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December 19, 2018

The 12 most popular health trends of 2018 — and what to expect in 2019

Spanning everything from fitness to beauty trends, these were the biggest in 2018

Wellness Trends
2018 pexels IMAMA LAVI/Pexels


In what seems like a flash, 2018 is on its way out the door. In just 365 days, so many things happened, so many things were eaten, so many workouts were had.

The 12 biggest health trends of 2018 fueled healthy living – from fitness to healthy eating and even beauty. As for 2019, who is to say what will actually rock the world of health, but we have some predictions for what will rule.


Sure, soy milk became popular in the United States in the 1970s, but so many other dairy-free milks have become popular in the decades since. In 2018, oat milk became a BIG thing, as did protein-packed pea milk, and sesame milk entered the scene for a nut-free option. 

2019: The oat milk trend is projected to continue thriving, according to Delish

RELATED READ: Put 'em up: The boxing gym boom has landed in Philadelphia


These days, nearly everyone's wrist is adorned by some sort of smart watch. Be it a Fitbit, Apple Watch or GPS-tracker, these fitness accessories allow people to track quantify their fitness efforts by keeping track of calories burned, miles logged and monitoring heart activity. Many of these can also track your sleep quality as well. With the recent launch of the ECG app, Apple Watch Series 4 can generate a measurement similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram.

2019: The trend is slated to be one of the biggest trends next year as more and more people want to keep track of their health metrics.


Whew, was cauliflower a big one this year. This versatile vegetable definitely deserves the 2018 MVP award — it made its way into smoothies, pizza crusts, rice and even pasta this year. And there's no telling where this cruciferous veggie will stop. People love its ability to make a typically really carb-heavy dish a little lighter. 

2019: Cauliflower is predicted to move past the freezer sections and produce aisles to the, wait for it, chips and cracker aisleProbiotic cauliflower puffs are definitely in your future.  

4. CBD

There's no denying that 2018 was the year of CBD, or cannabidiol. This non-psychoactive hemp derivative has made its way into a range of edibles, including sparkling water, ice cream and even juice. Plus, it's showing up in all sorts of pain-relieving salves and tinctures.

2019: Regulation of CBD is likely to become less strict in 2019, allowing the calming herb to become more mainstream, popping up in more edibles like protein powder as well as calming vape pens. 


In 2018, we ditched parabens, sulphates and all sorts of other additives in skincare and haircare products. These and similar additives have been found to disrupt hormone function and have been linked to causing breast cancer. We left these additives in the dust for clean beauty products to make self-care sessions all the better. Oh, and Korean beauty was pretty big this year, too. 

2019: While clean beauty products gained general acceptance in 2018, they aren't entirely accessible. But 2019 will bring clean products to neighborhood drugstores.


Sure, we know there's no one "perfect" diet for everyone, but 2018 was filled with people trying to find the "perfect" diet. This led to the popularity of two major ways of eating – the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting – that many people swear by for weight loss. But sless popular diets came up this year like the borderline crazy carnivore and the sun cycle diet, which combines fasting with your sleep cycle. 

2019: Whole Foods predicts that faux meats, like vegan jerky, are expected to see some growth in consumption in 2019. Perhaps that will lead to a rise in the vegan diet? 


This trend began with Trader Joe's cauliflower pizza crust and jumped ahead with their frozen cauliflower gnocchi. And so healthy eaters began to realize that not all things in the frozen aisle are "unhealthy." In fact, a stroll through the frozen food aisles at places like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and MOM's Organic market is the living proof that frozen foods can 100 percent fit the organic, healthy eater's bill. 

2019: Whole Foods 2019 trend projections highlight "trailblazing frozen treats," including an expected influx of healthy frozen items like avocado ice cream and other plant-based creations. 


Sure, gut-improving kombucha has been in the spotlight for some time now, but 2018 brought even more awareness and health-improving efforts to the microbiome, or the bacteria and other "germs" that come together to form your digestive system. This year brought the popularity of probiotic supplements as well as microbiome tests that are able to correct bacterial imbalances that could be causing other health issues. 

2019: Shelf-stable probiotic products such as granola, nut butters and soups are likely to hit shelves this year to assuage our desire for better gut health. 


Finding out your ancestral history can lead to a better understanding of where your family comes from, but these can also test for a person's predisposition to health concerns such as cancer. But this year also popularized genetic testing that will help determine the best diets and fitness regimens for your genetic makeup. 

2019: "DNA travel," or the urge to visit one's homeland after determining where that may be via genetic testing, is projected to be a huge trend in 2019


Studies have shown that the millennial mentality is one that has an affinity for the collective group — an ethos that transcends into fitness trends, namely group fitness. The rise of boutique group fitness studios is on the rise nationwide, providing spaces for people to workout under the guidance of a professional that will, ideally, lead them through an efficient and challenging sweat session. The best part? This method takes out all of the guesswork and wasted time spent wandering the gym floor on your own. 

2019: Group fitness classes are likely to find their way into the digital world, allowing people to work out from the comfort of their own home without, well, being alone. 


The InstantPot and Air Fryer were quintessential in many a healthy eater's meal prep this year. From the InstantPot's ability to cook chicken in less than 15 minutes, and its different chambers to allow for the cooking of rice and vegetables at the same time to the Air Fryer's ability to make crispy fried foods, without any oil — these kitchen appliances might just be the health heroes of 2018. 

2019: Going plastic-free is a huge projected trend for 2019. To enable this effort in homes, the use of reusable bags, food wraps and more are expected to become the norm next year. 


While matcha lattes and kombucha have been the starts of the wellness drinks in year's past, 2018 brought with it some new options. CBD plays a big role in the category with the creation of a CBD-infused sparkling water and a juice featuring CBD — but that's not all. Celery juice — a vitamin-rich juice said to help with everything from digestion to inflammation — and bulletproof coffee — or, coffee with the addition of oil or fat to improve mental clarity — it is seemingly very possible to drink your way into good health. This thought process has even made its way into alcohol consumption with the creation and canning of apple cider vinegar-filled fruity shrubs, a lower-alcohol sparkling beverage. 

2019: Beauty-promoting collagen beverages are expected to be all the rage. 

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