Although the new year is well under way, here at delicious living we are still feeling energized to reconsider our habits and question how we can make positive changes to our own lives and to the world around us. To help you do the same, we’re exploring a few of the natural health trends that we can expect to see more of in 2023. Whether you’re swapping wine for self-care or shopping more conscientiously, here are five ways you can make a difference in your life, and the lives of others, this year.
One of the most exciting trends in sustainability this year? Products that are made using regenerative agriculture techniques. In case you need a quick review, regenerative agriculture is an earth-first farming method that prioritizes healthy soil and ecosystems, which boasts a number of benefits including increased soil fertility, biodiversity, yields, and water-holding capacity (which can reduce flooding and improve drought resistance), while reducing soil erosion and pollution.
As the growth and demand of sustainable products continues to rise, consumers are paying particular attention to those made using regenerative agriculture practices. These include cover cropping, rotational grazing, no-till farming, and little to no pesticides, to name a few.
To make a difference with your dollar, look for regenerative certifications on product labels or, when eating out, support restaurants sourcing from regenerative farms.
Support for women-owned businesses
Let’s hear it for supporting women-owned businesses! Research shows that shoppers are becoming increasingly conscientious, making the effort to choose products and services from businesses they believe in, including those run by women.
According to the US Small Business Administration, women are the majority owners of 21 percent of employer businesses. Though the majority of these are small businesses, this number has shown significant growth in recent years and is much higher when considering single-employee businesses.
So, how can you support women-owned businesses?
- Tell your friends about women-owned businesses you love! You can also promote their services or storefront on social media and encourage others to share.
- Consider investing in new business ventures.
- Mentor women in your area of expertise.
- Share knowledge and resources. For example, you can help aspiring or current business owners find grants and loans.
Mood and mental health supplements
Looking to improve your mood with nutraceuticals? You’re not alone. In fact, sales of mood and mental health supplements reached $1.3 billion in 2021, nearly doubling from $700 million in 2017. While not all supplements deliver the promised results, here are a few that show potential:
- Vitamin B12: One research review found that lower levels of B12 is associated with developing depression. Another study found that vitamin B12 significantly improved depressive symptoms when combined with an antidepressant compared to the control group who only took an antidepressant.
- Omega-3s: The anti-inflammatory actions of omega-3s may have an antidepressant effect, though further research is needed to determine the correct dose.
- Ashwagandha: An adaptogenic herb, one small study found ashwagandha improved sleep quality while others demonstrate the herb’s potential to help with stress relief—both of which affect mood.
Non-alcoholic beverages for adults
After an uptick in alcohol consumption during the pandemic, cutting back on alcohol (or omitting it altogether) has become a major trend.
Leading the trend is Gen Z, who are drinking less alcohol for reasons including risk aversity, fear of negative social media, and an interest in leading a healthier lifestyle. However, this shift can be seen across the board, as consumers show an increasing appreciation for the importance of resilience and self-care—and perhaps an increasing awareness of the damaging effects of alcohol.
With a variety of options available, living a booze-free lifestyle or choosing to cut back is easier than ever. Look for alcohol-free mocktails and spirits, non-alcoholic beer and wine, hop waters, and even CBD drinks on shelves near you.
A trend that has taken over many different industries, upcycling is one way to combat the detrimental effects of large-scale waste. In the food industry, 2.5 billion tons of food waste is created each year. The textile industry is another major culprit, with 92 million tons of textile waste being produced each year.
While those numbers are discouraging, the fact that sales of products containing upcycled ingredients is on the rise means the problem is being recognized and action is taking place.
When shopping for food, look for labels that include the Upcycled Certified logo. This third-party certification was developed by the Upcycled Food Association in 2021 and recognizes products with upcycled foods and ingredients (whether surplus or by-product) that are making a positive impact on the environment.
Beyond your grocery cart, you can make your closet a little greener by choosing textiles and other raw materials that have been upcycled. And, of course, avoid fast fashion as often as possible, opting to buy second hand, handmade, or high-quality items that will stand the test of time.
Regenerative agriculture: regenerativefarmersofamerica.com
Women-owned businesses: sba.gov/business-guide/grow-your-business/women-owned-businesses
Mental health supplements: mentalhealth.gov; mhanational.org
The effects of alcohol: cdc.gov/alcohol