Healthy living has become much more important to consumers, and supermarkets are changing accordingly.  Many supermarkets now have sections dedicated to health trends such as Gluten-Free foods, and having a Registered Dietitian in each store is steadily becoming the new standard.  That being said, what trends can you expect to see at your supermarket in 2014?

1) Kale

Kale has been popular for a couple years now, and its popularity continues to grow.  It is definitely a “superfood” – loaded with Vitamin A, C, and K; as well as being a great source of iron and potassium.  On top of that, it is rich in fiber.

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– Kale goes great in salads, but is also a great side dish when sautéed.

– It can replace lettuce as a burger necessity.

– Try your hand at making some homemade Kale Chips for a healthy, nutrient-packed snack.

2) Cauliflower

Cauliflower is rich in antioxidants, potassium, and fiber – and it definitely deserves a spot on your plate.  It is a unique vegetable because it is very versatile in cooking.

– Be creative with cauliflower by making “mock” mashed potatoes (with no potatoes!) or a low-carb homemade cauliflower crust pizza.

Cauliflower Closeup - food trends 2014

3) Juicing

Juicing is gaining a ton of popularity as it makes getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet a breeze.  Juices are of course packed with vitamins and minerals, and are a great way to support a healthy diet.

– Keep in mind that juices could be very high in calories if multiple pieces of fruit are used, so load up on the vegetables instead.

– Try adding peanut butter, Greek yogurt, or your favorite protein powder for additional protein to turn your juice into a nutritionally balanced, on-the-go meal.

4) Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free foods have become so popular that they are even getting their own section in most supermarkets now, and the trend will only continue in 2014.  Avoiding gluten isn’t necessary for your diet unless you have Celiac Disease, but it seems that many persons without the disease are touting the benefits of being gluten-free – such as more comfortable digestion and improved mood.

– If you choose to go Gluten-Free, expect to see better tasting, higher quality products in the supermarket as the Gluten-Free trend continues to evolve.

5) Healthy Fats

Fats used to be the “enemy” in our diets, but research has shown that high-fat diets such as the Mediterranean diet can be very heart healthy – if the fat is from the right sources!

– Try cooking with Coconut Oil to support healthy cholesterol levels and add unique flavor to your foods.

– Avocado is loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber – a homemade guacamole is a great way to incorporate avocado into your diet.

– Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, and pistachios are a great snack to have and are loaded with healthy fats – just keep portion sizes in mind.

6) Seeds

Different types of seeds have become much more popular due to their plethora of health benefits.  Flax seeds have been popular for a couple years now, but more seeds are popping up on store shelves such as Chia and Hemp Seeds.

– Flax seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytoestrogens – which may reduce risk of breast and prostate cancer.

– Chia seeds are loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, AND omega-3 fatty acids.  On top of being a definite “superfood,” they are also gluten-free.

– Hemp seeds are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, phytonutrients, and protein.  In fact, protein from Hemp is considered a “complete” protein – containing all 20 amino acids, and is definitely a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

– Keep in mind that seeds may lose their nutritional quality if roasted or heated, so consume them raw or use them in recipes that don’t require any heating.

seeds are one of the Spring food trends in 2014

7) Ancient Grains

Ancient grains are gaining popularity, and are likely to appear on shelves or even restaurant menus this year.  They are called ancient or heritage grains since they were important food sources for ancient civilizations – and have since gone unchanged.  Look out for Amaranth, Farro, Freekeh, Kamut, and Millet.  Quinoa also continues to be very popular.

– These ancient grains are typically higher in protein than modern whole-grains, as well as being rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

– Each ancient grain has a unique flavor and can be prepared in several different ways.  They are becoming popular as side dishes to replace typical choices such as rice or pasta.

– Some ancient grains are gluten-free including Amaranth, Millet, and Quinoa.  Farro, Freekeh, and Kamut contain gluten since they are variations of wheat.

These above foods should definitely have a place in your diet to support healthy eating habits – minus Gluten-Free, which is more of a personal choice unless you have Celiac Disease. 

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