The most recent Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo was held in Chicago last year, bringing together nutrition professionals from all over the world for their largest annual meeting. The goal was to spread the word of the latest and greatest information regarding health, new research findings, and food.
Throughout the conference new trends in health and wellness were discussed. Here are some of the highlights.
New Health Trends of 2018
You've probably heard about the importance of getting plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fats (from nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, and fish), but you probably haven't heard much about omega-9. Most likely it's because omegas 3 and 6 are essential fatty acids, which means that your body needs to get them from outside sources (from our food).
In turn, omega-9 is something your body can create internally if it needs more. You may be asking: then why do I need it? There may not be a need to supplement with omega-9 if you're getting enough of your other essential omegas. However some studies have shown that omega-9 has the potential to support healthy blood sugar levels and regulate weight. The next big thing is a type of cooking oil made with algae. It is full of good fats, minerals, and antioxidants, and the oil itself has a very high smoke point which means it's better to use for high-heat cooking.
Spices as Medicine
There is a reason why turmeric has been on everyone's mind over the past year. It has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, which is very helpful considering that inflammation is linked to many big health issues.
Spices and herbs have been used for thousands of years to promote wellness and healing, so its no wonder that this trend has had a resurgence. Cooking with herbs is an easy way to add more nutrition to your meals at home, and spices are a fantastic way to decrease sodium, boost the flavors in your food, and prevent inflammation throughout your body.
Many nutritionists will recommend that if you take any supplement at all, it should be a good probiotic once a day. Probiotics are what support a healthy digestive tract, where you absorb all that good nutrition from the food you eat. Maintaining good gut health means good overall health. So what is the deal with prebiotics?
Prebiotics are like the Miracle-Gro for gut bacteria. They provide fuel for the good bacteria in your body to help everything thrive in a healthy environment. Derived from plants, chicory root fiber is a new prebiotic trend in the nutrition world for supporting good digestive health and is linked to better weight management, and increased calcium absorption.
There are a lot of foods that have been used for ages around the world that are just now beginning to gain traction here in the United States. Cassava is a starchy root that can be used as a substitute for wheat flour, jackfruit is a delicious replacement for meat, and monk fruit extract can be used in place of refined white sugar.
Be prepared to start seeing some unique ingredients in health products, and have fun experimenting with them in your cooking at home.
New research is constantly being released with the latest health information and it is always exciting to see what is in the future for health and wellness. Because these health findings are new, be sure to talk to your health care professional before adding any supplements to your diet.
[Credit: Brissette, Christy. 7 nutrition trends youll see in 2018. Washington Post.]
[Credit: Picard, Caroline. 18 Health Trends That Will Be Hot in 2018. Good Housekeeping.]