Happy New Year! You are now entering the biggest season of the year for change. There’s nothing like a new year to spark inspiration to try new things - especially new foods or diets. Though many unhealthy diet trends come and go in the new year, the demand for healthy and high-quality food is a trend that’s here to stay. Not to mention, using this opportunity to eat new foods now can support long-lasting improvements in your food choice and overall nutrition. Need some inspiration for your next grocery list? Here’s four healthy food trends you need to know in 2023.
Demand for ultra-processed, plant-based meat alternatives is rapidly decreasing in exchange for plant foods in their natural form. Concerns for taste, texture, ingredients, and production methods for these and other vegetarian and vegan products have many avoiding them all together. Instead, expect to see an increase in food products and recipes featuring nutrient-dense, fresh, whole foods this year. Mushrooms, sea vegetables, and legumes (beans, lentils and peas) are expected to be the WFPB stars of 2023. Rest assure that here, at 360Girls&Women®, our recipes and meal plans are curated from whole food plant-based ingredients. In our cooking classes and workshops we show you how to make veggie burgers, "meat" loafs, "meat' balls, and more with plants, all while keeping specific health concerns and preferences in mind. Check out our Cooking for Your Needs: Concierge 1:1 Virtual Experience for more information.
Antioxidant Rich Mocktails
Many have decided to celebrate the start of the new year with a “dry” January, meaning they avoid drinking alcohol of any kind. This trend, however, represents a much larger interest in new approaches to going out and social drinking. The dry or “damp” (moderate alcohol) lifestyle has been trending since 2021 but is showing significant growth as we enter 2023. Demand for non-alcoholic, zero-proof, or low-ABV drinks (commonly called “mocktails,”) is on the rise in stores, restaurants, and local bars around the nation. Best yet, these decadent drinks often contain fresh herbs, spices, vegetables, and fruits that contain a variety of health-boosting vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Specifically, fruits and vegetables with deep, rich colors are commonly used to give these drinks flavor, color, and unique style. Colorful plant foods like berries contain high amounts of antioxidants that are known to protect the body from damage caused by oxidative stress.
Sustainably Sourced Seafood and Sea Vegetables
Seafood (like fish) and sea vegetables (seaweed and algae) contain the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are proven to support the health of the eyes, brain, cardiovascular system, and nervous system. In fact, many reputable health organizations (including the American Heart Association) recommend eating two servings / week of fatty fish like salmon or mackerel as part of a heart healthy diet. Studies also show EPA and DHA can support the healthy development of infants during pregnancy. Because some varieties of seafood can contain high levels of certain minerals and contaminants, women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing, should visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for more info.
This year’s biggest food trends support increased seafood consumption and utilization of eco-friendly sourcing and production practices. In 2023, expect to see sustainable sources of ocean-based foods like tinned fish, kelp, and dried seaweed. We at 360Girls&Women® opt for more plant sources of DHA (from seaweed and algae) and ALA (from nuts and seeds, which are converted to EPA in the body), due to less contaminants. Women who are pregnant or plan to conceive an algae supplement may be beneficial, speak with your personal women’s health dietitian for specific guidance.
Alternatives to Traditional Pasta
Few things are as comforting as a plate of warm pasta with your favorite toppings and a delicious sauce. However, most forms of traditional pasta (including gluten-free varieties) contain highly processed and refined carbohydrates that can result in a blood sugar spike and crash in energy. Enter pasta alternatives made of beans, peas, lentils, and vegetables like zucchini, carrots, and squash. Though this trend has been on the radar for quite a while, a newfound boom is expected for 2023, including new varieties like green banana pasta. Full of fiber, quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, pasta alternatives are a flavorful way to add more veggies to your plate.
By working with 360Girls&Women® you’ll receive customized wellness guidance for your unique needs, health goals, and stage of your lifecycle (adolescence, young adulthood, older adulthood, and motherhood).
Blog Medically reviewed by Sue-Ellen Anderson-Haynes, MS, RDN, CDCES, LDN, NASM-CPT, Women's Health Dietitian, Wellness Practitioner, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, Women's Fitness Specialist Certified Personal Trainer, & Founder - 360Girls&Women®