Top 6 Swedish Health Trends 2016

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What’s coming next – and what is already this year’s health trends? [you can hear drum beats…] Which products or activities attract the crowd’s attention? Curious as we are, we’ve had a look at the achievements that appeared on the local (Swedish) market over the previous months and listened to experts’ predictions. Here is what you can be looking forward to see more of in 2016! Some things you might be already aware of or so do you maybe feel to start thinking about which trend to join?

1. Juice is here to stay.

Whether juiced or blended, drinks from the fresh fruit are popular and a must for many fresh food or natural stores. Well, they’ve always been – but instead of being accessories juices are playing the main role now! Who has not tried a drink at Naked Juice Bar or Joe and the Juice yet? These are some of the leading chains bringing the juicy business alive and have been recently spreading over the country. Order “Beet it”, “Pick me up” or “Iron Man” and customize your drink with some extra protein. Meet a young team and get your vitamins on the go!

2. The more super the food the better.

Who wouldn’t go for a food that can basically prevent from any health problem out there? I bet we all would. Berries and seeds came from somewhere far far away, you never heard about them before, and suddenly they are in everybody’s mouth! Someone started calling them “superfoods” because they are claimed to be rich in nutrients – and they are. However, once a trend for the last couple of years people start realizing that the as “super” commercialized food is super expensive. Why not choose the “traditional” (but still pretty super) alternative every now and then? Explore nutritional comparisons such as chia vs flax.

3. Make sure you get a good work’s sleep.

We all know “beauty sleep”. If you once had it, you know it’s a true story. Sleep can make a difference. And company owners know that too: Vilorum is already a must have at modern offices. The sooner or later even high performing individuals will occasionally even prioritize sleep over a workout and win. Researchers are considering that less than 6 hours of sleep could affect your health negatively and even limit the positive effects of a workout. Join a mindfulness meditation group or try new products that will make you optimize your sleeping habits and you will work and train at your best in 2016. 

4. How you bean?

Very good, thanks, the legume replied. Nobody has risen that much in popularity than these little guys. Legumes are the ones to bet on in 2016. They are high in protein and fiber, low-carb and gluten free. And they can save the world. Ok, let’s be a little modest, they could contribute. Research shows that partly replacing meat with legumes in our diet could lower the pressure on climate and environment and reduce world hunger while being a healthy alternative to animal protein. So you think bean and co. are not sexy enough? Then try them as pasta (e.g. Nutrinick). Legumes will be present in a variety of forms and dishes, 2016 is creative.

5. Skip the hangover – party hard at the gym!

Yes, you heard right. Forget high heels, black dress, suit and neck tie. Dress code: Trainers and sport pants! Workout Parties are social, cool and a healthy alterantive to the “Pub runda”. Why ruin your gains with heaps of drinks when you can quench your thirst with a creamy proteinshake instead? Well… it’s at least worth a try! For sure, gyms or modified ventures will host tomorrows socializing events. Whether afterwork, meet-up, mingle or date night, sweating is more fun when done together! 

6. We’re all talking BCAA now.

I bet that one year ago the average person you met on the street couldn’t tell you what “BCAA” was. Today they would most probably give you answers like “Nocco” or “CleanFit”. BCAA, which is the abbreviation for branched chain amino acids, has been a popular pre- and after workout supplement for the active and athletic for many years. Today it’s not just that. The 2015 by “The No Carb Company” released trendy drink “Nocco” is suddenly – literally – on everyone’s lips. Whether fortified with amino acids or other nutrients, functional drinks are an upwards trend and they are ready to conquer new markets. We are sure there will be more to come. Next up, we think skin products will be in your next colourful beverage of choice.

A love letter to Food

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It was love at the first sight. Chocolate, I can’t remember exactly when we first met but I knew I would never let you go. You’ve been always on my side since then, even when I decided to not see you for days (Oh believe me, I had my reasons!) you would never feel rejected. You would be patient and stay away. We all knew that I would invite you to my place soon again.

Happiness is around the house when you are in, dear pasta. Every bite is a piece of heaven, butterflies (farfalle) in my stomach. Probably I was longing to see you since the morning when I woke up, looking forward to date you after a day of hard work. I love seeing you in candle light, just the way you are, topped with a touch of grated parmesan. A firework of endorphins would put me to sleep after an act of pure love.

Just the smell of you takes me back in time. I remember sitting on the lawn in the backyard, feeling the grass between my fingers, waiting for my grandma to call us inside the house: Who wants a piece of Appel Pie? The excitement when I opened the garden door and a breeze of freshly baked smell blew into my face. Memories I share with you, over and over again.

Imagine writing a love letter to your sweetest food temptation. What would it be? What would you feel? Would it nourish your body or would it nourish your soul?

We all have those days we care less about the nutrition content in our food when craving and food hugs is the only thing that counts. Make sure you enjoy without regret! Our love to food is our love to life.

These tips will help you treat yourself wisely:

  • Keep sugar content low and choose snacks such as dried fruits and nuts that provide fibre, protein and healthy fats. If you are craving for bread and pasta choose the whole grain alternative or vegetable pasta.
  • Plan your treats as you do with your workout. Don’t completely keep yourself away from foods you desire but leave certain sweets for “the special days”. A piece of cake can easily be as calorie-rich as a lunch meal with most of the energy coming from processed sugar.
  • Choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. Less sugar, more of the good stuff! Cocoa is rich in polyphenols with antioxidant potential and has been the matter of many studies on its beneficial effects on oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation and atherosclerosis.

Eat Mostly Plants

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Warning: This article is not meant to be read by vegetarians. You may now leave this page. Have a nice day!

Just kidding. I could also say ’Congrats!’ because you are more likely to live a long, healthy life – according to a variety of epidemiological studies comparing dietary patterns. In these, vegetarians often showed lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, lower BMI, and lower fasting glucose levels in the long term, which means reduction of risk factors for heart disease. However, there has been On and On and Ongoing debates about the health benefits of a diet without meat since vegetarians are typically more health conscious thus other life style factors may confound these study findings.

There is no black and white here. Not all vegetarians may manage to vary their diet in the most adequate way and stay away from all the treats that are teasing from everywhere. I know guys, you try hard, I know you do! We have vegetarian friends who still live off of fries, pizza and pasta!

You see it’s hard to define a dietary pattern by the absence of just one food – meat. Still, the general observation is that vegetarians eat more fiber, less saturated fat, and health promoting phytochemicals than meat eaters. These are all factors that we know do affect chronic disease outcomes posivitely. So, coming back to our meat eaters out there who by now might envy their vegetarian brothers: Instead of focusing on how to cut out meat, try to make plant products the centre of your diet. Thinking of how to include more veggies in your next meal will give automatically less space for the meaty. Just keep telling yourself, Eat Mostly Plants.

Many of you wonder where to get your daily protein from? Relax! With a bit of extra attention you won’t have trouble to maintain gains and recovery. Include legumes such as lentils, beans and peas to your meals, they are a perfect alternative for animal protein and are even high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. Other good meatless protein sources are nuts, seeds, grains, and eggs. Even though plant protein quality is often considered as low since most of them don’t provide all essential amino acids – but we can combine foods that cover up and make a vegetarian meal a complete source of protein. The essential food choice is: Variation. And it works. Studies show that protein intake in vegetarians is not significantly lower than in omnivores.

We know, you love your meat! But why not choose to go veggie for a day per week? A meal a day? 80% of your plate? You might see it as challenge from the beginning, but what good ever came form anything that wasn’t challenging or required us to not question our habits.