From gluten-free to 100% natural, there are a lot of buzz words appearing on food packaging these days. However, it can be difficult to know which health food trends are worth following and which ones to skip. See our favorites below.
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Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein; one cup of quinoa contains 8 grams of protein. Compared to other grains, quinoa has almost twice as much fiber, which helps keep you feeling full longer, and is also a good source of iron, magnesium and riboflavin. Erin Stutland, creator of Shrink Session, hopes the quinoa trend is here to stay because it is so healthy for you. However, she suggests preparing it at home as you can often make the same dish yourself for much cheaper.
Fermented foods are preserved by natural bacteria feeding off the carbohydrates in the food, which produces lactic acid. The result is the creation of probiotics and healthful enzymes, which help improve gut health and boost the immune system. Fermentation also helps break down the food, making it easier to digest. Examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, pickles, miso, kefir, and Kombucha tea.
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Erin hopes people will continue to enjoy green juice after the trend fades, as it is good for everyone. It can be difficult to consume the recommended amount of vegetables per day, but green juice makes it easy to get the nutrients you need. Green juice can also help expand the variety of vegetables you eat, which helps make sure you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals.
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Chia seeds have had their time in the spotlight, and hemp seeds are beginning to become more popular. While there is room for a variety of seeds in your diet, hemp seeds contain 50% more protein than chia and flax seeds, making them a great option for those who don’t consume meat. They also contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help support brain function. Try them sprinkled on yogurt or blended into a smoothie.
Going meatless even one or two days a week can have benefits on your health as well as the environment. Flexitarians tend to have a lower BMI than meat-eaters. Additionally, omitting meat from your diet some or all of the time can help you consume less calories and fat, and lower your cholesterol. If you’re unsure about going vegetarianism, flexitarianism can be a great way to introduce more plant-based foods into your diet.
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Said to be the next quinoa, teff is a tiny seed grown in Ethiopia. Teff is actually the smallest grain in the world, but is packed with protein, calcium and iron. It can be substituted for wheat flour and is naturally gluten-free, making it a good option for those avoiding gluten.
The Paleo diet is based on the fact that our bodies haven’t changed since the Paleolithic times. On this diet, you’ll stick to eating like the cave people did, consuming a clean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, meats and fish. The Paleo diet is beneficial as it is an easy way to avoid processed foods, and incorporates plenty of protein and healthy fats into your diet. The protein and healthy fats will help you feel full, so you’re able to stick to this natural way of eating.