As we gear up for the holiday season and all it brings, it’s never too early to consider how to make 2018 your strongest and healthiest year yet. A new year brings new choices and new goals, with simple changes increasing your longevity more than you might expect!
Maybe no one understands that better than Whole Foods Market. Their global buyers and experts — which include brand evangelists, environmentalists, and workers across the food industry — just released their most anticipated food trends for 2018.
They’re giving us a roadmap to future wellness and personal growth, working to boost our nutritional intake and beat back the habits which don’t do so much for our health.
1. Floral flavors
Edible petals are making their way from the high-end eateries to your dining room, with petals in your snacks and botanical flowers infused into drinks. Elderflower, rose, and lavender are taking over your cocktails — and it’s not just for show. When infused in tea or a liquid extract, the gorgeous hibiscus flower is filled with incredible health properties, lowering high blood pressure, easing stomachaches, and even having the potential to aid in weight loss.
2. Super powders
Mixing healthful powders into our drinks, baked goods, oatmeal, and even coffee can be a fast way to incorporate extra protein, collagen, and other nutrients, without adding many extra calories. These days, protein powders aren’t just for the buff weight lifters at the gym, with protein powders for women making a big leap forward. And drinking collagen may be the secret to bouncy and youthful skin. Also watch out for ground turmeric, as well as spirulina and powdered roots.
3. Functional mushrooms
Functional mushrooms like reishi, Cordyceps, lion’s mane, or chaga are traditionally used as dietary supplements, and are being added to things like teas, coffees, smoothies, and other drinks — bringing a rich and creamy flavor. The health benefits of mushrooms are pretty hard to argue with, as they’re proven to boost your immunity, support heart health, and even fight inflammation that may lead to cancer.
4. Feast from the Middle East
Treats from North Africa and the Middle East — think Arabic staples like falafel, Cypriot cheeses like halloumi, and spices like harissa and cardamom — are poised to ripen your table this 2018. Offering healthy, weight loss-revving fats from the Mediterranean diet, as well as the healing properties of cardamom, this diet is balanced and delicious, a welcome addition to the year.
5. Transparency 2.0
Knowing what you eat, down to calorie labels, GMOs, Fair Trade certifications, and animal welfare standards will be easier to do than ever before in 2018. Starting in January, Whole Foods will be making moves to make sure all of its products — like canned tuna — can be tracked to sustainable sources, and other companies are following suit.
6. High tech goes plant-forward
Going vegan isn’t what it once appeared to be. Today, you can eat vegan burgers that actually seem to “bleed”, “tuna” that is actually made from tomatoes, as well as yogurts and dips made from nuts and even peas. With the vegan diet offering an array of health benefits, including protection against certain cancers and type 2 diabetes, going vegan could be easier than ever before.
7. Puffed and popped snacks
The future of snacking means fewer calories and more exciting flavors, with new puffed and popped snacks — like seaweed fava chips and puffed pasta bow ties. In general, puffed snacks mean fewer carbohydrates, can be gluten-free, and could include an extra serving of vegetables.
8. Tacos come out of their shells
Tacos are advancing in the next year, coming out of their shell to allow for grain-free wraps, seaweed wraps (which offer tons of health benefits), heirloom corn tortillas, and even dessert varieties!
If we’re meant to use the entire animal — nose to tail — then why wouldn’t we use the entire vegetable? In 2018, we’ll move beyond the oft-touted benefits of kale, to eating pickled watermelon rinds, broccoli-stem slaw, and engaging with each portion of every fruit or vegetable we eat!
10. Say ‘cheers’ to the other bubbly
The old days of popping sodas are over. Now, you can get flavor with your bubbles, but without the sugar — which is doing more harm than you know. Whole Foods says 2018 will have inspired drinks made with maple and birch, and mocktails made from elderflowers and mint. This could not only help us to lower our alcohol intake, but stay hydrated, too.
With so many new healthful trends and innovations, there’s no excuse not to brighten up your 2018! You can learn more about where your food comes from, treat yourself without putting unhealthy ingredients in your body, and make life-changing alterations to what you eat and how. Plus, more tacos. Who could ever argue against that?