Nutrition

4 Food Trends To Try This Year

These four food trends have enough nutrition benefits behind them to give them some staying power

4 Food Trends To Try This Year

We love the next great healthy food as much as anyone, but when it comes to making smart choices for your diet and performance, it can be tough to separate pure hype from proven benefits. These four trending nutrition stars, though, might just be worth the attention they’ve been getting.

The Trend: Green Drinks

To juice or to smoothie? That is the question. Blending leafy greens into a creamy smoothie is an easy way to ingest a concentrated dose of vitamins and minerals, plus fiber, too. But how and when the smoothie was made determine its benefits. "With premade smoothies, you have no idea whether it’s truly organic or how long the juice sat there," says Dara Godfrey, R.D., a New York–based nutritionist. To be sure it’s fresh and that you know every ingredient, make it yourself. If you choose to DIY, make sure to get fiber else­where, since most of it gets lost during juicing.

The Trend: Bone Broth

Boiling animal bones, cartilage, and ligaments to create a rich broth is a cooking technique chefs have been using for centuries. But lately bone broth has come into its own, largely because of Paleo enthusiasts who credit the supersoup for everything from healing injuries to improving sleep quality.

"Bone broth is very high in calcium and collagen, which can help support healthy skin, hair, and nails," says Linda Stephens, a clinical nutritionist based in Darien, CT, and an IFBB figure pro.

The broth is also high in protein (about nine grams per cup) and low in calories (less than 40 per one-cup serving). "There’s no proof bone broth can cure ailments, but it does contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which work to counter­act inflammation," Godfrey says.

The Trend: Coconut Oil

As a saturated fat, coconut oil was long shunned by nutritionists as yet another artery-clogging food. But lately its versatility has come back into favor, and the oil is even being considered a heart helper.

"Virgin, organic, and unprocessed coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid that’s easily absorbed and raises HDL—the good cholesterol," Godfrey says. One recent Brazilian study found that coconut oil helped ease symptoms of hypertension in mice.

And if you’re trying to lose weight, replacing ordinary fats with coconut oil may even help speed metabolism because the fats are routed directly to the liver, where they are readily burned for fuel, explains Stephens. Take note, however, that as a fat, coconut oil is still relatively high in calories (more than 115 in one tablespoon), so use it in moderation.

The Trend: Cauliflower

Move over, kale. While hardly a kitchen newcomer, cauliflower is rapidly becoming the veggie du jour in healthy culinary circles, gaining favor as a baked, mashed, or roasted replacement for starchy carbs such as potatoes. The cruciferous creation is also being used in pizza crust and even in paella.

"Cauliflower is fairly bland but can take on almost any flavor," Godfrey says. "Once you mash it up, it’s similar in taste and color to potatoes." One cup of cauliflower can supply up to 80% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake and is also high in antioxidants but low in calories (30 per cup). Plus, with three grams of fiber per cup, it can help you feel fuller longer. Try it with some coconut oil, grated cheese, and sea salt for a delicious dish that’s sure to please, suggests Stephens. 

Topics:
Comments