If 2018 is the year you want to make some changes to your health and wellbeing regime then there are a host of new health trends emerging that might just be what you’re looking for. 

Smart sleeping

Sleep plays a very important role in physical and mental health, and according to the NHS a lack of sleep can be linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.1 The Sleep Council recommends between 7-9 hours’ sleep per night for adults aged between 18-65 years but it’s the quality of sleep they say is most important, not the length.2

So, if you’re one of the millions of people that suffer from insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns then the smart mattress might be your key to a restful night. Built with technology that syncs to an app on your phone, smart mattresses give you a sleep report each morning, can warm up your bed, set smart alarms and even connect to wi-fi enabled products in your house. Sounds dreamy!

Bug-based foods

Insects are cheap, nutritious and, believe it or not, are considered a normal food staple in 80% of the world’s countries. Entomophagy – the official term for eating insects – is big business too with insect farms being specially created around the world to farm crickets, mealworms, buffalo worms and grasshoppers for human consumption. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations insects are healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples such as chicken, pork, beef and even fish and many are rich in protein, good fats and high in calcium, iron and zinc – what more could you ask for?! With all these nutritional benefits it’s no surprise that the little critters are fast becoming the latest health food craze and you might even be surprised at the variety of dishes you can make that include them. These top bug recipes from The Telegraph may give you some creepy crawly food for thought.

IV vitamin therapy

Receiving vitamins and minerals intravenously has been popular with celebrities for several years but it seems that it might not be long before these treatments become commonplace at independent clinics. Claiming to boost energy levels and stimulate the immune system the drips are administered by a qualified nurse and take about 45 minutes to carry out. IV nutrient therapy has been reported by Alternative Medicine Review to be more effective and better tolerated than conventional medical therapies for conditions such as asthma attacks, migraines, fatigue fibromyalgia, acute muscle spasms, upper respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergic rhinitis and other disorders.5 

Low FODMAP diet

Originating in Australia the low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet cuts out certain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine to reduce bloating and abdominal pain. Particularly helpful for the millions of people that suffer from IBS or other digestive disorders, a low FODMAP diet can be effective in managing symptoms. A low FODMAP diet involves restricting high FODMAP fruits and vegetables, animal milk, wheat products and beans. Whilst not necessarily unhealthy foods, some of them contain fructans, inulin, and galactooligosaccharides, which in certain people, causes gastrointestinal symptoms when eaten.  It is believed that a meal plan that includes low FODMAPs may also help ease symptoms from other health conditions. For more information and a list of FODMAP foods visit The IBS Network.

If you want to try the low FODMAP diet, it’s best to do so under the guidance of a professional dietician, who can ensure your diet is still healthy and balanced. You can ask your GP or specialist to refer you.

Which one will you try first? Don’t forget, it is always best to consult a qualified health professional if you are trying out a new health regime.

Being proactive about your wellbeing with a health care cash plan can provide a range of health benefits. For more information visit our cash plan page.

1 NHS https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx

2 The Sleep Council https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/how-much-sleep-do-we-need/

3 Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinatroitino/2017/08/30/unearthing-the-buzz-behind-eating-bugs-with-the-nordic-food-lab/#f1aa7af6364b

4 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations http://www.fao.org/edible-insects/en/

5 Alternative Medical Review http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/7/5/389.pdf

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