We’re always thinking about how we can improve ourselves and sometimes we don’t think of things like our gut. But when things go bad with our gut, we really feel it…really. One of the big contributors to how our gut feels is what we eat.
Digestive health is a major food trend in our grocery stores these days. Read on for a listing of 7 food trends that can help with your digestive health, according to Janet Helm, MS, RDN, U.S. News contributor and our commentary on the pros and cons of trying these new food trends:
Fermented food in the form of beverages and cultured vegetables: Fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles are flavorful, but be sure to try them ahead of time because they can also be very potent. Find creative ways to work them into what you eat. Sauerkraut, pickled okra, jalapeños, beans and other specially pickled vegetables can be a nice flavor enhancer to any entrée like tacos or meat dishes.
“Plant forward meals” replacing traditional meats: Think of plant forward meals as a way to add vegetables and mushrooms to your meal where meat used to be. These vegetables can be a lower-fat alternative to your traditional ground beef or chickens. Instead of meat, you’ll be eating mushrooms or soy-based meat replacements that have the same hearty flavor without the extra fat
Convenient on-the-go whole grains: These spiced up grains are meant to be good for on-the-run type occasions. They’re a little fancier than your typical oatmeal in a cup, but all of the fancier packaging and convenience means a little more out-of-pocket when it comes to hitting the grocery store.
Noodles in the form of vegetable pastas and cauliflower rice. There are even some made from chickpeas, lentils, soy beans, and black beans: New noodles can be fun to try. Since these noodles are made from fibrous plants, they are lower in carbs! You can find these at your specialty grocery store like Sprouts and Whole Foods as well as your local grocery store.
Veggies in different forms like chips, bars, and smoothies: Nowadays you can get your vegetables in any form whether it’s chips, dehydrated, freeze dried, spiralized, or the traditional canned and frozen. Unlike your traditional frozen, canned, and fresh vegetables, the flavor is nicely concentrated in these new forms.
Seeds as well as nuts. Think of your typical nut bars and butters, but with seeds: Seeds. Just like nuts, seeds are a good source of protein and now come in the form of snack bars. These can be a good alternate to your typical nut-bar if you’ve got a case of nut-fatigue. You can also sprout your seeds to put on sandwiches or in salads.
Low-FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) Foods with a certified stamp of approval. Individuals usually follow a FODMAP food pattern when they have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive issues. FODMAP foods are believed to be easier to digest: For low-FODMAP foods, you’ll have to keep in mind that this type of eating pattern is intended to help individuals with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues, but it could help alleviate stress on your digestive system. Additionally, these low-FODMAP foods come at a premium, just like other specialty foods (e.g., gluten-free, GMO-free).
Overall, these are some of the fun new trends in foods that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Most of these foods are higher in fiber and low in carbohydrates and unnecessary fats, which make them gentler foods for you gut to digest.
Information for this blog as been adapted from an article by Janet Helm, MS, RDN that was recently published by U.S. News highlighting some of the “good to your gut” food trends that appeared at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) put on by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). The AND is “the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.” While there are many food trends going on these days, she highlights that digestive health definitely took center stage.