Say hello to the top 15 health, food and wellbeing trends we are likely to go crazy for in 2017
#1 Say hello to tiger nuts
Tiger nuts are not from tigers (we know - so surprising). And they’re not nuts. Wait, what? In fact, tiger nuts are a small root vegetable that grows in the Mediterranean and Africa. They’re a traditional food in these areas and may even have been eaten as far back as the Stone Age! Tiger nut milk is also a traditional drink in Spain.
Nutritionist Cassandra Barns says: "Tiger nuts are commonly found in the form of tiger nut flour – great alternative gluten-free, grain-free flour that can be used in baking or cooking and that’s suitable for all types of diets from vegan to Paleo to nut-free. Tiger nuts are high in fibre and contain calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, amongst other valuable nutrients".
#2 Essential oils will make a big comeback
Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Super Food UK, says: "Essential oils have been around for many, many years but have been forgotten about a bit. Their return is in line with the 2017 theme of ‘natural’ and ‘holistic’ products".
Cassandra agrees, adding: "Essential oils are among the simplest natural remedies. We’re rediscovering how they can help with a plethora of modern ailments including stress and anxiety, mood, sleep, and even hormonal balance".
According to skincare expert, Sonja Dymalowski at What Skin Needs, essential oils will gain popularity on the beauty market, too. "We can see that in terms of skincare ingredients, we are going back to basics – the less is more! Essentials oils are packed with vitamins, amino acids and anti oxidants so they won’t dry your skin. Instead, they can smooth fine lines and heal blemishes at the same time".
#3 Chewable probiotics for your dental care
People are increasingly concerned about their teeth and their dental health. One way to help prevent any infections and the build-up of bacteria is by taking probiotics in a chewable form. Cassandra explains: "As well as taking care of our intestinal health, friendly bacteria also live in our mouth and help to take care of our teeth and gums too. For this reason, chewable probiotics could help to keep our oral health in check".
#4 Omega 3 from algae is on the rise
Along with the 2017 trend of all things ‘natural’, there are themes of ‘environmentally friendly’ and ‘sustainability’. With this in mind, along with the rising popularity of vegan diets, the market for omega 3 from algae is only likely to increase.
Shona explains: "We know that there is a real concern about the sustainability of fish due to over farming of our oceans. Omega 3 from algae allows us to have the benefits of the nutrient without affecting our fish stock".
"Most of us know about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids – especially DHA and EPA from oily fish. But for vegetarians and vegans, or anyone who can’t eat fish or take fish oil supplements, getting a good source of these healthy fats can be a problem. Luckily there is an answer: algae can provide small amounts of these specific omega-3 fats that can be found concentrated in supplement form," adds Cassandra.
#5 You'll be sipping on probiotic water
We’ve seen probiotic yoghurts and probiotic supplements, of course – and even probiotic chocolate has found a niche in the market. In 2017, probiotic water will prove popular too, as another way to naturally help our guts.
Shona says: "Tablets are out. Different ways of getting our supplements are in. Food and drink are becoming functional – this trend is an example of how we can get the goodness of water with the added health benefits of probiotics".
#6 Cauliflower in all forms
Cauliflower is amazingly versatile. Cassandra suggests: "You can pulse raw florets in a food processor to make cauliflower ‘rice’, steam it and blend to make a delicious mash, or just remove the leaves, shove it in the oven and bake it whole. It’s low in carbs and calories and high in fibre, vitamin C, folate and potassium. It also contains compounds called glucosinolates, which are thought to have anti-cancer activity".
#8 Goat’s meat will be hitting your plate pretty soon
Goat meat is a staple North African and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as being the most widely consumed meat in the world. However, it rarely makes it onto the dinner table in the UK. Lily says: "Whilst goats cheese and even goats milk is pretty popular, it’s hard to find goat’s meat in any of our local supermarkets. Despite this, there has been recent talk that Waitrose and Sainsbury’s may have goat meat available on their shelves by 2017".
Why goat meat? Cassandra explains: "Goat meat is a healthy option. It’s low in fat and higher in protein than some meats and it’s also higher in iron than beef, pork or lamb. What’s more, eating goat meat can be considered an ethical choice too. Currently, goats are farmed primarily for their milk and so – shockingly – most male goats from goat dairy industry are killed at birth. Creating a market for goat meat will allow the male goats (Billy goats) to live a decent life as they are reared for their meat".
#7 Super-spices will be everywhere
'Superfood' has become the biggest buzzword in the health food industry. However, after years of avocado and quinoa reigning, it's time to pass the crown to... Super-spices!
