Hottest food trends of 2016: Power bowls to spiralised vegetable

  • Susan Jose, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 06, 2016 16:30 IST
This year, full-fat dairy products and ancient grains will make a comeback; however sugar will be shunned, predict nutritionists. (Shutterstock)

When it comes to nutrition trends, this year will see several comebacks. Experts predict that new trends like power bowls (a bowl full of foods that charge you up) and spiralized vegetable (vegetables that are cut using spiralizing machines to avoid chopping) will also make a mark in 2016. Whether old or new, all these trends have a common goal — to help you maintain a healthy diet minus the monotony.

1 Grains and pulses

Millet is a healthy, ancient grain . (Shutterstock)

Experts are of the opinion that sprouted grains and ancient grains (such as quinoa and millet) will make a comeback this year. Quinoa is being touted as the new kid on the protein block. It has fibre that is known to reduce bad cholesterol. Alfalfa, too, is set to gain popularity this year. In fact, the United Nations has declared 2016 as the ‘International Year of the Pulse’. With the vegan diet also gaining more popularity, pulses like moong and matki will also be in high demand.

2 Spiralized vegetables

Spiralizing is a fun way to get your fill of fresh produce. (Shutterstock)

Vegetables like carrots, turnips, beetroots, cucumbers and zucchinis are being‘spiralized’ into pasta-like forms using julienne peelers and spiralizing machines. The idea behind this is to chop a vegetable as little as possible to keep its nutritional value intact. These vegetable forms are definitely a treat to the eyes, and surely give the usual salads a more interesting spin.

3 Sustainable diets

Sustainable diets are set to be a rage this year. (Shutterstock)

“Does my diet contribute to environmental harm?” is a question many are asking. Such health and fitness enthusiasts will make a conscious effort to choose foods that will leave minimal carbon footprint. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report suggests that the environmental impact of food production is a cause for concern. Therefore, sustainable diets are set to be a rage this year.

4 Full-fat dairy products

Experts believe that this year will see a drop in the demand for fat-free dairy products. (Shutterstock)

The fat component of milk is packed with bioactive compounds like conjugated linoleic acid. Research suggests that these bioactive compounds decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, obesity, Type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. They also reduce the growth of cancer cells. This news has led to the acceptance of dairy in its wholesome form. Experts believe that this year will see a drop in the demand for fat-free dairy products.

5 Mindfulness

Mindfulness encourages one to become aware of the food they are consuming. (Shutterstock)

The key to maintaining a healthy diet lies in knowing that everything consumed in moderation is okay. This is where mindfulness comes in. It encourages you to become aware of the food you are consuming.

6 Soups

Soups can help avoid obesity. (Shutterstock)

Soups will be more than just appetisers this year. Nutrition experts advise you to switch over from watery broths to thicker soups, such as those made with lentils or mixed vegetables. These soups are considered more satiating than traditional dinner meals, and can help avoid obesity as well.

7 No sugar

If one wants to live a healthy life, then one needs to discard sugar from their diets. (Shutterstock)

A recent research stated that people living in Blue Zones (places with maximum population of centenarians — Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra Region, Sardinia; Loma Linda, USA; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica), lived longer because of their sugar-free diets. The bad effects of sugar (its carcinogenic properties; and it increases the risk of heart disease) were known, but in the light of these findings, it became quite clear that if one wants to live a healthy life, then one needs to discard sugar from their diets.

8 Power bowls

Rens Kroes , a foodie, blogger & health coach, makes recipes with the most natural and nutritious ingredients. (YouTube)

Instagram feeds of popular food-bloggers such as Rens Kroes and Lisa Van Cuijk attracted a lot of attention to terms such as ‘power food’ and ‘power bowls’ (a bowl full of foods that keep you charged). Given how attractive these colourful power bowls look, it comes as no surprise that health enthusiasts have eagerly dug into this trend, which is set to gain even more popularity this year.

9 Probiotics

Food items like curd and banana contain probiotic bacteria. (Shutterstock)

The phrase ‘gut feeling’ got a whole new meaning, when a recent research established the connection between our brain and our guts. The study looked into the relationship between our gut’s microbiome (bacteria) and our brain. Experts say that 90% of all neurotransmitters like serotonin are present in our guts. This makes the guts our secondary brain. Since food items like curd and kefir contain probiotic bacteria, health conscious people will opt for them in order to maintain their microbiome levels.

— With inputs from Dr Amrapali Patil, nutritionist and yoga guru

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