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Trends fluctuate and recommendations by health experts change. It can be confusing and challenging to keep up with the latest insights as new information is released into the marketplace.
Below, we distill what some experts are saying about 2022 trends in the arenas of innovative health and nutrition.
What always remains a constant is that proper nutrition, sleep, and stress management benefit our overall health, wellbeing, and help us age more gracefully. Consumers are now also making more conscious decisions that consider the health of the environment and future generations.
The Earth is overtaxed, and the environment is in precarious condition. At the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020, when most countries around the world were in lockdown, Mother Nature was given a reprieve. For the first time in years, pollution levels decreased, fish were seen swimming in the canals of Venice, and the Himalayan Mountain Range was visible from more than 100 miles away.
The Statistics Are Staggering
The 2019 United Nations World Population Report estimates that there will be nearly 10 billion people on the planet by 2050. According to the report, if we don’t change our food production practices, it will take the equivalent of 3 planet Earths to produce enough food to feed that population.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization as reported in 2019, approximately 30% of the food we produce globally every day is wasted despite the fact that much of the world is undernourished.
In 2020, per the World Health Organization, two billion people were overweight or obese while simultaneously, 690 million people went hungry or were malnourished every day.
Sustainability takes top billing as a mega-trend to follow this year.
Sustainability can mean different things depending on the context. In 1987, the United Nation’s Brundtland Commission said that sustainable development, “Meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Sustainable nutrition is the overarching theme of the top health and nutrition trends for 2022, and likely beyond. It is critical for the health of our planet.
Sustainable nutrition is produced and delivered in a way that has a low environmental impact.
According to the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute, sustainable nutrition increases the focus on “sustainable farming and sourcing practices, closed-loop supply chains, finding health and nutrition value in waste streams, as well as development of solutions to feed populations in need.”
Harvard University School of Public Health says, “Sustainability is a multifaceted issue, in which the food production system and our diets play a crucial role. Achieving a healthy and sustainable food future is an urgent matter that depends on global collaborative efforts.”
The goal is to ensure that the entire population has enough food to eat and access to high quality nutritious foods.
Climate change, deforestation, and damage to coastal reefs and marine ecosystems are all impacted by agriculture, which is the largest cause of global environmental change, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health.
Resolving this situation is mind-bending and will require the world to come together.
In 2019, the EAT-Lancet Commission convened 37 leading scientists from 16 countries in various disciplines including human health, agriculture, political sciences, and environmental sustainability to develop the world’s first scientific guidelines for healthy and sustainable diets.
They concluded that diets which are largely plant-based, with minimal red meat and sugar, are the best way to feed the rapidly expanding global population. They also found that “a widespread shift in the way people eat could prevent approximately 11 million premature deaths each year and slow environmental degradation.”
A predominately plant-based diet is also better for our overall health.
We know that reducing or eliminating foods that contain chemicals is ideal for our health. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial food coloring, sodium nitrite, guar gum, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners, are among the long list of unnatural ingredients that we should avoid for optimal health.
More and more, consumers are wanting to replace toxic chemicals that have become part of our everyday life for products with more natural ingredients. This ranges from the food we eat, to beauty products, and even to the types of mattresses we sleep on.
Consumer awareness is heightened, and plant-based technology and innovation from food manufacturers and start-ups are rapidly evolving to meet the demand.
The use of botanicals in food, beverages and supplements has increased globally (4% CAGR) according to the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute.
Botanical ingredients, or plant-derived additives have been around for thousands of years and are known for their healing and medicinal properties. Ingredients like ashwagandha, ginkgo, ginseng, mint, vanilla, and garlic are now found more frequently in consumer products.
Aoife Marie Murphy, PhD, Sustainable Nutrition Business Development Manager with Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute says, “Many food producers are leveraging the popularity of healthy halo botanicals to attract consumers, while combining these with science backed functional ingredients to deliver on the health benefits consumers are looking for. For example, ginger is perceived as having digestive health benefits. Using a ginger extract with a clinically proven probiotic in a food or beverage is an innovative approach with consumer health in mind.”
mend™ is at the forefront of innovative clinical nutrition. Its natural supplementation products are scientifically proven to provide solutions for supercharging healing and health.
