As 2016 winds down, many of us may start to think of ways that we can start the new year off with a resolution to be more healthy. If your goal is to eat better in 2017, here are four ‘healthy’ food trends that might make your plight easier. Plus, if you are wondering what everyone will be “foodstagramming” in 2017, these are likely some of the healthy picks we will see throughout the next year.
Chocolate for breakfast: Yes, you read right! Why not start of this article, and for that matter our day, with the idea that we should be eating chocolate for breakfast! According to a recent study from Syracuse University, dark chocolate has a positive effect on a person’s cognitive functions, specifically abstract reasoning, memory and focus. The argument is that eating chocolate at the start of your day will prepare you better for your workday. But wait, there’s more! Research done by Tel Aviv University also suggests that eating dessert at breakfast supports weight loss. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to get in on this and make it a trend!
Veggies as the star of the plate: Meals built around the vegetables is trending now, as well as “plant butchery.” In 2017, you will be more apt to find vegetables as the meal itself or the highlight of the meal, not just as a side dish. As restaurants aim to reduce waste, the trend will be to use 100% of the vegetables, from “root to leaf.”
On menus you will find roasted butternut squash or cauliflower “steaks,” and mushrooms that are used in place of ground beef. You will find vegetables transformed into noodles and used in traditional Italian recipes, Asian-inspired noodle bowls, casseroles and as a base for salads. Jackfruit, which is mostly grown in Southeastern Asia and South America and sports a spiky outer shell, is being looked at as alternative to meat because of its texture and taste. Breads and doughs will be made from corn, legumes, chickpeas and even cauliflower.
Goat on the plate and in the bowl: Goat looks to be the next ‘hot’ protein in the United States. Goat is leaner than many other meats, including chicken. Much of the world already consumes goat, and with so many goat milk products already hitting the market, many may be open to taking the leap and trying it.
Also, over the past several years bone broth has been all the craze because of its rich mineral content known to assist the immune system because it carries healing compounds such as collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline, which are all good for your gut, brain and joints. Goat contains a very high level of interstitial collagen, the properties of which can improve your skin, hair, nails and joint pain.
Goat tastes very similar to fresh lamb but has a more beefy texture. It is a solid meat with a strong flavor so it is well suited for sour and spicy recipes. Since it can tend to be tough, it is a good idea to marinate the meat first and cook it slowly.
According to Google, turmeric is number one in popularity of rising food trends. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and is said to help people with different forms of arthritis. Its powerful antioxidant properties, with regular intake, can help the body ward off free radicals and protect from chronic diseases, cell damage and cancer. Curcumin, a compound found in Turmeric, is also being studied for its effect on Alzheimer’s disease because of its potential ability to break down plaques that form on the brains of dementia patients.
Turmeric in its raw stage looks like a knob of ginger, but with a hue of a brightly colored carrot. It is often used in cooking curries, giving it its characteristic yellow-orange tint. To reap the benefits of Turmeric you can add it to a broad range of dishes such as smoothies, soups, rice dishes, omelets, and use it as in marinades.
As turmeric emerges as one of the hottest superfoods, manufactures are finding ways to bottle it in cold-pressed juices, tonics and teas infused with turmeric. Another popular use for turmeric in cooking is golden milk, and lately this recipe has been splashed all over the internet as an anti-inflammatory elixir.
Most turmeric you find comes from one of two place in India, Alleppey or Madras. The Alleppey variety is known to have twice as much curcumin and therefore will be healthier for you.
Food trends are fun and interesting to track, and they’re always based on some data, but remember to also always take trends, particularly health-focused ones, with a pinch of salt, and in some cases, with moderation. Where your health is concerned, do your own research, talk to your doctors and try things out to see what works best for you. Here’s to a healthy, happy year ahead. Now, I’m off to start my day with some turmeric infused chocolate!