2015 was a big year for everybody. The Starbucks frappuccino was invented, Amazon was started and for the first time we had DVDs. No wait, that’s 1995. Seems like we’ve come very far since then (technology wise), but what about health? New trends start all the time, but only few are worth following. Today, we take a look at health & food trends that dominated the year 2015 and seem like they will continue into 2016.
1. Coconut Oil
It’s everywhere, in our kitchens and even our bathrooms. Coconut oil pulling, was a big trend this year with many people claiming that it has a wide variety of benefits for their teeth. Aside from oral health, coconut oil was used for skincare, cooking and consumed raw for its nutrient content. Looks like coconut oil is one superfood that is here to stay.
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You may have seen it in the stores, but you may have willfully ignored it. This grain has been a staple food in Ethiopian cuisine for over a thousand years. The grains are incredible tiny. It takes about 100 of them to make a wheat sized kernel. Containing plenty of nutrients like Iron, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium, this tiny grain has become a big deal in 2015.
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3. Beetroot and Beet Greens
Everyone is familiar with beets. Up until recently people were discarding the greens, as they didn’t know its perks. Aside from the fact that beets (and beet greens) can survive nearly freezing temperatures, they also contain plenty of Vitamin A, C, calcium and iron. Beet greens are a great addition to any salad, and together with beet roots, they’ve grown quite popular this year.
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4. Local and Non-GMO foods
Rise of GMOs ignited a fire and gave way to the organic market. Hyperlocal, straight from the farm markets flourished. The demand for organic, non-gmo products hasn’t stopped growing. As long as harmful additives and GMOs keep creeping into the market, the organic market will continue the uptrend.
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5. More Braising, Less Roasting
More restauraunts are offering braised meats than ever. Braising uses a combination of moist and dry heat to cook the meat to perfection. Braising allows for connective tissues to break down and also for the meat to absorb some flavor, resulting in a more tender and succulent meat. It used to be a method to get more flavor out of older and less-desirable meats, but has gained more popularity every year.
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6. Gluten-Free Flours
With celiac disease getting more exposure and more people gaining benefits from a gluten-free diet, it’s no wonder that gluten-free flour was a major trend for 2015.
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7. Express Workouts
We have been told for a while, that longer workouts may not be better. However, it may not be due to health concerns that a whole new type of workout industry has grown. Express workouts, or those with high intensity, more functional exercises and lesser workout times have dominated 2015.
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8. Nut-based Vegan Cheeses
Vegans are still craving cheese and luckily there are more and more alternatives. 2015 proved to be a big year for dairy cheese alternatives. Vegan cheeses were heavily criticized for their poor taste, but either the customers have grown used to it or more likely, better tasting vegan cheeses were made.
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9. Grass-fed Meats
Everyone knows, “you are what you eat”. This is no different for animals. What animals are fed, injected, and what kind of environment they’re in affects the quality of the meat. In 2015, demand for grass-fed meat has grown to all time highs.
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10. Cage-free Eggs
Chickens kept in cages suffer from lack of space, which makes them more vulnarable to infections and disease. A study analyzed over 5000 egg farms and found that eggs from caged chickens are 25 times more likely have salmonella, which causes over 300 deaths every year in US alone. While cage-free eggs are far from perfect, they have been quite popular in 2015.
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11. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are everywhere! Full of healthy fats, antioxidants and fiber, these precious seeds are not only beneficial but they add a unique twist to drinks and meals. Chia seeds seem to have lost very little steam going into 2016.
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12. Wearable Fitness Tech
First we put clocks on our mobile phones, so we wouldn’t have to look at our watches, then we put our mobile phones on our watches so we wouldn’t look at our phones. And now, we are putting fitness trackers on our wrists as well. During 2015, the technology startup boom has resulted in a surplus of gadgets for fitness enthusiasts and they may be here to stay.
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13. Avoidance of Artificial Ingredients
Artificial ingredients are nearly everywhere. Seems like 2015 was a wake-up year for many, as they turned towards artificial ingredient and sweetener-free products instead. Many more people are researching the health affects of artificial ingredients according to the search volumes.
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14. Return to Full-Fat Foods
Many myths have been busted regarding cholesterol and fat. Researchers found that not all fat and cholesterol is bad, and that in fact there’s a healthy side to both of them. This may explain the returning popularity of full-fat foods.
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15. Vegetable Pasta
The vegetarian market is expanding faster than ever. Combine that with those on gluten-free diets, and it’s no wonder that foodies are looking for alternatives to the traditional wheat-based pasta. Veggie pasta has been a hot trend for 2015 and seems like there’s no stopping it in 2016.
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