family and friends is becoming a new form of digital detox.
I recently had a week of computer free with a major internet failure. After the first few days of complete frustration, it was a beautiful experience to connect with the real sensory world around me.

9. Alternative and complementary therapists (naturopaths, herbalists) will be increasingly seen as a first point of call in the search for answers to chronic problems, of skin, digestion and mood and anxiety disorders.

It will be interesting to see at the end of this year if time has proved me correct.

What can you add to what I have suggested?