Move over, kale. Every year, new health foods make their way into the mainstream. They take over the supermarket shelves and our Insta feeds and before long, we can’t remember a time when they didn’t exist. We’re a few months into 2019, and here’s what’s trending so far…
Isn’t it funny how we love the foods we hated as a kid? I wouldn’t touch cauliflower when I was little, but now, I eat it all the time. This trend started a few years ago with cauliflower rice. Health bloggers began whipping it up, and their fans followed suit. People were pleasantly surprised by how similar it was to the ‘real deal.’ Fast-forward to today, and you can munch on cauliflower chips, pizza, mash and ‘steak.’ At Trader Joe’s in America, they even sell cauliflower gnocchi, which is next-level. As for the health benefits, the versatile veggie has plenty. It’s an anti-inflammatory that’s high in protein, fibre and something called sulforaphane, which keeps our blood pressure stable. Plus, it’s a fab source of vitamin K and natural enzymes that help to detox the liver. So if you downed one too many dranks last night (oops), load up on cauli today!
Remember the Impossible burger? Launched a few years ago, the plant-based patty was designed to look like meat, taste like meat, and cook like meat. But it was vegan, and delish. In 2019, the mock meat market is busier than Ryan’s Bar on a Friday night (Sydney girls, you know what I mean). There are tons of foods that mimic the taste and texture of meat, from chicken and prawns to bacon and beyond. If you’ve been thinking of doing Meatless Mondays, there’s never been a better time to start.
Hippies have been toting around hemp bags for years – but scientists took their sweet time to approve the seeds. Hemp foods finally got the green light in Australia in late 2017, and they’ve been slowly sneaking into all kinds of dishes and drinks. Now, hemp’s a fully-fledged trend. The seeds are gluten-free and one of the best sources of plant-based protein, which is great news for vegetarians. They’re also high in omega-3s, B vitamins, fibre, calcium and magnesium to boost your energy, gut health, and immunity, and give skin that glow. Hemp seeds have an earthy, nutty flavour, and you can eat them raw or toasted. Try throwing them into salads, smoothies, yoghurt, porridge or even pasta. You can also buy hemp protein powder or hemp milk.
Speaking of milk… Almond and coconut milk are so 2018. Right now, oat milk is everywhere. It’s creamier than most nut milks – so your barista loves it – and it’s low in fat and packed with protein. Most brands add extra nutrients to their milks, such as calcium and vitamin D. As you’ve probably guessed, oat milk is made with steel-cut or rolled oats, so it’s suitable for people who are intolerant or allergic to nuts, dairy and gluten. Pea milk is also making a splash in the health world. Who would have thought? It’s vegan, gluten-free and rich in protein, calcium and B12 – which is a mineral many vegetarians don’t get enough of. It’s creamy and a little sweet, so you can use it however you’d use regular milk. And no, it doesn’t taste like peas!
It’s official: 2019 is the year of the ‘shroom boom.’ The humble mushroom has been around forever, but people are getting more and more creative with it. Mushies are chock-full of riboflavin, selenium, potassium and B vitamins, which can rev up your metabolism, ease your anxiety, and boost your immunity so you don’t get every cold that goes around. They’re also the only vegetarian source of vitamin D. Oh, and mushrooms are adaptogens, which means they can help the body to cope with stress and hormone changes. Impressive, right? Like cauliflower, they can be cooked a million different ways – and you might even spot mushroom lattes on your local café menu. They also have a meaty texture, which is why they’re often subbed in to veggie burgers.
Chances are, you’ve seen influencers chatting about collagen powders on Instagram. It’s not all hype. Collagen packs a serious nutritional punch. It helps with digestion, hormones and muscle recovery, so it’s a good supplement to take after a workout. It also strengthens your hair and nails, and keeps your skin smooth and supple, which is why it’s in a lot of skincare products – especially anti-ageing ones. Our body makes collagen on its own, but if you’re stressed or anxious, it may not produce as much. Collagen production also declines as we get older, so there’s no time like the present! Some foods contain collagen, such as bone broth and gravy, but collagen powders are trending because they’re a) more concentrated b) easily and quickly digested and c) yummier. For the best results, take it in the morning before brekkie.
Health hacks by Katia Iervasi