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Crazes come and go, but these healthy trends are worth a try this summer.

The end of the year is upon us, and for many of us, that means beating deadlines before we can rest, gearing up for social commitments, and trying to organise family trips and events. While self-care has become a wellness buzzword, there is something to be said for looking after our own health and overall wellbeing, especially as we enter the last, busy few weeks of the year. The past year has seen trends come and go, but these are some we think might just be worth a try. There should always be time to incorporate a little something nourishing into our daily routines, after all.

Spice up your skincare

Turmeric is certainly having a moment — the super-spice has found itself in the spotlight as a key ingredient in the healthy (and trendy) golden latte and is loved for its anti-inflammatory properties. But, did you know that the root can be used in other ways? Cape Town skincare brand Deity Skin (www.deityskin.co.za) has added a turmeric and activated charcoal face mask to their range of vegan-friendly products.

Ashleigh-Jane Denton, the brains behind the skincare range explains why she chose to incorporate the ingredient: “Turmeric is traditionally an Ayurvedic herb, due to its high content of antioxidants and super abilities to reduce inflammation in our bodies. As part of a face mask, turmeric contributes to a brighter, glowing complexion, as it helps to reduce redness and inflammation caused from acne and spots. It also aids in lightening scars and pigmentation and promotes healing.” So, if you thought spices were for flavour alone, you might consider adding this natural healer to your skincare regime this summer.

Try a mushroom latte

Among the superfoods that have made it as recent wellness trends, are medicinal mushrooms, and with that has come the rise of mushroom coffee. Made with chaga medicinal mushroom powder, the drink is said to lower blood sugar levels and promote digestive health. Plus, it’s less acidic than regular coffee, so even the most sensitive stomachs can usually tolerate it.

mushrooms

If you’re willing to swap your morning caffeine for this nutrient-rich option, you can find mushroom mixes at Four Sigmatic (www.foursigmatic-sa.co.za), a local company that distributes a range of medicinal mushroom products. More into tea than coffee? Faithful to Nature (www.faithful-to-nature.co.za) stocks a chaga mushroom tea.

It’s not a new trend, but bowl food is still on the rise. Sometimes known as Buddha bowls, the concept is about incorporating greens and grains with toppings like nuts and seeds, in one healthy dish. Very often vegan-friendly, these dishes are proving popular around the city, and it’s easy to see why — they’re full of flavour and very nourishing.

Plant Café (www.plantcafe.co.za) in the city centre serves up a Buddha bowl packed with chickpeas, lemon-garlic mushrooms, tempeh, fresh carrot, basil and orange; while Nourish’d Café & Juicery in Gardens (www.nourishd.co.za) offers rainbow bowls filled with colourful, fresh ingredients — their glittershine bowl includes exotic mushrooms, quinoa, coriander, baby spinach, kale, vegan cashew nut cream cheese and roasted seeds; and they also serve smoothie bowls made with fresh fruits, homemade granola and edible flowers.

buddha bowl

Make it matcha

It’s also been around for a while, but it looks like matcha is here to stay. The powdered form of green tea, matcha tastes sweeter and more creamy than regular green tea and is said to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and it helps to reduce inflammation.

It’s popped up in cafés all around Cape Town and can even be found in treats like ice cream and baked goods, which provides a great excuse to try the antioxidant-rich ingredient. Scheckter’s Raw (www.schecktersraw.com) in Sea Point serves up organic matcha flapjacks topped with strawberries, banana and whipped cream made from coconut milk, as well as the classic matcha latte.

matcha pancakes

For something really indulgent, Nobu at the One & Only Hotel (www.noburestaurants.com) offers a chocolate bento box on their dessert menu, which includes warm chocolate cake with a scoop of green tea ice cream. Yum!