If you’ve been looking to follow a healthy living lifestyle or movement for 2020, you have come to the right place.
According to the annual Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey, the 2020 healthy revolution will include these top 10 healthy foods.
#1 Fermented foods
Fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, tempeh and miso are known to contain probiotics which are important for optimal digestion and a strong immune system.
These foods are a result of a process known as fermentation, which is a traditional way to make food last longer.
During this process, yeast and bacteria turn carbs into acids, which in turn preserve the fermented foods and promote the growth of good bacteria (i.e. probiotics).
Probiotics improve digestive health by restoring the balance of good bacteria and relieving gut issues.
They also boost the immune system by protecting the body against infections and help with food digestion by breaking down nutrients into simpler forms (i.e. lactose).
Beware however that some individuals may experience bloating when they consume fermented foods due to the high probiotic content.
Avocados are super healthy and delicious as part of breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Their creamy texture combines very well with other ingredients.
They are high in fiber and low in carbs, which may promote weight loss by helping you feel full, hence eating less calories.
This fruit contains healthy fats (i.e. monounsaturated oleic acid), fiber and various important nutrients such asvitamin K, Folate, vitamin C, Potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, iron, and the list goes on.
Many studies have shown the benefits of avocados in improving the heart’s health by reducing bad cholesterol.
In addition, healthy fats aid in the absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients.
Therefore, adding an avocado or avocado oil to vegetables can greatly improve the absorption of nutrients.
These are extremely nutritious and are loaded with fiber, Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein, and other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants crucial in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Many studies have shown their health benefits in reducing blood sugar levels, bad cholesterol levels, inflammation, some risk factors for heart disease and other chronic illnesses and maintaining a stable blood pressure.
For example, Hemp seeds are a superfood and an important source of protein and all essential amino acids.
On the other hand, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are a great source of Omega-6 fatty acids and magnesium.
When making your next smoothie, make sure to incorporate some of these powerful seeds to boost your energy levels.
#4 Exotic Fruits
Exotic fruits, also known as tropical fruits are so varied and interesting in looks and texture.
Some of them are very popular such as mangoes, kiwis, lychees, acai, goji berries, dragon fruit and star fruit.
Other varieties are less known such as atemoya, kiwano, pomelo, durian, fuyu persimmon, lucuma, cherimoya, and the list goes on.
Exotic fruits are high in fiber and contain many essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus and B vitamins.
In addition, these fruits are known for their high antioxidants content (i.e. flavonoids, cartenoids and polyphenols), which protect the body’s cells against damage and may help lower the risk of some diseases.
Some varieties also have antibiotic properties and in some regions, are used to treat infections.
When considering including an exotic fruit as part of your diet, it is important to watch the calories content and plan accordingly.
Some claims suggest that acai berries can boost the metabolism and make you lose weight.
However, more studies are required before such claims hold true.
Studies have confirmed the high levels of antioxidants found in acai berries and their benefits in reducing oxidative damage.
#5 Ancient Grains
According to the Whole Grains Council, an ancient grain can be defined as a grain that hasn’t seen any changes in terms of texture over the years.
These grains are less known by the western world since the varieties available in the market nowadays are mostly processed (i.e. Wheat).
In fact, ancient grains are considered superfoods since they are rich in nutrients.
They are also known to improve the digestive system and boost the immune system.
The demand for products that include ancient grains is evolving and we’re seeing more and more products containing quinoa, chia seeds, buckwheat, wild rice, etc.
Since these grains haven’t changed over the years, their nutritional profiles hasn’t changed.
All of the ancient grains are rich in dietary fiber, protein, fatty acids and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and selenium.
They can easily be included in all types of cooking and baking from breads to salads to muffins.
The sky is the limit when it comes to incorporating ancient grains in meal planning.
Blueberries are considered a superfood given their nutritional profile.
They can be enjoyed fresh or frozen as part of a smoothie or incorporated in your favorite muffin or pancake recipe.
Given their numerous health benefits, they are one of the most popular berries out there.
This fruit is high in antioxidants (i.e. Flavonoids) fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Studies show that consuming blueberries on a regular basis may protect cell from oxidative damage, which in turn may slow aging.
In addition, the antioxidants found in blueberries are tied to improving brain function.
Many studies have shown that blueberries lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Hence, their inclusion in low carb diets (i.e. Ketogenic diet).
Who doesn’t like snacking on nuts?
These are considered a superfood because of their high fat quality and content.
If you are worried of not getting enough fiber from your diet, try snacking on nuts a couple times a day.
Nuts include almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macademia and brazil nuts.
There are so many studies showing the health benefits related to regularly consuming nuts.
These benefits include a reduction in risk factors of chronic diseases such as heart disease, boosting brain health, reducing bloods pressure and lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Walnuts for example are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and brazil nuts are rich in selenium.
Both of these elements are scientifically proven to improve cognitive and heart health.
On the other hand, pecans and macademia nuts contain antioxidants and monounsaturated fats which are beneficial and may help lower bad cholesterol levels.
#8 Non-Dairy Milks
Living dairy-free isn’t a difficult task as long as you find the right alternative.
There are lots of options to choose from such as almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, oat milk or coconut milk.
The most popular is almond milk given the low-calories content and the vitamins and minerals naturally found in almonds.
If you’re looking for a similar alternative to milk, soy milk and oat milk both make the cut.
Individuals with allergies to nuts, soy and gluten should avoid all types of nut milk, soy milk and look for gluten-free oat milk.
Rice milk and coconut milk are the most hypoallergenic of all types of milk alternatives; however rice milk is high in terms of carbohydrates and low in fat.
Coconut milk on the other hand is high in fats and contains several vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, selenium, copper, etc.
It contains higher amounts of antioxidants (i.e. selenium and manganese) compared to the other alternatives.
All types of non-dairy milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals, and so they are highly nutritious.
This vegetable is very popular and is used in many dishes around the world.
The bulb and the roots are both consumed and can be consumed as part of a salad, steamed or roasted, or as part of a smoothie.
Beets are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Beetroots are packed with plant compounds (i.e. nitrates and pigments) which have impressive medicinal properties.
Studies show that nitrates can lower blood pressure which in turn may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
This vegetable contains fiber, iron, manganese, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium.
Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and may aid with weight loss.
#10 Green Tea
When you think tea, your immediate go to for health benefits is green tea.
This beverage is rich in antioxidants with beneficial effects on health and other nutrients.
Its benefits include but not limited to fat loss in the abdominal area, better skin health, a lower risk of some diseases (i.e. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) and a better brain function.
Known for containing less caffeine compared to coffee, green tea is a popular beverage among those with caffeine sensitivities.
Some studies show that green tea may lower bad cholesterol levels and protect cells from oxidation.
Hence, individuals who drink green tea may have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Making green tea a part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle will help you lose weight and lower your risk of chronic illnesses.
I hope you enjoyed this post. You can leave your comments/questions below and I will get back to you!