• We predict the health trends to try in 2016. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Jumping on the health and wellness bandwagon this year? Here are some ways to get started.
Caitlin Chang

8 Jan 2016 - 11:28 AM  UPDATED 8 Jan 2016 - 2:59 PM

Gua Sha

Don’t be scared by the pictures (search #guasha on Instagram to see what we mean). Patients may look like they’ve been clawed by an animal, but this Traditional Chinese Medicine practice is the new cupping – only more intense. 'Gua' means to scrape in Chinese, while ‘sha’ is in referring to the rough, sand-like rash and bruises that can appear after the treatment. How does it work? A practitioner will scrape areas of pain or discomfort with a tool that looks like a spoon, or a plastic square that looks like a smooth stone. The hard-edged tool breaks up tough knots, and increases blood flow – making it good short-term relief from chronic pain. That is, if you can handle all the scraping and the bruises.

Loving your food waste

On average Australians throw away 20 per cent of the food they buy each year, which adds up to $1036 in wasted grocery bills. Healthy celebs like Sarah Wilson are on a campaign against food waste, with the I Quit Sugar founder releasing a new cookbook, Simplicious, all about how to use leftovers in your cooking. Roasting a chook? Use the bones to make a stock, or sauté limp items from your vegie drawer and turn them into a frittata.  

Black pudding is the new superfood

Online publications have put the English breakfast staple up there with kale, goji berries and blueberries as the new 'superfood'. The news spread after Darren Beale founder of the UK's Muscle Food shared his predictions, which also included black beans and seaweed. But before you start each morning with a full fry-up remember this: while high in protein, it's also high in calories (around 250 to 300 per 100g). So, as with all foods, it's best to enjoy in moderation. 

Earn points as you run

This year is all about getting fit and getting rewards. Fitness apps are offering more than shedding a couple of kilos as an incentive. Now, there are apps that link to movement trackers like Strava, RunKeeper and Map My Run that allow you to earn discounts depending on how much you move. One example is French startup Running Heroes, which has launched in Australia and offers health-related rewards including discounts on fitness products and sneakers.

Stool banking

The health scene has been buzzing about the gut's microbiome for a while now, and this takes it to a whole new level. There’s a school of thought that the key to balanced gut bacteria is transplanting healthy faecal matter of one person into another. Some companies in the US and the UK offer faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) using donated poo, which are stored and frozen in their stool banks. FMT has been shown to help treat the bacterium Clostridium difficile (C. Diff), an antibiotic resistant intestinal infection, but research into the wider health benefits is limited. 

Forget juicing, it's all about souping

In 2015 bone broth took over coconut water as the hottest healthy drink – Paleo-prophet Pete Evans even (controversially) created a baby formula recipe based on it. This year, the stock thickens as juice cleanses and detoxes are being replaces with hearty, healthy soups. And we’ll take a warming soup over cold, green sludge any day. 

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