Health Food Trends in 2021

In a year when our lives are once more turned upside down, our health and well-being are at the forefront of our thoughts for the foreseeable future. Our eating and drinking habits have changed accordingly with foodie trends that enhance immunity and keep us healthy of much importance!

So, what will the year ahead deliver more of then? Many of us, including myself, did not follow as healthy a diet, as we could have last year, takeaways and comfort eating was too much of a temptation. So in a New Year we get the chance to try a bit harder to eat a healthier diet! There are a few new-ish trends that can give you a dietary kickstart.

Postbiotics-The latest player in the gut- health game is postbiotics, how are these different to probiotics? Well, postbiotics are the metabolites (or end products) of the fermentation that goes on in the gut by probiotics. They have being studied for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits and may also help bolster the immune system. These are found in some of the same foods that contain probiotics, such as kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough bread and kimchi. The main difference is they’re not alive, so can be used in more ways than live probiotics and even added to our food products.

Home Coffee’s-Not always seen as good for you, coffee is having a healthier make-over. As many of us are still working from home and are making our own drinks instead of buying at the local coffee shop, a cup of instant Nescafe just won’t cut it anymore. Recent surveys have found that 45% of respondents were using a new coffee brewing method at home compared to 2019 with a similar amount of people indicating an interest in improving their home- brewing skills.  Which Magazine reviewed electrical and hand-held Frothers recently. Consumers have been using more indulgent creamers and syrups. Sales of plant-based creamers rose buy 30% percent in 2019 and oat, rice and soya milk has been produced specially for the coffee market. Younger consumers like to experiment with flavours to replicate healthier custom-takeaway drinks. For a healthier hit try turmeric latte or matcha latte, which are easily made at home. You can also mix and match your favourite spices like cinnamon and ginger and use honey to sweeten your drink.

AI Created Food-Artificial intelligence is helping food companies create things we could have only dreamed of a couple of years ago. In particular in dairy- free and Vegan products that taste just like the real thing. Like a non-dairy milk that behaves like dairy milk (it froths, foams and blends like dairy) but is made from pea protein, cabbage juice, pineapple juice and other plant ingredients.

Micro Greens-These are not exactly new, but consumer appetite for them is at an all-time high and they are mainstreaming. These tiny shoots are the baby counterparts of plants like carrots and broccoli. You may have enjoyed microgreens at a high-end restaurant in the past, but now you can find them at the supermarket. They are not only colourful but loaded with nutrients and can be easily added to salads and smoothies. These can be grown at home, in a garden or on a windowsill. Home- Growing is also trending in 2021.

Kelp– Seaweed has been traditionally used in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisine for thousands of years. Nutritionally kelp is a sustainable superfood, offering several minerals, including calcium, and B vitamins in each serving and environmentally it cleans the water by removing the nutrients that cause algae blooms. Added to smoothies and broths, it gives an extra health boost.

Foods That Fight Climate Change– Food production is a significant contributor to climate change, accounting for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. So, our food choices can help to counteract the effects of climate change. Simply swapping meat for plant-based food like beans one day a week can make a huge difference on your personal environmental impact. Locally, organically grown crops like vegetables have a lower carbon footprint. Consuming produce when it’s readily available saves energy from production and transportation costs because it didn’t have to be shipped from a faraway country. So seasonal cooking is the way to go. Better still grow your own!

Home- Made Condiments– As the pandemic stretches on, consumers are missing their favourite restaurant foods and are trying to replicate these flavours at home. This has led to an increased demand for authentic sauces, chutneys, and seasoning blends that home cooks can use to make restaurant- worthy dishes. With so many people stuck at home, they are rediscovering the joys of cooking.  Small companies producing: spices and condiments have been a huge pandemic hit and making chutneys at home is also becoming popular as these can be free from additives and artificial colours so are healthier as well as tastier than the usual shop bought.

