If you’re having a tough time deducing the effective superfoods from the super-phonies, this list of health trends might offer you some clarity.
Also known as activated carbon , this dense compound has gained a great deal of popularity in past months. Cosmetics companies have introduced this natural antibacterial into facial scrubs and masks, as well as toothpaste. A few dedicated health and wellness enthusiasts have gone as far as to ingest activated charcoal supplements and bake it into their bread, but the use of this natural hydrocarbon is not an entirely new concept. For centuries, African men have drunk a cocktail of this toxin-absorbing product during rite-of-passage ceremonies to cleanse their bodies of impurities. Activated charcoal aids in water filtration, so your kidneys will thank you, and it soothes diarrhoea.
Humans will do a great many things in the name of ‘health’. I’ve heard about everything from people swallowing tapeworms to assist in weight loss, to taking cold showers to ramp up your metabolism. This one is by far the strangest fitness fad I’ve come across. Goat yoga is exactly what you think it is, a session of yoga done while goats wander as they please. This bizarre practice began in America and, with some classes boasting a waitlist of 1200, is a favoured workout of choice for many.
Though I’ve never been to a class myself, I can imagine goats can be quite erratic. I wouldn’t want a nanny ramming into me while I’m stretching into a salutation to the sun. It would be extremely distracting hearing a billy munching on my yoga mat over the hum of the class om-ing. This is animal therapy taken a step too far.
Step away from the needle and cancel your appointment at the plastic surgeon’s office, now there are natural ways of restoring youthfulness into your body. Collagen is a natural protein found in the skin and as we age, the amount of collagen we have in our skin decreases, causing wrinkles. With alternatives like powdered supplements, many consumers are getting the plumpness and fullness of young skin back without having to suffer through a session of painful injections. Not just an enzyme for the vain, collagen has gut-healing properties and has proven effective in treating anxiety.
It’s no secret that baby boomers glorify the practice of overworking. If I had a penny for every time my parents have bragged about getting their hands dirty, I’d have enough to build a time machine that would remove them from “the good ol’ days.” Then they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.
Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses were considered laziness a few decades ago (and in certain communities, they’re still not recognised or treated in the manner they deserve). But society is slowly coming to appreciate the importance of self-care, and how it has the potential to heal the body physically.
Self-care looks different for everyone. Some individual might go on cyber fasts, not checking emails or social media for days at a time. Other people might slip self-care into their daily lives by going to the gym and having a ‘no phone after 5 pm’ rule. Regular meditation is another form of self-help. I regularly cook for myself, and I like to unplug for a day. I’ll go for a massage, do a full body mask and get my nails done. The psychology behind self-care is that you are making the conscious decision to give yourself adequate attention: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Passionate yogi’s who’ve adopted this alternative to meditation will quickly tell you that we’ve all been breathing wrong since we were infants. The ideology is that, as we’ve grown and become bogged down by the stresses and pressures of waking life, our breathing patterns have been affected. Through multiple sessions, an instructor will facilitate the manipulation of your breathing to fight stress, raise your energy levels, and encourage clarity of thought and mindfulness. But proceed with caution, participants of this remedial trend have noted that the process can sometimes be both physically and emotionally painful.
– Cassava leaves are extremely poisonous when raw, but cook them and the harmful toxins disappear. What you’re left with is a natural helping of vitamin c, b vitamins, potassium, fibre, protein and iron. Cassava leaves are low in calories while being effective antioxidants.
– Watermelon seeds are high in fibre; rich source of proteins, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids; and packed with magnesium and potassium. The seeds are high in calories but you’d need to eat a heaped bowl of them to enjoy the benefits. You’re better off sticking to sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds.
– Cockroaches and cockroach ‘milk’ crawled onto the scene in 2017 and it’s got a lot of people scratching their heads. Fussy eaters have been giving those who consume mopane worms a hard time for long enough. Now they have to chew on the fact that insects pack a healthy dose of protein crystals and amino acid.