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5 Science-Backed Wellness Trends for 2020 and Beyond

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In light of COVID-19, more Americans are focusing on health. This year, 55% of surveyed individuals say they plan on attending a health and wellness event. We all want to take better care of ourselves and our families. Not surprisingly, the gospel of self-care has taken the world by storm. And, judging by the wellness trends for 2020, health will dominate the national conversation well into 2021. Let’s be honest; you probably see health-related ads every time you log into your social media account.

But, unfortunately, the massive size of the health and wellness industry (+$50 billion) draws out some nefarious actors. Vigilant consumers and watchdogs consistently ferret out shady businesses using so-called science to hawk their products. From Chobani’s not-so-sugar-free yogurt to Kellogg’s faux “health” cereals, it’s tough to identify the right health trends to adopt. Facebook has even taken to deleting wellness pages that tout pseudoscientific claims.

So, what can you trust? Science obviously! Here are the five biggest wellness trends for 2020 and beyond, all backed by reputable studies — not fancy marketing gimmicks.

1. The Endocannabinoid System Will Transform the Field of Pharmacology

Two things you may not know about one of the most groundbreaking wellness trends for 2020:

  • Cannabinoid receptors are more numerous than any other receptor in the human body.
  • Prolonged exercise produces anandamide — a “bliss” inducing cannabinoid.

CBD is the most researched health-and-wellness trend on the Internet. According to a study, online users made more than 6.4 million Google searches for CBD in April 2019. In fact, we would argue that CBD has become the buzzword for health in the 21st century. Clearly, Hemp Oil is having its moment in the spotlight. So far, research shows that CBD may be beneficial for:

  • Balanced mood support (1,2,3)
  • Physical discomfort (1,2,3,4,5)
  • Mental tension (1)
  • Nervous system support (1,2,3,4,5)

While CBD has been shown to reduce health discomfort levels, it isn’t the only cannabinoid that interacts with our bodies in a profound way. Every human being has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) — a complex combination of receptors and neurotransmitters that directly interact with cannabinoids in our bodies. Other cannabinoids like THC and CBN (cannabinol) also interact with our ECS system. To date, studies have uncovered the role interactions between cannabinoids and the ECS play in our overall health.

The Importance of Cannabinoids

Believe it or not, it was just a few years back when scientists were calling cannabinoids like CBD the “most misunderstood compounds on earth.” In 2003, Nature Medicine described the endocannabinoid system as having “an important role in nearly every paradigm of pain, in memory, in neurodegeneration, and in inflammation.”

Yet, research surrounding hemp and its cannabinoids didn’t flourish until the last few years due to regulatory issues (namely, the illegality of the hemp plant). Scientific American even made a rallying call to increase research into cannabinoids — like CBD — back in 2004. But, it wasn’t until the last few years that we really started to understand the massive role Hemp Oil plays in our bodies.

CBD may be no stranger to fame, but it’s not the only cannabinoid we should pay attention to. The other hundred plus compounds in hemp also affect our ECS in profound ways, and consumers are starting to notice. Of course, pure CBD products still reign supreme in the public consciousness. But, Hemp Oil is where modern trendsetters are heading. CBG (cannabigerol) and CBC (cannabichromene) are two of the rising stars in the cannabis world. Initial studies show that both exhibit anti-bacterial properties and offer effective nervous system support.

Depending on your supplier, natural Hemp Oil may contain a hundred or more types of cannabinoids. For consumers, Hemp Oil is an effective way of obtaining health benefits from cannabinoids without the THC “high.” People are already adding Hemp Oil tinctures to their green smoothies in the morning. Within the next few years, Hemp Oil may be a breakfast staple.

2. Outdoor Living Helps Connect Us With Nature

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Did you know?

  • Preliminary studies suggest that spending time in nature leads our bodies to produce protective anti-cancer proteins.
  • You don’t have to spend nights camping out in the mountains to reap some of the rewards of nature. Sitting near a window that affords a view of trees and grassy landscapes can reduce workplace anxiety and increase productivity.
  • Studies suggest that walking in nature reduces the risk of depression and is increasingly being used as a form of therapy by individuals suffering from mood disorders.

