Each year, healthy food trends come and go. As we welcome 2017, experts are predicting which healthy foods may fill our plates. As with all trends, not every one will appeal to your taste buds or work with your budget. In general, the trend toward eating foods that help maintain a healthy weight and boost the body’s immune system will continue. Here’s a look at some new food trends you might see in your local grocery stores and restaurants this year.
Path to improved nutrition
- Foods made from more plant-based proteins. Think nuts, seeds, beans, and vegetables. Even potatoes have a good reputation today (depending on what toppings you put on them). Plant-based foods will even find their way into milk, mayonnaise, yogurts, and cheeses.
- Pea protein powder. This plant-based, high-protein, gluten-free powder will be a popular addition for you to scoop into your own baked foods, shakes, and smoothies. Available in health food stores, pea protein powder builds muscle and helps you lose weight. Since it’s plant-based, it’s a great alternative to animal protein.
- Fermented vegetables. Look beyond pickles and sauerkraut. The process of fermenting vegetables (which gives it a sour taste) is growing in popularity. Fermented vegetables can help protect your stomach from bad bacteria.
- Watermelon seeds. Move over, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Watermelon seeds are trending. They are packed with protein and are a good alternative to eating too much meat. Roast them and spice them up with cinnamon, cayenne pepper, or any flavor you like.
- Spices. Speaking of spice, it’s not just for food. The trend in 2017 will be to spice up your beverages too. Many spices, such as turmeric, are popular. In fact, certain extracts of turmeric can help ease the discomfort of osteoarthritis (joint pain and stiffness).
- Grain and vegetable bowls. If you like to eat your bowl, a healthy choice is to choose ones made with high-fiber grains and vegetables instead of bread. Add a protein and some vegetables to your bowl and you have a healthy meal.
- Is it vegetable or meat? Eating vegetables made to look like meat (burgers, sausage, meatballs, ribs, and more) will be a new trend in 2017. It’s a great way to fool the kids, too.
- More coconut. It will go beyond oil and water. Look for coconut tortillas, chips, and more.
- Byproduct wellness tonics (drinks). Look for bottled drinks that go beyond juice. They’re made from leftover byproducts, such as the liquid strained from Greek yogurt and chickpeas, and the grains from beer. Wellness experts say the ingredients are healthy and boost your immune system.
- Purple power. We already know the health benefits of blueberries. Purple will be popular in a number of foods, including noodles, chips, asparagus, corn, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower. Purple foods are rich in nutrients and antioxidants (natural substances that protect your body’s cells).
- Pasta grain alternatives. Plant-based products will offer a different kind of pasta. Eating pasta made from quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, spiralized vegetables, and even kelp may provide low-carb benefits to people with diabetes.
Things to consider
Healthy and fresh food is often more expensive than canned and processed food. It will be important for you to choose wisely, based on your dietary goals and budget.
No single food source is a cure-all for good health. It’s been said that variety is the spice of life. However, trying to eat more healthy foods and meals is better than throwing in the towel. Opportunities for eating healthy in 2017 look bright.
Questions to ask your doctor
- Can certain health foods improve my diabetes?
- If more foods are made with nuts and nut oils, what should I know to protect my child who has a nut allergy?
- Do plant-based proteins provide as much nutrition as meat?
Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians
This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.