We have seen many foods come and go in the past few years and dare I say the Irish consumer has broadens his and her palate when it comes to food and nutrition. I remember when garlic was “fancy”! Now it’s so common and actually very good for heart health as it happens. We have seen Himalayan Pink Salt, Chia Seeds, and everything from sashimi to smoothies come and go. What’s next in food? What are the trends to look out for this year in Food and Nutrition? Here is a quick list I put together. Try them all before you judge and enjoy!

  1. Veganism

I really don’t believe this is a “trend” as such or indeed what might be defined a lifestyle by many. Veganism has been around for centuries and is omnipresent in many cultures. Ireland has 10 times the rate of Colorectal Cancer associated with meat consumption when compared to India where only 7% of the population eat meat daily!

Steering clear of all animal proteins is something which frightens many people. We live in a country which produces the best beef, meat and dairy in the world many might say. So, dare anyone say a word against foods ingrained our moral fibre! Research indicates that vegans live longer, healthier lives! For those worried about inadequate protein, don’t! It’s impossible to find any vegetable which does not have protein and all protein sources are actually healthier than animal sources. In terms of Sports Nutrition and Performance -this is the future! It is a bold statement but from my years of research and work in the area, I believe that that vegan athletes will start to dominate sport. My best advice is to ease yourself into it. You need to develop the taste buds and skills to make the full change but there are amazingly tasty vegan options out there now. You read it here first -it is the future.

  1. Gut Friendly Foods

This one has already hit in case you didn’t notice. Everything from Kimchi to Keffir has now hit the shelves and restaurants. So, what is this about? This is about keeping our gut bacteria in balance and healthy. In most cases we are encouraged to eat live cultured yogurt which is a pre-biotic. Meaning this feeds the good bacteria in our large intestine and we break down food easily and better absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Any food which has been fermented will help our gut bacteria. 80% of our immune cells are manufactured in our gastro-intestinal tract. This gives us a very clear indication about the importance of keeping it healthy. Like everything in food, keep it in balance and don’t go crazy or you will end up with an upset tummy.

  1. Hawaiian Cuisine

Maybe you have already tried a “Poke” bowl? Poke bowls generally have some raw fish like tuna along with some rice, vegetables and sauce. One could call it a deconstructed sushi roll! These are refreshing and healthy for the most part. Anything with fresh fish and vegetables can only be good. Give them a try and enjoy the benefits of Omega threes on your skin and hair, as well as the protein hit.

  1. South American Foods

Ok, so you can call me bias here! The other half of My Nutrition is South American and these lovely recipes she prepares may even have an inspired South American twist at times. It is coming as a trend in the form of purple potatoes, corn pancakes called Arepas and a purple rice drink called “chicha”. Not only have I tried these, but I can actually make Arepas! They are so tasty and healthy as well. I lived in South America for nearly two years and I sincerely miss the food. They have a lot to teach us. Embrace it! It is tasty and healthy. The focus is on fresh fish, fresh starches and herbs and loads of fresh fruit. Looking good is a major thing in South America as so much time is spent on the beach, so the food must reflect that as well.

  1. Nootropics

This was a new word for me but not a new concept. Nootropics is eating foods which keep the brain healthy. I have always advocated for Algae or fish oils which contain EPA and DHA. These fatty acids maintain a healthy brain function and prevent onset of brain disease. If we are looking at food to help run our super-computer then watch for salmon, oily fish and any oil which contains EPA and DHA. Although I don’t usually recommend any brands, you can find these in a new Irish Healthy Oil called Sussed which is great for cooking and has EPA and DHA.

This is just a glimpse of what is coming in terms of trends. I’m sure we will see lots of other trends. Please be careful and mindful when it comes to any foods making extravagant promises around health and weight loss especially. There are always companies and people who will to make claims and take advantage of people. Enjoy your food and your health and remember to always take a balanced approach. Sharing your food experiences with friends is a really healthy way to enjoy food and improve your health. Write to us with any questions around food or nutrition, we love to hear from you. [email protected]