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What's Next in Wellness: 19 Trends to Try in 2020

CBD oil, meditation, self-care, and pre- and probiotic foods—these trends exploded in 2019. What will make health headlines in 2020? We consulted local experts to get their input on the latest and greatest when it comes to wellness. 

“The mito/keto food plan is a low-glycemic load, anti-inflammatory [diet] that emphasizes healthy fats, nuts, seeds, oils, non-starchy vegetables, a low amount of low-glycemic-load fruits like berries, and modest amounts of protein from diverse healthy sources. High carbohydrate-containing foods, including grains, are limited. This plan, in general, is designed to improve insulin signaling, inflammation, body composition, and overall cellular resilience, and is the best food plan to support healthy brain function.”—Eric Hassid, MD, ABOIM, ABAARM, FMNM, Associate Medical Director at Sutter Institute for Health & Healing

“There is increasing interest in using virtual reality and augmented reality tools in combination with natural language processing to teach cognitive skills and social skills to prevent and/or reduce mental problems like anxiety, and enhance emotion regulation and interpersonal skills (e.g., effective communication).”—Philippe Goldin, PhD, Director of the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, Associate Professor at Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California Davis

“There’s a general trend toward healthy eating, avoiding allergens, additives/preservatives, and alcohol. [In regards to the latter], people are increasingly seeking non-alcoholic alternatives (mocktails or zero-proof drinks) to their beverages, which include but are not limited to alcohol-free beers, kombucha, teas, and seltzers.”—Shideh Chinichian, MD, Family Medicine at Mercy Medical Group

TRY Brew Dr. Happiness Kombucha, Athletic Brewing Co. Run Wild Non-Alcoholic IPA, and DRY Sparkling Soda 

Run Wild Non-Alcoholic IPA

Intermittent fasting regimens are designed to enhance cellular repair, cellular resilience, metabolic and hormonal health, body composition, and overall wellness. Three very common intermittent fasting regimens include time-restricted feeding (consume all food within an eight-hour period, like 10 a.m.-6 p.m.); weekly fast day (once a week, try to consume no more than 25% of your typical daily caloric intake while keeping well-hydrated); and fasting mimicking diet (this program follows 1,100 kcals day one, 800-900 kcals day two, 500-600 kcals day three, 800-900 kcals day four, and 1,100 kcals day five).”—Eric Hassid, MD, ABOIM, ABAARM, FMNM, Associate Medical Director at Sutter Institute for Health & Healing  

Health coaches will play a prominent role in the future of health care delivery. While most of us know what we ‘should’ be doing to take care of ourselves, making changes in our nutrition, stress levels, sleep, etc., is difficult to enact and sustain. This is where health coaches come in. They help us to identify what’s important to us and how to put those things in place, even when we feel stuck or discouraged.”—Maxine Barish-Wreden, MD, ABIHM, Co-Director of the Sutter Institute for Health & Healing

High-fiber diets can help with lowering cholesterol and common GI issues. [We recommend] staying away from processed foods and encourage whole grains to be included in low-carb diets, as whole grains are rich in fiber. A high-fiber diet consists of 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men.”—Tarandeep Kaur, MD, Marshall Family Medicine in El Dorado Hills

“Health systems have increasingly robust electronic health record systems (EHRs) that typically include electronic portals (including smartphone applications), which allow patients to interact with their health care system and providers more efficiently. Not only can appointments be made, but [patients can also] view bills, receive test results, and message providers.” —Charles McDonnell, MD, FACR, Radiologist, Sutter Imaging, Sutter Medical Foundation

“More consumers are using flour alternatives in their cooking, such as almond flour and coconut flour, and flours made from fruits and vegetables. These are especially ideal for people who adhere to gluten-free or flexitarian diets.”—Shideh Chinichian, MD, Family Medicine at Mercy Medical Group

TRY Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour and Anthony’s Chickpea Flour

Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour

“Two diets boasting the best nutritionally sound eating style for healthy aging, weight loss, and reducing illness are the Mediterranean diet (MD) and the low-carb ketogenic diet (KD). Both diets have strong similarities and recommend eating lots of leafy greens, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and berries. The difference between the two is that most MD plans focus less on animal meat for protein and more on eggs, fish, grains, and legumes, whereas the KD focuses more on any type of animal meat for protein and restricts most grains, legumes, and high-sugar carbohydrates. Both diets have shown a reduction in blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and body fat. I predict the next big thing will be a blend of these two diets, which I call the Mediterra-keto eating style, by taking the best parts of each diet, reducing processed food intake, and minimizing the foods that negatively affect our planet.”—Paula Hendricks, Co-Founder and Nutrition and Wellness Consultant at Hendricks for Health

