It’s been the year of super-health: Raw foods are everywhere, bee pollen is de rigueur, and everyone is swapping their espressos for beetroot lattes. There’s no doubt about it: Health is hot.
So as 2017 draws to a close, here’s a look back at some of this year’s biggest health trends.
Turmeric lattes have been everywhere in 2017. And with good reason. This golden spice is packed with antioxidants to cleanse the liver, fight free radical damage and keep skin glowing. Its active ingredient – curcumin– is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help reduce pain, boost immunity and prevent chronic inflammatory conditions such as asthma, arthritis and even some forms of cancer. So drink up – turmeric lattes are here to stay.
Limiting food waste has been a key trend in 2017 and bone broth is a perfect example. Made by boiling chicken carcasses or stock bones in water and vinegar, bone broth is one of the best natural sources of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It’s also packed with collagen, glycine and cysteine to soothe joints, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.
But perhaps bone broth’s most beneficial use is in healing the gut. Leaky gut is an extremely common condition whereby the cells of the intestinal wall become more permeable, allowing small particles to pass through into the bloodstream, where they can cause inflammation. Leaky gut has been linked to a range of health conditions from allergies and asthma to anxiety and depression. The glutamine in bone broth can help heal the gut wall, reducing leaky gut syndrome.
Whether you love it or hate it, coriander is the ultimate functional food, packed with vitamins and minerals that help regulate blood pressure, enhance digestion and balance blood sugar levels. It’s also a chelator, meaning it can help detoxify heavy metals from the body. If you have high cholesterol, add extra coriander to your next larb or laksa – it also helps lower cholesterol. 
A favourite of millennials, avocado toast has taken over Instagram and Pinterest in 2017. And it doesn’t just taste great – avocado is packed with goodness. In fact, it’s recognised as the most nutritious fruit in the world, high in magnesium, iron, potassium and Vitamins A, B, C and K. Loaded with healthy mono-unsaturated fats and Vitamin E, avocado helps lower cholesterol levels and keep skin soft and youthful. Its high fat and fibre content help promote balanced blood sugar levels and a feeling of fullness, assisting with weight management.
Wheat grass shots are out and chlorella shots are in. This blue-green algae, closely related to spirulina, is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Its rich green colour comes from a high concentration of chlorophyll – the green pigment which enables plants to absorb the nutrients from the sun.
Chlorella is a potent detoxifier, helping to cleanse the blood and deodorise the body - reducing bad breath, smelly feet and body odour. Its detoxifying properties extend to heavy metals and radiation – a must-have for frequent flyers, or anyone undergoing cancer treatment. Chlorella is just one of the potent ingredients in Our Zupafood ELITE. A unique blend of the world’s best superfoods, Zupafood Elite is designed to boost energy levels, promote detoxification and get skin glowing.
Not technically a food, but certainly a big deal, intermittent fasting has gone from way-out extreme to mainstream in 2017. There’s the 5:2 diet, the 8:16 diet and countless others. But regardless of the time structure, the basic premise is the same: severely restricting your calorie intake for a couple of days every week, or skipping one meal a day (typically breakfast), then eating normally the rest of the time.
Sounds awful, but the method has attracted many enthusiastic proponents – and the research also stacks up. Author and weight lifter James Clear has been practicing intermittent fasting for over a year, and claims it has helped him lose body fat, increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance. Xtend-Life’s Founder Warren Matthews has also been practicing intermittent fasting for over 50 years and is a strong advocate of its benefits.
Fasting might even help you live longer: A study from as far back as 1945 showed that rats with restricted calorie intake enjoyed longer life spans.
During fasting, the body gets a chance to repair and recuperate – by removing the effort required to digest and absorb food, the body can attend to other functions such as wound healing and building muscle. Of course, it’s also an excellent weight loss tool – largely due to its simplicity. No foods are ‘off-limits’ – you can eat whatever you want during non-fasting times, and during fasting phases, you simply don’t eat at all. Just stay away from cafes and food courts when you’re in a fasting period!
If you haven’t tried yoga yet, it’s time you rolled out your mat, because this trend is here to stay. Yoga naturally lengthens and tones muscles, plus strengthens the core and muscles of the waistline. By working on the internal organs as well as the muscles and tendons, yoga aids digestion and promotes detoxification.
Great for those who are desk-based (i.e. most of us!), yoga can help relieve back, neck and shoulder pain. And if you play other sports, yoga should be an important part of your injury prevention regime, helping to stabilise joints and strengthen muscles.
