The biggest healthy food trends predicted for 2017

Each year we're bombarded with a host of new superfoods that promise to transform everything from our skin to our hair and even our waistlines.

Whether it's spirulina, acai berries or maple water, the market is awash with miracle ingredients - and it seems 2017 will be no different.

Leading nutritionists have revealed the health trends that will be everywhere next year - and while some may sound improbable, others may already be in your kitchen cupboard. From algae to purple food, theDaily Mail reveals the 14 health and wellbeing trends we'll all be dabbling with next year... watch this space.

1. Super-spices

"Superfood" has become the biggest buzzword in the health food industry. But after years of avocado and quinoa reigning supreme, it's time to pass the crown to spices - with turmeric being one of the most powerful.

It contains curcumin, a chemical with potent antioxidant which has been shown to help relieve the pain of arthritis, injuries and even dental procedures.

Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at lilysoutternutrition.com explains: "This bright yellow spice is best known for its potent anti-inflammatory benefits. Curcumin has been used to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis as well as playing a role in cancer prevention and protecting against heart disease."

Trying to detox? Spice up your dishes with turmeric to help the liver function properly. "It stimulates production of bile by the gallbladder that is used by liver to filter and expel toxins," adds nutritionist Cassandra Barns. "You can also take turmeric supplements with the active curcumin ingredient, for similar effect."

2. Cauliflower (in all its forms!)

This supermarket staple, set to be a major player on the health food scene next year, is more versatile than you may think, insists Cassandra. "You can pulse raw florets in a food processor to make cauliflower rice, steam it and blend to make a delicious mash, or just remove the leaves, shove it in the oven and bake it whole.

"It's low in carbs and calories and high in fibre, vitamin C, folate and potassium. It also contains compounds called glucosinolates, which are thought to have anti-cancer activity.

3. Watermelon water

There's a reason Beyoncé invested in a watermelon water startup this year - the beverage, taken from the fruit's flesh and rind, is set to be as popular as coconut water, beloved by the likes of Rihanna and Cara Delevigne.

Cassandra says: 'Like coconut water, it contains natural electrolyte minerals. It's especially high in potassium, which has the benefit of keeping our blood pressure in a healthy range. It also contains lycopene - one of the most powerful and protective antioxidants found in plants.'

4. Tiger nuts

Confusingly, these are not nuts but a small root vegetable that grow in the Mediterranean and Africa. In fact, they may have been eaten as far back as the Stone Age.

Cassandra explains: 'Tiger nuts are high in fibre and contain calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, amongst other valuable nutrients.' They are also great for supporting the digestive system and weight loss.

She recommends trying tiger nut flour, a 'great alternative gluten-free, grain-free flour that can be used in baking or cooking and that's suitable for all types of diets from vegan to Paleo to nut-free.'

5. Everything sparkling (including tea)

Drinks with a fizz are growing in popularity by the day - and, contrary to popular belief, they're not always bad for you. "Thanks to champagne, the word 'sparkling; is associated with celebration and luxury," says Cassandra. This trend is being translated into health drinks, too; we now have sparkling, sugar-free infused water, as well as sparkling matcha tea - and 2017 may just bring this trend to a whole new level.

6. Goat meat

Goat meat is a staple North African and Middle Eastern cuisine - yet it rarely makes it onto the dinner table in the UK. Lily says: "Whilst goat's cheese and milk is pretty popular, it's hard to find goat's meat in any of our local supermarkets. Despite this, there has been recent talk that Waitrose and Sainsbury's may have goat meat available on their shelves by 2017.

"Goat meat is a healthy option," adds Cassandra. "It's low in fat and higher in protein than some meats and it's also higher in iron than beef, pork or lamb."

7. Omega 3 from algae

Along with the surge in popularity for vegan lifestyles, the market for omega 3 from algae is only likely to increase.

"Most of us know about the importance of omega 3 fatty acids - especially DHA and EPA from oily fish," says Cassandra. "But for vegetarians and vegans, or anyone who can't eat fish or take fish oil supplements, getting a good source of these healthy fats can be a problem. Luckily there is an answer: algae can provide small amounts of these specific omega-3 fats which can be found concentrated in supplement form."

8. Purple foods

The future of modern cuisine is purple, according to our experts, as these foods can pack a powerful disease-prevention punch. Lily says: "Purple kale, purple carrots, purple cauliflower, purple broccoli and purple potatoes are all amazingly rich in anthocyanins.

"These are the antioxidants responsible for their purple colour and have amazing disease-fighting properties. They can soothe inflammation as well as boost immune function. Lastly, anthocyanins have also been shown to improve memory and brain function."

9. Adaptogens

Some plants have 'superpowers' that can help our body adapt to and handle stress. These wonders are called adaptogens and include maca, licorice, ginseng, rhodiola and moringa.

Shona explains why adaptogenic herbs are making a big comeback: "As their name suggests, adaptogens are herbs that help the body adapt to the stresses of life," she says.

"They are tonifying to the body, strengthening it, rebuilding it and nourishing it.

"Adaptogens are able to adapt their function, depending on what our body needs. They usually have a specific affinity for the adrenal and endocrine glands, therefore having a positive effect on hormonal balance and the way the body functions under stress."

10. Probiotic water

We've seen probiotic yoghurts, supplements, and even probiotic chocolate has found a niche in the market. Now probiotic water is proving popular too, as another drink that can naturally help our guts. Shona says: "Tablets are out. Different ways of getting our supplements are in. Food and drink are becoming functional - this trend is an example of how we can get the goodness of water with the added health benefits of probiotics."

11. Sunflower protein powders

Plant-based protein powders suitable for vegans have already started flying of the shelves, and are set to be yet more popular for 2017. "We need protein for many reasons - not only for our muscles but for building, healing and repairing most of the other tissues in our body as well as producing a range of vital substances such as antibodies and hormones," says Shona.

"Because the richest sources of protein are animal foods, vegetarians and especially vegans may struggle to get enough protein. For optimal wellbeing, an adult needs a minimum of around 0.8 to 1g of protein per kilo "ideal" body weight per day. So if your healthy body weight is 60kg, you'll need around 50 to 60 grams of protein per day. And this amount increases if you're very active, or trying to build strength."

12. Filipino cuisine

While Thai and Vietnamese foods are as easy to come by as fish and chips, Filipino food has been slower to catch on in the UK - but this is set to change in 2017.

"There are many healthy and flavoursome choices available such as Paket, a vegetable dish full of spices; adobo, meat marinated in vinegar and soy sauce; Ginataang, a fish stew; roasted lemon grass chicken; and Tortang Talong, an aubergine- and egg-based breakfast," says Lily.


13. Chewable probiotics for dental care

We're increasingly concerned about dental health, and one way to help prevent infection and the build-up of bacteria is taking probiotics in a chewable form. Cassandra explains:

'As well as taking care of our intestinal health, friendly bacteria also live in our mouth and can help to take care of our teeth and gums too. For this reason, chewable probiotics could help to keep our oral health in check.'

14. Essential oils make a big comeback

Essential oils have been around for years, but their return in 2017 coincides with our increased interest in natural and holistic products - and they can help with a plethora of modern ailments including stress and anxiety, mood, sleep, and even hormonal balance.

According to skincare expert Sonja Dymalowski at What Skin Needs, they're poised to gain popularity on the beauty market too. "In terms of skincare ingredients, we are going back to basics - less is more," she says. "Essentials oils are packed with vitamins, amino acids and anti oxidants so they won't dry out your skin. Instead, they can smooth fine lines and heal blemishes at the same time."

- Daily Mail

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