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An Expert Breaks Down 11 Viral Health Trends

June 8, 2022
Written by
Team NutriSense
Yumna Farooq

If you’re familiar with the health and wellness space, you may still hear the echoes of celery juices past. 

Like any popular health trend, celery juice dominated most (if not all) of wellness enthusiasts’ social media feeds. It started with a few celebrities and then trickled into influencer posts. 

Before we knew it, people were sharing stories about how this trend cleared their skin, gave them more energy, helped their gut health and digestion, and helped with overall wellness. 

Since celery juice, many other health trends have had their 15 minutes of fame. In this post, an expert from our Nutrition Team, Stephanie Etherington, RDN, CD, CDCES, breaks down 11 other popular health trends and if they’re that healthy or just nutrition myths. 

11 Viral Health Trends: Nutrition Myths or Healthy Staples?

From date syrup and rosemary water to dry scooping and frozen honey, should you be trying every new trend that hits TikTok? How can you tell which ones may help and which ones to steer clear of? 

Read on as Stephanie breaks a few down to help you learn more about their potential benefits and risks. 

1) Date Syrup 

a date

Date syrup is an alternative sweetener to sugar (white sugar, brown sugar), and it's basically liquified dates.

Date syrup is made by heating dates in water, blending them, straining out the mixture, and evaporating any remaining water. The result is a smooth, concentrated syrup that has hints of caramel. 

Because it’s made using the whole date (minus the pit and inedible parts, of course), you’re still getting all of the nutrients… but let’s see what our expert thinks. 

What Stephanie Thinks

First of all, who doesn’t love a product that has a single ingredient!

Second of all, yes, compared to white table sugar, date syrup contains more nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, we still need to be mindful that this is a concentrated source of sugar. 

Date syrup has a lower glycemic index than maple syrup or honey, so this may benefit glucose control. But, it’s always best to test your own unique response using a tool like a continuous glucose monitor

2) Nettle Tea

a glass of tea

This popular tea has circulated the women’s health space for a while now. It's popular mainly for its suggested hormone-balancing properties...much like spearmint tea. You may have also heard of this tea if you’ve been looking for natural or homemade remedies for blood glucose control.

Let’s dig into what nettle is and if it provides any benefits other than being trendy and tasty as an iced tea. 

What Stephanie Thinks

Nettle tea is a Chinese medicinal tea. It’s rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have shown promise in reducing overall inflammation. Polyphenols may also help prevent and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and obesity.

It's important to note here that, as with most teas, the other nutrients are relatively diluted. 

A small study found that those with advanced type 2 diabetes found an overall lowering effect on fasting and postprandial glucose values and a decrease in A1C. These participants all took one 500 milligram capsule of nettle leaf extract every eight hours for a period of three months. 

3) Rosemary Water

a jar of rosemary

The rosemary water trend is similar to how people approach rosewater's benefits. You take some rosemary, steep it in boiling water, and discard the herb. Longer steeping times will result in a more potent concoction.

What Stephanie Thinks

This is an interesting one. There have been recent claims that rosemary water may reverse the effects of aging

And while rosemary does contain antioxidants that aid in the fight against harmful molecules such as free radicals, this is not your magic bullet.

But the herb itself can be beneficial. Some studies suggest that rosemary may benefit cognitive function and memory.

4) Steeping Lettuce in Water

Similar to rosemary water, this trend involves placing lettuce in boiling water. 

The idea is that the steeping allows for nutrients from this vegetable to be extracted into the water, making for a healthier drink option.  

What Stephanie Thinks

There have been a few TikTok videos circulating that claim that steeping lettuce in water (like tea) may help improve sleep. 

This stems from the idea that certain leafy greens, such as green leaf romaine, contain a compound called lactucin, which has sedative properties. 

While studies have been conducted on green romaine extract, it is unlikely you will experience this same effect with a simple leaf of romaine. 

But it certainly won’t harm you. And if a placebo effect helps improve your sleep, especially given the enormous impact of sleep deprivation on overall health, we’ll take it.

