5 Health and Wellness Trends to Hit it Big in 2016


2015 saw the rise of the 10-minute workout, the smoothie bowl, and a whole legion of superfoods and diet crazes come and go (most notably paleo and keto). As we head into 2016, there’ll be a fair few trends hitting the big time. We’re going to see some refocusing of old ideas, and a couple of breaks from them entirely.

Knowing what’s coming up over the horizon for health and wellness will prepare you for the sudden cafe and local gym service changes, but will also give you knowledge of what experts are determining to be a bit better than what we were doing previously. So take advantage of the information in this article and start working towards a better tomorrow.

  1. Liquid lunch

2015 was the year we apparently decided to remove solids from the food equation. Whether you were a fan or not, smoothie bowls (a combination of fruit, nuts, seeds, and other goodies mixed with a smoothie) and organic juice swept up the competition to be the buzzword of wellness in 2015.

These juice and smoothie bowls were packed with everything you could possibly need for a breakfast, light lunch, or snack, and this year they’re expanding to become the staple food for the whole day’s energy consumption. I hope you like soups, because they’re on the menu.

On one hand, you have a lot of corporate expansion into juices. Corporations aren’t stupid, and most of the investors are big names looking to get ahead of the competition and working towards the future, getting the edge on smaller companies before the big trends hit.

If you’re looking for a less mass-produced version, then don’t worry; every trendy cafe either followed suit in late 2015 or will be soon. Juice seems to be here to stay for the immediate future.

  1. All-in-one bowl

On the other front of the march of the liquids, plucky vendors have already begun rolling out the same concept as the smoothie bowl, but encompassing lunch and even dinner!

In 2016 you’ll see the rise of the sushi-like bowl (notably the Hawaiian Poke), the grain bowl, and the Bibimbap. Just hope we don’t start eyeing up the blending potential of Bangers and Mash.

Western society hasn’t really embraced the one-bowl meal as well as some other countries, but we’re fast catching up. They’re delicious and easy to prepare, and it’s about time we started taking advantage of that.

Overall though, it seems to us that we’re still trying to blend the hassles of modern life: fitting in time for nutrition, trying to cram the most out of every day, every meal, and even every bowl, into our wellness routine.

They’re great for an organised life, but fitting them into an already hectic routine won’t help de-stress you. Setting some time aside to prepare a slightly more complex meal might even give you the time you need to relax.

  1. Get Socratic about it

2015’s exercise quote of the year was from Lena Dunham: “It’s about the brain, not the ass”.

Working out is quickly becoming the best way to care for the whole body. Exercise strengthens the mind, improves clarity of focus, helps pump needed oxygen to your entire body, and shakes off the sluggishness of the daily grind. After working out, you’ll feel more energised, rather than less, and it’ll show in the mental and physical alike.

It’s hardly a new thing. Some of the greatest minds of history have been just as capable on the field as at a desk. The Ancient Athenians thought that nobody could truly be an intellectual without developing their body and mind together, and their gods were both strong and wise, which led them to prioritise physical education just as much as mental education in tutoring.

Every society has placed some kind of value on exercise (Edgar Allen Poe, for example, was an athlete and swimmer in college), and forgetting this has really been our undoing in recent years. It’s time to stop acting like the body isn’t a combined temple, and that honing one part won’t help the other.

  1. Bacteria ain’t so icky

Another nutritional thing we’ve been overlooking is bacteria.

Fermented Kefir, Misos, and Kombucha drinks are coming back in, replacing the expensive and medicinal-tasting old crowd of Yakult and similar culture-drinks. Promoting a healthy internal culture of bacteria is better than trying to eradicate them all together, which won’t work (let’s face it, they’re going to be there anyway) and can actually lead to bad cultures being set up in lieu of the destroyed beneficial ones.

  1. Mindfulness expands

Mindfulness has never really gone out of fashion with the rise of Eastern relaxation methods in the west, but for stress and cognitive therapy there’s still nothing better. We’ve come away from mindfulness in the last couple of years, but we’re going to see it surging back in.

It’s quickly becoming a much more social event, as well. Guided meditations are an important introductory tool in learning the art of mindfulness, and now that many places have introduced yoga into the workplace and group breathing exercises aren’t seen as a weird thing, we might soon start seeing whole offices drift into mindful reflection over the lunch break.