Whole Foods is a long-time trendsetter in the health and food industry. Recently, their global buyers and experts released a forecast for the top food trends for 2018. Which ones will you partake in? Take a closer look at the nutritional benefits of each trend so you can be sure to up your health quotient, better plan your meals, and kickstart your year.
Top 10 Food Trends for 2018 as Predicted by Whole Foods
Not just for 5-star chefs anymore, edible flowers and floral infusions are making their way into the homes of everyone in 2018. Examples include lavender lattes, pink hibiscus teas, and rose-flavored concoctions. Next time you’re thirsty, follow this year’s latest trend and reach for a glass of rose water. This drink will provide stress relief, support digestive function, and it even contains great antioxidant properties.
Need to up your powder game? Simply grab a trendy powder such as matcha, turmeric, spirulina, or maca root to add to everything from smoothies to baked goods. Turmeric, for example, helps to support cognitive function and cardiovascular health, while also guarding against inflammatory conditions and improving liver function.
Reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane – What do they have in common? All are adaptogenic mushrooms common in dietary supplements, teas, and broths. Adaptogenic mushrooms are mushrooms used for medicinal benefits such as improving hormonal balance, boosting the immune system, and providing relief from inflammatory conditions.
Feast from the Middle East
Spices and dishes with Middle Eastern influences are on the rise this year. Special attention is given to the rise of Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian, and Lebanese cuisine. Want to dip a toe into this trend? Try adding different spices like harissa, cardamom, and za’atar to anything from desserts to yogurt to rice.
Along with the new nutrition labels making their debut by the summer of 2018 comes increased transparency in product labeling. Transparency, in terms of food and food products, refers to more visibility of what goes into a particular food. Thus, consumers can look for more sustainable items that contain fewer chemicals. Companies are expected to provide full ingredient disclosure on all product packaging and, in some cases, responsible production and animal welfare standards. Consumers are becoming more aware of what is in the products they purchase and how they are made, so advocating for transparency is an important trend.
High-tech goes plant-forward
Vegetarians and vegans, rejoice! Through manipulation of ingredients and protein sources, plant-based foods are seeing serious scientific improvements in 2018. Examples include: “not-tuna” (made from tomatoes), new nut milks and yogurts made from peas, and a variety of vegan dessert options.
Puffed and popped snacks
As if we needed a reason to make snacking more tempting, along comes the trend of puffed and popped snacks. The good news is that many of these snacks are healthier options than their original counterparts. Some healthy alternatives include popped cassava chips and Brussels sprout chips. With advances in technology creating new combinations of ingredients, we can even find puffed pasta bow-tie chips on the shelves of our local supermarkets!
Tacos come out of their shell
While the taco trend is still going strong, there is a new twist involved. People are ditching the traditional taco shells for healthier options such as seaweed wrappers and salads. Not ready to jump too far into this trend? Try some of the grain-free, Paleo-friendly options available!
According to statistics from Feeding America, “approximately 72 billion pounds of perfectly good food – from every point in the food production cycle – end up in landfills and incinerators every year.” The new root-to-stem trend is looking to decrease the food waste problem. Instead of throwing away or composting plant parts, people are getting creative with the leftovers – enter pickled watermelon rinds and broccoli-stem slaw.
Say cheers to the other bubbly
I’m sure that by now, most of us have heard of LaCroix, a sparkling water favorite. In 2018, however, flavored, sparkling drinks are surging ahead as a fan-favorite. New options made with maple and birch offer sustainably sourced, lower sugar options with antioxidant and immune-boosting properties. Other new options include healthy mocktails and fizzy cold brews.
As the New Year approaches, start thinking about which of these food trends for 2018 will you try. From better nutrition to saving the environment, these food trends, best practices, and eating habits will start your year off right as you look to improve your lifestyle. If you have any questions about these food trends for 2018 or would like to improve your eating habits overall, get a consultation from one of Elite’s registered nutritionists!
Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian
Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.