Take control of your diet for a healthier, happier you!
A glance at the trending food blogs that everyone is reading this year tells us what people are choosing to eat in 2019. These include high protein foods created in labs; products infused with probiotics; ‘new ‘ finds like coconut oil and ghee are being incorporated into all kinds of foods, including chocolates; and of course, fusion meals that are visual delights are in – for the gram!
Many of these choices are dictated by their presumed benefits
For example, people are focusing on high protein foods for the brain; probiotics is in the limelight for its digestive properties, as gut health and digestion is becoming a cause for concern; and oils like coconut and ghee bring with it the promise of beauty, smoother, clearer skin and so on.
Eating local is becoming fashionable too. Let me rephrase that. It is ancient traditional food that is in the spotlight, but the irony is that the further off it travels to reach you, the more it is appreciated. So much for local!
In the midst of these trends and fads that are making a splash worldwide, Pristine health and nutrition experts would like to weigh in with our foods trends for 2019. These are in no particular order of importance:
Turmeric is still trending
Last year turmeric, our good old haldi, was consumed in every possible food, including turmeric lattes. 2019 will see it picking up even more steam. The curcumin in the spice is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and boosts resistance to infections, as every granny worth her salt will tell you. What the West does not take into account is that its efficacy is enhanced by the addition of black pepper. So whenever you use turmeric, be sure to add a generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper to your recipe.
Veganism is on the rise
Going vegan? Even if you’re not, you should know this great flax seed egg substitute. It is such a nutritious replacement for egg in your bake recipes, and works just as well. The seeds are loaded with vitamin E, B and other important minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc to name a few), and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Not egg-citing you enough? Then pick up a pack of toasted flax seeds. Grind them coarsely and store. They have a delicious nutty flavor that enhances just about anything. Add to yogurt, smoothies, granolas, baked goodies, salads or salad dressings, and sandwich spreads.
Sugar: the root of all evil
Last year’s war on fat has given way to this year’s Public Enemy No. 1: Sugar. Recent studies show that a high consumption of sugar has a very negative impact on metabolism, and significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. This is particularly true of sugars added to processed foods. The best thing you could do for your health is give up sugar, extremely difficult because of its addictive nature. The next best thing would be to replace sugar with honey, stevia, jaggery, coconut sugar, and other natural sweeteners.
Ghee whiz it’s ‘IN’
The Keto fad last year triggered off a bunch of low-carb, high-fat diets. And one such fat hitting the top of the charts is our humble desi ghee. As we’ve been told time and again, it lubricates the joints, is great for the skin, strengthens immunity, improves digestion, memory and heart health…the benefits are endless. Interestingly, lactose-intolerant people are also sitting up and taking notice of this superfood, obtained by slow heating to separate the fat from lactose and milk proteins.
Bullet-proof coffee, served with a dollop of desi ghee is the new weight-loss mantra!
What’s the story on the label
More than ever, consumers are trying to avoid nitrites, sulphites and carcinogens in their foods. This movement towards natural foods and healthy, more organic eating is incomplete without paying attention to ingredients, manufacturing processes and supply chain. Consumers want transparency, and governments too are compelling the food industry to clearly state ingredients on food packaging. Time to learn how to decipher food labels, check for fat, sugar and preservative content, see that FSSAI certifications are clearly marked on organic food products and know that you are getting exactly what you bargained for.
Alternatives to allergenic foods
As the number of people with food intolerances and allergies is exploding, so is the demand for vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free food products that soothe the gut rather than inflame it. Naturally, millets are making a come-back, in a big way. Nine varieties, navadanya, are grown by small dry land farmers across India. And, because these tiny grains are non-glutinous and do not form acids, they are considered amongst the least allergenic and the most soothing and digestible of grains available. Plus, millets make a healthier meal, with twice the dietary fiber than rice, wheat or oats.
A word about local foods
Local foods are great…if they remain local. Not much point hauling tons of goji berries from across the world at tremendous cost, only to find that its nutritional value has halved in the process of packaging and marketing it. That rather defeats the purpose doesn’t it!
The 2019 food trend is clearly getting orientated towards more responsible consumption, with less food waste, healthier food choices, more tastes and flavors, also more vegetables from the kitchen garden, and more transparency in labels. It is embracing the larger picture and moving towards a more holistic lifestyle, solicitous of our health of course, but also concerned about the environment and the planet.