2020 was a taxing and challenging year that brought unexpected changes for many individuals around the world, impacting nearly every aspect of our daily lives. With it, our priorities have seemingly shifted as well, causing most of us to focus on our overall health and wellness once again, including what we choose to eat. As a result, the food and nutrition industry has noticeably changed as well, bringing new health trends that will quickly take over the food and eating culture. If you’re wondering what the future might have in store, here are some of the biggest and most important food and nutrition trends on the horizon:
It seems like food won’t only be used for satisfying hunger cues in the future, but rather be chosen more mindfully in an effort to improve our general health and well-being. As the coronavirus pandemic reminded us that health isn’t eternal or guaranteed, this led many to look for foods that will build and support their immune system in order to help them fight off potential illnesses. The interest in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and selenium has significantly grown over the last year, as consumers searched for supplements and nutrient-rich foods that will allow them to boost their immunity and lead to better overall health.
A focus on mental health
The uncertainty and the unprecedented nature of the novel pandemic have also led many to start prioritizing their mental health once again. Even though food alone won’t be able to cure any specific mental health issues, there are certain foods that have been known to help support overall mental well-being. For instance, diets rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, healthy fats, and even probiotics, have all been shown to improve mental health in the past. Due to these factors, it’s likely we’ll see more brands coming out with specific products containing these beneficial ingredients, aimed at reducing stress levels and improving mental well-being.
Smart and healthy drinks
Along with the need to boost our immunity and better our mental health also came the need to improve our overall well-being by introducing new additions into our diet. Among the most popular additions were nootropics, natural supplements that have quite a beneficial effect on overall brain function. These delicious and smart drinks can enhance focus, promote learning, and improve memory, while also helping to reduce stress, aid in restful sleep, and improve our overall health. These drinks have been incredibly useful during the pandemic, and are bound to remain popular due to their beneficial nature.
More home-cooked meals
For those who wish to go back to basics and simplify their diet, the novel pandemic might have brought some more positive outcomes after all. As most of us have experienced closures and lockdowns for the majority of last year, we weren’t quite able to visit our favorite restaurants and other eateries as often as we used to. This resulted in an increasing number of people now cooking their daily meals at home once again, using only fresh and healthy ingredients. Although this practice might have started out as a necessity, it will likely continue to be a popular trend, as many have found cooking to be quite a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
A lack of prevalent diet culture
As social media begins to spread more science-based facts about nutrition and health professionals continue to gain larger audiences, diet cultures might not be quite so prevalent anymore. It seems like people are starting to avoid gimmicky diets and fads that promise unbelievably quick results, with many now criticizing popular diets like paleo and keto for their unsustainable and often unenjoyable nature. Instead, we are seeing a shift towards intuitive eating that includes all food groups in moderation, focusing mostly on healthy whole foods that promote strength, vitality, and happiness, rather than unrealistic body image standards.
Conscious local consumption
Apart from the specific foods we select and the manner in which we eat them, the COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted the way we acquire our ingredients. This new situation seemingly gave many consumers a new appreciation for their local communities, encouraging them to shop in smaller local stores and farmers’ markets instead of larger chains and corporations. People are now choosing seasonal local produce more than ever before, and will likely continue to do so going forward, whether it’s due to the food’s generally fresher and tastier nature, or the smaller environmental impact that shopping locally tends to have.
With unhealthy diets and their false promises subsiding, and healthier, more nutritious, and more beneficial foods sourced locally now taking the lead, the food industry will see quite a large and important shift. Evidently, the future will only bring food with a purpose that serves overall health and well-being.