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13 hipster health food trends to look out for in 2017, according to wellness experts


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As the New Year brings with it a host of health and fitness resolutions, you’re probably wondering what you want in your kitchen cupboards to help you with your goals.

Acai berries, quinoa, baobab powder, maple water – the health food market is already flooded with “miracle” ingredients and it appears 2017 will be no different.

From algae omega-3 to purple food, experts reveal the healthy food trends we’ll be testing out in the New Year.

1. Tiger nuts

First of all, they aren’t really nuts. And secondly, they have nothing to do with tigers.

Tiger nuts are tiny root vegetables found in Africa and the Mediterranean and serve as traditional food in those areas.

Nutritionist Cassandra Burns says: “Tiger nuts are commonly found in the form of tiger nut flour.

“It’s a great alternative gluten-free, grain-free flour and are high in fibre and contain calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, amongst other valuable nutrients.”

2. Watermelon water

Move over coconut water and make room for the watermelon because 2017 is going to be all about watermelon water.

Burns says: “Like coconut water, it contains natural electrolyte minerals. It’s especially high in potassium, which has the benefit of keeping our blood pressure in a healthy range.

“It also contains lycopene – one of the most powerful and protective antioxidants found in plants.”

3. Omega 3 from algae

As we continue to see a shift towards organic and sustainable food sources, experts believe the market for omega 3 from algae is likely to increase.

As Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfood UK, explains: “We know that there is a real concern about the sustainability of fish due to over-farming of our oceans. Omega 3 from algae allows us to have the benefits of the nutrient without affecting our fish stock.”

4. Super spices

A spoonful of turmeric
(Nick Ansell/PA)
Foods such as avocado and quinoa are packed with health-boosting properties but let’s face it, they don’t go well with a steak pie or a Sunday roast.

And this is where “super spices” come in and leading the way is turmeric. In powder form, it can be added to certain recipes and comes with great health benefits.

As Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at Lily Soutter Nutrition, puts it: “This bright yellow spice is best known for its potent anti-inflammatory benefits and has been used to treat arthritis as well as play a role within cancer prevention and protection against heart disease.”

5. Cauliflower in all forms

You’ve probably heard of cauliflower rice and cauliflower pizza and you’re probably going to see more of them in 2016.

Burns says: “You can pulse raw florets in a food processor to make cauliflower rice, steam it and blend to make a delicious mash, or just remove the leaves, shove it in the oven and bake it whole.

“It’s low in carbs and calories and high in fibre, vitamin C, folate and potassium. It also contains compounds called glucosinolates, which are thought to have anti-cancer activity.”

6. Probiotic water

You’ve seen probiotic yoghurts and probably take probiotic supplements. Some of you adventurous health-loving foodies may have even sampled probiotic chocolate.

But now, it appears probiotic water is set to join the list of things that are good for our gut.

Wilkinson says: “Food and drink are becoming functional – this trend is an example of how we can get the goodness of water with the added health benefits of probiotics.”

7. Goat meat

Goat meat is part of a staple diet in North Africa, Middle East, the Caribbean and India, but it rarely makes it to the dinner table in the UK.

But Soutter believes all that is set to change next year. She says: “It’s hard to find goat meat in any of our local supermarkets. Despite this, there has been recent talk that Waitrose and Sainsbury’s may have goat meat available on their shelves by 2017.”

But what’s so great about goat meat? Burns says the meat is low in fat and higher in protein than some meats. She adds: “It’s also higher in iron than beef, pork or lamb.”

8. Filipino cuisine

Filipino food has been slow to catch on in the West but Soutter believes you are going to see more of this cuisine next year.

She says: “There are many healthy and flavoursome choices available such as Paket – a vegetable dish full of spices, adobo – meat marinated in vinegar and soy sauce, Ginataang – a fish stew, roasted lemon grass chicken as well as Tortang Talong – an aubergine and egg based breakfast.”

So get ready to swap your bacon and eggs for something more exotic for your first meal of the day.

9. Purple foods

Purple foods not only look great in Instagram photos, it appears they may have health-boosting properties too.

Soutter explains: “Purple kale, purple carrots, purple cauliflower, purple broccoli and the purple potato are all amazingly rich in anthocyanins – the antioxidant responsible for their purple colour and have amazing disease-fighting properties.

“They can soothe inflammation as well as boost immune function and have also been shown to improve memory and brain function.”

10. Sparkling tea

Experts say the word “sparkling” is associated with celebration and luxury, thanks to our love of champagne and prosecco, and the trend is being translated into health drinks too.

Soutter says: “We now have sparkling sugar-free infused water, as well as sparkling matcha tea. 2017 may just bring this trend to a whole new level.”

11. Adaptogens

Adaptogens are naturally occurring substances that can help our body adapt to and handle stress.

Herbs with adaptogenic properties – such as maca, licorice, ginseng, rhodiola and moringa – were used in ancient medicine, mainly Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, and Burns believes they could make a big comeback.

She says: “Adaptogens enable the body to access more cellular energy and enhance the ability to utilise oxygen more efficiently – all this whilst increasing the metabolism of cells and allowing them to eliminate greater amounts of toxic by-products.”

12. Sunflower protein powders

Plant-based protein powders are great for exercise recovery. But they could also be used by vegetarians and vegans looking for additional proteins to supplement their balanced diet.

Wilkinson explains: “We need protein for many reasons – not only for our muscles but also for building, healing and repairing most of the other tissues in our body, as well as producing a range of vital substances such as antibodies and hormones.

“For optimal wellbeing, an adult needs a minimum of around 0.8 to 1g of protein per kilo ‘ideal’ body weight per day. And this amount increases if you’re very active, or trying to build strength.”

13. Chewable probiotics

Well technically, this isn’t really food but our dental health is as important to us as our physical health and wellbeing.

And experts believe taking probiotics in chewable form could be one way to help prevent infections and build-up of bacteria in the mouth.

Burns says: “As well as taking care of our intestinal health, friendly bacteria also live in our mouth and help to take care of our teeth and gums too.

“For this reason, chewable probiotics could help to keep our oral health in check.”

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