5) Freezing Honey

a cup of honey

Like the other health trends in this post so far, freezing honey is self-explanatory — it’s frozen honey. 

People typically put the honey in a bottle, leave it in the freezer for eight hours or overnight, and then eat it like a popsicle. 

According to social media comments, it’s a sweet, tasty, and refreshing treat. 

What Stephanie Thinks

This is another TikTok trend taking the internet by storm. You may want to think twice before consuming this concentrated carbohydrate source, given the potential for a glucose rollercoaster.

Two things to keep in mind here:

1) Pure honey will likely not freeze as expected, given its content is mostly sugar and very little water. 

2) When you’re freezing honey, it may lose some nutritional benefits through the crystallization process. 

6) Drinking Liquid Chlorophyll 

Liquid chlorophyll is an extract from the green pigment in plants. Usually, liquid chlorophyll is sold as a supplement. 

The supplement has been touted as a nutrient-dense addition to smoothies because of its health benefits. But do these promised benefits have any merit?

What Stephanie Thinks

One thing to note is that the liquid chlorophyll you may find is usually chlorophyllin, a semi-synthetic, water-soluble form of chlorophyll. Chlorophyllin is derived from chlorophyll but bound to copper instead of magnesium. 

There is not a ton of research to support taking chlorophyll in liquid form compared to eating whole food sources such as leafy greens. And it will likely not keep you as full as a fresh salad.

Some studies have shown that chlorophyllin may benefit your skin, helping improve acne, sun damage, and wound healing. 

Other claims include that chlorophyll made from juice wheatgrass can help improve the count and quality of red blood cells, but other studies show that chlorophyll is destroyed in the juicing process.

I always encourage whole food sources before juices, so if you are interested in boosting your chlorophyll intake, reach for foods like green beans, spinach, parsley, arugula, leeks, and peas.

7) Dry Scooping

a scooper and some powder

Do you remember the cinnamon challenge? Dry scooping is very similar to that. This trend involves eating a scoop of pre-workout powders without any water (explaining the dry part). 

What Stephanie Thinks

Dry scooping is not recommended. Many pre-workout supplements are high in caffeine, leading to heart palpitations, irregular heartbeats, and other dangerous cardiac complications (there has been at least one report of a heart attack resulting from dry-scooping). 

Beyond heart-related issues, consuming dry powder may result in inhalation and lung irritation. 

Just follow the ingredients on the packaging. You’ll get the desired results without the potentially dangerous side effects.

8) Protein and Coffee 

This trend is pretty self-explanatory and involves taking protein with your cup of joe. Some people claim it helps their body respond to the caffeine in the coffee better

What Stephanie Thinks

We know that we are more sensitive to food, particularly carbohydrates, on an empty stomach, and adding protein to your coffee may be one way to help mitigate spikes associated with breaking a fast.

Protein is a crucial component of any weight loss goal, and many people (women especially) struggle to consume their total recommended intake. Adding protein to your morning cup may help you achieve your macro goals.

Some use protein coffee as a pre-workout tool. Caffeine may help improve your athletic performance in the gym. However, studies show that protein pre-workout may not be of great benefit.

Try collagen peptides for a neutral-tasting, easily dissolvable source of protein in your coffee.

9) Papaya Seeds for Parasites 

two cut up papaya

There have been a lot of different “parasite cleanses,” from antiparasitic medications to antiparasitic herbs, but this may be one of the most interesting. 

Some people claim that papaya seeds can help flush out parasites. But is there any science behind this? 

What Stephanie Thinks

Before I answer that questions, I’d like to point out that intestinal parasites are relatively uncommon here in the US. So it's not something most people need to worry about. 

That said, some studies have shown that this is an effective remedy for eliminating parasites within the gastrointestinal tract. However, it’s important to note that the study mentioned is a pilot study, and research is still ongoing.

If you are concerned that you are suffering from a parasite, it’s best to see your doctor and provide a stool sample for a proper diagnosis.

10) Chia Water

Here’s another water-based remedy for you. This one involves putting chia seeds in water and drinking it. Some opt to let this mix set in the fridge for a while to get a thicker consistency. 

