Health fads have become more common and more popular over the years, perhaps due to a combination of better awareness and the constant search for healthier alternatives. Much like fashion trends, healthy food fads come and go. However, there are some fads that are worth the hype and can truly do your body good. Here are a few more-than-just-a-phase foods and diet plans that you should consider trying, whether it’s because of their wonderful flavors or their nutritional content (or both).
Only a handful of the population retain the ability to properly process lactose, the primary sugar found in dairy milk, as they age. For most, the body stops the production of lactase, the enzyme which helps digest lactose, at around two to five years of age. So if you’re among the 65 percent of the general population who are lactose intolerant and yet still want to enjoy the creamy goodness of milk, then plant-based milks are your best bet. These alternatives are also ideal for people who are allergic to dairy.
There are a wide variety of delicious plant-based milk products to choose from. Elmhurst milked almonds are particularly creamy due to the cold-milling process used in making them. There are also other nut milks such as walnut, hazelnut, cashew, and peanut milks. If you have tree nuts and peanut allergies, there are also rice and oat milks, hemp and flax milks, and the protein-rich soy milk, among others.
This leafy green is often the brunt of jokes, but its nutritional benefits are anything but. Kale, which belongs to the cabbage family, is in fact one of the most nutritionally dense leafy vegetables around. It’s packed with vitamins A, B6, C, and K, as well as various minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. It also contains several antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
You can consume kale in a variety of ways, including salads, soups, and chips (the victim of many jokes and memes). You can also blend the leaves into your favorite smoothies or chop them up to combine in omelets, pasta sauces, rice dishes, and more.
People who live in Mediterranean countries have been found to be a happier bunch compared to those who live in other nations; they also have longer life spans. There must be something in their food! Indeed, the Mediterranean diet is one of healthiest and safest ones around the world, which has been scientifically proven to prevent heart disease. It has even been studied and associated with a lower risk of developing breast cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
What’s good about this regional diet is that it isn’t restrictive, both in variety and taste. It focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, and, most importantly, olive oil, which contains healthy fats.
The nutty-tasting quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a member of the amaranth family of grains, and is also related to the spinach. These small seeds pack a variety of nutrients, like manganese, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and zinc. One cup of quinoa also contains about 10 to 20 percent of the recommended daily values of dietary fiber, as well as 7 to 8 grams of protein. In fact, this humble grain contains all nine essential amino acids, including lysine, which helps the body better absorb calcium. Lysine also helps burn fat and maintain healthy tissues especially in the skin, bones, tendons, and cartilage.
There will definitely be more food and diet fads that will crop up in the coming years, especially as science and technology continue to advance. The hype may die down on most of them, but there will also be a few like those mentioned here that will outlive the buzz and prove to be more than just a passing fad.