Diet and food trends are vast and global and are affected by many factors, involving social media, fashion, the economy, geography, and even politics. Some are faddish and some prove to be longer-lasting. With such a plethora on offer, it’s often overwhelming to know which to choose. Here are a variety of up and coming food and dietary trends that may be worth noting but which one’s are healthy and sustainable for optimal health?
Feed your Flora
The microbiome or gut flora is gaining much attention because studies reveal it’s the essential part of the body’s immune defence and therefore it makes sense to feed it appropriately.1 For gut flora diversity, eat artichokes, avocados, leafy greens, garlic, onions, potato skins, apples, beans, fish, chicken & whole grains. These probiotic foods include indigestible fibrous compounds that feed the microbiome and allows digestive and immune promoting beneficial organisms to proliferate.2 These high fibre foods are prebiotics to the probiotics of the gut flora which fuel and encourage its growth along with fermented foods and drinks; yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha.3-4 Don’t forget to supplement with probiotics and consume these foods especially when on antibiotics, during recovery and when stressed. The trend for 2019 is shelf stable probiotic foods that are easy to access and make healthier on the go snack foods, like granola and nutrition bars, oatmeal, nut butters and soups.5
With the increase in health, environment and ethical concerns the forecast trend by many health experts is that people are moving away from animal proteins and opting for plant proteins in pursuit of saving the planet!5 Plant proteins, like avocado’s, beans, kale, quinoa are nutrient dense energy giving flavourful examples that pose less environmental health hazard along with the introduction of this year’s trendsetters, amaranth, a wholesome non wheat alternative, dandelion greens, a micronutrient antioxidant rich plant, not forgetting rainbow carrots for your beta-carotene anti-aging fix and king trumpet mushrooms, the new vegetable bacon flavourant & meat texture choice.6
The Rise of Peganism
We know about paleo and vegan diets but have you heard about Functional Medicine Specialist, Dr Hyman’s, Pegan Diet?7 According to some well-known papers8 it’s expected to be a hit this year as it allows for the combination of healthy animal & plant fats. These are nuts, seeds, oily fish, olive oil, eggs, grass fed organic reared meat, organic butter or ghee and organic virgin coconut oil and coconut butter. Avoid dairy, grains, beans and eat non starchy vegetables, some root vegetables and a little fruit.9 The key is to be like our prehistoric ancestors and maximise healthy plant fibre with minimal meat and carbohydrate content, avoiding sugar in all instances.
Keto says Yes to Fat
Healthy essential omega 3 fatty acids are essential as our body doesn’t make them. Studies show that the majority of people don’t eat enough omega 3 fats however, there is a shift and an acceptance as it’s a very significant food group in the Paleo, Vegan, Pegan and Keto diets. The emphasis of most of these diets is on low carbohydrate, high fat protein food choices that enable the body to use fat stores instead of the usual carbohydrates. This is specifically the Keto diet and this process is ketosis and ketones fuel the body. Some versions of this diet advocate 75% of calories are from fat, hence the importance of keeping levels topped up. Oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, and olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados are healthier here to stay trendy food choices that don’t make fat!
Seaweed and More
Think beyond seaweed and note that sea greens are featuring in dishes like seaweed butter and kelp noodles along with unique varieties of algae, kelp jerky, water lily and salty fennel seeds. Seaweed, algae and kelp are not only green superfoods but are especially beneficial as they’re high in nature’s tranquiliser mineral magnesium.9 Magnesium works with tryptophan, the amino acid that is responsible for our mood enhancing happy hormone, serotonin. For this benefit alone these super-green sea plants should be an essential ingredient to all our diets and a trend that stays trendy.
These are on the rise, oat milk being the favourite with it perfect proportion of flavour, carbohydrate, protein, fat and fibre. This nut-free vegan plant based alternative offers cholesterol lowering and blood sugar balancing properties, making it more versatile than cow’s milk as it can be made at home. Oats also pose no threat to the ozone and are good for the environment as a hearty crop, with the ability to grow in cold-weather climates and restore nutrients to the soil.10 Other non-dairy milks worth mentioning are rice, almond, Non GMO soya, and hazelnut.
Everything’s coming up Cannabis
Cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) are the active ingredients found in Hemp. It’s different from marijuana as it doesn’t have the psychoactive attributes. Recent revolutionary studies prove that hemp is beneficial in many health areas, especially as a natural medication to stabilising mood, reducing anxiety, minimising pain, promoting better sleep and providing an overall sense of well-being.11 Hemp seeds and oil provide tasty easy accessible ingredients to most meals as well as the latest infused products including chocolate and coffee, which are delicious.10 Beauty products, cloth and balms are also popular hemp by-products and together with CBD will continue to infiltrate the market as it’s research benefits continue to be discovered.
It’s here to stay, being ranked the best diet for its combination of all food groups; vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and fish all being on our go-to healthy diet list. Not forgetting the copious amounts of olive oil and with a little exercise here and there, it ideal.
DO WE NEED TO INCLUDE ALL REFERENCES? LINK SHOULD BE INCLUDED WITHIN TEXT
1. www.mindbodygreen.com, Mayer E Dr, 8 ways to Restore Your Microbiome, 2016, 5 July.
2. Spector, Tim Professor, The Diet Myth, The Real Science Behind What We Eat, W&N. 2016, 12 May.
3. www.bbc.co.uk Rutherford & Fry, The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry. The How to be good to your gut.201
4. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Foster K, Schluter et al, HHS Public Access, The evolution of the host microbiome as an ecosystem leash, 2017, 2 August.
5. www.healthline.com, Fischer, K, From Gut Health to Hemp: These 7 Diet Trends Will Dominate 2019. 2019, 1 Jan.
6. www.media.wholefoodsmarket.com, Whole Foods Market unveils top 10 food trends for 2019.2018,15 Nov.
7. www.amp.mindbodygreen.com, Hyman, M, Food: What the Heck Should I Eat ©2018 Little Brown and Company.
8. www.dailymail.co.uk, Zaczek, Z, The year of the pegan diet: Fad diet is expected to be the hit.2019, 12 Jan.
9. www.today.com, Largeman-Roth, F, Is keto still king? 8 healthy food and beverage trends set to take off in 2019. 2018, 27 Dec.
10. www.cookinglight.com, Horton, B, 4 Healthy Food Trends You’ll Be Seeing Everywhere in 2019.
2018. 4 Dec.
11. www.canabomedicalclinic.com, Trigwell, J, 5 Health Benefits of CBD oil. 2017, 16 Dec.
12. Www.bostonherald.com, Esposito, M, Healthy eating is the hot food trend for 2019. 2019, 9 Jan.
13. www.thenational.ae, Gillet, K, 11 Top Food Trends 2019. 2019, 14 Jan.
14. www.forbes.com, Knoebel A, Gut Health & Functional Food Top Charts of 2019 Food Trends, 2018, 18 Dec.