The Top Health and Wellness Trends for 2022

By Danielle McAvoy
December 10, 2021

Ditch the diet, slap on a glucose monitor, and enjoy a “steak” made from mushroom roots. The new year is coming in hot, bringing in a fresh wave of trends in the world of wellness. We asked Territory Senior Manager of Nutrition, Danielle McAvoy, to take a look at what the year ahead has in store for us.

Breathe into Your Gut 

We’ve heard a lot lately about the microbiome and how the bacteria that swim in our guts affect our brains. But with all the interest in our respiratory systems over the past 21 months, researchers are now taking an interest in the gut-lung axis. It turns out that a healthy gut microbiome could prove critical for fighting off infections in the lungs, such as the Covid-19 virus. Watch for more foods and supplements with pre, pro, and postbiotics that promote gut health to become even more popular.

Bring the Spa Home

Back in the before times, going to the spa was relaxing. Now that getting a massage requires showing your vax card, wearing a mask, and wondering about the status of the other clients and staff, a spa day can be a source of stress rather than a way to relieve it. That’s one reason we’re seeing a surge in products like Higher Dose infrared sauna blankets and acupressure mats from WTHN. You can even do your nails at home with a box of tips from NYC’s white-hot Chillhouse salon. 

Counting Steps is So 2020
The new generation of wearable technology goes beyond tracking how far you walked today. The latest wearable technology monitors your heart rate, body temperature, and blood sugar, offering immediate feedback on what’s going on in your body and how that might affect sleep quality and stress levels. Devices like Whoop, which tracks vital signs like blood pressure, heart, and respiratory rates may also aid in the early detection of Covid-19 symptoms. If a watch or glucose monitor feels too bulky, the Oura ring gathers heart rate and temperature data from your finger.

Less Waste, More Taste

Food waste is one of the largest drivers of climate change and the methane it releases makes up 8% of total greenhouse emissions. The food industry is waking up to these alarming statistics and looking for delicious ways to reclaim foods that typically get tossed. Companies like Renewal Mill are turning soy, oat, and almond pulp left from plant-based milk production into gluten-free flours for baking. Good Fish is turning sockeye salmon skin into omega-3 packed snacks in flavors like chili-lime and spicy BBQ. 

Mushrooms are the New Meat

Faux meats have been trending for years, but many are made from highly processed, GMO-based ingredients, with high sodium counts and little nutritional value. Now, there’s a new generation of plant-based meats made from mycelium, the root structures of mushrooms. Companies like Prime Roots, and Meati grow their own mycelium and, using a process that requires fewer resources and less time than other plant-based proteins, turn it into “steaks,” “bacon-strips,” and even “crab cakes.” 

The End of Dieting

The hottest diet trend of 2022 may be no diet at all. With more research showing how restrictive eating can lead to eating disorders and long-term weight gain, there’s a growing backlash against extreme dieting, and greater acceptance of the fact that health isn’t directly related to weight. But giving up on dieting isn’t an invitation to exist on chips and soda. The anti-diet movement puts an emphasis on responding to hunger cues, rather than ignoring them. It’s about enjoying all foods without guilt and exercising in a way that feels good.

Testing. Testing. 1 2 3 Testing
Now that virtual doctor visits are becoming the norm, the ability to run simple tests without leaving the house has become a lot more attractive. Everlywell’s finger prick and saliva sample tests for food sensitivities, and measures thyroid, and metabolism levels. Zoe, one of the most comprehensive kits, requires a stool sample, continuous glucose monitoring, and a finger prick. The kit measures gut health, blood fat, and blood sugar and provides guidance on what foods work best for your body. Look for this kind of personalized nutrition to become the standard for wellness.

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