Say bye-bye to quinoa and flax. These foods will always be good for you, but they aren’t at the cutting edge of healthy nutrition any longer. Neither is that leafy wonder, kale. We’ll miss those homemade kale chips dusted with sea salt and cayenne, but a new roasted veg – hint: see below – will spice things up in the kitchen.
It’s high time to take advantage of some of the new ingredients (along with old favorites and produce aisle staples) sprouting some amazing health benefits to help us beat the winter blues and keep our skin soft and supple.
Expand your healthy nutrition options by following these five upcoming food trends and experience better health, and tasty meals, this year.
Chia isn’t just for terracotta planters that grow green “fur.” These tiny seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, fiber and protein. Buy them in the bulk section and add them to smoothies or make a homemade pudding by mixing a tablespoon into a cup of almond milk with a drizzle of honey. The seeds form a gel when mixed with liquid. If you need food on the go – try squeeze packs of fruit puree mixed with the seeds or buy one of the new healthy drinks that combine fresh-squeezed juice with chia.
Tea contributes to healthy nutrition by providing antioxidants that can fight inflammation which causes disease, including heart disease and cancer. It also has anti-aging effects. A cup of tea is nice, but becomes a trend when you make it a party: Think afternoon tea with light, healthy snacks and friends. Watch for tea leaves used as a flavoring for rice or custard – or used as a novel poaching liquid for white fish or eggs.
This cousin of broccoli can be roasted, mashed, made into soup, pickled…you name it. Rich in vitamin C and fiber while offering minimal calories and carbs, it’s to become a staple of healthy nutrition this year. Use it in lieu of potatoes in a mash or roast a whole head as a stunning side dish.
Move over olive oil – coconut oil is the new star when it comes to healthy fats. Coconut oil is anti-microbial, which helps strengthen your immune system. Consuming it can positively affect thyroid hormones and help you stabilize your blood sugar. Healthy nutrition often maligns saturated fat, but the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid – a medium-chain triglyceride – that actually increases your HDL cholesterol levels in the blood and helps encourage a favorable cholesterol ratio. Use coconut oil for cooking eggs, vegetables, meat and fish. Add a tablespoon to your smoothies or replace shortening in your baked goods with it. Expect to see “made with coconut oil” as a buzz word on all sorts of packaging.
Quinoa isn’t the only ancient grain to try. Expect to see more teff, amaranth and freekah, young green wheat in stores and on menus. Look for these grains to show up in unsuspecting places – such as pasta and breads. Jump on this healthy nutrition bandwagon at home by using quinoa instead of rice with your next curry or create an amaranth pilaf with onions, raisins, almonds and vegetable broth.