Mood, health, sleep, and diet are intertwined, and science is emerging to prove this.
Anything we ingest has an impact on our mental and physical state of being.
Consumers are trending to wanting foods and beverages that are good for their mental well-being. Nootropics and adaptogens are super plants linked to this.
Nootropics are believed to enhance cognitive function such as improving memory, creativity, focus and motivation. Adaptogens help the body adapt to and deal with stress. They help regulate the body’s cortisol levels, keeping stress, fatigue, and restlessness at bay.
Turmeric, ashwagandha, GABA, L-theanine, ginseng, B vitamins, and gingko are showing up more frequently in products for their cognitive and mood enhancing properties.
To help balance your mood and energy, optimize blood sugar levels, and stop the spikes and crashes caused by processed food and hidden sugars, check out Control, a potent nature-powered formula by mend™
Sleep is critical to good mental and physical health, yet according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it is estimated that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes.
“Once sleep is disrupted, it can impact mental and physical health, which may in turn cause further sleep disruption,” said Athena Akrami, PhD, a neuroscientist at University College London.
Eating a balanced diet is not only essential for overall health, but also for our sleep. According to the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute, the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) analyzed data from 26,511 participants and found that adults with short sleep duration had lower intakes of Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D.
Vitamins A, vitamin K, and fatty fish (a good source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty oils), have been shown to be important for sleep regulation.
Beyond Gut Health: Microbiome
The University of Washington’s Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health says, “Humans are mostly microbes, over 100 trillion of them. Microbes outnumber our human cells ten to one and mostly live in our gut, particularly in the large intestine. The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and Vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation.”
The microbiome is essential for human development, immunity, and nutrition.
There is a direct link between the microbiome and probiotics in digestive health. Probiotics are one of the first ingredients people think of when they feel bloated or have digestive discomfort.
Probiotics help lower the frequency and duration of upper respiratory tract infections, reduce weight gain and insulin resistance, and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
For microbiome and gut health support, try mend™ Regenerate, a complex blend of 33 nature-powered nutrients that also boosts bone and muscle strength and healthy aging.
For microbiome and gut health support, try mend™ Regenerate, a complex blend of 33 nature-powered nutrients that also boosts bone and muscle strength and healthy aging.
Since the onset of the pandemic, immunity has been on many people’s minds.
Acquired immunity is immunity that develops with exposure to various antigens. Our immune system builds a defense against that specific antigen, protecting us from outside invaders including bacteria, viruses, toxins, etc. It is made up of different organs, cells, and proteins that work together.
It is important to keep our immune system healthy and strong. This can be done through nutrition, supplements, stress management, hydration, and good sleep.
Vitamin D, zinc, selenium and vitamin C are important nutrients for supporting immunity. Yeast beta-glucans, probiotics, echinacea, elderberry, and garlic have become more popular as immune builders especially since Covid.
When incorporating more natural supplementation products, do your research first. Look for products with ingredients that are supported by science-based claims regarding immunity. Make sure your sources cite real scientific studies or are written by experts in the field of nutrition or immunity.
As we age, our immunity can weaken. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in nutrients that support the immune system is the best foundation, not just for our immune system, but also our overall health.
Sonja Nodland, PhD, Principal Scientist for Research, Development, and Applications for Proactive Health at Kerry says, “Food is not necessarily medicine, but food has very important health effects beyond providing calories and has direct effects on the immune system.”
According to the World Health Organization, “The United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030) is a global collaboration, aligned with the last ten years of the Sustainable Development Goals, that brings together governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.”
There is no secret sauce for infinite longevity, but we can be proactive to better take care of ourselves as we age.
The science has advanced around maintaining physical function into later years. Keeping our muscle mass up through physical activity and high protein intakes becomes even more important as we get older. Retaining muscle mass helps us continue to do our day-to-day activities and protects us from falls and potential injury.
According to the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute, after the age of 50, approximately 1% of muscle mass is lost annually.
