Top healthy foods to eat in 2020
The last ten years witnessed unprecedented change in the food world. As we begin this new decade, a combination of shifts in our attitude towards food, health and the environment, as well as technological advancement is set to enhance food development exponentially.
From CBD products to alternative flours, as well as a continuous interest in plant based foods, the industry is going to see some innovative new products hit the supermarket shelves.
Conversely, meal delivery kits, zero waste packaging and demand for local ingredients will also alter our supermarket experiences and shopping habits.
Nutritional advisors and food consultants to the stars, Annabel and Victoria, founders of Hakuna Foods, explain how they are constantly looking out for new trends and products all over the world and set out their predictions for the UK food industry in 2020.
Eating seasonally is part of our Hakuna philosophy so we recommend taking full advantage of the delicious blood oranges you can find throughout January. They are packed full of Vitamin A and are really rich in calcium and folic acid. Most notably however, blood oranges are super high in Vitamin C, which is essential to maintain healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage. If you can’t find blood oranges, regular oranges are also in season so you will be able to find them at a reasonable price almost anywhere.
Kale, in any variety, is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables on the planet, with it’s dark green leaves, it contains huge amounts of Vitamin A, K, and C, as well as a hefty amount of vitamin B6. Kale is also loaded with antioxidants which have numerous health benefits. It’s very low in calories too and can be eaten cooked or raw. Kale is very much in season in January, and is available in so many forms, stock up on this super nutritious vegetable whilst it is available to help you get on track for 2020. Kale sprouts in particular are delicious roasted in the oven with a little sesame oil, sesame seeds and pink Himalayan salt.
A small handful of brazil nuts, whilst high in fat and calories, also contain very high levels of the antioxidant – selenium. Ensuring you have enough selenium in your diet is important as it can help to reduce anxiety and irritability. Our Hakuna philosophy encourages good mood food, to ensure that both your body and your mind are as nourished as possible. Including mood boosting foods, such as brazil nuts, is much of the focus of our menu development in order to help minimise the level of stress inside our bodies.
If you’re keeping costs low in January but are focusing on your nutrition, opt for mackerel as an alternative to pricier salmon or tuna. It is a high quality source of protein which may be extra beneficial if you’re hitting the gym a bit harder than usual this month. It’s a delicious oily fish that contains seriously impressive amounts of essential fatty acid – Omega 3.
It has been suggested that Omega 3 can help with depression and anxiety and at Hakuna we love to include it in our menus as we focus on the importance of ‘good mood food.’ We like to encourage our clients to eat a couple of servings of sustainably sourced oily fish every week, and mackerel is one of our favorites. Mackerel also contains Vitamin B12 which many people are deficient in, especially if they are undertaking a predominantly plant based diet.
A philosophy, which you should live by, and encourage, revolves around the 80/20 rule. By this we promote healthy and considered eating 80% of the time, but for the remaining 20% of the time, indulge in the things that make you the happiest, whether that’s a glass of wine with dinner, or some dark chocolate in front of a movie. Never deny yourself these luxuries, but also make sure not to consume them for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. Dark chocolate for us, in one of our very favourite foods. We suggest choosing one with high cacao percentage – 70% upwards. One of the best benefits of dark chocolate is that it is a powerful source of antioxidants which help remove free radicals from your body.
Oats and especially oats in the form of porridge are a mainstay in the Hakuna kitchen, and it’s on the menu regularly. Not only are they a delicious start to the day but they have amazing nutritional properties. They are packed full of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as being an excellent source of fiber, protein and iron. The soluble fiber in the oats contains beta glucan that forms a gel like substance. This helps to lower cholesterol levels, as well as regulating blood sugar levels and insulin spikes, it also helps you feel fuller for longer and increases the growth of good bacteria in the gut. We use steel cut oats, as these are the least processed and most delicious along with plant-based milk our favourites including, oat and hazelnut.
Turmeric has so many wonderful health benefits and you can incorporate it into your diet through a plethora of different Asian dishes or simply fresh in juices and smoothies. Turmeric contains bioactive compounds called curcuminoids, the most pottant of which is called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is also a strong antioxidant. As well as helping to boost brain function it has cancer fighting properties and can help lower the risk of heart disease. Eating turmeric with black pepper and oil can help curcumin absorb into the bloodstream more effectively. You can buy it in powdered or in the fresh root form and as always, get the best quality you can afford. Remember spices have a shelf life, so check the dates on you spice pots and get the freshest you can for optimal results.
The only plant based, non fortified food that contains natural sources of Vitamin D, which especially in the winter months is even more important as we don’t get as much natural sunlight in the UK. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies which helps keep our teeth, bones and muscles healthy. Mushrooms in general, are also an excellent source of fibre which is vital for a healthy gut, and are also high in Vitamin B and selenium.