Wednesday, 4 January 2023
From the latest diet, which focuses on getting the mind into shape, to a new type of meditation that’s so quick and easy anyone can do it, here are the top health trends for 2023.
A focus on mental health including mind dieting and mental ‘CPR’, hacking women’s health, shining an ancient light on self-care, and work for wellness not just a salary, are among the health trends on the horizon as we emerge from the pandemic and strive to be our best self.
Experts from the largest private higher education provider of natural medicine courses in the Southern Hemisphere, Endeavour College and Endeavour Short Courses, have shared their insights on the ‘next big thing’ in health as we head into the new year.
Endeavour College Mental Health Instructor and Nutritionist Lexi Crouch: From keto to fasting, physical dieting is always a hot topic but to get the best results from any diet, health kick or lifestyle change, it might be time to also try a psychological diet. Getting the mind into shape can be half the battle when it comes to getting fit and healthy or losing weight. Mind dieting is all about understanding why we may undereat or overeat and fostering new habits. By changing our food environment to make healthy food the easy choice, getting to the root of disordered eating, or simply becoming aware of the role the mind plays in motivation, we can pave the way for sustainable results and a healthy mind and body. Just as exercising regularly and eating well have positive flow on effects for our mood, on the flip side, a clear and focused mind can help support a healthy life.
Endeavour College Chinese Medicine Lecturer Caitlin Armit: Move over hygge, yăng shēng is the way to nourish a modern life. Meaning ‘nurturing life’ - yăng refers to nourishing or nurturing and shēng means life, vitality and health, it can also be translated as ‘health preservation’ or ‘life cultivation’, with a proactive approach to health rather than a reactive approach to disease. It’s the Chinese Medicine equivalent of self-care and is all about creating sustainable health and happiness. Dating back to ancient times, and referenced as part of Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, yăng shēng is the foundation of human health and may just be the antidote to the stresses of our modern world. At the core of yăng shēng are the concepts of balance, consistency, and flexibility. It’s the opposite of crash diets, quick fixes, magic pills, following fads or doing things to the extreme. It’s all about eating well, getting lots of rest, moving your body, doing mind-body exercises such as meditation and breath work, and getting in touch with inner feelings to create overall personal health, wellbeing and longevity.
Endeavour College Nutrition Instructor and Nutritionist Sophie Scott: As the name suggests, this trend is all about timing. Emerging evidence indicates that when we eat, not just what we eat, is important for overall health, longevity, and weight loss. Chronobiology research suggests that the longer the gap between the last meal and sleep leads to better rest and weight loss outcomes. Try leaving at least three hours in between dinner and going to bed for optimal digestive health. Meanwhile eating more food at the start of the day may assist with curbing appetite and weight management. Other studies indicate people who eat a larger breakfast eat less later on, showing a significant satiation effect from “front loading” calories. Chronobiology also comes into play with jetlag. Frequent flyers who travel across time zones are more susceptible to obesity as jetlag wreaks havoc with the entire metabolic system, as well as the gut microbiome. Social jetlag, where our internal biological clock and social clock – when we work, sleep and wake – gets out of sync, can have similar effects. For example, working a night shift goes against the body’s natural circadian rhythm and has been linked to an increased risk of obesity.
Endeavour College Natural Health Instructor Marianne Zander: One of the silver linings of the recent pandemic is that Australians have become more health-conscious and that has led to a surge in people wanting to learn more about their health for health's sake. Australia's largest provider of natural health courses, Endeavour College, recently conducted a survey which found that almost half (46%) of Australians care more about their health now than before the pandemic and almost two-thirds (61%) of Australians want to learn more about health to better care for themselves and their loved ones. This move towards study for self-care, as opposed to upskilling for a job or new career, is evident in how many people have studied an online health course this year. While the 2010s [SF1] was all about language courses, it seems the 20s is a time for health study with Australians lapping up courses on eating disorders, food psychology, gut health, nutrition, mental health and holistic health. In the six months since Endeavour College launched its first suite of short courses, the standout course has been gut health, which compiles the latest information in this emerging field for anyone wanting to better understand and improve their gut health.
Endeavour College Nutrition Instructor, Nutritionist and Environmental Scientist Sophie Scott: If you’re not yet familiar with the term ‘greenwashing’, you soon will be. This buzzword is the result of the rise in eco awareness where some businesses, services and products claim to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than they really are to cash in on increasing demand for green products. Just as it’s become important to check for red flags, like sugar and unnatural nasties, in food ingredient lists, here’s what to look out for when shopping around for something truly sustainable and environmentally friendly. To avoid being hoodwinked by green marketing, look out for trusted endorsements on labels such as Energy Star Rating, B Corp Certification, GECA (a not-for-profit ecolabelling program that aims to create solutions for sustainable consumption and production), Fair Trade International and Australian Certified Organic (ACO). When present, these symbols help shed some light on how eco-friendly a product is and whether it helps or hinders the environment.
Endeavour College Natural Health Instructor, Naturopath, Nutritionist and Women’s Health Specialist Ruth Sladek: Women’s health is finally on the agenda and with a growing pool of research and information, women are learning how to take charge of their health. A woman’s health is deeply connected to her menstrual cycle and the fluctuating hormones which ebb and flow with the four phases. Cycle syncing offers the chance to tap into these changes to get the right support throughout each cycle including what to eat, when to rest and when to ramp up exercise or start new projects to take advantage of a hormonal energy surge. A new online course focusing solely on women’s health launched in late 2022, combining all the latest information in one place and connecting women to the inner workings of their bodies.
Interested in Natural Health?
Set the pace towards a happier, healthier you. Find out more about our range of Natural Health Short Courses.
"Endeavour’s short courses offer the wider community an opportunity to learn about natural health. Their edge comes from being enriched by the College’s holistic approach, self-reflection and the social ethics of what a broader perspective about medicine can achieve."
- Dr Paul Strube