High protein intake is vital to helping maintain muscle mass, which can be challenging because as we get older, we tend to eat less. Additionally, as we age, we may need up to 50% more protein than when we were younger.
Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water helps with cognitive health and memory.
Because our food and liquid intake drops when we are older, it is very important to make sure what we are ingesting is beneficial for our optimal health.
For healthy aging, try mend™ Regenerate, a complex blend of 33 nature-powered nutrients specifically designed for maintaining healthy muscle mass as we get older. It is also beneficial for gut health.
The Future of Healthcare
The future of healthcare is expected to change substantially over the next five years.
Digital healthcare has been on the rise. Since the pandemic, more patients have been introduced to telehealth (telemedicine). Forbes reported that during the first months of the pandemic, the percentage of healthcare consultations that were carried out remotely shot up from 0.1% to 43.5%.
According to the HIMSS Future of Healthcare Report, 80% of health systems said they plan to increase their investment levels in digital health over the next five years. This aligns with the appetite for digital health among patients, more than half of whom indicated they would be amenable to a healthcare future that provides telehealth visits exclusively, so long as proper care is delivered on those visits.
Stakeholders in the industry plan to continue investing in digital health.
One of the added benefits of telemedicine is that it can potentially improve access to healthcare in a world where half the population does not have access to essential services.
It may sound like a sci-fi movie, but according to Forbes, in addition to telemedicine, “there will be continued upward trending in personalized medicine, genomics, and wearables, with organizers leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, extender reality (XR), and the internet of things (IoT) to develop and deliver new treatments and services.”
There will likely always be people who prefer the in-person experience with their doctors, so it will be up to the industry to find this balance as it transitions.
mend™ is a cutting-edge life sciences and biotechnology company that works with with leading hospitals and universities on developing evidence-based clinical nutrition products to enhance patient outcomes. Its nature-powered supplements are clinically proven and recognized by the medical community for their effectiveness. Natural ingredients are a powerful complement to medical treatment.
Value-Based Care Models
The pandemic has proven that the global healthcare ecosystem is resilient. To keep up with the ever-changing landscape new strategies are being devised by industry leaders.
Tripletree predicts an increase in value-based care models for healthcare. These models essentially revolve around the patient’s treatment and how well a coordinated care team can improve patient outcomes based on certain metrics, including reducing hospital readmissions, improving preventative care, and using particular types of certified health technology.
As digital medicine continues to expand throughout the healthcare industry, value-based care is gaining momentum as an increasingly popular alternative to more traditional healthcare models.
In general, it is a more holistic approach to healthcare.
Tripletree reports that although not a new phenomenon, it is seeing accelerated interest and investment in models that enable primary care providers to assume and be rewarded for managing patients more holistically in support of value-based contracting.
The expected number of Americans who will suffer from a chronic condition is anticipated to reach 171 million by 2030 (or 48% of the population). This leaves ample room for the healthcare industry to continue finding solutions that manage chronic conditions.
Payers also seem to be willing to support physicians in addressing chronic conditions, with the goal of enabling better care, preventing, or delaying disease, and unnecessary expensive admissions.
This more holistic approach has the demonstrated benefit of reducing hospital admission/readmission rates, reducting ED visits, and much higher patient satisfaction, according to Tripletree.
Beauty from the Inside Out.
Who doesn’t want to have beautiful skin and to look young and healthy as they age?
According to Grand View Research, the global women’s health and beauty supplements market size was valued at $53.0 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% from 2021 to 2028.
With the increased awareness about health, wellness, and adopting or maintaining an active lifestyle, demand is only expected to increase.
The pandemic increased the awareness levels about health and wellness.
As a result, the desire for physical, mental, and emotional health and the increased implementation of self-care among consumers has gone up. Consumers are buying more vitamins, minerals, and botanicals to boost their immunity. It is expected that post-pandemic, consumers will continue opting for supplements to maintain good health.
What we ingest impacts our skin. For nutrients that help your skin heal faster and stay healthy, try mend™ Cosmetic, a nature-powered, skin-healing formula. It is clinically proven to boost collagen and support skin elasticity. Cosmetic also supports collagen production to keep your skin looking its best.