Now that we are well into 2019, ‘superfoods’ are becoming ever more popular, with consumers showing an increased concern for their health and wellness.
Superfoods, though a non-scientific term, are popularly considered to be foods that are beneficial to a person’s health or well-being and provide dietary value. According to Mordor Intelligence, the global superfoods market is expected to grow by 7% (CAGR) 2019-2023.
Here we explore how shifts in superfoods have, and will continue to, dominate food trends throughout 2019.
We have recently seen a rise in popularity of fermented foods, both for their unique taste and due to an increasing consumer concern around gut health. During the fermentation process, good bacteria grow which helps to strengthen digestive health, promote heart health and is even alleged to help reduce symptoms of depression.
From kefir yogurt to kimchi, and miso to kombucha, the probiotic qualities of fermented foods are met with further benefits such as enzymes, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
As the process of fermentation is natural, it is becoming a desired method of meeting consumer expectations for ‘clean label’ ingredients.
Consumers are becoming more wary of how much oil they are using when cooking. Whilst it is true that hydrogenated oils, such as sunflower or canola oil, have some potentially harmful effects, superfood oils are natural oils.
The anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil are widely known. However, we are now seeing olive oil take a backseat as other oils, notably avocado oil and its skin enriching properties, take the foreground.
Nut oils such as macadamia and almond have also boasted benefits including high levels of omega-3, monounsaturated fats and vitamin E.
Recently, CBD oil has also experienced a surge in popularity as it gains traction within the health and wellness space, with its effects ranging from pain relief and anti-inflammatory to combating mental health conditions such as anxiety.
Seeds are extremely nutritious, and in recent years, we’ve seen the likes of flaxseeds and chia become popularised. Their popularity grew as they contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats and are good fibre sources.
However, 2019 has seen a new major contender on the superfood seed scene: watermelon seeds. Watermelon seeds are both high in nutrients and low in calories making them an attractive snacking option. They are rich in protein and full of magnesium, iron, potassium and folic acid.
We already know how important protein is to the human body, for instance in helping repair tissue, making body chemicals such as enzymes, building bones, muscles and skin, and even helping with hair growth.
Meat and eggs have long been known primary sources of protein, but with vegan, vegetarian and even flexitarian diets now trending, 2019 is paving the way for plant-based proteins. In particular, plant-based meat alternatives have become a big favourite.
In direct contrast with this, puffed or roasted pork scratchings have also been pegged as one of the biggest superfood trends of 2019. The salty snacks are not only high in protein but they also contain mono and polyunsaturated fats which help to keep the heart healthy.
It is also worth mentioning the so-called ‘new quinoa’, Freekeh wheat. The grain has recently surged in popularity, as it contains nearly double the amount of protein and fibre that quinoa has.
Pinterest declared superfood powders one of the top trends for 2019, and it’s plant-based protein powders that are the forefront of this trend.
One of the most talked about is Moringa powder, which is said to be one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world. It contains nearly three times the iron of a cup of raw spinach and a sizeable amount of vitamin A, making it great for those suffering from fatigue. Moringa also boasts a litany of other benefits, such as helping with immunity, muscle growth, bones and stress.
Hemp powder, as with many other hemp-based products, is also becoming increasingly popular. As well as being a source of potassium, it is rich in magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Finally, whilst maca has a long history of culinary and medicinal use in Peru, it has recently become more popularised in the mainstream market. Maca is generally consumed in a powder form and can be added to food and drinks for its many nutritional benefits, such as containing 133% of the RDI of vitamin C and 85% of the RDI of copper.
So far, 2019 has brought us a whole host of new superfoods – cottage cheese, seaweed and sardines are some other foods predicted to be trending this year. Their nutrient-dense characteristics have proved popular with consumers concerned with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The March 2019 edition of FoodBev magazine features the latest superfoods, alongside a look into meat quality, processing and ready meals. Other actionable insights for food and beverage professionals this year include topics such as bone and joint health and healthier confectionery.
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