It’s been over a decade now that I’ve been publishing trends in nutrition on an annual basis for the year ahead. I recall how my promotion of stevia in 2002 was initially regarded with skepticism – and today it has become one of the most popular healthy sweetener alternatives on the market! The same occurred with my discovery of Goji berries, buckwheat, and more!
So here is my ranking of the top 10 trends in nutrition for 2014:
This little grain has come out of the closet and can now be found everywhere, even at Safeway and its equivalents! Seems the trend that I announced in 2013 is officially out! Rich in protein, and accessible and affordable with barely any reported allergies – this one is a keeper! Sprinkle chia seeds on your smoothies and salads, or use chia seed powder with liquids like coconut milk to make raw gourmet desserts.
Though still a little hard to find, hemp is becoming increasingly more available in organic and natural food stores. It is found in the form of fresh seeds and vegetable milk, and carries the perfect balance of omegas 3 and 6 as well as a very high level of vitamin E. The advantage over soy? Hemp doesn’t contain the anti-nutrients that interfere with the body’s absorption of certain nutrients. Additionally, its protein is highly digestible and does not lead to bloating like soy can. Hemp seeds contain 20 amino acids including the 9 essentials!
While still not as ubiquitous in the USA as it is in France or China, buckwheat has now been dubbed the “2014 grain”, and I am drowning in phone calls from editors to whom I had made this prediction 3 years ago! As you know, buckwheat is one of the pillars of my approach to healthy weight loss – gluten-free, quality protein, etc. My latest book, “Le Sarrasin, tous les secrets de la graine miracle” (Buckwheat, the secrets of a miraculous grain) tells all about this amazing superfood!
After 2 years in the shadows, followed by its entry in 2013, kale promises to make its strongest mark this year! It is found all over and in a variety of forms – chips, pre-cooked, frozen, you name it. Kale is a source of fiber and calcium par excellence.
Still quite hard to procure, mangosteen is mostly sold in the form of pricey drinks that make empty health claims. Its pericarp contains over 40 xanthones (potent antioxidants). Marketed in the USA under the name XanGo, it should be noted that no scientific study has yet been conducted demonstrating the safety of its consumption or the success of its claims, however it certainly is a growing trend.
(6) Stop food waste and veganism
This up-and-coming nutrition trend promotes learning how to cook leftovers and products we would typically discard, ie. banana peels, carrot peels, foods that have fermented, etc. Even in our society where waste is so rampant, Americans have come to realize that 33% of food resources wasted annually is enough to feed 100% of people who are starving or malnourished!
People are realizing more and more that products such as meat, milk, etc. are very demanding on natural resources. Their “vegan” equivalents offer the same levels of proteins, vitamins, etc. with less impact on the planet. No need to go to the extreme of a 100% vegan diet – consciously reducing the consumption of meat and dairy is already a good start!
(7) Homemade products pushed to new limits
Americans today are making their own cider, goat’s cheese, butter, mustard, and even growing mushrooms in their own kitchens. Making food products at home is gaining ground, and this niche in food and nutrition is expected to grow by 25% in 2014. This trend is born from the desire to control everything we eat (especially in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, mad cow disease, etc.) and a desire to return to natural sources, typical in times of crisis. We want to be in charge!
(8) Coconut water
Thanks to the support of many celebrities who have invested in and promote this product (including Madonna and Rihanna), this “water” continues to rise in popularity with brand distributors widely marketing it. Coconut water is an electrolyte-rich alternative to “sports drinks” typically loaded in chemicals and sugar.
It isn’t every day that we get to witness the birth of a new sweetener that is actually healthy! This new sweetening product is extracted from the stalks of sorghum, and is recommended for diabetics, pregnant women, and anyone who wants a little sugar without the calories. Sorghum is still in its infancy and thus quite hard to find, even in stores like Whole Foods.
Rooibos is losing some ground to the benefits of Honeybush, both of which are plants that grow in South Africa. Hailed as carrying miraculous benefits not necessarily proven in study, Honeybush is certainly rich in antioxidants, offering a more full-bodied taste than Rooibos to spice up your 2014!
Tried any products from this list yet? Treat your taste-buds to some new foods and flavors this year with our 2014 nutritional trends!