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Top health trends for 2020 you should know and love

Top health trends for 2020 you should know and love. Picture: bruce mars from Pexels

Top health trends for 2020 you should know and love. Picture: bruce mars from Pexels

Published Jan 27, 2020


Health trends come and go. While some may last the whole year, others are short-lived and seasonal. 

Here are some of the health trends you can expect in 2020.

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Wearable tech

According to a Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2019 study, thousands of surveyed fitness professionals ranked wearables as one of the most popular fitness trends in 2019 and it’s predicted to stay on top.

Palesa Masiteng, founder of Model Fitness by Palesa Masiteng and TV personality, says wearable technology such as smartwatches has been a great trend in 2019 and will keep growing, with more people wanting to take control of their well-being.

“You can conveniently monitor your fitness goals and stay motivated,” says Masiteng.

DNA diets and personalised nutrition

Mari Pronk, a registered dietitian and Association for Dietitians in South Africa’s spokesperson, says DNA diets and personalised nutrition is a health trend that will take over.

Gene testing, popular in other countries, is becoming more popular in SA.

“Hundreds of genes, which affect weight and nutrient metabolism, have already been identified,” says Pronk.

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The results of a DNA-test can assist a dietitian in providing you with the healthiest diet in order to lose weight, combat chronic disease and reach your optimal level of health.

Testing your genes can give information regarding the type of exercise that best suits you, which supplements to take and avoid and which diet approach to follow.

Fenugreek seed

This is from the Mediterranean, where it has long been used in medicines, tinctures and cooking. The seed’s appealing flavour - some liken it to maple syrup - makes it an excellent addition to pungent medicinal solutions.

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To use the seeds, you can toast them in a frying pan, which releases their flavour. They can be added to bread, salads, curries, pickles, condiments, and sauces. Ground fenugreek can be added to teas and other drinks.

Fenugreek seeds are made of natural fibers, which can swell and fill the stomach, reducing appetite and supporting weight reduction. Chew fenugreek seeds at least twice or thrice a day and you will discover you feel satiated without eating much.

Boutiques gyms

A boutique fitness studio is a small gym that focuses on group exercise and specialises in one or two fitness areas.

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Juanita Khumalo, a wellness and fitness coach, says more people are opting to go for boutique gyms which offer specific training styles such as CrossFit and boxing, which also provide customers with the flexibility of signing up monthly, against committing to 12-month gym contracts, as was the only option.

Active Recovery

Khumalo explains rest day is a term commonly used to describe a day when one takes a break from exercising or its otherwise known as passive recovery. Passive recovery entails a day of complete rest and without any physical activity at all whereas active recovery includes low-intensity exercise that promotes blood flow to the muscles, helping them to recover better and faster. Active recovery doesn’t require one to be in a gym and it can be done from anywhere. Such exercises include pilates, yoga or mindfulness activities like meditation.


CBD or cannabidiol is a natural remedy growing in popularity which is used for various ailments.

With legislation allowing adults to grow and use marijuana in their own homes, it’s gaining momentum, with more restaurants selling CBD-infused products.

A report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said there was evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids, found in the marijuana plant, could be an effective treatment for chronic pain.

People are also using it as part of their skin-care routine; it’s gaining popularity as a sleeping aid, at spa treatments and for relaxation.


Kamut is a food trend that is picking up. Khorasan wheat or Oriental wheat, commercially known as kamut, is a tetraploid wheat species. It is also an ancient grain that can be easier to digest than the conventional wheat.

It is higher in protein and more nutritious than common wheat, containing more selenium, magnesium and zinc.

Kamut is available in a variety of forms, including whole grains, green kamut, flour, couscous and bulgur wheat.

Kamut can be added to bread, pasta, pilafs, side dishes, salads, soups and stews.

Before cooking the whole grains, they can be rinsed and soaked for up to 24 hours to reduce the cooking time.

Meat alternatives

Over the years we have seen a rise in people opting to go the vegan and vegetarian route and as a result we expect to see more meat alternative options on the rise.

More restaurants in 2019 introduced vegan or plant-based options.

Nutritional consultant Vanessa Ascencao says a largely plant-based “flexitarian” diet will continue to gain popularity and recommends eating 70-80% natural, whole foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and plant-based protein sources, including legumes and nuts, along with modest amounts of high-

quality organic poultry, fish and

red meat.

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