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10 Trending Health Foods You Need to Know About NOW

author image Jennifer Cassetta
Jennifer Cassetta is a speaker, author, clinical nutritionist and self defense expert. Equipped with a Master's Degree in Nutrition, a 3rd Degree Black Belt and over 17 years of experience, Jennifer coaches people to feel more strong, safe and confident from the streets to the boardroom. She has been featured on The Today Show, The Doctors, Rachael Ray, The Real as well as countless publications. She loves speaking with live audiences, cycling around Santa Monica, the beach and traveling.

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10 Trending Health Foods You Need to Know About NOW
Look for these trending health foods, available at a grocery store near you. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Last year everyone jumped on the matcha train and eagerly substituted cauliflower for rice and pizza dough, but we want to know what foods will be all the rage this year. Jennifer Cassetta, a clinical nutritionist, weighs in on which healthy foods she thinks we are going to be seeing and eating. Scroll through to check out the nutrient-rich foods making their debuts at restaurants and grocery stores near you.

Plant-Based Meats
Impossible Burger is using 100 percent plant-based products to engineer patties and sausages that look and taste like meat. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Plant-Based Meats

Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are using 100 percent plant-based products to engineer patties, sausages and chicken strips that look and taste like meat. The meat-free burgers are so realistic that they actually bleed — from beet juice. For the vegan or vegetarian who gets grossed out by the site of blood and meat, this is not the trend for you. If, however, you love your burgers but want to reduce your carbon footprint or simply want to reduce your risk of lifestyle-related diseases like heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, then get these “burgers” and "brats" in your rotation ASAP.

According to the Beyond Meat website, its burger patties and sausages are made of pea protein and other plant-based ingredients, such as expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, yeast extract and cellulose (fiber) from bamboo. The Impossible Burger is made from wheat, potatoes, coconut oil and heme. Heme, more commonly found in animal muscle, is the secret ingredient that makes these burgers taste like meat. However, the heme used in this product is genetically engineered from yeast and, therefore, a vegan source.

Read more: The Impossible Burger Can Change the Planet and Has Us Obsessed

Golden Milk
Turmeric lattes are an easy way to consume the herb known for it's anti-inflammatory benefits. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Golden Milk

Also known as turmeric lattes, these delicious, anti-inflammatory drinks are popping up on menus and Instagram accounts everywhere. Curcumin, the potent ingredient in turmeric which makes curry yellow, contains high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Curcumin has been used in many studies to treat a wide array of diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and many forms of cancer. It would be difficult to eat enough curry to get the anti-inflammatory benefits from curcumin because it only makes up between 4 and 6 percent of turmeric, but, fortunately, we can drink it too. To get those feel-good effects, the Arthritis Foundation recommends between one and three grams of the powdered root per day. The average turmeric latte recipe calls for a teaspoon of turmeric, which is equal to two grams, so you can easily get your daily dose straight from your cup.

Pro Tip: When making it at home, remember to add some black pepper to your golden milk because curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream without it. Try a product like Goldyn Glow that has already mastered the alchemy for you.

Listen now: Why America’s Obsession with ‘Happiness’ Is Totally Stressing Us Out

Tigernut Flour
Gluten-free and paleo-friendly, tigernut flour is an easy one-to-one swap with regular flour. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Tigernut Flour

Almond flour and coconut flour were so 2017. The new gluten-free, Paleo-friendly flour to have on your radar is tigernut flour. Tigernut is actually a small root vegetable and not a nut at all. They can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled or ground into a flour and used for baked goods like cookies and cakes and even added to veggie burgers. Both tigernuts and tigernut flour have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor profile.

Tigernuts are loaded with resistant starch fiber, which helps provide prebiotics (the precursors to probiotics) and helps slow down blood sugar spikes. They are also low in calories compared to other nuts and nut flours. A one-ounce serving of raw tigernuts (the equivalent of about 50 chickpeas) contains 120 calories and 10 grams of fiber (that’s a lot of fiber). For a healthier digestive system and a dose of minerals like magnesium and iron, substitute this flour for regular flour at a one-to-one ratio in your next baked goods recipe.

Read more: 9 Chocolate Desserts That Are Actually Good For You

Cannabis-Infused Foods
Cannabis-infused foods are becoming more sophisticated as their legal status grows. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Cannabis-Infused Foods

Move over, homemade pot brownies. A more sophisticated way of consuming cannabis is on the rise. The new wave of cannabis-infused foods (for those 21 years of age and older) clearly displays the dosage of active ingredients. From cookies and high-end chocolates to drinks and condiments, they are popping up in all different forms. The caveat: Availability depends on the state you live in.

Edibles are classified by the amount of THC and/or CBD they contain. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical compound in cannabis that gives you the euphoric high, whereas CBD (cannabidiol) does not have the psychoactive side effects. CBD does have anti-inflammatory properties and is being used for all kinds of ailments, from sore muscles to chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. Microdosing is all the rage because it lets you have control of just how much or how little THC or CBD you want to ingest, which gives you more control over the effects you will feel. Look out for the following cannabis-infused food brands that may be coming to a dispensary near you: Kiva Petra Mints, Dixie Elixers, Mr. Moxey’s Mints and Simply Pure.

