They may not sound appetizing, but they are good for you. Start adding these good-for-you foods into your diet.
Avocado toast. Matcha lattes. Aquafaba.
If those foods sound like the last few images you drooled over on your Instagram feed, that’s likely where you saw them. They’re just three of the most popular meals healthy eaters were simply obsessed with in 2016.
As we approach 2017, you can get a better understanding of the health benefits these 2016 darling foods hold, giving you a sense as to whether you’d like to adopt one (or two, or five) of these foods into next year’s diet.
And don’t worry: while these rockstar foods dominated 2016, they’re more than just flashy food trends that’re one-and-done – they’ll be around for the foreseeable future.
Was there a more sought after ingredient than matcha? Healthy foodies that adopted the ingredient into their diet found it to be a matcha made in heaven (sorry).
Matcha was predominantly consumed in a shot, latte, or smoothie form, though healthy advocates swore by matcha powder. It packs ample antioxidants which fends off heart disease, cancer, and aging. The powder is also a major power supply – a cup of matcha can hold up to three times the amount of caffeine as a cup of steeped tea.
Due to its acquired flavour – a super-earthy taste – some matchas have unwanted additives like sugar, so be wary of those variations.
Bone broth took celebrity circles by storm in 2016. Salma Hayek called it a ‘potent anti-aging agent’. Gwyneth Paltrow included it in her winter detox diet. And Health’s food director Beth Lipton advocated for bone broth’s beauty, digestion, and joint health benefits.
What’s not to like about a stock made from simmering animal bones with veggies and seasoning, until a hodge-podge liquid remains?
“Bone broth can be a source of key minerals and in some cases protein, depending on the type and how it’s made,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. “But it can also be high in sodium, and one study found that organic chicken bone broth contained lead.”
To take advantage of bone broth’s benefits, the best way is to make it yourself!
(Oh, here’s a bone broth recipe).
As if avocados weren’t trendy enough, just search #avocadotoast and see how insanely popular the buttery fruit-spread-on-toast has become.
Thankfully, it’s more than just a hot trend – there’s some seriously nutritional value to be mined here. Avocado toast is an ideal solution to sneak healthy monounsaturated fats into your diet. These ‘good’ fats lowers cholesterol, and combats heart disease and stroke.
To make it the perfect healthy snack or breakfast, make sure that bread is whole grain, or whole wheat! “This is one food trend that should stick around for a little while,” said New York City-based dietitian Leah Kaufman, RD.
No, aquafaba isn’t someone trying to say Aquafina through a mouthful of water. And yes, people have started using that slimy, unknown liquid sitting at the bottom of cans of pulses.
That superfluous goo was actually used in cooking and baking in 2016, to great effect.
“When the liquid is whipped, the foam can be used as a plant-based substitute for cream or egg whites in dishes like vegan mousse, mock ice cream, and meringue,” explains Sass.
As an added bonus, aquafaba reduces food waste, and is impossibly low in calories – one tablespoon has just three to five.
According to one 2016 study, bugs are as nutritious as steak.
Okay, that might not be enough for you to join other healthy foodies who feasted on insects this year. Barf factor aside, creepy insects are crawling with important nutrients.
“Grasshoppers and crickets are pretty protein-packed, with up to as much protein per 3- to 5-ounce serving as the same sized portion of chicken breast,” says Sass.