Most Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. We’ve traded hunting, fishing, and outdoor sports for video games, the Internet, and phone screens. However, our bodies aren’t prepared to camp out in frosty air-conditioned rooms forever. Being outdoors can do wonders for our minds and bodies.

What the Research Says About Nature and Health

Two Women Hiking Up A Mountain

According to research, taking a walk in nature improves memory recall by 20%, decreases levels of anxiety, and lowers pulse rates by 4%. In fact, you get a boost in mental energy simply by looking at images of nature. CDC data shows that the number of adults embracing walking has jumped by 6% over the past few years, and we expect that number to climb as we all look for ways to disconnect from media and reconnect with the majesty of nature. Blue Zones — a wellness project based on longevity research — recommends that everyone walk at least an hour a day in order to earn that coveted “centurion” label. Taking a walk in the park may prove more beneficial than ingesting salads drenched in fat-laden dressings.

But, it’s not just simply walks that are driving the outdoor wellness trend. Since 2014, the number of people who spend at least two days a year camping has increased by 72%. Driven by Millennials and Gen X, camping is undergoing a new renaissance — and there’s plenty of research to support the benefits of camping.

In one study, students who spent two days in a forest had lower levels of cortisol (the human “stress hormone”) and inflammation than their city-dwelling counterparts. Other studies suggest that a few days in nature can bump our creative capabilities by up to 50%. Of course, you don’t have to be an expert in bushcraft to bask in the sun. Startups like Gateway — a premium cabin rental business that recently secured $22.5 million in Series B funding — offer people the opportunity to unplug from the online world and embrace the serenity of nature in cozy luxury cabins.

Meanwhile, AutoCamp — a “glamping” experience offered in Cape Cod — lets you experience the great outdoors in trendy comfort. Finally, HipCamp offers an “Airbnb” camping experience for those looking to experience wilderness living minus the “wild.”

3. Alt-Meat Enters the Mainstream

“I believe that in 30 years or so… all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same, and be much healthier for everyone” ~ Richard Branson

Did you know?

  • Beyond Meat’s growth has doubled over the last year.
  • Annually, we eat over 220lbs of meat per person.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen plant-based meat substitutes go from a niche to mainstream option you can order from the Burger King drive-thru. The plant-based meat boom isn’t going away anytime soon. Beyond Meat — one of the leaders in the plant-based burger space — has seen its growth double over the last year. So far, White Castle, Burger King, McDonald’s, Qdoba, and hundreds of other restaurants have added these delicious faux meats to their menus.

We’re seeing major players in the meat industry, including Tyson, Purdue, and Cargill, jump into the alternative protein market with their own offerings. Presently, the global market for alternative meats has skyrocketed above $5.2 billion. For consumers, plant-based meats offer a better way to savor the tastes they love without incurring the consequences they fear.

Will We Stop Eating Meat Altogether?

The American Association (ACA) recommends that Americans cut out the majority of meat from their diets. There are also thousands of studies that show the benefits of sticking to a minimal-meat or meat-free diet. Already, 80% of Millennials purchase alternative meats when grocery shopping, and research points towards Gen Z having an even more insatiable appetite for plant-based options.

We won’t see meat leave the menu anytime soon. But, for health-conscious individuals, alternative proteins offer a great way to stay healthy without significant sacrifice. A full 70% of the world’s population is decreasing their consumption of meat, and around a quarter of consumers expect to see meat substitutes at their favorite eating spots within the next year.

4. Skincare Goes Au Naturel

“The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.” ~ Mark Twain

Did you know?

  • By 2027, the natural skincare market will be worth $54 billion dollars.
  • Millennials are driving the demand for natural skincare, one of the most notable wellness trends for 2020.

In this “love the skin you’re in” age, finding ways to increase skin elasticity without caking it in laboratory chemicals isn’t easy. But, it certainly is trendy. According to a report by Kline & Company, “natural” is the leading trend in the personal care industry. At Synchronicity, we’re heavy believers in the power of natural products to transform our health. Why slap a coat of lab-created petroleum products on your lips when you can pick up a natural solution like Wthn’s Rose Lip Polish? Or, why use a BHA-infused lotion when you can rely on natural Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil Lotion?

