We’ve had so many new health trends released in 2016. Sure it can be overwhelming at times to keep up, but as a physician, integrative health advocate and entrepreneur, it only excites me! More than ever, people are taking prevention and their health seriously. But like every trend, some are here to stay and others need to go because they truly aren’t the “best” for everyone.
From more extreme fitness options to drinking our probiotics, Americans are getting more creative with how to stay fit and eat healthy. As soon as I hear of an emerging health trend at a conference or health entrepreneur meeting, I smile because I’m bound to hear it trickle down to patients. Their questions flood the patient rooms at CentreSpringMD—“Should I Crossfit or download the new SWEAT app?” “Do you believe in using these new ‘fresh’ meal delivery services?”
Instead of wondering and trying everything under the sun, I’m breaking down a few popular ones for you. Check out these BIG health trends below and find out whether or not I think some of these are worth it!
DRINKS FOR DIGESTIVE HEALTH
So many new drinks to hit the market. Before we use to just look at sugar grams and purity (e.g., organic, non-gmo). A new trend is for people to sip on probiotic-infused drinks and teas to help promote relaxation and reduce stress. Is drinking your probiotics worth it?
NO. While this was a harder one to judge, I’m really unsure of the viability of bacteria or types of bacteria in drinks. I don’t think there is enough research out on it. For example, when thinking about picking up a probiotic orange juice or ashwaghandha herbal tea; drink them because you like them not because you are trying to get in your load of probiotics or the power-packed herb ashwaghanda. The actual amount of these actually needed is far greater than what we can really put in a drink. Instead, opt for true probiotic drinks like kefir or kombucha! Those are my two go-to’s!
HEALTHY MEAL DELIVERY
YES! And I can fully speak to this because my family has used some of the popular meal delivery boxes this year! Food preparation can be overwhelming and for some this is at least a step into the kitchen and in the right direction for avoiding another night of “take-out.” My patients are shocked when I reveal that even if they are choosing a healthy option when eating out, they don’t know how much sodium is in their grilled chicken or how many calories and sugar grams are packed into that creamy salad-dressing! Ordering a healthy meal delivery box—even if it’s only for 3 or 5 meals a week—can take the pressure off of meal-planning, help you track calories better, and get you back into healthy routines again.
YES. In this day and age, I think it’s safe to say these types of gadgets can truly help us perform better—like FitBits or sleep trackers. These gadgets challenge us and are geared to making us better thinkers and doers. They also tap into a self-awareness that we lose in a hyper connected culture. Self-awareness and understanding is key to preventing disease and managing health.
INTENSIVE FITNESS PROGRAMS
NO. I’d love to say that I can jump-in on this movement, but I have seen with patients firsthand, that they’re too extreme and harsh on the body. I’ve see more injuries in my practice due to these workouts than I’ve seen benefits to overall health. Not only can they lead to kidney issues and muscle breakdown but some people need gentle work-outs. I believe these harsher workouts can cause fatigue and certain people open to other health issues down the road. I must admit, what I do like about these extreme programs is that they’re great about building community and promoting healthy eating—which are always good things in my book!