Read more: 'Bong Appetit' Hosts Discuss The Health Benefits of Weed

Pea Milk
A dairy-free alternative, pea milk is higher in protein than animal-based and nut-based milks. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Pea Milk

Plant-based milks are on the rise, which is great news for cows and people who avoid dairy because of intolerances, allergies and health or ethical reasons. Almond, coconut, rice, soy, oat and hemp are now fairly common nondairy options, but there is a new milk alternative hitting the market: pea milk.

Pea milk is extremely beneficial for people who have nut allergies and want to avoid soy. It is also higher in protein than any of the other alternatives, containing eight grams per serving, compared to just one gram in almond milk. The only caveat, as with any milk alternative, is that they typically contain vegetable oils that add to our overall consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, which are already very high in the average American diet. A balanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is important for overall health and the prevention of obesity. Bottom line: If you already avoid dairy, try pea milk as a higher-protein milk alternative.

Read more: How to Make the Avocado Art That Instagram Is Obsessed With

Functional Mushrooms
Mushrooms offer a heavy dose of antioxidants and prebiotics to boost digestive health. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Functional Mushrooms

Reishi, chaga, Cordyceps, shiitake and lion’s mane are just some of the functional mushroom species you will be hearing about and seeing more of in your grocery stores. Mushrooms have been used by Asian cultures for centuries for their medicinal properties. And mushrooms are adaptogens, which help the body deal with a wide array of stressors.

Whether as a powder to mix into your own drinks or premixed into teas, hot cocoa and coffees, these are just some of the new shroom products you’ll find at your Whole Foods Market or specialty health-food store. But why is there so much buzz about mushrooms in your morning cup of java? Because you are getting a healthy dose of antioxidants to fight free radical damage and prebiotics to help boost digestive system function — all before 10 a.m.

Read more: These Stress-Fighting Adaptogens Are The New Superfoods

Fermented Foods
Fermented foods help promote good digestive health. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Fermented Foods

Cultures throughout the world have been incorporating fermented foods into their diets for centuries, and for good reason. Fermented foods have been through a process called lacto-fermentation in which natural bacteria feed off the sugar and starch in foods. This not only preserves the food but simultaneously creates beneficial bacteria strains, B vitamins and enzymes that help the digestive process. Our gut needs these healthy bacteria strains to keep bad bacteria in check, boost immune function and improve digestion.

More and more research is being done on the connection between our microbiome and our mental health. For example, some studies suggest that probiotics and a healthy gut may help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Stay tuned for more evidence-based research, but, in the meantime, add the following fermented foods to your diet: sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, kefir, kimchi, miso, tempeh and kombucha.

Read more: 7 Signs Your Gut Is Out of Whack

Moringa Powder
Moringa powder, a great source of iron, potassium and calcium, can be easily mixed into smoothies or sprinkled on food. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Moringa Powder

Powder from the moringa tree is becoming the new “superfood” to hit shelves. Moringa oliefera comes from India, Indonesia, Thailand and Africa and has been used medicinally to treat diseases for years. Moringa is a powerhouse of nutrients. It contains iron (which is difficult to find in many plant-based foods), potassium and calcium and phosphorous (great for bone health). It's also a source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids that act as anti-inflammatory agents.

You can find it in mixed superfood powders, such as the Your Super Green Mix, or in a moringa-only powder. Use it to spike your smoothies and matcha lattes or to sprinkle on your oatmeal.

Read more: 10 Ultimate Smoothies For Any Time of Day

Bean Chips
Bean-based chips are a healthier alternative to potato-based chips. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Bean Chips

If chips are on your shopping list, try swapping your next bag of corn tortilla chips or potato chips for bean chips — the latest in chip research and development. Typically mixed with rice flour, bean chips are higher in protein and fiber than your average corn or potato chip. For that reason, they will fill you up quicker and you’ll end up eating less. Beanitos, an already popular brand, contains about five grams of protein per one-ounce serving (about nine chips), compared with the two grams found in potato and corn chips. Beans are also lower on the glycemic index than potatoes and corn and, therefore, take longer to break down into glucose, giving you a steadier wave of energy.

Read more: 9 Better-for-You Potato Chip Swaps

Coconut Jerky
Paleo-friendly and 100-percent animal free, these jerky treats are made from coconut meat. Photo Credit: Clark Photo

Coconut Jerky

Thanks to coconut jerky, vegetarians and vegans will no longer be left out of the jerky-eating fun. With flavors like chili lime or ginger teriyaki, Cocoburg is just one of the brands making savory coconut snacks that are both gluten-free, Paleo-friendly and 100-percent animal free. The jerky is made from the meat of young coconuts, which contains potassium and medium-chain fatty acids (the good kind of fat). It won’t taste like meat, but it has the consistency of the jerky you’re used to. Pack some in your gym bag or on your next road trip for sustainable energy.

Read more: 16 Snacks That Are OK to Eat at Night

What Do YOU Think?
Incorporate superfoods like turmeric-based lattes into your diet for a healthy addition to your day. Photo Credit: Scott Clark Photo

What Do YOU Think?

Have you seen or tried these foods? Let us know which ones you've tried and what you think about them in the comments below!

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