15 Healthy Food Trends For 2016

Popular food trends come and go each year, and while some trends eventually fade, some forms of popular food eventually become a staple in many households. The words “whole grain”, “gluten free”, and “non-GMO” continue to be present as popular food trends, and a lot of recipes actually use these to make traditional meals healthier. Eating clean has become more and more popular since the past few years have put a lot of emphasis on getting exercise and adapting healthy diets. Even restaurants have revised their menus and added food with healthy ingredients to cater to individuals who are conscious with what they eat. 2016 also has it’s own list of popular food, and here are some of them:

  1. Ancient Grains

Vara-Ancient-Grains-primary-2-1200The difference between ancient grains and refined grains are that the former are considered grains that did not significantly change over several hundred years. Ancient grains are considered to be more nutritious than products that contain refined grain, and their plants can flourish without much need for pesticides, which is definitely an attractive concept to both farmers and cons
umers alike. Grains such as quinoa, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and teff are considered ancient grains. Each type contains a different variety of nutrients, and it is up to the consumer to pick which kind of grain appeals to the palate.

2. Kohlrabi

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At 27 calories per one hundred grams, kohlrabi is easily one of the go-to vegetables when attempting to go on a diet. It is a common vegetable in German-speaking countries, and means “German turnip” or “cabbage turnip”. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and has a taste similar to broccoli with a sweet tinge. It has a thick stem and multiple leaves that grow above the ground. The leaves can be eaten as well. Kohlrabi is packed with fiber and antioxidants, making it a nice healthy twist to any meal.

3. Fermented Foods

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The health benefits of fermented foods are enough to justify buying them and keeping them at hand to add to almost any meal. These foods contain probiotics, enzymes, and nutrients, and can be stored for long periods of time. The fermentation process eliminates E.coli, making fermented foods safer to eat than raw vegetables.

4. Seaweed

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Seaweed is the 2016 rival of kale, which has been dominating in the food trends for years. There are already many snack treats with seaweed flavor, such as popcorn, as well as some packaged products like seaweed strips, which are gaining popularity due to it’s umami taste. Aside from its abundance in nature and its sustainability as a food product, it is rich in fiber, good fats and antioxidants, making it an ultimate package.

5. Paleo Popsicles

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The perfect way to beat the summer heat this 2016 is to grab a healthy paleo pop in your favorite flavor! The mixture of fruits and veggies in the popsicle add the flavor and eliminate the need to use artificial sweeteners. Paleo pops can come in a variety of flavors, and if you make them yourself, the possibility of combinations are endless!

6. Jerky

Beef Jerky
Beef Jerky

The anti-refined sugar hype is continuing this 2016, and people are looking for alternatives to sweet snacks. One of the yummy choices that a lot of people are going for is jerky. It appeals most to people who love to spend time in the outdoors, due to its protein content and light packaging. Jerky comes in a lot more flavors now, including jalapeno, teriyaki beef, spicy sweet, and peppered beef jerky, to suit multiple preferences.

7. Hummus

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Hummus is a dip made by taking cooked chickpeas or beans and mashing them, then adding olive oil, tahini, and salt. It is a good source of fiber and protein, and has very low sugar content. Different flavors of hummus are now available, making the Egyptian food more palatable to different preferences. New flavors are still being made, and this food trend will probably not see a decline in consumption in the near future.

8. Spiralized Vegetables

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The love for pasta and the hate for the carbs it comes with is enough reason to hop on the spiralizer bandwagon this 2016 and begin to make a more nutritious swap to this delicious meal. There are numerous new “pasta” recipes that swap vegetables for the grain, and these include various sauces that go well with every type of vegetable you decide to use. Some decide to make the plate more fun by mixing vegetables in one dish, adding to the variety of nutrition per meal.

9. Maca Root

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The other term for maca root is the “Peruvian ginseng”, used by native Peruvians in the Andes mountains as medicine as well as food. It is rumored to increase energy, stamina, and endurance, and has a lot of amino acids necessary for strength, healthy skin and a properly-functioning immune system. It is part of the cruciferous family along with radish and broccoli, and contains a good amount of antioxidants.

10. Chocolate: Innovated

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The boom of organic products has spread into the dessert world; chocolate being one of the most popular treats now being sourced from farms that provide organically certified fruits. The chocolate is sweetened using organic unrefined coconut sugar, but the ratio of cacao is kept high, as it makes the treat healthier. Dark chocolate still retains its spot as a popular healthy food, as it is a whole tasty package rich with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. It is also known for lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and improving overall circulation.

11. Brinners

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A lot of people like to eat breakfast meals during dinner, hence the word “brinner”. It’s a refreshing alternative to a usually staple meal, and using healthy ingredients makes it all the more appealing. The way to have a healthy brinner is easily to mix and match a few vegetables with breakfast staples like fruits, eggs, or yogurt. The combinations that you can make are endless, and the age of boring dinners has come to an end.

12. Muffin-sized meals

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Take a usual breakfast, meal or dessert and incorporate it in a recipe that makes it fit into a muffin tin = one muffin-meal to go! This idea is strong with the people who don’t have a lot of time to prepare food, since they can prepare multiple meals in one baking, take one, and store the rest. It also helps with people who want to practice portion control. One more thing that makes this type of food appealing is the versatility when it comes to ingredients. You can add your choice of vegetables, meats, or any healthy option you want.

13. Seeds of Different Kinds

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Seeds are being added to practically every recipe nowadays, from smoothies to baked goods, and everything in between. The nutritional value acquired depends on the kind of seed, but some contain more protein and calcium than others, and are sometimes called “super seeds”. Some of the seeds can cost a lot, but not all seeds are expensive, and some kinds, like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, can also help with additional nutrients while keeping a budget.

14. Healthy Twist on Frozen Meals

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Even companies making frozen dinners have adjusted their view on healthy eating, and are now selling healthier options in a frozen meal. One simply has to heat it up in the microwave, and it’s good to go. Options range from a 400-calorie steak bowl, to a 340-calorie plantain harvest bake. There is a growing number of options when it comes to healthy frozen meals as companies seek to cater to the needs of the increasingly health-conscious consumers.

15. Salad Kits

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How convenient would it be to have a salad ready in as simple as a shake of a box? Dole Foods has made this possible with its “Take Aways”, a new line of salad mixes complete with grains and seeds as well as a dressing or salsa. Its packaging serves as its dish, and it comes with a fork! The lack of prep time and space needed to consume this meal makes it perfect for people who are on the go but still want to have a healthy lunch.

Are you tired of your usual diet? Are you looking at this with the dream of beginning to eat healthier this year? Dream no more, and start gathering the ingredients you need to make these foods! These healthy trends make it easy to shift to a more nutritious diet without compromising on taste.

 

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