by Sophia Smith: As we keep learning about our bodies and uncover its needs, our understanding of health changes…
We no longer strive to eat foods only to survive or to have energy, but to fulfill much deeper needs and preferences. From general well-being, physical fitness, all the way to balanced hormones and weight management, our diet plays a key role in being healthy.
However, with new knowledge in our hands, certain new trends and ways of eating are slowly gaining more traction. Fitness gurus, as well as medical practitioners, around the world have shared essential information that can help us create a more suitable way of eating.
No matter what your goals may be, remember that everyone is different and we all need to listen to our bodies when we start changing our diets. What may work for some people may do more harm than good to others. The following are some of this year’s most celebrated dietary guidelines, which you can consider introducing into your own diet, depending on your own health needs.
Plants come first
There are several key factors that have led to a change of heart in terms of eating animal-based foods. First of all, studies have shown that we need to introduce more plants into our diet for the sake of improved health. With all of these fast food places and junk food available on every corner, it has become a global habit to ditch fresh foods for packed, processed snacks.
In 2018, we have finally started paying more attention to our actual needs. Add to that the growing awareness of the climate changes and animal cruelty, and more individuals gladly go vegan, vegetarian, or at least embrace meatless Mondays.
Sustainability front and center
The eco-friendly mindset that inspires people to choose plants over meat has also helped reshape our grocery lists. Learning how much damage is caused by transportation due to importing food, and how local businesses suffer as a result has helped encourage more people to buy local goods.
Fresh, seasonal food is once again one of the pillars of healthy eating. Thanks to such a mindset, we can support our local economy, help farming families improve their lives, and finally, eat the food of better quality. It’s a brilliant way to reduce our carbon footprint as well as our exposure to harmful chemicals, and stop supporting plastic and other unneeded packaging methods for transporting food.
Making it personal
Some of the healthiest diets that have emerged thus far are based on introducing more healthy fats into our menus and ditching carbs. However, this leads to a slew of complex metabolic processes in the body that leave us with many questions. Due to this surge of low-carb eating, we learn what are ketones, how they affect our metabolism, and how healthy fats can be used as energy instead of carbs.
The key in these dieting regimes is to always make sure you listen to your body. Experts in nutrition can help you devise your own low-carb eating plan with a strong focus on your personal needs. They take into consideration every goal you want to achieve, but also try to balance your hormones and ensure plenty of energy, and similar health concerns that we all share.
Listening to your gut
We have recently learned that our gut health is closely connected to so many diseases and health concerns, including Alzheimer’s disease and other illnesses. Although we still have so much to learn about the relevance of our gut microbiota, 2018 diets show greater concern for our intestinal flora to gain better health.
Introducing fermented foods and dairy products that are rich in healthy bacteria, such as kefir and yoghurt will play an important role in boosting our wellbeing.
As we turn to plant-based eating, we need more varied sources of protein, and even more importantly, of those essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. That is why more people are turning to whey protein supplements, as well as plant sources of protein such as quinoa, chia seeds, and various legumes and pulses.
Add to that regular consumption of fish, which also means eating more of those healthy fats as well, and your diet will improve significantly.
Letting go of sugar
We have all been the victims of an occasional sugar craving or two. However, instead of succumbing to our desire and reaching for a sugar-loaded muffin, we now have access to a wide array of sweets that are actually healthy. Some prefer using natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, or coconut sugar, but there are many artificial sweeteners that are also available.
However, 2018 serves us all as an encouragement to abandon sugar as much as possible, especially if you wish to stick to a low-carb diet. An occasional fresh fruit is a much better alternative than a processed sweet, and even then, moderation is the best way to go.
Spice things up
On a final note, some of the latest food trends that are based on improving health are focused on herbs and spices. They are used now more than ever to make our meals more versatile, but also to use their incredible potency to boost our wellbeing.
A great example is turmeric, which is a spice with an earthy, tangy flavor, and it can easily be added to almost every meal. All that matters is that you do some research and discover which of these little additions can help you achieve your own goal and stay healthy!
Sophia Smith is beauty blogger, an eco-lifestyle lover, graphic designer and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about natural skincare, minimalist wardrobe, yoga and mindful living. Sophia writes mostly about beauty-related topics in her blogs and articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: Eco Warrior Princess, Viva Glam Magazine, How to Simplify, Mother Earth Living and Carousel. You can find out more about her writing by following her on: Facebook Twitter Google +