We compiled a short list of our favorite wellness trends to watch for in 2015. Pick one (or two) to make 2015 your healthiest year yet!
By Dr. Tiffany Lester
Food as personalized medicine
The idea that "one diet fits all" no longer holds true. Nutrigenomics is the science of using your DNA to personalize a food "prescription" that determines which foods are best for you and what nutrients you may be deficient in.
With the popularity of such companies like 23&me and Pathway Genomics, the idea that you can prevent or reduce chronic disease simply by what you put in your mouth appeals to the masses. We are way past sequencing our genome and jumping into the land of how that information can help improve health and prevent disease.
Even prominent healthcare centers like Cancer Treatment Centers of America are now using our genome to create target therapies for aggressive cancers. Stay up-to-date with the latest news with Genome magazine (free subscription).
We recommend working with a integrative medicine physician and nutritionist to wade through all the data should you choose to do testing.
Activated charcoal is the new detox superstar
Move over coconut oil and make room for this in your wellness pantry. Charcoal is now being used in everything from skincare products to juices.
Our favorite way to use it is as part of a physician-guided cleanse to aid your gut in removing harmful toxins. It works by binding toxins as it passes through your GI tract before you have a chance to absorb them. Keep in mind it doesn’t discriminate and can also absorb nutrients. This is why it is best taken away from other supplements and medications. Discuss with your doctor if you plan to add this supplement to your regime.
Ingesting charcoal not your cup of tea? Try adding it to your toothpaste. It acts as a natural teeth whitener!
Functional medicine is a systems approach to the body designed to get to the root of a disease. “It’s different from the model that says, ‘here’s a pill for every ill,’” says Dr. Jeffrey Bland, considered the father of functional medicine.
At Alliance Integrative Medicine, we have been practicing functional medicine for the last 15 years with many success stories. If you are looking for a functional medicine practitioner in your area, click here.
Wearable Technology 2.0
This is one of the fastest growing wellness industries in 2014, thanks to companies like Jawbone and Fitbit who have produced our first generation of wearable technology. Currently used mostly to track your steps and monitor your sleep via devices worn on your wrist or clipped to clothing.
Next year, you might have the choice to wear them hooked around your ear or in a pair of glasses. They will also become more sophisticated in terms of tracking wellness information that would be useful to your doctor like blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate.
We have yet to see if these devices actually change behavior and positively impact the rising obesity numbers in our country but this industry is going nowhere soon.
The Doctor Is In - Your Computer
Telemedicine will continue to gain traction in 2015 as people look for more convenient yet personal ways to connect with their healthcare professionals. From Google Hangouts to companies like HealthTap, it can not only save you gas money but even potentially save lives by quick access to healthcare.
With prices often competitive to your usual co-pay, this is an attractive option to many. The jury is still out on how the government and insurance companies will be involved in terms of regulations and keeping your health information private and secure.
Bone broth - the new coffee?
Bone broth may replace your morning coffee. Made popular by fans of the Paleo diet, it has many health benefits regardless of which diet you follow. This trend started in New York City with Brodo, a take-out window that delivers your bone broth in a coffee cup.
It is easy enough to make your own at home. Not only does it support your immune system given the high concentration of minerals, but it also contains collagen which is key for healthy skin, hair, and nails. If you suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome, a cup a day can help to heal your intestines and reduce chronic diarrhea or constipation.
Sugar is the next gluten
Trans fat, dairy, and gluten have all had their time in the limelight as the villain of foodstuffs. Sugar will be the next thing to add to your list when checking the ingredients and nutrition labels. Since it comes in all different shapes and sizes while existing in healthy foods to favorite desserts, it can be a tricky thing to avoid.
Excessive amounts of sugar can not only lead to diabetes but increases inflammation, causes premature wrinkling of skin, adds inches to your belly, contributes to brain fog, and much more.
While most of us know that sugar isn’t good for us, we often still consume enormous amounts. Awareness is increasing with documentaries like Fed Up, released last year, that showed how truly disruptive even a tiny amount of sugar is to our bodies and advocates like Dr. Robert Lustig who has touting the evils of sugar for years.
Look out for companies to start advertising how low their products are in sugar in 2015 and beware of marketing claims. Struggling with sugar cravings? Check out Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar guide to weaning off the white stuff.