Nutrition fashion 2017

Every year we come across new crash diet and fashionable nutrition trends that we haven’t seen before. From Quinoa, Chia seeds, Acai berry, Coconut oil, Garinia Combogia to Kombucha tea, people like Dr. Oz and millions of dollars of advertising makes us belief that we have just discovered a new fountain of youth. For some miraculous reason, the fad wears off over time and we are back at it again.

Well, 2017 has old and new things in store for you, some myths, some trends funded by interest groups or companies, and some trends that might actually make sense. Here are some that I have been watching:

#1 Alternative Sugars

Recently the stores are flooded with all kinds of sugars that I had never heard about. Palm sugar, Coconut Sugar, Agave Nectar, and Date sugar. They do sound like “better” sugar than the usual refined white sugar most of us have in our kitchen, but are they really? Regardless of where the sugar comes from, it is still sugar and we should be careful in using it in moderation.

#2 Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

Broccoli rabe, known as Rapini in Italy, is a bitter cruciferous vegetable, much like brussels sprouts. The little flowers at the end look like broccoli and therefore the name. It is similar to dandelion greens, Turnip greens or Mustard greens in its nutritional profile. So, I am not sure what the hype is all about.

#3 Teff

If you have been to an Ethiopian restaurant, you definitely have tried Injera, a very popular flatbread. It’s made with Teff, a gluten free grain that is now in fashion considering people are getting a little bored with Quinoa. Teff definitely has higher protein content than Quinoa and it contain the right kind of protein, Lysine, essential for muscle repair. Teff also contains albumins (the primary protein in blood plasma), making it a good alternative to eggs for vegans.

Another benefit that is claimed about Teff is that it is primarily resistant starch, a dietary fiber that promotes colon health, balanced weight, and blood sugar levels. Personally, I like the taste of Injera bread and don’t much care if it is made with Quinoa or Teff.

#4 Matcha Meals

Matcha is basically finely pulverized green tea powder. Expensive grades are grown in shades that developes more caffeine. Recently it has found its way into coffee shops, desserts and ice creams due to its attention for being marketed as something that increases metabolism and possibly an aid in weight loss.

#5: Sacha Inchi Nuts​

Straight from Amazon forest, this seed (or nut) was used by Incas to treat burn and skin irritation.  Its oil is promoted big time by the cosmetic industry from moisturizer to treating cellulite. The seeds contain tryptophan—an essential amino acid that increases the production of serotonin. So weight-loss aside, eating it will supposedly make you calmer and happier and help you sleep more soundly.

#6 Lucuma

Beloved by the Incas, Lucuma is a nutritious Peruvian fruit that in its whole form looks very close to an avocado. It has a hard green exterior covering the sweet, soft and yellow fruit. Lucuma is nutritious, it contains beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein. You can use Lucuma in smoothies, ice cream or desserts.

According to ancient wisdom around this fruit, it is said to support skin health and digestion. Recent studies have shown that lucuma oil may be helpful for supporting wound healing by encouraging the activation of healing factors within the skin. Its action might be very similar to Turmeric.

#7 Baobab Fruit

A tree native to tropical regions in Africa, Baobab is anything but new to Africa but for America, it sounds like just the right thing to happen this year. Baobab fruits have been harvested by African tribes for centuries for medicinal purposes. Western companies discovered and started bringing them to developed nations positioned as health and wellness produce for the extreme benefits the fruit is claimed to provide.

Well, it’s a fruit and it sure is rich source of antioxidants, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Beyond that, time will decide how much it racks up against Apples or Bananas.

#8 Cactus Water

Coconut water has been on a nutritionally superior beverage category for a while now and looking at the price of the product in the market, it might be rolling off the hype just to give way to the new entry in this category, Cactus water.

Cactus water made from prickly pear cactus has been touted to contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and have anti-inflammatory properties. Particularly, Cactus water is high on betalains, which can help fight cell damage.

 

How much of the claims related to these food fads are nutritionally sound advice, time and research will uncover. It is very likely, that after the companies and interest groups behind promotion of these products have made their fair share of money, some of these will disappear. However, you are likely to see these loading up on your local health food stores for some time to come. 

 

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