Tastes like a refreshing cocktail, but doesn’t cause a hangover? We’ll take two, please! Medicinal mocktails are having a moment and we’re here for it. For health-seekers whose palates pursue the flavors and creativity of craft cocktails—but don’t always want the alcohol—medicinal mocktails can satisfy cravings while also providing amazing health benefits. Ingredients in these “health-ified” beverages often include fresh herbs, fruits, juices, and herbal tinctures. Mocktails are being infused with everything from collagen to support skin structure and healthy hair to antioxidants to boost immune health and protect against free-radical damage. Especially popular are herbal mocktails containing adaptogens like ashwagandha and rhodiola, which promise to induce a sense of calm or increase energy levels. Medicinal mocktails can be a healthy alternative when you’re in the mood for a tasty beverage sans alcohol. Cheers to better health!
One of the most popular dietary trends of late is time-restricted eating, or TRE. A variation of intermittent fasting, TRE focuses on when to eat, rather than what to eat (or not eat). This strategy allows people to eat during a particular window of time throughout the day, which ranges anywhere from 6 to 12 hours in length depending on your health goals. For example, those practicing TRE may choose to consume all their food for the day between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day. The thought process behind TRE is that limiting the hours you eat each day is likely to help you consume fewer calories—especially if you’re a late-night snacker. TRE is thought to have many health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood sugar, and a decreased risk of heart disease. Some early research appears to back up its cardiometabolic benefits, especially in those with metabolic syndrome, but the jury is still out on TRE as a weight-loss strategy. But, since the trend is generally safe, it may be something you’ll want to try to see if it works for you.
Continuous Glucose Monitors
Looking for the latest fad in wearable technology? Check out continuous glucose monitors. While individuals with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes utilize glucose monitors as a medical necessity, manufacturers are now marketing continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs, to nondiabetics as a new type of wellness wearable. Nondiabetics can use a CGM to instantly see the impact that different foods have on their glucose levels and to better understand their body’s metabolism. Is this trend all it’s cracked up to be? It’s hard to say at this point. While glucose monitors help people with diabetes stay on top of their blood sugar levels, the effects of knowing these numbers could cause unnecessary stress for nondiabetics. Blood glucose is impacted by far more than the foods you eat, including illness, stress, certain medications, lack of sleep, and even menstrual cycles. Being presented with a constant stream of data on the workings of any part of the body can be information overload. However, since CGMs can provide useful data that helps users improve their diet, and hence their health, monitoring may be very well worth it.