Another year may have come to an end, but that does not mean your health and wellness wins should, too. Continue to reap the rewards in 2019 or, if you haven’t already, start incorporating good food choices into your diet starting with these healthy food trends.
Food manufacturers and restaurants are well aware of our interest in better and healthier food, that’s why we see much greater availability of nutrient-rich ingredients, ready-to-eat snacks, and healthy dishes than ever before. These healthy food trends are going to be popular in 2019 and can help motivate you to keep or jump-start your healthy eating goals.
Probiotics and Healthy Gut
Several studies have long recognised the beneficial effects of a healthy gut to overall wellness. Thanks to these findings, we get to enjoy more and more food products rich in probiotics. The growing availability of fermenting jars and DIY kits make it easier for us to make kimchi or sauerkraut from scratch.
Fermented products will just continue to grow in popularity and become increasingly more mainstream. Specifically, they are expected to get mixed in regular food items like smoothies with kefir and salad dressings flavoured with kombucha. Whole Foods Market also noted that with the discovery of new strains of probiotics have helped improve shelf life, making them easier to incorporate in staples such as granola, oatmeal, nutrition bars, nut butters, and soups.
Plant-Based Meals, Nibbles, and Drinks
Previous findings in 2017, as published by the Australian Food News, have identified a remarkable increase in plant-based food consumption, with 31% of research participants having at least one meat-free day per week. This may be partly influenced by the popularity of paleo and flexitarian diets. A recent article from The New York Times also attributed the growing need for more vegetable entrees in restaurants, campuses, and movie theaters to various health, environmental, and ethical reasons.
With more people interested in having fruits and vegetables in their meals, the accessibility of plant-based options in the market will naturally increase. Restaurants for instance are likely to introduce new and exciting salads for us to try, with less popular lettuce varieties like celtuce, dandelion greens, and sorrel taking center stage. Juicers and blenders have become smarter over the years and are now allowing us to enjoy a wide array of freshly made fruit and vegetable juices with just a press of a button.
Flavourful but healthier snacks made of mushrooms and seaweeds are also expected to be big this year. This development is likely to cater to consumers that are not vegan or vegetarian per se but are into tasty plant-based snacks.
As people become busier, one of the first things to suffer is time to make and sit down to proper meals. This is making snacks an important part of daily meals. Aside from convenience, most ready-to-eat snacks have a longer shelf life so you can have them on hand any time during a busy day. Thankfully, food manufacturers are trying to meet our snacking needs through upgraded snack items.
This year, snacks are expected to get a boost from superfood ingredients. Marine sources like algae, kelp, water lily seeds, and salmon skin are being turned into puffed snacks, crisps, and jerkies that you can munch on the go. Snack makers are also taking things up a notch by creating artisan bites made of prosciutto, aged mozzarella, organic sugar, and gluten-free ingredients to accommodate varying dietary needs. With these exciting products, even snacks are something to look forward to.
Healthier beverage choices are totally in the food trend race this year. The best thing is, options available in the market are no longer just intended for sports enthusiasts and athletes. Whey and casein-infused drinks, for example, are beneficial protein source for all. Pea, hemp, soy, oat, rice, and other plant-based proteins are also being incorporated in beverages to suit vegan consumers.
In line with the growing popularity of fermented foods, probiotic-rich drinks are also likely to make a noise. Specifically, kombucha and raw apple cider vinegar have been mixed in various beverage products for a happier gut and better overall health. A new component called prebiotics is also expected to join in the healthy beverage arena. This little-known counterpart of probiotics is sourced from fibre-rich foods like garlic and leeks. When prebiotic fibres are fermented in the large colon, they serve as food for the good bacteria to thrive in the gut.
Drinking water infused with added vitamins and minerals from natural fruits and herbs is also expected to be a popular way to stay hydrated this year. Other exciting water flavour add-ons to look forward to include turmeric, mint, rose water, pineapple juice, maple sap, and birch tree extract. Beverage dispensers with infusers will definitely make these refreshing drinks easy to make at home.
Finally, even when everyone’s craving for all things healthy this year, desserts are not to be left out. Plant-based substitutes for dairy products like cheese and butter are likely to be key players for delicious treats minus the guilt. Ice cream will also be getting a new twist, thanks to exciting bases made of avocado, hummus, tahini, and coconut water. And with several ice cream moulds and machines available, you can make these treats from scratch to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Frozen desserts from other parts of the world are expected to create a buzz as well. From Taiwan’s snow ice to Mexico’s nieves de garrafa to Turkey’s stretchy ice cream, we’ll never run out of options for sweets to discover this year. Of course, all-time favourites like popsicles and gelatos are still here to stay with a boost–a boozy boost that is!