“There are multiple services that allow consumers to check their own genetic factors, and people are using medical providers to make what is going on in their body—their genetic tendency—to be more visible. [With that information], we can prepare personalized food plans, exercise plans, sleep plans, etc. [utilizing] technology. Healthy diets can be different, depending on who you are. For frail, elderly people, middle-aged people with weight issues, children, those with celiac disease, and others, medicine is evolving to the level of ‘personalized medicine.’”—Miki Purnell, MD, Integrative Health Physician at Sutter Institute for Health & Healing

“The integration of cancer genetics and genomics has become increasingly relevant to the practice of oncology as we move to more personalized approaches to cancer screening, risk assessment, cancer prevention, and targeted therapy. For example, there’s a trend toward personalized cancer screening based on risk stratification (genetic testing), which is resulting in more patients being identified as high risk.”— Kristie Bobolis, MD, Medical Oncologist, Sutter Cancer Center at Sutter Roseville Medical Center

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a three-step process that involves drawing a small amount of your blood, placing your blood into a machine that separates it into parts, and then injecting one part of your blood (the plasma) into the skin. Studies show that PRP can be a safe and effective hair loss treatment. PRP may also speed up wound healing. Additionally, PRP is well-known as a ‘vampire facial,’ which is gaining interest as a treatment for cosmetic skin rejuvenation.”—Oma Agbai, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Director of Multicultural Dermatology and Hair Disorders Clinic at UC Davis Health

Plant-based foods and proteins (including protein powder and vegan protein bars) are also on the rise. Since soy is found to be a known allergen, non-soy options are gaining more popularity, such as beans, hempseed, and other plant-based alternatives.”—Shideh Chinichian, MD, Family Medicine at Mercy Medical Group.

TRY Cado Non-Dairy Deep Dark Chocolate Avocado Frozen Dessert, Vegan Rob’s Dairy Free Cheddar Puffs, and GoMacro Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Vegan Macrobar

Cado Non-Dairy Deep Dark Chocolate Avocado Frozen Dessert

“There’s been increasing interest in price transparency within state and federal legislatures as well as a recent executive order by President Trump. The concept is that increased price transparency with regard to shoppable services will lower health care costs through competition.”—Charles McDonnell, MD, FACR, Radiologist, Sutter Imaging, Sutter Medical Foundation

“I’m a strong advocate for using convenient ways to interact with my patients, like email and telephone and video visits. We know patients appreciate having these options. Many of our patients use video visits to have a face-to-face conversation with their doctors. This year, our researchers studied this trend and found that nine out of 10 Kaiser Permanente members who had a video visit with a primary care physician were happy with the care they received and reported feeling that their health needs were met.”—Angelica Ha, MD, Pediatrician and Assistant Physician-in-Chief for Technology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Group 

“There is growing use of ketamine to treat major depression rapidly prior to the activation of serotonin in the brain, which usually takes up to one month after starting a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.” —Philippe Goldin, PhD, Director of the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, Associate Professor at Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California Davis

“The development and use of online or smartphone delivered digital therapeutic programs based on cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation techniques will increase among people who cannot afford psychotherapy, who are on a waiting list for therapy, or who live in remote regions where there is no quality psychotherapy.” —Philippe Goldin, PhD, Director of the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, Associate Professor at Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California Davis

Nut and seed butters are growing more popular. These now include more obscure options including watermelon seed butter, pumpkin seed butter, sunflower butter, chickpea butter, and macadamia butter. These spreads offer more options for people who are keto and vegan, and can be used on foods like vegetables or crackers.”—Shideh Chinichian, MD, Family Medicine at Mercy Medical Group.

TRY Beyond the Equator Creamy 5 Seed Butter, 88 Acres Watermelon Seed Butter Unsweetened, and Wilderness Poets Macadamia Butter

88 Acres Watermelon Seed Butter Unsweetened

“The most compelling trends this year are going to be stem cell therapy and tissue regeneration and peptide therapy (the use of peptides to drive the regenerative antiaging process). Each of these therapies are emerging sciences with more and more evidence-based research available. As the technologies are perfected, the costs will come down and become available to average people.”—Michele Raithel, ND, at Revolutions Naturopathic

Adequate duration and quality of sleep has come out to be a major component of a healthier lifestyle that prevents chronic disabling diseases, improves productivity, and performance and helps us live better, fulfilling lives.”— Amer Khan, Sleep Medicine Specialist, Sutter Independent Physicians and Founder of Sehatu Sleep Clinic

“The fitness industry is always evolving and the major shift we see emerging at Roseville Health and Wellness Center is total mind and body wellness. Our Comprehensive Wellness Program includes sessions with a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a life coach, and a massage therapist. The program works because the participant is getting healthy in mind, body, and spirit.”—Mark Cavallaro, Personal Training Director at Roseville Health & Wellness Center

“Another trend is exercise classes for special populations. Specifically, we have classes designed for members with such conditions as arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, Cardiovascular issues, and balance classes for the elderly. We are seeing positive results from our special populations groups and great feedback from their physicians. We truly believe exercise is the best medicine.”—Mark Cavallaro, Personal Training Director at Roseville Health & Wellness Center.

by  Kourtney Jason