The organic market is booming, plant-based meals are shaping the food landscape and health consciousness is on the rise.
Trends in Australian health are changing for the better. And now is the best time for Aussies to take control of their bodies, according to new research.
The change is a result of a shift in focus from illness treatment, to the management of overall health and wellbeing. Digital technologies have assisted with many of these necessary changes. Now, there’s more health information being generated than ever; offering solutions and opportunities for you to make smarter choices.
IBISWorld conducted the report, which shows an increase in health consciousness over the past five years. Aussies are consuming less alcohol, eating more fruit and veg and spending less on tobacco. And it’s only expected to continue. People are embracing healthier eating habits and lifestyles. Are you ready to make a change?
Here’s how to get more health conscious in 2019:
Get DNA Tested for Genetic Traits
Personalised nutrition and health has been hailed the future of heathier lifestyles.
DNA testing, which offers access to useful genetic data, is a driving force behind why more Aussies are making health consciousness a priority. These technologies offer detailed information about food intolerances or genetic traits you may have, to predict possible health risks.
Knowing these risks early, such as how likely you are to get heart disease or gluten intolerance, can kickstart your health and wellbeing goals. If you are genetically predisposed to things like Alzheimer’s, preventative measures can be planned immediately. Screening tests also show genetic mutations and allergies to minimise long-term impacts.
Pull out Your Green Thumb and Grow Your Own Veggie Garden
Although Australia’s aging population will boost fruit and veg consumption over the next five years, the availability of products are expected to weaken.
Instead of buying, start your own veggie garden. Growing your own produce is one of the most health conscious decisions to make. It’s also smart because it saves money, reduces your environmental impact and gives you access to better-tasting, higher quality food. Use your scraps for compost to return the nutrients back into the soil.
You don’t need a large backyard to make it work. Start small by growing your own herbs or build a vertical veggie garden to conserve space.
Switch Off to Promote a Healthier Circadian Rhythm
Your body’s circadian rhythm is the key to more than simply a good night’s sleep.
In fact, what’s responsible for ticking your body clock also contributes to weight gain, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes and other diseases. Not to mention, the vicious sleep-wake cycles elevated cortisol or melatonin deficiency cause.
Daily fluctuations with these two hormones (and your body’s circadian rhythm in general), is critical to good health. However, they easily go out of whack the more ‘blue light’ you consume – from your mobile phone screen.
When you’re exposed to this light, melatonin production is suppressed to keep you alert. As a result, the body’s melatonin shuts down and sleep disturbance occurs. This sleep disruption, typically caused by busy lifestyles, is one of the major influences that throws off the hormone cycle.
Switching off and shutting down electronics earlier can help keep your cycle balanced. Consistent sleep schedules and unwinding before bed will also make a difference.
Take Control with Healthier Food Choices
Despite Aussies ranking amongst the healthiest worldwide, obesity is still a problem.
The rise is mostly driven by unhealthy diets and sugary drinks. But quick fixes and calorie counting isn’t going to solve the problem. Healthiness is about balance, which is a solution that’s sustainable long term.
To make smarter choices, swap sugary snacks for healthy alternatives. Plan ahead with meal preparation to avoid skipping meals and add plant-based options to your diet. Educating yourself about nutritional eating is also important.
Today, more than two million Australians are now meat-free. However, meat-eaters can still swap two or more meals a week for mock-meat or vegan options to reduce health problems. Veganism is no longer an extreme lifestyle change and more brands and restaurants are now catering. Beyond Meat, for example, could fool any beef-burger lover.
These healthier food choices offer multiple benefits, including a lower risk of cancer and diabetes. Incorporating more plant-based or vegan products into your diet also reduces your carbon footprint, is a natural mood booster and contributes to a leaner, healthier figure and a more sustainable lifestyle.
Did you know thrown-away lettuce is one of the biggest contributors to landfill and takes 25 years to decompose?
Uneaten leftovers and spoiled produce are clogging up the environment. But the move towards plant-based and vegan diets can help reduce food waste and the pressure on landfill, as well as boost your health.
The zero-waste movement is a lesson on how to use food in a more sustainable way. Simple efforts such as meal planning, minimal grocery buying and smart storage will help reduce food waste. People are encouraged to use more parts of plant food and make the most of scraps for compost too.
Get Up and Move
Nutrition, sleep and exercise are all crucial to happy healthy bodies.
Sleep is essential for mental restoration and muscle repair, and exercise improves your health and wellbeing. Quality exercise routines don’t need hours of daily input or high-impact workouts either. Just encourage your body to move, because long work hours can put exercising on the backburner.
Regular moving and a 20 minute workout each day reduces a host of health issues. Set an alarm at work to take a five minute walk. Commit to a 20 minute strength training session. Wind down with 15 minutes of yoga, Pilates or walking. Swap the lifts for the stairs. Limit screen time and soak up the sun.
It’s all about incorporating movements, no matter how small, into your day.
Making health conscious decisions in 2019 doesn’t have to be a challenge. What steps will you be taking to make a difference to your body and lifestyle?
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