10 healthy food trends for 2023
Healthy food is an increasingly popular trend in modern society, with people looking for ways to improve their health and wellbeing. Here are 7 trends in healthy food for 2023:
1. Plant-based diets
More people are choosing diets that primarily consist of plant-based foods, such as veganism and vegetarianism. This is driven by concerns about animal welfare, environmental issues, and health benefits. A plant-based diet is a diet where mainly or exclusively foods of plant origin are eaten. This means the diet mainly consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and plant-based oils. People who follow a plant-based diet generally avoid animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, and eggs, but some may eat small amounts of these products. Plant-based diets are often associated with health benefits, including a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer. It can also contribute to sustainability and animal welfare.
2. Local and seasonal food
More people are choosing diets that primarily consist of locally sourced and seasonal foods. Local and seasonal food refers to food that is grown or produced in the region or area where it will be consumed and is harvested during the time of year when it is naturally in season. This means that the food is fresher and has not traveled long distances, which can result in a lower carbon footprint and reduce the use of preservatives and other additives. Eating local and seasonal food also supports local farmers and food producers, as well as helps to preserve local food traditions and biodiversity. In contrast, consuming food that is not in season or imported from far away locations can contribute to environmental issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity.
There is increasing research on foods that can improve brain function and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Brain-boosting foods are foods that are believed to enhance cognitive function and support brain health. These foods are typically rich in certain nutrients that have been shown to positively affect brain function, including:
- Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish such as salmon, as well as in walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
- Antioxidants, which are found in berries, dark chocolate, and green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach.
- B vitamins, which are found in whole grains, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.
- Caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, and dark chocolate.
- Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric that has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Some brain-boosting foods may also help to reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is important to note that a healthy, balanced diet overall is key to supporting brain health, and that no single food or nutrient can guarantee improved cognitive function or the prevention of cognitive decline.
4. Gut-friendly foods
There is a growing awareness of the importance of gut health, and more people are seeking out probiotic and prebiotic foods to support digestive health. These foods typically contain fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics that nourish and support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Foods that are considered gut-friendly include:
- Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, which contain probiotics that help populate the gut with beneficial bacteria.
- Prebiotic foods, such as onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas, and oats, which contain indigestible fibers that nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- High-fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which can improve digestive health by promoting regularity and preventing constipation.
- Bone broth, which contains nutrients that support gut health, including collagen, glutamine, and glycine.
- Healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocado, and fatty fish, which can help reduce inflammation in the gut.
Overall, gut-friendly foods can improve digestion, boost immunity, and may even have a positive impact on mental health.
This is a diet where periods of fasting are alternated with periods of normal eating. It can help with weight loss, improving blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation.
There are several different methods of intermittent fasting, but the most common ones include:
- 16/8 method: This involves fasting for 16 hours each day and eating during an 8-hour window.
- 5:2 method: This involves eating normally for 5 days of the week and restricting calorie intake to 500-600 calories for 2 non-consecutive days.
- Alternate-day fasting: This involves fasting every other day, with a normal calorie intake on non-fasting days.
6. High-fiber healthy foods
High-fiber foods are an essential part of a healthy diet as they provide a range of health benefits, including improved digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Here are some high-fiber healthy foods:
- Whole grains: Whole-grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and oatmeal are all good sources of fiber.
- Fruits: Berries, apples, pears, oranges, bananas, and kiwi are all high-fiber fruits.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and artichokes are all high in fiber.
- Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and peas are all good sources of fiber.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are all high in fiber.
- Avocado: Avocado is a great source of fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients.
It’s important to gradually increase fiber intake and drink plenty of water to prevent digestive discomfort. Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
There is increasing attention on healthy fats such as unsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Examples of foods rich in healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
8. Personalization of food
Consumers want more control over their diet and are looking for ways to customize their food to their individual needs and preferences. This can be done through personalized diets and DNA testing to determine which nutrients are most beneficial for an individual.
There are several ways in which food can be personalized:
- Nutritional counseling: A registered dietitian can provide personalized nutrition recommendations based on an individual’s health status, dietary restrictions, and personal preferences.
- Genetic testing: Genetic testing can help identify genetic variations that may impact an individual’s nutrient needs or food sensitivities.
- Personalized nutrition apps: There are several nutrition apps that use algorithms to provide personalized nutrition recommendations based on an individual’s dietary habits, lifestyle, and health goals.
- Food tracking: Tracking food intake using a food diary or app can help individuals identify areas where their diet may be lacking and make personalized adjustments.
- Meal delivery services: Meal delivery services can provide personalized meal plans based on an individual’s dietary preferences and nutritional needs.
Personalization of food can help individuals make more informed and healthful food choices and improve overall health and well-being.
9. Healthy snacking
The demand for convenient, healthy snacks continues to grow, with more options available that are low in sugar, high in protein, and made with whole foods.
10. Immune-boosting foods
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased interest in foods that support immune function, such as vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, ginger, and turmeric.
In 2023, these trends are expected to become even more important in the food industry, with more attention on healthy and sustainable food choices. Which trends do you think are important in 2023?