And just like that, another year in the books. 2021 showed out in the wellness arena, from root to stem cooking to fresh air fitness to pandemic-induced personal deep dives – but we’re ready to see what’s next. These are the trends we think you can expect to see sprout in 2022.
Plants are our life source. And while the term itself refers to a plethora of genus erecting from different countries, climates and conditions, most have 1 single commonality: the power of healing. At the core of much of this interest are mushrooms. With a growing number of experts considering the many benefits of this varied species (there are over 50,000 and counting), expect this to crop into many conversations this year, including that of immune modulation through potent fungi such as reishi, shiitake, chaga and lion’s mane, which carry superstrength on their own, as well as in combination.
Seaweed (and other marine greens)
Improving sustainability means diversifying our sources. And in 2022, we’ll be taking our green foraging from land to sea. Since cropping seagreens like kelp and seaweed require no irrigation, fertilizer, feed or arable land, they have a very small environmental impact, all while providing puissant nutritional benefits and ample flavour to plant-based meals. Red seaweed, brown seaweed and Japanese kelp are used to make 145 different edible forms of algae (such as wakame, kombu, nori and Irish moss), so expect to see these ingredients along your health food aisle (our faves have already got a head start).
The new topic of fertility conversations
In most heterosexual relationships having trouble conceiving, you can count on one thing: the male can be an equal contributor – but you wouldn’t think it based on the way we talk about infertility. With women historically bearing the brunt of fertility-related problems, from low ovarian reserve, PCOS or even unexplained infertility, growing research shows that men should not be overlooked. Speculated to be due to increased exposure to chemicals and toxins, the Western man’s sperm count is in steep decline (more than 50% between 1973 and 2011), so this year will see the emergence of increased studies, detailed testing and increased supplements in support of testicular health.
Doing a little more for the pelvic floor
You heard it here before, but the pelvic floor is having a moment. With women’s whole-body health taking centre stage, it’s no surprise that this nexus of muscles, nerves, ligaments, and connective tissues is receiving some well-deserved attention on the global wellness stage. As this muscle group exists in all people (25% of people with vaginas and 10% of people with penises have experienced at least one pelvic floor disorder), and is pivotal to functions outside of childbirth (see: stabilizing your hips and trunk to help you move upright, spinal support and sexual function to name a few), you can expect to see a shift in conversation and an increase in normalization of the health of your pelvic floor. We’re already seeing things like at-home stimulating devices, pelvic floor trainers, and this market is expected to grow by 11.5% through 2028.
Menopause is hot
With over 1 billion people entering this life stage, the bells of menopause are going to start ringing in wellness communities everywhere. And though menstruation is often celebrated as an entryway into womanhood, this phase is not always welcome with such open arms. In fact, in large part, people simply don’t talk about it. But with over 34 symptoms associated, this leaves a lot to be said. Expect 2022 to tackle this, with investments from some big-name players, increased information availability from the experts and more targeted supplements to help address the symptoms and embrace the change.