We all have a trendy friend. She’s the coolest woman at the office, in our group of friends, or at the college or high school you attended way back when. She’s the most fashionable, always sporting the latest-style everything and as soon as you catch up to her style, the new trend is out. When it comes to trendy foods, your high-school cafeteria likely isn’t your first stop, whereas health food stores, local co-ops, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or even the cooking sections at Home Goods and Marshall’s are coming up with some unique, sometimes strange, but often delicious, options that you might want to consider adding to your diet.
Ingredients like turmeric and ginger are everywhere these days. I saw an entire display of turmeric at Home Goods last week. This spice is known to help prevent certain types of cancer and diabetes, relieve symptoms related to arthritis, maintain heart health, and more. But the most common and widely reported use is as a powerful anti-inflammatory. So the next time you go to reach for your bottle of Advil, maybe turn your attention to this bright orange powder instead. You can certainly incorporate turmeric into your diet by cooking with it; many Indian dishes feature the spice. Another great way to include it is by throwing it into your morning smoothie! A handful of berries will help cover the taste.
There are a ton of different plant proteins that you can easily include in your diet that are enjoyable and offer wonderful benefits.
- Tempeh/Tofu: If you’re like me, the idea of tofu always grossed me out. The color, texture, and bland taste were never appealing. Recently, I found a new love for this product when I discovered I could mask the taste. Grilling it or adding a BBQ sauce glaze does wonders for this super healthy food. Like many of the foods on this list, consuming tofu as part of a balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy weight, as well as keep your skin and hair vibrant and increase your energy.
- Spirulina Powder: I’m going to be honest with you. I have never eaten this in my life, but my boyfriend does on a daily basis. If you’re wondering why, it’s because it smells awful. The benefits of this stinky, dark-green powder include lower blood pressure, cancer prevention, lower cholesterol, and reduced risk of stroke—all good reasons to incorporate it into your diet. But for me, it’s just not going to happen.
- Chia Seeds: I do, however, add chia seeds to my morning smoothie. I started on this kick when I was a serious runner and clocking about 40 miles a week. While I no longer run as much, I find that bulking up my morning drink with chia seeds fills me up and prevents me from snacking. The benefits of this tiny black seed include younger-looking skin, improved digestive health, a healthy heart, and more.
- Collagen: This supplement is best known for what it can do for your skin, hair, and nails. That’s reason enough for me to take it! Your body makes its own collagen, but it naturally decreases with age (isn’t that always the way?), so adding some into your daily routine will only benefit you. Additionally, collagen can help with bone and joint pain, hormone balance, and digestion.
- Black Garlic: This item made it on to my trendy food list for a number of reasons. Only recently available in western markets, black garlic has been used in Asian countries for centuries. The black bulb is created by fermenting raw garlic through continued exposure to heat and humidity. This process makes the garlic appear black and changes the taste from traditional to sweeter. Like regular garlic, it can be used in sauces, pastas, etc. The benefits include a stronger immune system, infection and disease protection, and reduced cholesterol counts.
- “Clean Label”: Referred to as “trend of the year,” clean label means natural ingredients with nothing artificial and/or no chemicals. By the year 2020, it is estimated that 14 percent of total food sales will have the clean label distinction. Larger companies such as Campbell’s, Kellogg’s, and Nabisco are jumping on board for what won’t be a trend for very long as it moves into the normal category.
- Avocado Oil: “good fat” friend, the avocado, but they don’t end with the fruit itself. An avocado is made up of about 77 percent oil, which offers its own benefits. Avocado oil strengthens your skin, helps your hair and nails grow stronger and faster, accelerates wound healing, and is an excellent source of Vitamin E. To easily incorporate this super food into your diet, exchange your extra virgin olive oil with avocado.
- Nutritional Yeast: The benefits of this yellow cheese-like powder range from improving digestion to preserving immune function. I sprinkle it on pasta, make pesto from it, add it to smoothies, and more!
- Kombucha: Considered the “immortal health elixir” by the Chinese, Kombucha has been around for more than 2,000 years. After downing this fizzy vinegar-based drink, consumers have reported weight loss, immune system support, and reduced joint pain. With many different fruit flavors, you can sip this drink and feel good about your choice!
I hope you will make en effort to incorporate some of these trendy foods into your diet, and perhaps I will try some new ones as well. But, I’m not officially committing to anything. Enjoy!