Food Trends 2023: Seaweed, dates, fermented drinks, vegan snacks and more
As the world focuses more on wellness and sustainability, be ready to sample foods that leave you with a healthier body, mind and a safer planet. Here are top food trends that will shape our eating habits in 2023.
Food trends come and go, shaping the way we think about what we eat and drink. Food is a big part of the new year, be it celebrations or the resolutions to eat responsibly, sustainably or in moderation for health or weight management issues. What we eat and how it has a deep impact on our well-being. Food has a complex interplay with our moods and energy, influencing our thoughts and performance. Global food trends show that 2023 is going to be a year where people will make food choices that are more sustainable and functional, targeting certain specific health issues in addition to nourishing overall health.
Talking to HT Lifestyle, Prakriti Poddar, Global Head, Mental Health and Wellbeing, RoundGlass, explains, “Global food trends for 2023 are closely aligned to mental wellbeing and health. The focus is on marrying scientific knowledge to indigenous wisdom in food to achieve harmony between eating and overall wellness.” Food and wellbeing experts at RoundGlass have curated some exciting food trends that will dominate dinner tables in 2023 and help us live with greater wellbeing.
(Also read: From health-conscious treats to gourmet sweets: Dessert trends forecast for 2023 )
1. Gut-strengthening Foods
The gut, our second brain, is emerging as a strong focus area in food. More than 70% of our immune system resides in the gut, which also has deep connections with our mental wellbeing. “Food experts, healthcare professionals and therapists are now understanding that there is a deep connection between gut health and mental and emotional wellbeing,” says Poddar.
A gut-healthy diet is diverse and largely plant-based including vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, probiotics (fermented foods such as yoghurt, buttermilk, kefir, kombucha etc), prebiotics (banana, oats, garlic, etc.), fibre-rich foods, and fermented foods.
2. Food for Better Sleep
More than 60% of adults worldwide suffer from sleep issues. There’s an increasing focus on foods that can help us get a good night’s sleep, which is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. Foods such as milk, bananas, curd (dahi), oats, almonds, walnuts and cottage cheese (paneer) can help us rest and sleep better.
3. Plant-Forward Diets
Including foods made from plants, such as pasta made from vegetables and plant-based milk will turn the spotlight on healthy innovations in food. As people are turning more conscious of climate change and mindful of their carbon footprint, they will embrace plant-rich diets that are safer for the planet.
4. Healthier Sugar Alternatives
Humans’ addiction to sugar will not disappear but healthier sugar alternatives, such as dates, will become more popular. Dates, with their abundant reserves of disease-fighting antioxidants, fibre, and natural sugars such as fructose are good for the heart and have also been linked to better gut and brain health.
5. Kelp, the Superfood from Sea
This stringy brown algae or seaweed grows in abundance along India’s coastline and is part of the traditional coastal cuisine – kelp pickle, fried kelp, kelp payasam. Now, it’s trending globally as a superfood to watch out for because of its enviable nutrition profile and the ability to absorb carbon. With its rich calcium content, it’s great for bone health, high iodine reserves ensure effective thyroid function, it is good for sugar management and is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. India is aggressively pursuing commercial kelp farming for exports even as the domestic market eagerly awaits processed versions such as kelp chips and noodles.
6. Indian Flavours
Asian and Indian cooking styles of pairing sweet and sour or sweet and spicy flavours will find much traction. Indian flavours and herbs such as ‘ashwagandha’ and vetiver (khus khus) are being tick boxed by global food pundits.
7. Healthy Snacks and Functional Foods
As flexible work routines and focus on wellness continue to trend, healthy snacking will witness a healthy demand. Expect sugar-free, gluten-free, fortified, protein-packed, millet-based, seed-enriched, vegan etc. snacks to sell like hot cakes. Snacking on functional foods such as seeds, unsalted nuts and berries will also pick up.
“Food is a primal mental and emotional response for humans. We reach out to food when we are happy, sad, or angry. In 2023 we will see trends that associate ingredients, global and regional Indian recipes and diet patterns that are strongly aligned to gut health and mental wellbeing,” Poddar sums up.
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