But the benefits extend far beyond the physical – yoga helps boost mood, lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels.
Whether you’re a fast-paced athlete or more of a ‘lie down on the ground and zone out’ type, there’s a form of yoga for you - from bikram/heated, to aerial yoga, to yin yoga - even laughing yoga. So hit the mat – your body will thank you.
A popular Christmas gift for the last few years, Fitbits are the accessory for anyone interested in keeping fit. Whether you’re an ultra-marathon runner or simply looking to tone up, there’s a type of Fitbit for you.
Smaller than a watch but packed with features, Fitbits enable you to track activity levels, weight, sleep, heart rate and food consumption. You can sync your Fitbit to your phone or laptop to track progress and competitive types can challenge friends to see who has the most active minutes. With personalised workouts and the ability to record incidental exercise, Fitbits make fitness fun.
If 2016’s trend was gratitude, 2017 is about mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of being present – a skill we could all do with in the 21st Century lifestyle of too much stress, technology overload and excessive media consumption. It teaches us how to live in the moment, to enjoy and appreciate what we have in the here and now.
Much more than just a passing fad, mindfulness teaches us to take control of our thoughts, helping to manage anxiety and overthinking. If you ever feel overwhelmed or over-stressed, this one’s for you.
Synthetic creams and harsh chemical peels are out, and natural beauty is in. The relationship between nutrition and skin health has been a hot topic in 2017 and people are increasingly turning towards supplementation in search of glowing, youthful skin.
One of the hottest supplements to enhance beauty from the inside out is definitely collagen.
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body and is located in muscles, bones, skin, tendons, hair and even the digestive system. It’s the "glue" that holds our bodies together.
But collagen levels decline naturally as we age, leading to some of the visible signs of ageing such as wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pain. Collagen supplements restore natural collagen levels, helping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, plump skin and promote healthier, more mobile joints. Collagen can also assist with healing leaky gut syndrome.
If you’re looking for a collagen supplement, it’s important to choose carefully. Many of the collagen supplements on the market are of dubious quality and are not well absorbed by the body. Xtend-Life’s marine collage is sourced from France and is rigorously tested for efficacy and purity. We use marine collagen in our Skin-Support and Zupafood For Skin products, which is considered to be the most bioavailable form of collagen - being absorbed up to 1.5 times more efficiently into the body than other forms.
Gut health has been huge in 2017, and with it the rise of prebiotics.
Probiotics have been on the scene for some time, but recently we’ve become aware of their limitations. Probiotics can be destroyed by the hydrochloric acid in the stomach before they reach the small intestine, meaning we can miss out on many of the benefits.
A more effective means of boosting the good bacteria in your gut is consuming prebiotics. Prebiotics can withstand the harsh acidic environment in the stomach and actually provide food for the good bacteria in our small intestine. Xtend-Life’s Kiwi-Klenz, made from New Zealand kiwifruit, is a rich source of prebiotics to help feed the good bacteria in the gut, plus soluble fibre and enzymes to enhance digestion and improve transit time.
They came into the spotlight in 2017, but adaptogens have been used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicines for centuries.
The name of these herbs gives a clue as to what they do – they help the body adapt to stress. Adaptogens boost mental and physical energy levels and help support the adrenal glands, lowering elevated cortisol levels and improving our resilience to stress. They are an important tool in the recovery from adrenal fatigue.
There are a range of adaptogenic herbs including ginkgo biloba, cordyceps mushrooms, bacopa, licorice root and siberian ginseng. Xtend-Life’s Zupafood ELITE is packed with cordyceps mushrooms and other nutrients to help support the body’s resilience to stress. Our Total Balance range contains bacopa, gingko biloba and a range of other nutrients to help nourish the adrenal glands and support the body during stressful periods.
 Health Benefits of Coriander.https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-coriander.html
 Proven Chlorella Benefits and Side Effects. https://draxe.com/7-proven-chlorella-benefits-side-effects/
 Carlson, AJ. Apparent Prolongation of the Life Span of Rats by Intermittent Fasting: One Figure J. Nutr. 1946 31: 3 363-375
 Ten Bosch, L. Do collagen Supplements really work? http://www.foodmatters.com/article/do-collagen-supplements-really-work
 Dr Axe. Adaptogenic Herbs to Lower Cortisol.https://draxe.com/7-adaptogen-herbs-to-lower-cortisol/