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The idea of improving physical well-being through diet instead of doctor-prescribed drugs or supplements has made foods containing health benefits a hot trend in today’s cuisine, according to a report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and New York-based market research publisher Packaged Facts.
“Wellness Ingredients: Culinary Trend Mapping Report” has found that consumers are increasingly looking to the pre-industrial era, when healing was more organic and food-based, to feel better. One of the key drivers of this growing interest in traditional ways of treating illness is a desire for authentic products, whole foods and time-honored food preparation methods.
“American consumers are more engaged than ever in managing their health through food in hopes of curing what ails them or preventing ailments to which they are susceptible,” explained Kimberly Egan, CEO of CCD, a San Francisco-based full-service food and beverage strategic innovation company. “Many of these curative foods have roots in ancient times, and have been consumed by cultures around the world for centuries.”
Many of these ingredients can be creatively employed in new products to increase their better-for-you cred and add nutritional firepower. The seven hot wellness ingredient trends CCD identified using its proprietary Trend Mapping methodology are as follows:
- Healing Spices: With their claims of digestive and mental health benefits, spices such as holy basil and turmeric -- both staples of the ancient Hindu philosophy of Ayurvedic medicine — are being included in teas, nut butters and energy bars.
- Hemp: The edible part of the hemp plant, hemp seed is a great source of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and has a perfect 3:1 ratio of omega-6 linolenic acid and omega-3 linolenic acid, both of which are known for bolstering the immune system, improving cognitive function, and promoting healthy skin, hair and eyes.
- The New (Old) Fermented Foods: Products like miso, kasu, tempeh and pu-erh tea have long been consumed in Asia, and items such as kombucha are gaining popularity in the West as consumers seek out less processed and more nutrient-rich foods.
- Sprouted Foods: Sprouted wheat, rice and other grains, nuts and seeds are the bases for wholesome grain goods that provide better nutrition and are more digestible than their non-sprouted counterparts.
- Grass-fed Meat and Dairy: Containing no artificial hormones and containing higher levels of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids, grass-fed meat and dairy products possess both a superior nutritional profile and a reputation for great flavor.
- Agave Nectar: Added to products ranging from beverages to baked goods to sauces, agave nectar is a plant-based sweetener with a low glycemic index that is often used in Mexican cuisine.
- DHA: Naturally occurring in fish, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a source of good fats that’s often added to products to boost cognitive function
For more information on the report, visit www.packagedfacts.com/Wellness-Ingredients-Culinary-2770573/.