Alternative waters, adaptogens and medicinal foods are set to be the next big things in 2017, according to the organisers of a health and wellbeing event.
Balance Festival was created by the founders of the London Coffee Festival and includes contributions from psychologists, medicinal chefs, doctors and entrepreneurs. In 2017, it will take place between 12 and 14 May.
But if you can’t wait that long, here are seven of their predictions for the biggest food trends of 2017.
Food as medicine
Culinary Medicine will replace the ‘clean eating’ trend of previous years. Combining nutrition with culinary knowledge to achieve optimal health, it integrates the evidence-based science of how diet and nutrition can be used as a therapeutic tool into a practical framework – the food that we eat. In 2017, we will see more health bloggers and TV chefs incorporating culinary medicine into their recipes, creating meals specifically for different health issues.
Eating for your microbiome
As more people discover the connection between the gut, brain and immune system, more will begin to focus on eating for their gut microbiome. Gut microbiome refers to your unique collection of microbes or the “mini-ecosystem” that is made up of bacteria in your gut. Similar to the popularity of the Blood Type Diet, 2017 will see a rise of people choosing a diet specifically suited to their particular microflora type. While consumption of fermented foods and probiotics is already on the rise, this is not set to slow down any time soon as bacteria continues to be a hot topic. Doctors such as Dr Rangan Chatterjee are spreading the word about the importance of the biochemical functions of the gut microbiome and human disease processes associated with disorders of the microbiome.
The buzzword: adaptogens
Adaptogens will be to 2017 what superfoods were to 2015. Adaptogens are a unique class of herbs that stabilise physiological processes and promote homeostasis, meaning they promote a stable internal environment, balancing the nervous system and hormones. Expect smoothies packed with rhodiola and ashwagandha, and supplements of ginseng and liquorice root to grow in popularity. Jamu Kitchen create a wellness tonic using the adaptogen turmeric, which they claim boosts immunity, purifies and reduces bloating.
Healthy home cooking made easy
Health for the busy person used to be all about meal replacements and low-fat, ready-made frozen meals. In 2017, more and more brands are making it easier to cook healthy, nutrition-filled meals for yourself at home. Mindful Chef, whose slogan is ‘we make healthy eating easy’, is one of the brands pioneering this movement, sourcing and delivering perfect portions of fresh produce along with specially formulated healthy recipes. In 2017, our lifestyles will be busier than ever, but we will continue to place higher importance on our health, making convenience in healthy eating key.
The year of the vegan
There are three and a half times as many vegans as there were in 2006 according to The Vegan Society, making this the fastest growing lifestyle movement in the UK. More and more Brits are adopting this way of life, and we predict that this is only going to accelerate. 2017 will be the year when plant butchery – already big in the US and Canada – will really start making an impact the other side of the Atlantic. But you will no longer have to go all-in. There are growing numbers of plant-curious people who don’t want to eliminate meat from their diet entirely, but might want to eat it less often. This fits perfectly with the trend towards ‘flexitarianism’ – characterised by infrequent consumption of meat.
The food waste backlash
We’ve seen more people taking a stand against food waste this year, and this is going to continue to be a hot topic in 2017. Millennials care about improving society in this way and, next year, finding creative ways to use surplus food will be even more important. This is almost akin to revisiting the thriftiness of the war years, but for a different reason. We’re talking pickling, making soups and broths out of leftover veg, and finding creative ways to use food scraps. Stores like The Dry Goods Store, who sell natural and organic groceries in bulk, are leading the way by running workshops sharing tips on reducing waste in the home.
Water will be the drink trend of 2017, but not as you know it. As more of us shun alcoholic beverages, 2017 will see us referring back to the basics, increasing our water consumption as we learn that keeping hydrated makes us smarter. However, as we become bored with this necessary hydration, the search for alternative waters begins. Coconut water was so 2016! Next year we’re looking for more creative alternatives and we’ll be turning to maple water, birch water, bamboo water, cactus water, aloe water and honey-sweetened water to provide the answer.
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