Many healthy foods were popular in 2016
Have you tried these this year?
Health-conscious eaters are getting serious about—and going crazy for—chia seeds (yes, like the “pets”). It’s no wonder: they deliver as much protein as some nuts as well as heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fat. Per tablespoon, chia delivers 2 grams protein, 4 grams fiber and 1.75 grams ALA. Chia seeds may have celebrity status as the newest superfood fad, but they’ve been around for centuries (they were prized by the Aztecs). The seeds absorb liquid easily, gelling and making a creamy addition to oats and pancakes. That property also makes them easy on sensitive stomachs, says David C. Nieman, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., of Appalachian State University. “Some other seeds, like flax, are harder to digest because they have more lignan, a tough fiber,” says Nieman.
Gaga for golden milk? You’re not alone. The warm beverage made from coconut milk and turmeric gained speed this year, along with a slew of other sips made with the intensely yellow seasoning. (Note: Watch out, it stains!) But why’s the ancient spice a favorite among the fit? “Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects,” explains Megan Roosevelt, RDN, founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com. “This is beneficial because inflammation is a precursor for many age- and diet-related diseases.” There are plenty of ways to add turmeric to your diet, but Roosevelt adds that it’s best to consume turmeric in combination with black pepper, which helps the body absorb curcumin.
This Hawaiian dish is already pretty popular on the food scene, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, according to Baum + Whiteman, a food and restaurant consulting company. Who wouldn’t want chunks of tuna soaked in a soy & sesame oil marinade and served atop seaweed-seasoned rice?
The popularity of coconut doesn’t end with hot-right-now coconut water and coconut oil. Coconut flour is a healthy way to add decadent coconut flavor to baked goods (as we used in the Coconut Dark-Chocolate Truffles, pictured left). As for health benefits of coconut flour: it packs a whopping 5 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons (with only 2 grams of total and saturated fat) and it’s gluten-free. Coconut flour has health benefits for people with diabetes, too: adding coconut flour to baked goods lowers the glycemic index (a measure of the rate that a food increases blood sugar). In your market, look for coconut flour near other gluten-free flours.