(BPT) – With a new year comes a new wave of health and wellness trends, and 2020 kicks off the decade with a plethora of possibilities. Most notably, the trend toward mindful eating has many people asking meaningful questions about the origins of their food. From veggie-packed products, to healthy hybrids, to grain-filled goods, here are five top nutrition trends to keep tabs on this year and beyond.
1. Vegetables are taking on double duty.
While a diet rich in fresh variety is nothing new, the new year will see more products incorporating “hidden” vegetables in place of added sugars and other less healthy ingredients. Many sauces are opting to include kale, white beans and chickpeas for increased nutritional benefits, while beets and sweet potatoes are having a major moment — showing up in various crackers, wraps, chips, cooking condiments and in “superfood” protein powders and supplements. Veggies can even be seen taking over the comfort food category, with several plant-based pastas and mac-and-cheeses hitting the shelves. If this triumphant takeover is any indication, vegetable-packed products are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
2. Healthy hybrids are all the rage.
Snacks are undoubtedly a major part of the American diet, which is why several brands are competing for the title of most health-conscious choice. From chocolate-covered quinoa, to sea salt-caramel pumpkin seeds, this delicious mix of flavors is permeating the market, providing food lovers everywhere with plenty of healthy options to choose from when the need to indulge strikes. No matter your preference, there is likely something to satisfy your taste buds; if protein-rich picks are your poison, antibiotic-free lean jerky is a popular selection, as are easy-to-cook egg bites, which are popping up not only in grocery stores but our favorite coffee houses and restaurants. Seed-based granolas are another top-of-mind trend, with dark chocolate and cinnamon providing a sweet touch to this savory spin on cereal.
3. Make room for alternative baking essentials.
When taking a stroll down the baking aisle, you may have noticed the fruity, fresh take. From flour to butter, fruit is taking center stage in 2020, showing up in a bevy of baking products — from apple flour made from whole apples, to green banana flour, to pomegranate powder. Flours made from fruits and vegetables are steadily climbing as well in packaged foods, including tortilla chips, doughnuts and other goods — and it doesn’t end there. With Americans’ obsession with toast seemingly ever-growing, consumers are readily seeking new spreadable options. Rich and creamy with a savory flavor, fruit-based butters are the next big thing, with watermelon seed butter primed as the top pick to take over for avocados and nutritious nut butters this year.
4. Grain-inclusive goods are having a moment.
Grains are going for gold in 2020, with alternative and ancient varieties popping up in an assortment of foods — and for good reason. With a host of health benefits, from increasing fiber intake, to managing digestive distress, to improving heart health, grains are an essential element to a well-balanced diet. And, while it may not come as a surprise, people aren’t the only ones benefitting from these foods that boast whole, fresh and less processed ingredients. Pets are the latest to get in on the trend with ACANA Wholesome Grains. With protein-rich recipes that contain farm-grown oats, one of the healthiest grains on earth, ACANA Wholesome Grains formulas are rich in fiber and highly nutritious. For pet lovers looking for a delicious way to make sure their dogs are getting the nutrients they require for peak health, ACANA Wholesome Grains provides a hearty solution. A proprietary heart-healthy vitamin pack and a unique blend of B vitamins, E vitamins, taurine and choline work together to promote the proper function of nervous and circulatory systems to ensure optimal functionality. The next time you reach for that flavorful Ancient Grains bowl, don’t forget to let Fido join in on the fun.
5. Feel-good foods are taking over.
The new decade is all about mindfulness — from making meaningful choices about what we put into our bodies, to ensuring we’re taking that much-needed mental health break from the day-to-day. With a rise in plant-based diets and healthy on-the-go foods, companies are focusing on options that make consumers feel good. Holistic, stress-reducing foods are a major player in 2020, showing up everywhere from ice creams to sleep supplements, and feature classic relaxation herbs like lavender and chamomile. Melatonin-rich dried cherries and herb-infused dark chocolate are also shaping up to be favorite finds for the wellness-inclined individual.