8 Trends in Nutrition Worth Paying Attention To
There are a lot of fads and hype in nutrition, as there are in fitness, health, exercise, etc. Rather than chasing fads that promise everything for nothing, look for solid ideas that are based on science. Do your research and remember nothing is free – that includes your health! Following are eight trends in nutrition that are supported by research.
Drinking vinegar has actually replaced sugary sodas and juices for many people. Usually, the drink consists of apple cider vinegar mixed with other healthy ingredients, resulting in a tangy, tasty drink. Studies have shown that vinegar has blood sugar monitoring capabilities, making this a smart option for a post-meals beverage. Vinegar also helps promote vitamin and mineral absorption and satiety.
Botanicals are enjoying their day in the sun, showing up in skin care products and hair products and fragrances. They’re also finding their place in nutrition. According to Natural Grocers, the health-promoting properties of botanicals such as epigallocatechin (found in green tea and used to boost brain function), ashwaganda, lions mane, turmeric, holy basil and reishi are backed by research.
An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation. Antioxidants have been featured for their health and anti-aging properties for many years. One of their more popular jobs is neutralizing and removing free radicals. A somewhat newer focus today is chronic inflammation. Inflammation in the body contributes to the development of disease and the breakdown of the immune system. Some of the big players are omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, polyphenols from fruits and vegetables, and vitamins C and E.
Nutrigenomics studies environmental factors as they pertain to gene expression. Research shows a definite link between weight and genes and lifestyle. The goal is to have health care professionals provide nutritional recommendations to patients based on more personalized factors such as genetic profile, environmental factors, health status, food preferences and phenotype. (We look more deeply into the topic of nutrigenomics in next week’s blog – stay tuned!)
Ordering lattes isn’t as simple as it used to be! Now there are so many more options than vanilla, hazelnut, mocha, pumpkin – now you can order your latte with health boosts such as turmeric, mushroom powder, collagen and adaptogenic herbs.
Plant-based are beneficial in improving immune health and digestive health. Distinct links exist between probiotics and the gut-brain connection, these probiotics are pychobiotics. Pychobiotics are “mind-altering probiotics” that can affect the brain by improving moods, decreasing anxiety, helping depression, etc. Probiotics are found in foods such as yogurt, fermented pickled vegetables, kefir (a fermented probiotic milk drink), certain soft cheeses, and miso soup.
Cottage cheese hasn’t enjoyed the best of reputations, mainly because people see it as “diet food” and therefore boring. But cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, specifically the main protein casein. Casein and whey are the main proteins in milk, cheese, and other types of dairy products, with casein making up 80% of the protein. (There are some controversial opinions about the safety of casein due to the presence of casomorphins, which are natural morphine-like substances.) Cottage cheese also is low in sugar.
We recently looked in-depth at the keto diet, its advantages and disadvantages, how it works, professional opinions, etc. Ketosis is basically a process whereby the body is thrown into a state of ketosis, the breaking down of fat for energy instead of carbs and proteins. Some of the nutritional benefits of ketosis are:
- Improved cognitive function
- Increased energy
- Accelerated loss of fat
- Regulation of hormones
- Lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
- Improved balance of gut bacteria
Keeping up with trends, from the latest diet trends to the latest methods of studying nutritional, can be exhausting. Research whatever issue you’re wishing to address, find some of the trends associated with that issue, then research those trends. You want to focus on trends, NOT fads.
As always, SplitFit recommends you consult with your physician, nutritionist or other healthcare professional before making any big changes in your diet.
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