Posted on by Village Green Nutrition Team
Trends come and go in any industry, and that includes food trends. Interior paint colors shift from bold and patterned to muted and universal and back again. Jean legs flare out, then go tighter. Automakers tend to create similar models to their competitors once those manufacturers find success with a certain demographic. The food industry is no different, with certain elements becoming popular or fading away as society becomes aware of the latest and greatest item.
This can make it difficult to determine which trends are healthy or worth watching and which might just be the latest craze. Our guide walks you through some of the food trends that have emerged (or stayed popular) in 2021, plus offers tips and tricks for making sure you don’t get swept up in a current of misinformation.
Why Some Food Trends Can Be Dangerous
While some trends are harmless, others may cause problems if people don't understand how to partake in a healthful way. Certain elimination diets can be detrimental to nutrient absorption or result in malnutrition if people aren't careful, for example, as they often entail removing entire food groups from the diet. It’s important that people understand the health aspects of their choices rather than simply going with something to maintain their participation in the fad.
When in doubt, your best bet is always to consult a nutrition expert before embarking on any major dietary change. A qualified professional can advise you of any risks, plus offer recommendations to ensure you get all the nutrients and minerals your body needs for optimal functioning.
6 Healthy Food Trends Worth Watching in 2021
Food trends can range from the weird and interesting to amazing and health-enhancing. Here are some of the most interesting 2021 trends, so far.
1. Immune-Boosting Foods
As people continue to be aware of the importance of supporting a healthy immune system during flu season and the current global health crisis, more have focused on what they can consume to ensure their germ-fighting capabilities are working at their best. This year has already seen more people flocking to the grocery store shelves to stock up on items like citrus, ginger, turmeric, bell peppers, berries, broccoli, ginseng, chicken soup, garlic, Greek yogurt and other immunity-boosting items, either to have on-hand in case they feel under the weather, or to consume regularly for ongoing health.
2. Probiotics, Prebiotics and Postbiotics
The focus on maintaining wellness has extended to improving the whole microbiome, and that has led to growing consideration for probiotics, the live beneficial bacteria in your gut that help neutralize bad bacteria, leading to more optimal digestion and overall health. This trend has expanded, however, and now includes interest in prebiotics, the foods that probiotics can consume to energize their balancing act, and postbiotics, the beneficial end-product that’s created once the probiotics have worked their magic. Taking probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics can improve immune health, boost urinary health, ease digestive troubles, and possibly enhance mental health and well-being.
3. The Mental Health Connection
If 2020 was the year of learning to cope with unforeseen adversity, 2021 seems to be the year of returning to the ability to thrive. That includes an increasing understanding of how food, exercise, stress, and other substances can impact mental health. Some food trends involve eliminating or reducing consumption of items that can cause inflammation – including processed foods, alcohol, excessive caffeine and processed sugar – and replacing them with healing, nutritious whole foods as well as vitamins and supplements that can help create better balance in the mind and body.
4. Meal Kits May Be Here to Stay
Those who have trouble adhering to a more nutritious diet because of the time and effort it takes to prepare whole foods (compared to stopping for fast food after a busy day) may find that meal kits are a great solution. These kits can either be purchased at grocery stores in the fresh prepared food section or ordered online and delivered to your home. Best of all, most are coming up with nutritious options for all types of cuisines to make healthy cooking easier than ever.
5. Microgreens Are Back and Thriving
Sourdough recipes weren’t the only way that people passed the time in 2020. Many consumers also got into growing and consuming microgreens, which are young growth greens harvested a few days after they sprout. These nutritious greens can then be added to all types of foods, including sandwiches, soups, salads and more for additional nutritious and taste benefits. The most exciting fact about them is that they can typically be grown in small containers on a windowsill or countertop, making them an easy addition to any home or apartment kitchen.
6. Kelp May Be Overtaking Kale
You have likely seen packages of dried seaweed in the Asian food section of your grocery store, or even eaten some wrapped around the rice and ingredients in your sushi roll, but you might not know that that seaweed is called kelp. Kelp is a superfood, and it’s now making its way into other foods and dishes in fresh form because of its robust health benefits – including the fact that it’s protein-rich, assists in cancer prevention, and plays a role in improving bone strength. Some say it may even dethrone kale as the go-to add-in superfood for items like smoothies and fresh juice.
The wellness industry is thriving, and that means there is information everywhere about food trends and the items consumers may want to add to their diets to enhance various aspects of health. That can be overwhelming if you don't have a trusted source to assist you in weeding out which crazes are just phases.
The team at Village Green Apothecary is composed of nutritionists, naturopathic doctors and other wellness experts who are here to help you find the high-quality, nutrition-packed vitamins and supplements you need to keep your body functioning at its best. Reach out today to set up a call and discuss your health questions or concerns.
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