Trends come and go in the health world, but when it comes to certain health trends, some deserve our attention more than others. Some “trends” are actually fantastic health choices to make. Below you’ll find some health trends I think everyone should get on board with, that have substantial benefits behind their trendy allure. Be sure to let me know if you have any too, as I always enjoy learning what health trends others out there feel we could all benefit from.
Organic used to be one of the popular health trends for individuals who could afford pricier sources of food, but not anymore. With the recent understanding that pesticide consumption from conventional produce can cause everything from birth defects to poor nutrient absorption, organic is more important than ever. Not to mention that conventional sources of meat and dairy contain hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and GMOs. Organic foods are also becoming more affordable than ever, which is so encouraging, and much needed since they haven't been affordable for many families and individuals out there. I find it incredible that super centers like Walmart and Target now carry organic produce at a very inexpensive price, with some options being equal in costs to conventional choices. This is one health trend I think everyone should make room for in their budget, along with organic meat and dairy to avoid pesticides, toxic chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, and steroids in our food. Get back to nature and go organic, you all! It even tastes better, so you get more for your money in both taste and nutrition!
2. Minimally Processed
Another trend people seem to be turning to more these days is minimally processed foods. Consumers are understanding now more than ever that the more a food is processed, the less nutritional value it holds. I think this is extremely important and a trend we should all get on board with. Choose foods at the store with optimally one ingredient. Try to choose more foods that don’t even have a nutrition label, such as whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of cereals, and leafy greens instead of canned varieties. Frozen vegetables, plain dairy, organic meats, and wild seafood are all the second best options for consuming in processed form, along with nuts, seeds, and healthy fats like cold-pressed oils. Though these are processed, they are minimally processed, which means they’re closer to their original state than most other food choices.
3. Vegetarian Meals
Americans also now understand how important it is to choose vegetarian or even vegan meals whenever possible. Reducing our animal food intake can help us not only live longer, according to research, but also reduce many diseases this country faces. Plus, it’s a better choice for the environment, and is one everyone can do, if just once a week to start.
4. Back to the Basics
Along with all the superfood choices we have today, a new health trend is learning to go back to the basics on what we consider what it means to be healthy. For instance, though acai berries are incredible for you, be sure to never to forget how healthy basic foods like blueberries and strawberries are. Or, instead of trying to consume massive amounts of the superfood kale, don’t forget about the humble broccoli either. And sure, quinoa is fantastic for you, but rolled oats are actually higher in nutrients overall, and much cheaper. Never forget about the basics when you’re looking to get healthy. Most of the time, the best healthy choices for your budget are found in the simplest options you have.
5. Sugar Reduction
Luckily, one health trend that is finally taking off rapidly is reducing the sugar in our diets. I love that more individuals are being more aware of added sugars in their diet with incredible amounts of widespread health concerns in our country today regarding excess sugar intake. Now don't worry, I’m not talking about sugar from whole foods like fruits and vegetables or plain dairy. I’m referring to those sugary cereals, protein bars, processed snacks, and processed juices so many people consume today that have added sugars, not sugars found in the original whole food. Even if a product says it has natural sugars, that doesn't mean it is added sugar free. Natural sugars like agave and maple syrup, along with a host of others, might be natural, but still raise your glycemic index, no matter what they advertise differently. Becoming more aware of added sugars in the diet is something everyone can benefit from, and something I’d recommend everyone hop on board with. Sugar reduction is, in my opinion, much more than a trend, but a necessary step towards optimal health. It’s also one you can do easily! Just start reading labels and avoid any added sugars in the ingredient list. If you’re not sure what added sugars include, you can visit a handy list here: choosemyplate.gov.
6. Whole Foods
Consuming whole foods instead of processed foods derived from whole foods is also a trend catching on today. I am glad to see that this trend is something we should have been on board with a long time ago. Instead of buying products made from grains, consumers are now buying their grains in their whole food form. Instead of purchasing processed snacks with fruits in them, people are now turning to whole fruit sources, and instead of using an abundance of protein bars and shakes, consumers are now eating more whole food sources of protein, such as meat, eggs, fish, and dairy, along with plant proteins like nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, and beans. Plus, some people are avoiding supermarkets altogether, and growing their own fruits and vegetables, or joining a co-op to get the best foods possible in whole form. Many people now even grind their own grains at home, and purchase meat and eggs from a local farm to ensure they're getting truly whole foods, however possible.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Coconut oil is, by far, one of the most popular health trends today, and has been for several years for many reasons. Due to the fact it is antiviral, and that it spikes metabolism and thyroid function, coconut oil is now being seen as a necessary ingredient in everyone’s kitchen. I’ve seen multitudes of benefits in my diet from using coconut oil and other real food sources of fat and love that others are benefiting from it as well. Consuming coconut oil is something anyone can easily do, and it has finally given us a much needed change from the fat phobia America faced decades ago.
There are many more health food trends that are worth giving our attention to. Even just deciding what trends you like, and taking the bests of each one can be beneficial. I always advise eating for health, however, and not just to be trendy. What’s your favorite health food trend that you believe is worth getting on board with?