7 Healthy Food Trends to Look Out for in 2021

Let’s face it, not all of us have picked up the best habits during the past nine months, what with social distancing, lockdowns, quarantines and stress. In fact, a new survey has found that 71 million Americans report gaining weight since the start of the pandemic. While this trying time isn’t behind us just yet, starting a new year is cause for hope. In 2021, there are lots of healthy food trends that can make eating right easier. Here are 7 that sound especially promising.

Postbiotics

Probiotics became popular over the last decade as a way of promoting gut health through the food you eat. In 2021, look out for postbiotics, the end products of the fermentation caused by probiotics, which have their own anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Postbiotics, unlike probiotics, are not alive, so they are likely to have more applications in food and dietary supplements. 

Immunity Boosters

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, building natural immunity is a priority for many people. In fact, over 50% of consumers reported taking more supplements to boost immune health in 2020. But supplements aren’t the only way people are trying to build immunity. Eating healthy food with immune-building properties is becoming more popular, and the food industry is jumping on the bandwagon by adding immune-boosting vitamins and nutrients to their products.

Plant Proteins

Last year, we listed plant-based proteins as one of the top food trends of 2020, and these popular meat alternatives show no sign of slowing down. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have been pioneers in this industry, but in the last three months of 2020, three global giants announced that they would also be getting into the plant-based game: Tesco, Unilever, and Ikea. Not only are plant-based proteins cheaper than meat, but they are healthier as well. 

Adaptogens

Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that are supposed to have a de-stressing effect on the body. After a year like 2020, you can imagine that people will literally gobble up a food product that promises to reduce stress. Adaptogens can be added to tea, hot chocolate, coffee, smoothies, soups, salad dressings, and more, either by manufacturers or by individuals at home who purchase adaptogen powder.

Food That’s Good for the Environment

Food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s carbon emissions, which is why many are turning to foods that have a low carbon footprint. Choosing chicken instead of beef or plant-based protein (see above) instead of chicken are healthy food choices on an individual and global level. In the same vein, 2021 will see an increase in local buying in an effort to reduce carbon emissions caused by food transport. 

Microgreens

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are about 1–3 inches tall. They contain concentrated nutrients and can add flavor and visual enhancement to any meal. In the past, these have usually been used in restaurants, but in 2021 you can expect to find these nutrient-packed flavor bombs in most grocery stores. This year might also see more people growing them at home themselves. It takes about two weeks for the majority of microgreens to be ready for harvest.

Meal Kit Delivery

During lockdowns and quarantine, meal kit companies saw a surge in popularity. People who didn’t want to go out to the grocery store or were too overwhelmed to cook turned to these kits as a way of getting fresh ingredients and healthy meals delivered, contact-free, to their doors. While many lockdowns have been lifted, people who got used to ordering these meal kits don’t have any plans to give them up in 2021. Here are some of the top meal kit companies.

Benefits of Healthy Eating

Eating healthy is one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves. It can boost our immune systems, moods, and self-esteem. According to the CDC, “Adults who eat a healthy diet live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Healthy eating can help people with chronic diseases manage these conditions and prevent complications.”

 

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