“Natural” isn’t just a trend; it has become a way of life. However, eating whole foods while slapping man-made chemicals on our faces may be antithetical. Still, what happens when natural substitutes don’t exist? For example, many retinol-infused skincare products contain chemicals. And, retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A, has proved effective in transforming skin at the cellular level.

You don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, however. Brands like Clark’s Botanicals offer retinol-based, chemical-free face cleansers that contain wonderful natural compounds like oatmeal.

Put Nature Back Into "Natural" Skincare

If you’re considering making the switch to natural skincare, there’s no better time to do it than the present. There are hundreds of natural beauty products offering serious benefits. Still, you may quite rightly wonder: Can “natural” really compete with all those powerful skin-rejuvenating acids that Big Skincare constantly pumps out? You bet. If you haven’t been paying attention, WEN by Chaz Dean recently lost a $26 million class-action lawsuit because its hair care products were causing people’s hair to fall out. Similarly, Johnson & Johnson is losing billion-dollar lawsuits due to its carcinogenic talc products. And, that’s just the start. Without being over-dramatic, the FDA has banned at least 30 chemicals. In the EU alone, countries have banned over 1,300 chemicals in consumer products.

According to the Fashion Institute of Technology’s graduate school, 90% of consumers believe that natural beauty products are safer than the alternative. And, who can blame them for thinking so? Even the perfume sector, a notoriously chemical-laden industry, is getting a makeover. Presently, companies like Petite Historie offer completely natural fragrances that smell amazing without the addition of toxic chemicals.

5. Gut Health Is Still "In"

“Follow reason, but don’t ignore that gut feeling.” ~ Debasish Mridha, M.D.

Did you know?

  • Disturbances in the gut biome can lead to obesity, autoimmune diseases, and metabolic abnormalities.
  • Gut bacteria helps you digest food, fight off viruses, and regulate your hormones.

The past few years have been a Golden Age for our gut. We switched from fruit-infused water drinks to fermented beverages like Kombucha to satiate our thirst (and fortify our bodies). We also learned that our gut plays an important role in aging, disease resistance, and physical wellbeing. And, like us, many of our friends began scarfing down Greek yogurt to aid digestion and deal with a host of intestinal conditions.

But, like the endocannabinoid system (ECS), gut health is just getting started. 70% of your immune system is centered in your gut, and finding ways to maintain the trillions of good bacteria living there is more than a health fad. It’s become a pursuit of passion. There are 10x more bacteria in your gut than there are cells in your body. Probiotics in foods like yogurt help mitigate the side-effects of treatment for certain health conditions and provide seasonal immune support. In fact, probiotics have hundreds of proven benefits, so we won’t dive into the extensive research about this. For more information, check out this Harvard post.

Probiotics: The Secret to Optimum Gut Health

There are two ways to increase good bacteria in your gut: naturally (through your appendix) and orally (through consuming probiotic-rich foods). Did you know that your appendix actually serves as an incubation chamber or reservoir for probiotics (good bacteria)? But, even with our appendix cultivating microscopic goodies, many of us still need to maintain a healthy gut biome. And, the trick to doing this is simpler than once thought: you consume probiotics.

Companies like The Nue Co sell probiotic gummies that include both probiotics and prebiotics. For those looking to stock up on all their vitamin needs, Careof offers a vitamin service that delivers individually packaged vitamins — which are custom-tailored for your body — to your home each month.

The gut health revolution isn’t going away anytime soon. As one of the most significant wellness trends for 2020, it promises to change the way we eat forever. So, stock up on probiotics and drink up that Kombucha.

Wellness Trends for 2020: Reinvent Your Health Routine With Synchronicity

At Synchronicity, we believe that health and wellness is the single most important part of life. Happiness doesn’t happen by chance. You must put in the effort, change less-than-ideal lifestyle habits, and embrace evidence-based healthcare.

In the final analysis, we can’t rent you a snazzy cabin in the mountains or make you eat probiotic-infused yogurt. However, we can offer you fine hand-pressed, whole-plant Hemp Oil produced from sustainably raised, organic hemp plants. If you’re ready to get back in the driver’s seat in light of the plethora of wellness trends for 2020, contact us. Let’s talk hemp, health, and happiness.