Top 10 Nutrition Trends for 2020

Every year, we see new trends emerge in the health & wellness space. Last year was full of innovation. Healthy eating is becoming easier and more accessible, but it’s also more confusing to the consumer and the market is saturated with new products and ideas. Superfoods have been elevated to much more than powders added to smoothies, protein offerings are expanding and sustainability is huge. So what will the new decade bring and which trends are legit? I dove into the topic for you and here are my top 10 predictions:

These plant derived compounds are said to help the body fight any kind of stress – be it physical or emotional. Some claim to boost brain function or balance hormones. Examples include ginseng, ashwagandha, and turmeric. Each plant has a slightly different function but the general idea is that they help us balance our health (in Chinese medicine, they bring you back to the “middle”). Adaptogens come in many forms, but if you choose supplements, try to select ones of high quality and that are third party tested to ensure purity.

Despite a lack of long term research or a large number of high quality studies proving its effects, this trend has been growing over the past two years and is predicted to not only stay but grow even more. Collagen, claimed to help your skin and hair glow and make your muscles grow, is added to anything from protein bars to water. 2020 will surely bring some new ways to sneak collagen into our diets.

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is an essential part of the Cannabis plant but since it’s different from the psychoactive compound THC, it does not cause a ‘high’. It can help with anxiety and insomnia. It has become a popular ingredient in functional food products and beverages. As more evidence on its safety and effects emerges, I expect to see a lot more of these products in the coming years. Some great CBD infused functional drinks include Recess and Dram.

Veganism and plant based diets have become more mainstream in the past few years. However, more and more people are realizing how beneficial seafood is. Additionally, more sustainable practices have made seafood a good choice for those who want to reduce their environmental impact. The seagan diet is a diet that is fully plant based (ie no dairy, eggs, or meat) but includes seafood. It is different than a pescatarian diet because pescatarians eat more animal protein in the form of eggs and dairy in addition to seafood / fish. 

Protein bars are sometimes high in sugars and are loaded with ingredients many people don’t want in their diets anymore. More sustainable options will start coming onto the market with the new decade. Vegetable snacks, legume / bean snacks or seafood snacks such as Mini Fish are going to be the protein choice of the future.

The gut flora is receiving increased attention as more research emerges about the links between different diseases and our microbiome. As this trend grows, more food options are becoming available that provide pre and/or probiotics. You can get plenty of prebiotics from fruits and vegetables. Examples of great probiotic foods include yogurt and kimchi. My fave plant based, high probiotic yogurt is Lavva.

We are definitely taking the keto and paleo trends into 2020 with us. That’s one reason why grain free snacks will become more easily available and abundant. Brands such as LesserEvil and Simple Mills are pioneers and I expect them to expand in variety and availability. I also predict more and more mainstream brands will come out with new grain free options.

Those compounds are believed to improve cognitive function, memory or creativity. They include caffeine and L-theanine plus numerous others currently under research. As more people are seeking to boost their efficiency, nootropics in foods are expected to become popular. Nyrvana chocolates is one of the first snacks out there that makes a chocolate which can also boost your focus. I expect to see much more of this trend in 2020.

In line with the seagan trend, the evidence for the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets has pushed people and industries to value this nutrient more. Frozen dinners with high quality seafood (such as Love the Wild) are just one example of how we can now easily add omega-3s to our diets. More and more supplements are also emerging.

This trend really took off in 2019 but is coming to 2020 with us. Pizza crust and gnocchi are not the only cauliflower foods I expect to see in the coming years. Stay tuned for more creative dishes and more cauliflower everywhere.

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