Food and Health Trends 2018 - My Predictions
A look at what I think will be the hottest trends in food and health in the coming year. Avocados, superfoods and Biohacking...
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But what's going to be the hot trends in food and health in 2018? I've been writing and reading about health every day for the last 4-5 years, so I reckon I've got some idea of what's going on. Here are my predictions and what I see taking off next year....
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A personalised approach to health is something that health experts like Chris Kresser have been talking about for years. But I think in the next 12 months it's going to become even more individual and tailored. We'll be eating more of what agrees with our own bodies and less of what doesn't. The gluten free trend shows no signs of slowing down, and I reckon more people will actually end up going grain free this year. The autoimmune protocol (AIP) has gained ground in a big way with the first ever study that looks into its ability to heal IBD. And with programs like The Autoimmune Healing Intensive gathering pace in early 2018, Biohacking has never been more popular. It's definitely going to get personal in 2018.
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Nope, they're not going anywhere. Still all over Instagram, beautifully-photographed avocados chiselled into roses and artfully arranged on gluten free, brown toast. Bonus points if you plonk a runny-yolked poached egg on top. Late 2017 saw the planning of the first avocado bar in Covent Garden in London, Avobar - and I expect there'll be more in 2018. Mash them onto toast, blend them into your cocktails, slice them up and stir them into a chilli. We still can't get enough of them.
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Innova Market Insights have predicted that mindfulness will be one of the key trends in 2018, and I fully agree. We want to know where our food comes from, what's in it and what it's going to do for us when we eat it. The organic farming movement will continue, and I hope that it will gain new fans looking for a more environmentally way to create food in the future. Top of the list will be the environmental implications of our food, as well as ethical. Snact launched in 2017, the first snack bar to be created from food that would have otherwise been wasted. Be prepared to see changes too in food packaging. We're still wasting a lot of plastic around shop-bought foods, although some supermarkets have switched to more sustainable packaging and smaller amounts. We need to do more. And I think we'll be shifting firmly in that direction in 2018.
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Ah, good old sugar. In March 2017 Public Health England published a report that included guidelines aimed to get sugar in foods reduced to up to 20%. We know that sugar isn't good for us, but it's highly addictive and dangerous to our health in the long term. I definitely think we'll see sugar in our foods plummet in 2018. But companies need to know that we don't just want jams and biscuits packed with artificial sweeteners instead (see Ecology, above). 2017 saw many natural, unsweetened snack foods hit the market, and I reckon we'll see many more in 2018.
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Apparently, there's a thing called Super Coffee, according to an article in The Guardian. It's just coffee with extra things stirred or blended in, a step up from the Bulletproof Coffee many people start their day with. Super Coffee includes things like chia seeds, vanilla or cinnamon. The need for nutrition could lead us into a 2018 where we're panic-buying dulse flakes, sprouts, goji berries and baby kale. Superfood ingredients will become more widely available too, as supermarkets and online retailers respond to demand.
Exercise and Brain Health
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From what I've read, there's been a real shift in concern towards brain health. As evidence mounts that diet and lifestyle could be contributing factors in many health concerns, we're all interested in how we can keep it running more efficiently for longer. Even now, there's definitely a focus on which foods could help keep our brains healthy. And with the launch of Christine Bailey's new book The Brain Boost Diet Plan (review coming soon on the blog) launching in mid January 2018, it's already started. Exercise too, will dominate. Exercise is known to regulate hormones and could help ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety, so it's very much linked to brain health. We'll look for different, more personalised (see point number one) ways to exercise too - from Crossfit to yoga, to approaches that incorporate natural movements like Darryl Edwards' Primal Play. It will be interesting to see the results of studies that look into the gut-brain connection this year, too.
Allergen Friendly Menus
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I think that people who are eating out with food allergies and intolerances will find it a little easier in 2018. There's been a real increase in gluten and dairy-free menus over the last couple of years, even in chain restaurants. And I think it will kick up a notch this year. Restaurants will start to offer more allergy-friendly dishes on their menus, as they keep up with demand. It might not be obvious at first, but you might start to see plain fish, meat or veggie dishes sneak onto menus this year. And not just gluten or dairy. Nuts and nightshade free dishes could be offered by restaurants, too. I'm also personally hoping to see another paleo restaurant in the UK offering paleo dishes, to follow in the footsteps of Primal Roost in Bagshot and The Willow in Kingston.
What do you think? Do you agree with any of these? Would love to know your thoughts! Tell me what you think on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook or leave your comments here.