With the New Year, the inevitable buzz surrounding new diet, health and wellness trends has already begun. Navigating these trends can be difficult for even the most discerning consumer. The nutrition industry, particularly, is one whose tides shift constantly, with innovation continuously on the rise. Here are some trends to keep an eye out for in 2018 in the health, wellness and nutrition world.
The newest superfood of 2018, moringa, is making an appearance in the grocery realm in many different forms. This superpowder is derived from a tree, whose leaves are ground into powder form containing protein, iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin A. Nutrient-dense moringa is being found in bottled juices, energy bars, supplement-based powders and snack foods. It will also be seen in beauty products because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Moringa can have a bitter taste to the palate, which is why it’s best used blended into smoothies or other recipes.
Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissue. Collagen protein has been making its debut in food products over the last year, with continued growth. The bone-broth trend has been taken to new heights in both commercial and local products, as well as being transformed into protein powders. Collagen in foods is being promoted for healthy skin, hair, nails, joints and digestion. This year, we’ll see an increase in collagen-infused everything, from chocolate to chili to pancakes. You will also see a surge in collagen builders such as whole foods-based supplements.
NEW TECHNOLOGY IN VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN FOODS
The future of technology is moving beyond our iPhones. New technology is being used to create vegan and vegetarian foods mimicking meat so closely — down to using beetroot to create the illusion of blood. Try substituting your regular beef burger with a new type of veggie burger. Packed with plant protein, it will fool even the most dedicated meat lover.
GUT HEALTH STILL THE RAGE
In 2018, plan to see a continued emphasis on products promoting gut health. This includes more foods and supplements infusing probiotics, prebiotics, added fiber and a strong emphasis on creative kombucha flavors. Fermented foods are working their way up the trending ladder this year as well, with continued innovation in miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, pickles, kimchi, kefir and yogurts.
PUFFED AND POPPED SNACKS
Cheetos are getting a facelift in 2018. There is more innovation in the “puffed” and “popped” snack category using ingredients such as beans, non-GMO corn, lentils, brown rice, vegan alternatives and more. Look for products high in protein and fiber, as well as those made with clean ingredients that you recognize.
SIMPLICITY & SHAPE IN ENERGY BARS
The list of protein and energy bars is endless. However, consumers are demanding a shorter list of ingredients in their bars and are now wanting their quick snack on the go to be in a variety of shapes. This year, we will see a trend toward protein and energy bars that have been simplified and made without a laundry list of ingredients. Whole foods-based bars are also taking the form of bites, bits and balls on a commercial level.
Get familiar with your mushrooms. Varieties such as reishi, chaga and cordyceps are going to be infused in coffees, chocolates, tea and snack foods because of their immune-supporting and antioxidant properties.
SUPPORTING A GREATER CAUSE
Look for brands emphasizing transparency and sustainability in 2018. At this point in the food industry, it is almost expected that labels be transparent about their ingredients. Now, we take it to the next level looking to support brands that value sourcing sustainable ingredients and giving back to a greater cause.
As total-body wellness increases, industries are beginning to combine what they know to revolutionize overall health. This is especially evident in areas such as brain health, where new technology is being applied to create nutritional supplements such as chewable coffee. These products support overall brain capacity and function.
Sugar is out and creative, healthier ways to sweeten our food is in. More alternative sweeteners that are lower on the glycemic index are making their way into our foods, as well as contributing to less overall added sugar calories. Dates, sorghum and yacon syrups are sweet options that will be appearing on the shelves for 2018.
As Jews, we already love foods from the Middle East. This year, we are moving beyond falafel and hummus and digging deeper into Middle Eastern tradition and ingredients in the food world. You will see an increased twist on traditional Middle Eastern foods from various cultures including Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian and Lebanese. Shakshuka, grilled haloumi and za’atar are making their way across the borders into foods and menus where least expected.
GO GOTH THIS YEAR
Black is in and unicorns are out. Activated charcoal is quickly becoming a superfood and being promoted as detoxifying. You will see this trend in everything from pizzas to beverages to ice cream.
REDUCING FOOD WASTE
Local chefs, food manufacturers, nonprofit organizations and consumers nationwide are collaborating in their missions to reduce food waste. Recipes and food products will be incorporating more foods from root to stem that are usable in recipes such as salad dressings, salads, compotes and more.
HEALTHY FATS FOR THE WIN!
High-fat diets and foods full of healthy fats will continue to reign in the new year. We are well past the Snackwell era, learning that low fat and high sugar are not the keys to health. Incorporating more options with healthy fats such as coconut, grass-fed butters and ghee, avocado and hemp oils, as well as nuts rich in fat such as macadamia nuts, almonds and cashews in moderation can be the key to weight-loss success. What does this mean for you? Avocado toast and peanut butter protein balls can stay on the menu for 2018.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018. May this be your most nourishing year yet!
Stacy Goldberg is a nationally recognized nutritional consultant, registered nurse and the CEO of Savorfull (savorfull.com), a Detroit-based company that sources healthy, allergen-friendly foods and provides nutrition-consulting. Savorfull is part of the Quicken Loans Family of Companies.
No information provided through Stacy Goldberg/Savorfull is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or adopting any treatment or implementing nutritional advice for a health problem.