Is that new wellness tip a passing health trend, or does it provide lasting health benefits? With so many wellness trends out there, from detox diets to antioxidant superfoods, sometimes it's difficult to know the difference between a passing health trend and a tip that provides ongoing health benefits.
Here are 5 top health trend pairs that are here to stay for their long-lasting health benefits.
Antioxidant Herbs Turmeric & Moringa
These two antioxidant-rich herbs deserve to outlive health fads and become a regular part of your diet, and here’s why:
The curcumin in turmeric helps your body in so many ways, including supporting heart and joint health.1 Turmeric helps soothe gastrointestinal discomfort and works as a digestive aid. It provides antioxidant benefits and collagen support, so it is also great for your skin when taken as a turmeric supplement or used in skin serums.
You can get fresh turmeric root at the grocery store, and it’s also available as a ground root powder and in supplement form. Learn more about turmeric in our earlier article about turmeric and its many benefits.
Like turmeric, moringa has been used for centuries in Eastern medicines, and it is steadily gaining traction as a modern-day superfood. Moringa is a source of nutrition and health-promoting phytonutrients. The benefits of moringa may include tissue health, support for the liver2 and digestive system, plus blood and brain support.3,4
Lutein & Zeaxanthin for Vision & Eye Health
If you haven’t heard of lutein and zeaxanthin by now, you are missing out on two of the most powerful nutrients for vision health. These two nutrients are especially important given how much time most of us spend in front of electronic devices and screens, which emit damaging blue light rays and can affect eye health.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are macular carotenoids that help shield your retinas from blue light by building up protective macular pigments. So, whether or not you jump on board with the digital detox trend, taking lutein and zeaxanthin supplements is a habit worth embracing.
There are also foods you can eat to support eye health, like eggs, dark, leafy greens such as spinach or kale, and orange- and yellow-colored vegetables such as peppers, squash and corn, which contain lutein and zeaxanthin.
Meditation & Sleep
Does getting enough sleep ever really go out of style? Lack of sleep puts a lot of stress on your mind, body and immune health. But statistics show that more people are suffering from inadequate sleep or poor sleep quality. In fact, more than 60 million Americans say they rarely get a restful night of sleep.5 If you struggle to get enough shut-eye, there are some practices that may help you sleep better. You can also help balance your sleep and wake cycles by taking melatonin supplements or magnesium for sleep.
Recent studies show that meditation and mindfulness exercises significantly improve sleep – even more than sleep education – by encouraging relaxation and easing stress-related reactions.6 And the benefits of meditation and mindfulness go beyond sleep to helping you feel less stressed and anxious all day.
Here are some simple practices to help you add this trend to your routine.
- Make your bedroom relaxing and comfortable by investing in good sheets and pillows, and minimize distractions like bright clocks
- Commit to a sleep schedule like lights out by 10 p.m. and aim for about 8 hours of sleep each night
- Exercise daily and try to get in at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate activity like strength training or jogging
- Shut down your electronic devices about 30 minutes before bed and use room-darkening shades or drapes on your bedroom windows
- Start your morning with a meditation routine, using a meditation book or podcast to help get you started
- Use a smartphone app to try mini-meditation breaks throughout the day
- Try balancing your sleep and wake cycles by taking melatonin or magnesium supplements for sleep
Eating Real Foods & Taking Real Food Supplements
Why are real foods more than a trend? Unfortunately, only 2% of Americans are eating the definition of a healthful, nutrient-rich diet. Real foods, whole foods, which are unprocessed or minimally processed foods, can help close nutrient gaps because they retain much of their beneficial phytochemicals, nutrients, and fiber. The nutrients you consume lay the foundation for vibrant health, and the best ways to get those nutrients are through eating real foods and opting for real food supplements to cover any remaining nutritional gaps in your diet.
Eating healthily should be a way of life for everyone, not just a passing trend. Pack your pantry with nutrient-dense, kitchen staples like potatoes, onions, canned tomatoes, sauces, whole grain pastas, and herbs and spices like garlic, ginger root and turmeric. Be sure to choose healthy fats and enrich your diet with essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-7. Stock up on avocado oil or olive oil to use in your favorite recipes. Don’t forget nuts and seeds and beans and legumes, which are an inexpensive alternative to animal protein.
And if you can't always meet your dietary requirements for healthy omega-3 fatty acids from food alone, try our award-winning Plant Based Omega-3 supplement. It was named 2018 Omega-3 Product of the Year by NutraIngredients USA.
See our tips on how to make a real food pantry in Pack Your Pantry: How to Make a Real Food Pantry. To help fill nutrient gaps, try Swanson Health’s new line of real food supplements like Real Food Folic Acid and Real Food B-Complex vitamins.
Transparency & Clean Labeling
The quality of your vitamins and supplements have always mattered, but phrases like ‘supplement transparency’ and ‘clean labeling’ have been generating quite a buzz lately. This is great news because it means people are becoming more attentive to the ingredients they put into their bodies and more discerning about which supplements they choose.
Always look for supplements that use superior ingredients and follow clean labeling practices, which means ingredients are not hidden behind proprietary blends. And choose nutritional supplements from companies that regularly have their products tested by unbiased third parties and follow good manufacturing practices. It’s important to check for additives and fillers, and look for customer satisfaction and feedback reviews. Learn more about what to look for on supplement labels in How to Choose Quality Supplements.
Looking for more health tips for lasting results? Read Say Om: 6 Tips to Help You Relax and Reduce Stress and Nourish Your Noggin: Foods for Brain Health.
1 Turmeric. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/turmeric/ataglance.htm (Accessed 1/02/2018)
2 Ameliorative effects of Moringa oleifera Lam seed extract on liver fibrosis in rats. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19854235 (Accessed 1/02/2018)
3 Alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity and lipid-lowering mechanisms of Moringa oleifera leaf extract. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21780550 (Accessed 1/02/2018)
4 A Review on the Possible Neuroprotective Effects of Moringa Oleifera Leaf Extract. Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences. 2016. 31:183-187 https://www.ajol.info/index.php/njps/article/download/152621/142208 (Accessed 2/23/2018)
5 Can't Sleep? Neither Can 60 Million Other Americans: NPR. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90638364 (Accessed 12/6/2018)
6 Mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia, improves sleep. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-helps-fight-insomnia-improves-sleep-201502187726 (Accessed 1/02/2018)
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.