With a new year comes new trends. Here are the 2018 nutrition & health trends we’re putting our money on.
alternative, alternative dairy
At this point, almond, soy, and coconut milks have made it into the mainstream of most grocery store dairy aisles and coffee shop condiment bars. But these days, the alternatives to dairy don’t stop there. It seems like you can “milk” almost anything– cashews, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, and more. MALK has taken a “less is more” approach to milking almonds, pecans, and cashews. Their milks feature six organic ingredients or less, with no artificial anything. Milkadamia’s sustainably-made macadamia nut milk has been cropping up in an increasing number of grocery stores and coffee shops. Ripple takes a protein-forward approach to non-dairy milk with their creamy, pea protein-based option with additional ingredients to provide additional nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3s.
Emerging research continues to reveal the importance of the gut (and its microbiota) in terms of digestion, metabolism, immunity, hormone regulation, disease, and more. As we uncover more and more about our digestive tract and the vast community of microorganisms living within it, consumers are looking to improve gut health through what they eat. Companies are going beyond the more traditional ways of getting in those naturally occurring probiotics like kimchi or sauerkraut. Farmhouse Culture has launched a line of flavorful gut shots that deliver 110 billion CFUs of probiotics and can be knocked back solo or incorporated into recipes. This pointed focus on the gut has also supported the growth of microbiome sequencing companies like uBiome, Thryve, and Biohm. These labs offer a report on the makeup of your microbiome after you submit a simple at-home sample. As it stands today, this test offers just a snapshot of the ever-changing landscape of one’s microflora, not a long-term health assessment or personalized recommendations to follow over time. But as research and technology advances, we should expect more to come in this area of the field.
mitochondria on the mind
Similar to the gut and its microflora, mitochondrial health is getting a major spotlight. Healthy eating and living that supports your mitochondria, or the power plants of your cells, can have a positive effect on energy levels, aging, and age-related diseases. Consumers with their minds on their mitochondria tend to eat far fewer carbs and sugar, more healthy fat (like salmon, nuts, coconut oil, avocado oil, and MCT oil), and micronutrient-rich veggies that provide the substrates needed for your mitochondria (and cells in general) to function optimally. Other healthy practices like getting plenty of high quality sleep, intermittent fasting, meditation, high intensity exercise, and strength training.
fat is seriously back
After decades of demonization, fat is being welcomed back into the healthy diets of many, and its increasing popularity shows no signs of decline. “Purse avocados” are a thing, butter coffee has gone from obscure homemade concoction to grocery store CPG (Picnik, Bulletproof), and the high fat ketogenic diet is set up to be resolutioners go-to come January.
Time-restricted eating is all the rage, as it’s a way to reap similar benefits to a ketogenic diet (fat loss, improved focus, revved up metabolism & mitochondrial function) without having to go all in on a high fat diet. While the most traditional approach to IF is a 16 hour fast with an 8 hour eating window, there are many other styles to choose from. The flexibility is what makes people love IF so much.
not vegan, but plant-based
Plant-based is kind of like the “clean eating” of veganism. Those that practice this dietary lifestyle aim to eat mostly plants, avoiding animal products and artificial ingredients. While Oreos are technically vegan, they aren’t cool if you’re eating plant-based. That said, many approach plant-based eating with some level of flexibility.
relax, it’s just cbd
Cannabidiol is one of marijuana’s many cannabinoids and, unlike THC, it does not possess any psychoactive properties. That isn’t to say it isn’t without benefits. In fact, it’s got a lot going for it in terms of anti-anxiety, anti-inflammation, treating acne, pain relief, treating seizures and mental health disorders, suppression of cancer cell growth, and more. While it’s often used topically, CBD is making its way into food products like Not Pot’s CBD chocolates and CAP Beauty’s The Daily Hit oil. Because CBD is considered a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, check your state laws before getting your first taste.
adaptogens, herbs, medicinal mushrooms, oh my
Instagram’s wellness community has been flooding our feeds with superfood-filled smoothies, lattes, and other tonics to meet a specific functional need. Ashwagandha for stress relief and improved immunity. Maca for sustained energy. Reishi for relaxation and better sleep. Companies like Sun Potion and Four Sigmatic have become mainstays in the specialty market, while CPG manufacturers are incorporating superfoods to diversify their product lines. Health-Ade Kombucha’s Super-Tea line features a number of flavors that have been boosted with ingredients like maca, spirulina, and camu camu. All of Rebbl’s nourishing coconut milk elixirs feature superfoods for flavor and function. Moon Juice sells their own blends of herbs, adaptogens, and more, incorporating them into their snack line as well.
Are you thinking about jumping on any of these health trends in 2018? Let us know which ones interest you and why in a comment! 👇🏽