It’s 2021! How is your New Year’s resolution going? Wait, before you answer, you need to learn more about the healthiest diet trends for 2021. If you are tired of avocados and apple cider vinegar, then you will welcome these delicious yet balanced foods and drinks. Don’t feel bad if you are struggling to lose weight or eat better this year. After you get hip to these hot trends, you will be ahead of the game. Which of these 10 healthiest diet trends for 2021 will be your favorite and the most beneficial to your life?
Middle Eastern spices, Arabic flavors, and the Mediterranean treats – oh my! Get ready to see your brunch menu undergo a Mediterranean makeover in 2021. You’ve already sampled the best of Greek cooking from extra virgin olive oil to legumes and pulses, but this year Arabic-inspired foods will take over the table. Look out for staple dishes like falafel along with halloumi cheeses and harissa spices. Meals from Morocco, Syria, Lebanese, and Persia also feature delicious yet healthy foods like pomegranate and eggplant. Other seasonings that will jazz up your dinner are dukkah and za’atar. Don’t be afraid to get a little adventurous this year with a healthy Mediterranean diet.
You might have noticed a petal garnishing a fancy dinner plate once or twice, but floral food is about to blossom in 2021. There are a number of edible flowers from lavender and hibiscus to elderflower and rose. Furthermore, each one has a unique set of health benefits like improving sleep, reducing blood pressure, easing stomach pain, or aiding in weight loss just to name a few. In 2021, you can basically drink a bouquet. Cocktails, teas, lattes, and sparkling drinks infused with these botanical flowers not only taste good, but they are healthy for you, too. These flowery flavors are branching out from high-end restaurants and international markets to your favorite local shops.
Gut health has always been an essential focus when it comes to dieting. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut or sourdough bread are known for their, well, sourness. That’s because during the process of fermentation, yeast, fungi, and bacteria convert the starch into acid or alcohol. Likewise, this same transformation creates a plethora of benefits for digestive health since good bacteria help absorb and assimilate nutrients. Good bacteria and gut health can also boost your immune system and give you more energy. Besides the common types of fermented foods available, you might see a rise in fermented soybeans, which is called miso, along with kimchi and tempeh in 2021.
Jerky is a chewy delight that people have loved eating for years. However, in 2021, meatless jerky might join your list of healthy diet trends. How is this possible? Coconut can be transformed to have a similar consistency and texture as beef jerky. Jackfruit is often mistaken for pulled pork if cooked correctly. These two options for meatless jerky come in a variety of flavors that are sure to satisfy your taste buds like ginger teriyaki or chili lime. Although a serving of coconut jerky does not have as much protein as turkey jerky, it gives you as much potassium as a banana with half the sodium. If you are vegan-friendly or gluten-free, this is the best way to enjoy beef jerky.
Mushrooms are sprouting up in everyone in 2021. Instead of ordering a mushroom Swiss hamburger, you might have the option to dive into the blenditarian movement, which involves mixing ground mushrooms with ground beef. The result is a meat patty that is overall healthier because it is lower in both calories and fat. Besides traditional burgers, fungus-infused drinks are a healthy diet trend. Have you ever tried a shiitake cocktail or a coffee with Chaga mushrooms? Other healthy options include lion’s mane, reishi, or cordyceps. They create a rich and creamy flavor in your favorite tea or smoothie not to mention a boost to your immune system. Mushrooms are also known for supporting heart health and fighting inflammation since they are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Fungi are also packed with protein, which can jumpstart your energy and act as a bulking agent.
The Low-FODMAP Diet
If you deal with bloating, abdominal cramps, and other symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), you most likely steer clear of gluten. Another way to regulate your weight, boost your immune function, and manage your mental health in 2021 is with the low-FODMAP diet. The acronym in the name represents a carbohydrate found in dairy products, legumes, sugar alcohols, and a variety of other foods. You should avoid eating fructose and lactose on the low-FODMAP diet. Instead of searching for gluten-free labels, this can be your next healthy trend. However, stay cautious of products that claim to be low-FODMAP, but are still packed with added sugars and saturated fats.
A Bug Buffet
Although this diet trend for 2021 might make your skin crawl, it is a healthy alternative. Eating edible insects, also known as entomophagy, has been popular in the East for years, but the West is starting to notice the health benefits. According to Australian health and wellness expert Fiona Tuck, crickets are 69% protein and contain all nine essential amino acids. Crickets are rich in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids along with a good source of vitamin B12. These particular bugs have double the amount of potassium as spinach, just as much calcium as milk, and undeniable amounts of iron similar to red meat. While cricket cuisine might not seem like the tastiest treat, bug-based foods offer a healthy crunch.
Upcycled Food Waste
You already know about the root-to-stem movement that became popular in 2020. Instead of wasting part of the food such as the root or stem, people started cooking every little piece. Meals like broccoli stem slaw and pickled watermelon rind began paving the way for a healthy and environmentally-friendly future. Not only is this food trend still making headlines in 2021, but waste-free foods are also recycling scraps in a whole new way this year. For example, vegetable pulp from cold-pressed juices can be reused for veggie chips. Brewers are upcycling their malt that is leftover from making beer to create re-grained bars. The possibilities are virtually never-ending.
You might be familiar with the healing powers of turmeric and maybe even matcha, but in 2021 maca powder is taking making its debut. It comes from the root of a maca plant and can be mixed into your favorite baked goods, cereals, smoothies, coffee, and more. Maca powder is known to give you a burst of energy as well as improve your blood pressure. It might even help with symptoms of osteoarthritis along with your reproductive health. Besides turmeric, matcha, and maca, spirulina is another powdered root that will be featured in health aisles this year. Another way to quickly incorporate protein and other nutrients into your diet without packing on the calories is by drinking collagen. In fact, this might be one of the best-kept beauty secrets for youthful skin.
If you are not a heavy drinker but like to hang out in a social atmosphere, then this is the diet trend for you. There is a demand for healthier options such as gluten-free beer, sugar-free mixed drinks, and organic wine. Besides having healthier alcoholic beverages, you might toast to the good life with an alcohol-free cocktail or, essentially, a mocktail. Now there is more to this trend than downing a round of Shirley Temples. Companies like Welch’s and Ocean Spray have recently created a line of cocktail juice blends that mimic sophisticated spirits in terms of flavor but minus the calories and hangover. How does a cranberry sangria or peach bellini sound this year? It has the look and taste of fun without the bad decisions.