But if that’s not your thing, you can quickly mix the two and drink it immediately afterward. 

What Stephanie Thinks

Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, omega-3s, antioxidants, and even provide some protein. They have been found to benefit many different health issues, including reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and supporting glucose control. 

Their benefits are not limited to their consumption in water. You can use chia seeds as an egg alternative in baking, as the base for puddings, or as a salad topper for a little crunch!

Given the absorptive capabilities of chia seeds, this beverage may help to improve hydration levels. We also commonly see an improvement in satiety associated with improved hydration and the soluble fiber content.  

If you aren’t used to a lot of fiber in your diet, proceed with caution to avoid constipation and drink plenty of (non-chia seed) water.

11) Fire Cider

spicy peppers

Fire cider packs a punch! This concoction is made of horseradish, garlic, onion, ginger, and chile pepper. 

These ingredients are then infused in apple cider vinegar

What Stephanie Thinks

While fire cider has not been studied in the research, it is a low-risk intervention to treat colds and flu.  

Individually, the ingredients have been found to have antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties, and there are no contraindications to combining these strong, aromatic flavors. 

If you have a history of acid reflux and indigestion, it may be best to dilute this in water. Given the high proportion of apple cider vinegar in this tonic, it's particularly beneficial to do this. You can also consider drinking through a straw to avoid any damage to your tooth enamel.

Remember: consult with your doctor or nutritionist before trying any drastic health trends. 

A Final Note on Health Trends

While some of these trends can seem fun and promising, not all are healthy. And as you’ve learned through this post, some of them can be harmful to your health. 

It’s also important to note that nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all. While you may benefit from some trends (like chia water), don’t be discouraged if you don’t see benefits from all. 

The key to eating healthy is finding out and doing more of what’s good for you. Focus on foods that support your metabolic health and engage in health-boosting lifestyle activities like exercise. 

This individualized approach will get you much closer to your health goals than trying trendy concoctions as a long-term approach. 

Trends come and go, but there is no replacement for a balanced diet rich in whole foods, good sleep, and exercise!

Track How Your Glucose Levels Respond to Various Lifestyle Changes 

If you’re keen to try some of these viral health trends, you may want to track and monitor your glucose levels using a tool like a CGM to see if it’s helpful for your health.

A CGM, or continuous glucose monitor, will show you how your blood sugar levels change in response to your foods. You’ll also get insight into how your glucose levels fluctuate throughout the day. 

The best part of the CGM Program with NutriSense is that you can use the monitor with an innovative app that tracks your blood glucose levels. There’s also a team of credentialed dietitians and nutritionists that not only help you read and understand the data but can work with you to help you achieve your health goals

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An Expert Breaks Down 11 Viral Health Trends
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Many people experience symptoms akin to menstrual cramping even when they are not on their periods. It’s surprisingly common, and various factors can contribute to it. Read on to find out what some of these are.

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9
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The Best Diet to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
The Best Diet to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Read on to learn more about vitamin D-rich foods and what you should include in your diet to make the most of this vitamin’s health benefits.

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10
min
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Staying Safe in the Sun: A Breakdown on Sunscreen
Staying Safe in the Sun: A Breakdown on Sunscreen

It’s important to protect your skin from the harsh effects of the sun’s rays, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to wear sunscreen. But what is sunscreen, and how does it work?

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10
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How Rice Affects Your Blood Glucose Levels
How Rice Affects Your Blood Glucose Levels

The world loves rice. It’s a staple food in many cultures and can have various health benefits for some. But does it cause your glucose to spike?

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15
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Improving Fat Loss, Muscle Gain and Fitness With Continual Glucose Monitors
Improving Fat Loss, Muscle Gain and Fitness With Continual Glucose Monitors

Kara Collier and Dan Zavorotny talk continuous glucose monitors on the Mind Pump podcast.

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8
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Dry Needling: Can it Really Help with Muscle Pain?
Dry Needling: Can it Really Help with Muscle Pain?

Dry needling is a therapeutic technique used by physical therapists and healthcare practitioners in an effort to alleviate pain and help restore movement in the body. Read on to find out more.

