Do you ever remember a time before quinoa and avocado on toast? We don’t either. Over the years we have seen a range of superfoods that are now dominating kitchens, as well as restaurants. In 2017, we saw the emergence of tasty treats that went viral over Instagram and social media, like black ice cream made from charred coconut for a gothic look and galaxy smoothies. But if you can’t make a meal without your beloved kale, hemp seeds, coconut oil or sweet potato, then listen up. Hold on tight – brand new food trends are coming for you this year.
We’ve got the 2018 food trend lowdown from three of our qualified Nutritional Therapists, who have told us what culinary delights they expect to be landing on our plates in 2018.
Vegetarian and vegan eating as part of the mainstream
Gone are the days where you receive a plate of lettuce and tomatoes after ordering the vegan option at a restaurant. Elaine Jackson, one of YorkTest’s Nutritional Therapists, predicts a whole host of vegan options and even vegan-specific restaurants will emerge this year.
We’ll see “meat eaters who want to still eat meat but are happy to eat veggie/vegan for a part of the time and they understand the health benefits. Certainly, in London we see more and more vegetarian and vegan restaurants opening and the food is delicious – mixing colour, taste, variety, spices and health all-in-one”, she says.
Using food as medicine
Over the years there has been growing exposure on using food as medicine to heal the body, resulting in an influx of innovative ways to eat healthily. Now more than ever, people are taking charge of their health and wellbeing through a clean diet and a range of superfoods to restore their optimum health.
Nutrition and wellness will continue to be a focus in 2018 through using food as medicine to help heal, boost immunity and aid specific health issues like IBS. Elaine expresses that “specifically pre and probiotic foods enhance the digestive tract and boost immunity, such as miso, kombucha, kimchi and yoghurts”. Stock up on these for 2018.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan and you’ve not yet heard of heme, 2018 has a lot in store for you. You may have already come across the phrase ‘the impossible burger’. If you haven’t, you will most definitely have heard it by the end of this year. Impossible Foods have recreated a meat-like burger with the same aroma, texture and flavour as a conventional burger. They’ve made the impossible possible.
Amongst the patty’s main ingredients, which include coconut oil, potatoes and wheat, one of the plant-based patty’s main components is an ingredient called heme, which is taken from the protein gene, leghemohlobin, and derived from the root of a soy plant. This unique iron-containing molecule makes the plant-based meat sizzle, smell, bleed, and also taste deliciously meaty too.
Impossible Foods have coined heme “the magical ingredient that makes the burger a carnivore’s dream”. Not only is this a landmark for vegans and veggies, it’s also a stepping stone for foodies looking to cut down on their meat intake and environmental footprint. It’s due to debut in Asia this year, so expect this to go global.
South American Food
Move aside, Nando’s. It appears South American food is gaining traction and becoming more popular in 2018 with a recent sprinkling of new restaurants and South American-infused dishes. Sarah Hughes, our qualified Nutritional Therapist, explains that we’ve already seen “the popularity of quinoa, which comes from the High Andes mountains. Meat and fish are abundant in South American cooking depending largely whether you’re by the sea or inland, but there is also a high amount of beans in their stews or feijoadas” which is the most traditional dish in Brazil.
“From a nutritional point of view, I am always encouraging my clients to eat smaller amounts of good quality meat with more vegetables and beans bulking up the dish” said Sarah. “And the South American stews are a great example of this”.
Also known as Job’s Tears, this gluten-free grain is another new kid on the block in 2018. The grain is versatile and adaptable, named after Job, a biblical character, who was known to have many sorrows and tears. It’s grown largely in Southeast Asia and “like quinoa, it is very high in protein as well as B vitamins. It doesn’t need much water to grow which also means it’s good for the environment,” Sarah explains.
“It’s beneficial to mix up our grains to get a greater range of nutrients so Job’s Tears will be a welcome addition to our repertoire. I imagine it will be a very useful addition to a vegan diet with its high protein content. The taste is a mix between pearl barley and rice and it is easy to cook, just boil it until chewy,” Sarah advises. Add them into your favourite soup and broth or work them into rice blends.
Not only will using food as medicine be even more prominent in 2018, but fermented foods and a focus on gut health will also continue to be a main food trend.
Ali Orr, one of YorkTest’s Nutritional Consultants, predicts that fermented foods are likely to become more available and likely to be encouraged on a wider scale. “As research into the microbiome continues to show the importance of a healthy gut flora, it seems people are increasingly including fermented foods into their diet to support the bacterial balance. Foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir can all be beneficial and are becoming much more widely available,” she explains.
Staying with gut health, “people are becoming aware of eating a diet that nourishes the gut. Bone broth is part of this approach and is becoming increasingly available with high street coffee shops such as Pret A Manger now getting on board”.
What foods to buy in 2018?
There’s no denying that gut health remains a high priority. On your next shop at the local supermarket, stock up on these foods to take on 2018 the healthy way – whilst being 100% on trend.
- Coix Seeds
- Black beans for the Brazilian speciality dish, feijoadas
- Sauerkraut and kefir for gut-boosting properties
- … and keep your eyes peeled for heme.
From new food trends to New Year’s resolutions, 2018 may well see you getting more adventurous in the kitchen. But if you find your stomach is less excited about the changes, there is an easy way to confirm whether new additions to your diet aren’t working for you. YorkTest’s Food&DrinkScan programme analyses your IgG reactions to 158 food and drink ingredients to pinpoint the foods you need to avoid.
Find out more here.