All of these trending foods can be added to your diet with relative ease and I noticed the move away from strange and wacky, designer foodie trends in favour of simple foods that can actually benefit your health and also that of the planet. What next I wonder?

The Teenage Global Climate Protest.

Things are really changing now, even from only a few years ago, we couldn’t have predicted both the changes in our beliefs and the teenage global climate protests with Greta Thunberg at the helm. In the city where I live teenagers took to the streets to join the worldwide protests. I feel proud of them for standing up and speaking their minds. Now teenagers in general get a bad rapt, but on this, they are correct, we all know this is a major problem but right now they are the ones who are making a difference.

Anxious about their future on a hotter planet and angry at world leaders for failing to arrest the crisis, masses of young people poured into the streets on every continent for a day of global climate protests. Organisers estimated the turnout to be around four million in thousands of cities and towns worldwide. Whether this global action solved the problem that the protesters have identified: arresting greenhouse gas emissions to stave off a climate catastrophe, who knows at this point? It depends on how effectively climate advocates can turn the momentum of the protest marches into sustained political pressure on governments and companies that produce those emissions. But surly, one of the biggest environmental protests the world has ever seen cannot be ignored by those in positions of power.

There is growing scientific concern. A slew of recent reports has warned that oceans are heating and the poles melting faster than expected. In the USA and Europe, politicians are considering green deals and policies that would ramp up the transition to renewable energy but with increasing emissions it could be said that more focus is needed and quickly.

Young people have a distinctive and valuable perspective. They deserve to be heard. Teenagers can already join British political parties, most of which grant full membership rights to mid-teens. In Scotland, 16-year-olds can vote in some elections and this should be extended to all elections across the UK. The damage that is occurring now will affect them more than us, so they should have a say. There are sensible questions to be asked about the influence exerted by parents and other adults on children professing strong opinions. But we should respect and welcome efforts by children and teenagers to make their voices heard and influence decision-making. After all, they will be living with the consequences for far longer than the rest of us. The accelerating climate crisis, with figures from the UK Met Office suggesting that 1.5C of warming could be reached in as little as five years, shows it is the time to demand tougher action to avert disaster.

There have been suggestions that someone older had put them up to it. The Flemish environment minister, Joke Schauvliege, took the stance that the recent school strikes across Belgium were a “set-up and that security services knew who was really “behind this movement”. However, the Belgian security services issued a rare denial and Ms Schauvliege resigned her position.

Greta Thunberg was a lonely figure, a painfully introverted, slightly built teenage girl, when she started a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish parliament building in Stockholm in 2018. Her parents tried to dissuade her and her classmates declined to join her. Pity and bemusement were expressed by passers-by at the sight of a 15-year-old sitting on the cobblestones with a hand-painted banner. Now the picture could not be more different. The pig-tailed teenager is feted across the world as a model of determination, inspiration, and positive action. As a climate activist, her one-person strikes in Stockholm helped ignite a global movement and she is known as a figurehead for this vast and growing movement. A handful of fossil fuel lobbyists, politicians, and journalists have argued Thunberg is not what she seems, that she was propelled into prominence by environmental groups and sustainable-business interests. The entrepreneur who first tweeted about the climate strike, Ingmar Rentzhog, used Thunberg’s name to raise investment for his company but this was done without her permission. She has now cut all links with the company and has since vowed never to be associated with commercial interests. She has also been withering about leaders in the USA, UK, and Australia who either ignore the strikers or admonish them for skipping classes.

Greta says “They are desperately trying to change the subject whenever the school strikes come up. They know they can’t win this fight because they haven’t done anything”

Such blunt talk has found a broad audience among people jaded by empty promises and eager to find a climate leader willing to ramp up ambition. Greta Thunberg is brutally honest and for this some people consider this a threat.

She has told demonstrators “If no one else will take action, then we will

 I personally think we should listen to our children on this one. There is an old Yorkshire saying “Out of the mouths of Babes”, which roughly means sometimes children have some clever ideas and know and see more clearly than adults. So, I will leave you with this thought!