Typically I’ve always turned to the latest Buzzfeed or Huffington Post list for tips like this. But when I was recently asked what I, personally, thought the latest and greatest health food trends were, my answer came a lot easier than I expected. Lately, I’ve seen some food items that I recognize from my childhood that are gaining popularity, and I couldn’t agree more with their rediscovered spotlight.
Without further ado, here are my personal top three picks for the health foods everyone has, or should have, in their shopping carts:
1. (Fortified) Nutritional Yeast: My mom used to put this stuff on everything—salads, popcorn, soups, pasta, you name it. It’s a fantastic source of B12, and typically used by vegans as a “cheese” replacement since it tends to have a somewhat cheese-like taste. This stuff has healthy written all over it, too. In one serving of nutritional yeast you will get about 4 grams of fiber and a significant dose of iron, selenium and zinc. It also provides four compounds that are associated with enhanced immunity, reduced cholesterol levels and cancer prevention. Even better? It has little sodium and fat, is gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free, as well! To top it all off, nutritional yeast does not contain Candida albicans, which is the type of yeast that agitates the fungal infection known as candidiasis.
2. Spirulina: This is another throwback to my childhood. Don’t let the fact that it is a blue-green algae deter you from trying it, because it is a powerhouse superfood that I personally think is underappreciated. This food find is another treasure trove for vegans, as it is also packed with B-12 (among other B compounds and amino acids), enzymes and probiotics that help enhance your immune and digestive health. Furthermore it provides a natural boost of energy, and is packed with chlorophyll, which will rid your blood of impurities and increase your body’s oxygen levels. It even can help reduce odor! The biggest benefit to spirulina is that it’s a complete protein, and gives you about 15 grams of protein per ounce. Basically, spirulina can offer almost three times more protein than a flank steak, minus the heart attack. However, you might get stuck on how to ingest it. My mom put it in smoothies and apple juice, but I’ve seen some people put it in foods like bread, or even this awesome spirulina chia seed pudding!
3. Sunflower Oil: Sunflower oil may be just what you’re looking for. Thanks to the trend toward non-GMO foods, you can pretty much guarantee any sunflower oil you find is GMO-free, and that it is already in high demand from food companies to restaurants looking for non-GMO alternatives to soybean and canola oils. This is because sunflower oil’s genes are just too difficult to genetically alter due to the plant being recalcitrant to genetic transformation. Other factors that make this an emerging food product is that it has zero trans-fat, supplies more vitamin E than any other oil, and is non-allergenic.
So there you have it—the top three food products I think people should be talking about! It wouldn’t hurt to try, so test them for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below.