Turmeric is one of the most powerful. It contains Curcumin, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has also been shown to help relieve the pain of arthritis, injuries and even dental procedures! Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert, explains: "This bright yellow spice is best known for it’s potent anti-inflammatory benefits. It is the curcumin within turmeric, which has been used to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis as well as playing a role within cancer prevention and protecting against heart disease".
Are you trying to detox? Spice up your dishes with turmeric to help the liver function properly. “It stimulates production of bile by the gallbladder that is used by liver to filter and expel toxins. You can also take turmeric supplements with the active Curcumin for similar effect.
#9 Filipino cuisine will be your new takeaway go-to
Whilst Thai and Vietnamese foods are known throughout the Western world, Filipino food has been slower to catch on. However, this may all change during 2017, where the Filipino cuisine is set to become more popular. Saya Lily: "There are many healthy and flavoursome choices available such as Paket – a vegetable dish full of spices, adobo – meat marinated in vinegar and soy sauce, Ginataang – a fish stew, roasted lemon grass chicken as well as Tortang Talong – an aubergine and egg based breakfast".
#10 Purple foods
The future of modern cuisine is purple! Why? They pack a powerful disease-prevention-punch! Lily explains: "Purple kale, purple carrots, purple cauliflower, purple broccoli and the purple potato are all amazingly rich in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are the antioxidant responsible for their purple colour and have amazing disease fighting properties. They can soothe inflammation as well as boost immune function. Lastly, anthocyanins have also been shown to improve memory and brain function".
#11 Everything will be sparkling (even the tea)
Drinks with a fizz are gaining popularity by the day. Cassandra says, “Thanks to champagne, the word ‘sparkling’ is associated with celebration and luxury.” No wonder that sales of prosecco have shot up by 80% over the last 5 years!* This trend is being translated into health drinks too. “We now have sparkling sugar free infused water, as well as sparkling matcha tea. 2017 may just bring this trend to a whole new level,” Lily says.
#12 Meet 'adaptogens'
Some plants have superpowers that can help our body adapt to and handle stress. These wonders are called 'adaptogens', and include maca, ginseng, licorice, ginseng, rhodiola and moringa. Adaptogenic herbs have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to boost energy and increase resilience in the face of stress.
Shona explains why they are making a big come back: "As their name suggests, adaptogens are herbs that help the body to adapt to the stresses of life. They are tonifying to the body, strengthening it, rebuilding it and nourishing it. Adaptogens are able to “adapt” their function, specific to what our body needs. They usually have a specific affinity for the adrenals and the endocrine glands, therefore having a positive effect on hormonal balance and the way the body functions under stress".
Cassandra adds, “An easy analogy would be to describe adaptogens like a thermostat. They will increase the temperature if it is too low, and also decrease the temperature if it is too high. They aim to normalise imbalances in the body. As they generally support adrenal function, they can calm you down, and boost your energy levels, all without being overstimulating. They are able to “normalise” imbalances in the body. When supporting the adrenals, the adverse effects of stress are reduced. Adaptogens enable the body to access more cellular energy and enhance the ability to utilise oxygen more efficiently; all this whilst increasing the metabolism of cells and allowing them to eliminate greater amounts of toxic by-products".
#13 Watermelon water is the new coconut water
Watermelon water is simply taken from the whole juice of a watermelon. Cassandra says: "Like coconut water, it contains natural electrolyte minerals. It’s especially high in potassium, which has the benefit of keeping our blood pressure in a healthy range. It also contains lycopene – one of the most powerful and protective antioxidants found in plants".
Even though it’s healthy and delicious, Shona warns: "It is also naturally high in sugar".
#14 Sunflower protein powders
With more and more people going vegan, plant-based protein powders have already started flying off the shelves.
Shona explains why we should be so hot on protein: "We need protein for many reasons – not only for our muscles but it’s also required for building, healing and repairing most of the other tissues in our body – as well as producing a range of vital substances such as antibodies and hormones. Because the richest sources of protein are animal foods, vegetarians and especially vegans may struggle to get enough protein. For optimal wellbeing, an adult needs a minimum of around 0.8 to 1g of protein per kilo ‘ideal’ body weight per day. So if your healthy body weight is 60kg, you’ll need around 50 to 60 grams of protein per day. And this amount increases if you’re very active, or trying to build strength".
#15 Adapt a Scandinavian approach
Most of us need a better work-life balance. Stress is a primary cause of ill health, both short and long-term. In the UK, many of us work more than a 40-hour week. Lily explains: "Scandinavian countries are renowned for their amazing work-life balance. Sweden has introduced a 6-hour workday during winter months, giving employees a chance to leave work before dark, as well as enough time to too rest and recuperate. Shorter working hours may potentially boost morale and health among employees, which can ultimately, increased work productivity".
Cassandra adds: "By law employees have to take 25 days’ paid leave. We can only hope that similar policies are taken up here!"