Top health foods and trends for the upcoming year
Lianne Phillipson, Registered nutritionist
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2016 6:30AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 5, 2016 6:48AM EST
I've consulted with experts from across the country to get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest natural health trends for the New Year.
The top five health food trends to watch out for in 2016 include the following:
1) Sea vegetables
Is kelp the new kale? We think so! Sea vegetables can help reduce sodium intake while supporting thyroid health, as these unique vegetables are rich in naturally occurring iodine. This 2016, everyone will be looking at the nutritional and environmental benefits of sea greens. So what makes sea veggies so trendy?
- Sea vegetables are virtually fat-free, low in calories but rich in minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, enzymes and trace minerals which are low in land vegetables due to soil demineralization.
- Sea vegetables can help us skip the salt. They add a natural seasoning to foods which comes from a balanced combination of sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and many other trace minerals naturally found in the ocean.
- They are rich in iodine an important part of our thyroid health. Our thyroid gland plays so many important roles in our body from regulating our metabolism to enhancing our growth and development, weight control and energy.
- They can be grown sustainably. Sea vegetables have minimal impact on the environment. When choosing a sea green that is right for you we encourage you to look for those that have been grown sustainably.
Fibre is primed to be the new protein. We all know fibre is good for digestive and intestinal health, but it can do so much more, from heart health to weight maintenance! Check out our top three reasons why fibre is bound to be a big deal in 2016:
- Weight maintenance: Increasing fibre intake could have even more beneficial effects than a "restrictive" diet plan that reduces saturated fat. Whether you enjoy fibre as a supplement or in whole foods, it helps keep us feeling fuller for longer.
- Heart health: Soluble fibre has been proven to lower cholesterol, help digestion and regulate blood sugar. It works by absorbing water in the gut, forming a gel-like substance that can bind to cholesterol and bile acids, helping eliminate them from the body.
- Gut health: A recent scientific meta-analysis found that fibre intake is associated with a reduced risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohns Disease).
- A diverse diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables provides good nutrients for us, while keeping our good gut bugs healthy and happy with plenty of fibre.*
3) Sweets and savouries with a health kick
Everyone loves to indulge, but what if you could satisfy those sweet and salty cravings with food that also includes a nutritional kick? In 2016 these options are almost limitless!
Watch out for all kinds of traditional treats on the market that include a little something extra to enhance your health. Below are some new, trendy, natural ideas to satisfy your sweet tooth and get that crunch we all crave.
- New ways to crunch: In 2016 look out for chips made from beans, root veggies and even lentils. These snacks give us a great fibre kick and all the crunch we crave.
- Sweets to satisfy: One of the exciting new products out there merges last year’s superstar, coconut, with chocolate. Cocoa boasts blood pressure lowering effects, and recent research is pointing to additional heart-healthy benefits.
4) Vitamin C and D
These old favourites are finding new applications. Vitamin C-rich creams have the ability to protect the skin during the harsh winter months and, luckily, lesser known winter veggies like squash and Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin D is also incredibly versatile, with applications for boosting bone to heart health. Check out our three favourite findings below:
- We know that we should wear sunscreen every day, but did you know adding a little vitamin C serum to your daily screening can enhance your protection and give your face a little treat?
- Everyone always talks about Vitamin D, but not many of us actually understand why we need it. Vitamin D is crucial for the optimal performance of all our body systems. It plays many important roles in the body ranging from bone health to aiding the absorption of calcium. In 2015, new research pointed to a connection between low vitamin D and artery disease showing vitamin D may even play a role in heart health.
- When thinking about vitamin C in 2016 we encourage you to think beyond the lemon tree. There are all kinds of winter veggies that are rich in vitamin C including: bell peppers (red & green), kale, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
This 2016 it will be easy to add hemp into your healthy, balanced diet. Canadians can find hemp as a raw seed, ground into flour, sprouted, as hemp milk or juice, in lip balm, as a protein or fibre supplement, and in other products including clothing and paper! Best of all, Canada has a thriving hemp industry; so many products available in your local store are Canadian grown and made! Below are three reasons everyone is going to be excited about hemp in 2016.
- Perfect for herbivores and carnivores alike, hemp boasts an ideal omega three-to-six ratio to help maintain heart health.
- Hemp is also an excellent source of protein and a great vegan protein alternative for people who are allergic to nuts.
- Hemp also is rich in vitamin E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc.
So many to choose from and add into your daily diet! What will you add in first?