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11
min
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Healthiest Fast Food Choices
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Healthiest Fast Food Choices

Wondering what the healthiest fast food options are?  Here are some of the healthiest choices at fast food restaurants, according to dietitians.

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11
min
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Here’s What a Realistic Weight Loss Timeline Looks Like
Here’s What a Realistic Weight Loss Timeline Looks Like

Many people try crash diets to lose weight fast, which may provide some short term results but don't work for the long haul. Here is a realistic timeline for healthy weight loss.

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8
min
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9 Great Apps to Track Nutrition
9 Great Apps to Track Nutrition

Tracking nutrition has never been easier due to instant access to nutrition tracking apps. Here are the best ones.

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9
min
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6 Popular IBS-Friendly Diets
6 Popular IBS-Friendly Diets

Learn more about irritable bowel syndrome, and see what popular IBS-friendly diets people follow to ease their symptoms.

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9
min
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What You Need to Know About Neuropathy
What You Need to Know About Neuropathy

Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can cause pain, discomfort, and interfere with daily tasks. Explore effective ways to prevent and manage it.

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9
min
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The Health Benefits of Adding Fermented Foods to Your Diet
The Health Benefits of Adding Fermented Foods to Your Diet

Fermented foods have a range of health benefits. Read on to learn more about what they are and why you should be adding them to your diet.

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12
min
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13 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress
13 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress can negatively affect your entire body. Here are thirteen different ways to reduce stress in your life.

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12
min
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Best Physical and Mental Health Apps Available in 2022
Best Physical and Mental Health Apps Available in 2022

Here are the eleven best physical and mental health apps available in the app store.

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33
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Improving Metabolic Health with Carlee Hayes
Improving Metabolic Health with Carlee Hayes

On this episode of Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli, Carlee Hayes, Nutrition Manager at NutriSense, discusses the company’s digital platform that aims to help others discover and reach their health potential.

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40
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Carlee Hayes talks Metabolic Health with Rejuvenaging
Carlee Hayes talks Metabolic Health with Rejuvenaging

In this episode of Rejuvenaging with Dr. Ron Kaiser, Carlee explains how to cut through the online nutrition industry's noise, why we shouldn't look for a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition, and how CGMs work.

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6
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Fruit Juice or Whole Fruit? What You Should Pick and Why
Fruit Juice or Whole Fruit? What You Should Pick and Why

Should you be drinking your fruits? Read on to find out more about juicing, whole fruits, and why one may be better for you than the other.

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7
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Meet the Blood-Glucose Friendly Rambutan: What It Is and How to Eat It
Meet the Blood-Glucose Friendly Rambutan: What It Is and How to Eat It

Do you know what a rambutan is? Learn more about this blood-glucose-friendly tropical fruit and why you should add it to your diet.

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13
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Organ Meats: Should You Be Adding Them to Your Diet?
Organ Meats: Should You Be Adding Them to Your Diet?

Learn about the health benefits and risk factors of adding organ meats to your meals, and try our favorite recipes using these nutritional treasure troves. 

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6
min
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Five Cancer Research Developments of the Last Five Years
Five Cancer Research Developments of the Last Five Years

Read on to learn more about five of the most promising developments in cancer research.

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8
min
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A Quick Look at Meditation and Blood Glucose 
A Quick Look at Meditation and Blood Glucose 

Learn more about meditation, how it positively impacts blood sugar, and how you can start incorporating it into your routine.

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7
min
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Tasty, Nutritious Salads You'll Love
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Tasty, Nutritious Salads You'll Love

Salads don't have to be boring! Our Nutrition Team recommends nine delicious, nutritious salads to help you find your favorite.

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7
min
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Do You Need More Vitamin D?
Do You Need More Vitamin D?

Most people get the vitamin D they need from exposure to sunlight, but if you don't spend enough time outdoors, you may not be getting enough of this vital nutrient. Read our article to learn more.

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6
min
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Your Mother's Day Gift Guide
Your Mother's Day Gift Guide

Can't decide on the perfect gift for Mother's Day? Pick from a list of ideas to find a healthy, but still exciting gift this year.

