Digital detox, improved mental health, scientifically-backed CBD oil and predominantly plant-based diets are among the top health and wellness trends for 2020, say three leading local health experts.

Flexitarian in focus

Nutritional consultant, Vanessa Ascencao, says a largely plant-based “flexitarian” diet will continue to gain popularity.

She recommends that you eat 70–80% natural, whole foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and plant-based protein sources, including legumes and nuts, along with modest amounts of high-quality organic poultry, fish and red meat.

Ascencao cautions against overly processed meat alternatives laden with preservatives and chemicals.

Supplement for success

A balanced diet should be supported by proven, high-quality supplements such as green tea extract, Origine 8, and a high-quality CBD oil – preferably a product that is backed by credible research, such as Bio-Canna, she adds.

Pharmacist and life coach, Giulia Criscuolo, says healing and self-care will take centre stage, including “digital detoxes” — taking time out from mobile phones or screens — and getting more sleep.

However, “wearable tech” which tracks physical performance, sleep and other health markers will continue to trend.

“I foresee a focus on improved mental health given that up to one in six South Africans suffers from anxiety, depression and substance abuse. In the UK, three in four people surveyed were so stressed over the last year that they felt overwhelmed and unable to cope. We simply have to take better care of ourselves.”

Criscuolo foresees a trend towards “restorative” bio-hacking – seeking the best ways to heal or to recover from physical and cognitive exertion through nutrition, improved sleep and better stress management.

Complementary medicines

International health and wellness expert Maria Ascencao says high-quality, complementary medicines supported by research will continue to gain traction as the public seeks to prevent rather than treat disease. She adds that nutrition will become more personalised as DNA testing becomes more accessible.

She urged South Africans to rest and pursue healthy living over the holidays by following a balanced diet, avoiding excess and protecting the body from overindulgence. “Choose a highly bioactive supplement such as Bio-Milk Thistle which contains organic silymarin.

Studies show that milk thistle helps improve liver and brain function and helps provide relief from symptoms of overindulging in drink and food such as indigestion and upset stomach.”