What will nutritionists be buzzing about in 2015? Get ready for beef bone broths, edible food wrappers and foods that fuel a vibrant microbiome. Read on to learn more.
Beef Bone Broth
If you see someone sipping a steaming beverage while walking down the street in 2015, it may not be coffee or tea but the latest craze to hit nutrition enthusiasts and foodies alike: beef bone broth. While long popular among the Paleo crowd, this trend has suddenly gone mainstream as chefs and natural food companies have gotten into the act. The broth may be more nutritious than your basic store-bought stock. The bones are boiled for more than 24 hours, which dramatically increases the protein content increases normally minimal minerals such as calcium and magnesium. In the past month, takeout broth windows have opened in NYC and a line of bone broth has hit supermarket shelves. Thanks to the addition of flavor with freshly grated herbs like ginger or turmeric and spices, the taste of this trend is more delicious and complex than that sodium-heavy, ho-hum chicken stock.
Beans will have a serious moment in 2015. They sit at the intersection of trends towards more sustainable protein, tasty snacking that’s good for you, affordable healthy options and foods that play nice with spice and seasoning. At the recent Food and Nutrition Conference Expo (FNCE) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, one of the largest nutrition meetings in the world, the food pavilion showcased many new innovations in how we think about this nutrient-packed (albeit somewhat prosaic) superfood. Some examples were crunchy, craveable snack packs of seasoned beans that are rich in protein and fiber to hummus innovation through new fresh beans and legume combos. There were even new bean varieties like the stunningly beautiful black and white Orca beans that pack a whopping 10 grams of protein per quarter cup. That’s more than double the amount of most beans and can be swapped into your favorite bean recipes.
Edible Food Packaging
Imagine if your favorite food or beverage came wrapped in a protective, edible skin of food itself. Those on the front lines of food innovation are seeking to do just that by looking to nature for inspiration. Much as a grape skin provides a protective barrier that’s also nourishing and delicious, edible use a combination of dried fruit and other natural substances including calcium and molecules derived from algae and mushrooms. The components of the wrapper come together to form a protective “skin” impervious to oxygen and water to prevent spoilage that is 100% biodegradable and can be washed like a piece of fruit. Changing the nature of wrappers could slow the flow of plastic packaging into landfill may reduce our exposure to BPA and other chemicals in plastics. These wrappers may also expand into medication packaging and consumption.
Chances are you’ll get know your gut better in 2015. Multiple lines of evidence continue to point to the unique microbial ecosystem of over one trillion microbes as a big player in an astonishing number of vital functions. These include keeping our immune system strong, fending off germs, influencing inflammation, synthesizing vitamins and even influencing our blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, appetite, fat cell size and absorption and use of the nutrients we consume. The microbiome was the subject of some of the most jam packed sessions at FNCE this year, and popular products in the expo hall showcased the latest food trends in the space, including kefirs, kombuchas, sauerkrauts, cultured cream cheese and frozen yogurt bars.
What can mess with your microbiome? Diet sodas and a diet filled with highly refined and processed foods are two big culprits. In addition, there’s some evidence to suggest that the traces of antibiotics used to promote faster growth found in conventional beef, pork and chicken may also actually be contributing to obesity due to their gut-altering effects. That offers one more reason to steer clear of conventional meat and poultry and to choose organic when you can.