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8
min
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Can Soy Really Prevent Diabetes?
Can Soy Really Prevent Diabetes?

Some research suggests that eating soy may reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Read on to learn whether that's true and find out more about the other health benefits of soy.

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9
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Living with Autoimmune Conditions: Celiac Disease
Living with Autoimmune Conditions: Celiac Disease

Did you know that 23.5 million Americans live with autoimmune conditions? Learn more about the symptoms and causes of celiac disease and what you can do about it.

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7
min
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Positive Thinking May Affect More Than Your Mental Health 
Positive Thinking May Affect More Than Your Mental Health 

It's no secret that positive thinking can improve your mood and help you cope with difficult situations. Review our article to see how a positive outlook may also benefit your physical health.

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10
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The Best Diet for Menstruation
The Best Diet for Menstruation

When it comes to your menstrual cycle, what you eat can significantly impact how you feel. Read on to learn more about the best foods to add to your diet to help during that time of the month.

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8
min
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9 Unusual Health Conditions You May Not Know About
9 Unusual Health Conditions You May Not Know About

Though most of us may never encounter these, these health conditions are still fascinating to learn more about. Read our article to find out more about nine of the most fascinating, unusual health conditions.

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10
min
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The Positive Impact Weight Lifting Has on Blood Sugar 
The Positive Impact Weight Lifting Has on Blood Sugar 

Here is everything you need to know about the relationship between weight lifting and blood sugar.

Podcast
17
min
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Two to 80 Employees in Just Two Years
Two to 80 Employees in Just Two Years

In this 20-minute conversation, Dan shares how he’s putting a Rockstar in every seat. And mistakes to avoid along the way.

Podcast
45
min
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Understanding how Glucose Effects our Metabolic Health with Kara Collier
Understanding how Glucose Effects our Metabolic Health with Kara Collier

Kara, registered dietitian, and co-founder of NutriSense, discusses how blood glucose levels are a core marker of metabolic health. She dives into the health consequences of fluctuating blood glucose levels, and what levels to look fasted compared to post-meal.

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57
min
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Using Real-Time Data to Improve Metabolic Health with Kara Collier
Using Real-Time Data to Improve Metabolic Health with Kara Collier

Today on the podcast, Kara Collier, RDN, LDN, CNSC, discusses revolutionizing preventative healthcare. It’s her mission to empower people with the knowledge to effectively monitor, optimize, and sustain their own metabolic health.

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10
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11 Simple and Effective Weight Loss Tips for Men
11 Simple and Effective Weight Loss Tips for Men

Losing weight is typically easier for men than women, biologically speaking, but it's still challenging! Here are 11 simple yet effective tips for losing weight for men.

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9
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What are the Best Times to Eat for Losing Weight?
What are the Best Times to Eat for Losing Weight?

Review our helpful article where we discuss the best times to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

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10
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Best Books on Metabolic Health
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Best Books on Metabolic Health

Whether you're looking for weight loss tips or to learn more about metabolism, a little reading material can go a long way. To help you get started, here’s some books on metabolic health, recommended by our Nutrition Team.

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9
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Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): Can It Replace Your Workout?
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): Can It Replace Your Workout?

NEAT can’t replace the benefits of intense cardio or strength-training workouts but like any physical activity, it has many overall health and fitness benefits. Read on to find out everything you need to know about NEAT.

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40
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NutriSense CGM Program Review
NutriSense CGM Program Review

On this week's episode, Shannon describes the comfort, cost, usability, and education she experienced using the continuous glucose monitor program from NutriSense.

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25
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Track Your Health in Real-Time with Dan Zavorotny
Track Your Health in Real-Time with Dan Zavorotny

On this episode of the Making Bank podcast, Dan Zavorotny discusses how he started the company “NutriSense” and how it reached a 150 million dollar valuation in 26 months.

Podcast
37
min
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Can a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) Help You Lose Weight?
Can a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) Help You Lose Weight?

Carlee Hayes talks to This Podcast Burns Fat! about the important role blood sugar plays in weight management.