With 2017 just heating up, global health food trends are taking a sharper nutrition focus than ever before. Gone are the days of solely quinoa and Greek yoghurt. Savvy health and fitness loving Australians can be ahead of the curve by knowing exactly which healthy foods are about to make their way onto our café menus and supermarket shelves in the coming months from all corners of the globe writes Kara Landau, The Travelling Dietitian.
Natural functional foods
It is no longer solely about what is taken out of the food (think gluten free, sugar free, dairy free trends) but rather what are we naturally getting out of the foods, and how will those nutrients benefit us; Examples include:
- Green banana flour providing mood booting 5HTP
- Kefir or probiotic enhanced waters offering gut healthy nutrients
- Baobab powder offering copious amounts of Vitamin C
Gut healthy prebiotics and resistant starch rich products
Probiotics have had their limelight for the past few years, and the word “microbiome” is no longer saved only for the science lab.
The new kid on the block in this arena are “prebiotics” – the fuel for the probiotics, who are needed in order for the probiotics to work their magic.
Found naturally in many fibrous foods, and added into a variety of health products for a nutritional boost, examples include:
- Gluten free baking flour made from green bananas
- Yoghurts and other health products enhanced with isomolto-oligosaccharides and inulin
Plant based living
Plant based foods are no longer merely for those who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet;
With the increased acknowledgement of the benefits that come to both the body and the environment from consuming more plant based foods, the adaptation to a “flexitarian” diet approach that incorporates less animal based products, is becoming more and more popular throughout the globe.
Expect to see more plant based convenience products such as:
- Pastas made from chickpeas, mung beans, and adzuki beans
- Plant based protein powders incorporating ingredient such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, black bean powder, hemp seeds and sacha inchi seeds
- Ready to go packaged vegetable based products such as zucchini or beetroot noodles, bottled cold vegetable soups and roasted chickpea or 100% vegetable based chips
Fat is back with a vengeance
With the satisfying nature of eating naturally full fat foods, and their ability to control appetite and keep blood sugar levels down, more and more consumers are demanding full fat varieties of their favourite products.
- Full fat varieties of yoghurts, cold pressed milks, quark and labneh
- Mueslis made from predominantly nuts and seeds rather than puffed grains and dried fruit
- Protein bars and balls made from natural ingredients that incorporate nut butters and coconut oil, rather than sugar filled ingredients
Cleaner label health food products
No longer is it enough for a plant based milk or cheese to be free of dairy, or for gluten free breads to be free of gluten, consumers are now looking for ingredient lists on these products that are free of emulsifiers, thickeners and preservative too as research strengthens on the potentially negative impact these ingredients can have on some individuals health.
- Almond milk free of carrageenan
- Protein powders and supplements free of maltodextrin fillers
- Sugar free products free of artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (e955) or aspartame (e951)
The 2017 food trends are taking a real positive step forward on healthy living, with a strong focus on how foods can truly nourish our bodies. Lets leap head first into a healthy new year.