Six Top Trends in 2020 for Nutrition and Wellness

The year 2019 was full of cauliflower rice, probiotics, non-dairy milk and chia seeds to name a few top trends in nutrition. HIIT and CrossFit were popular in the wellness and fitness arena in 2019. So, what nutrition and wellness trends will take front stage in 2020? What trends are worth adopting and which ones should we avoid? Let’s look at six new trends that are bound to be highlighted this year.

Plant based Food
Plant based eating is on the rise and will continue to be in 2020. This revolution is not just for those looking for meat-free alternatives but is also in high demand from the general carnivorous population who are trying to reduce their meat consumption. Cauliflower will continue to be a staple in 2020 as the breadth of products on the market have grown from pizza crusts to rice and alfredo sauce. Plant based butters will make an appearance in 2020. Think seed butters other than tahini, perhaps watermelon seed butter or garbanzo bean butters. Your kids will have more options than the daily peanut butter sandwich for lunch! Garbanzo beans are even making their debut in bakery items, chips and ice cream. This mighty bean is a great source of protein and fiber and because of its versatility, nutrient density, allergen-friendly stamp and inexpensive ingredient, it has exploded in popularity. Garbanzo beans just might be the next big food trend in 2020, learn more here about their health benefits. Companies will also be creating a more hybrid version of products by incorporating more veggies into their food products. For example, Whole Foods notes that some brands are creating meat products with ~30% of vegetables. This will not only increase your veggie intake and optimize your health but is also better for the environment. Interest in a plant-based diet is simultaneously in line with sustainability, another top trend in 2020.
What is the Pegan Diet?
Have you heard of this one yet? It’s not vegan and it’s not Paleo. It’s a mix of both! It emphasizes a “clean” way of eating that encourages vegetables and fruits, high quality fat sources, lean proteins, low mercury fish and reduced intake of foods treated with pesticides, antibiotics or hormones. As a Dietitian, I’m not a proponent of this diet, because it is so restrictive and could result in nutrient deficiencies. This diet perpetuates the need to constantly be thinking about food and what you can and can’t eat. This oftentimes can lead to disordered eating or even an eating disorder. A topic for another time, but something you don’t want to battle with on a daily basis. The things I don’t like about the diet is that whole grains, beans and dairy are kicked to the curb. These foods have shown to have positive health benefits in boosting cardiovascular health and improving your gut flora, the science is there, do your due diligence before diving in. Although, there are some beneficial aspects of the Pegan diet. I appreciate the emphasis on fruits and veggies, omega-3 fats and adequate protein intake. If you’re going to try this diet out make sure your getting adequate calcium, vitamin D and B12, and consult a nutrition professional who can guide you in making healthful dietary decisions.
Ancient grains beyond quinoa
While 2019 was inundated with the benefits of quinoa, an Egyptian grain high in protein, fiber, and omega-3s. Other grains are up to bat and people are getting back to ancient grains like farro, spent, millet, bulgur, teff, and more. These grains are jam packed full of nutrients, high in fiber and will enhance your health. They’ve been linked to decreased cholesterol and lower risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 Diabetes. Additionally, these grains are gluten free, providing those dealing with Celiac and gluten intolerance more options to incorporate in their diet.
Flour Power
This year there will be more alternative flours added to the baking aisle making your kitchen more adventurous. Alternative flours have become more and more popular as a grain free lifestyle has been adopted by many. Some interesting and new flours to keep an eye out for are banana, wine, sweet potato, pumpkin, garbanzo bean, tigernut, and sorghum. Additionally, you may see flours touted as functional foods for their additional nutritional benefits and added fiber. Each of these flours have their own set of qualities. The one thing they have in common is the reduced footprint they have on the environment. Reducing our footprint is a common topic of interest for several people. Collecting the imperfect bananas and sweet potatoes that have been rejected for sale and transforming them into flour is an innovative approach to directly reduce food waste. A couple things to remember is that these alternatives have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to baking. They need to be blended with other flours to create a delicious texture. Just call it an adventure in the kitchen, plus you’ll be boosting yours and your family’s fruit or vegetable intake without them even knowing it.
Community driven fitness

This type of fitness is growing in popularity and it’s becoming more vital that we seek out connection in our busy, daily lives. If you’re not sure where to connect with others, try one of our FREE classes we offer through Active SWV. People who participate in our programs, often say they enjoy the community that is formed and how the community aspect helps them come back time after time. Community driven fitness will not only boost your physical health, but new research finds that group classes are even better for your mental wellbeing than a solo sweat session. A small study discovered that people who participated in group classes reported reduced stress and increased physical, emotional and mental health benefits than those who went solo or didn’t participate in any physical activity at all. The researchers also noted that in addition to the community component was that music and dance used in group classes may enhance mood. Active SWV has several opportunities for you to connect with a group and get your body moving as well. Check out our FREE programs and get plugged in.

HILIT (high intensity, low-impact training) and Cardio-Rhythm Classes
These classes are going to take the stage in 2020 as new ways to move more and boost your health. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) will still be popular in 2020, but HILIT is really going to be highlighted this year. HILIT combines the benefits of HIIT, but with a low impact on your joints and bones, reducing the stress put on your body. This is exciting for those who suffer from wear and tear on their precious joints, but still want to invest in their health and push themselves. HILIT is the kinder, gentler version of HIIT, your body just might need. Cardio rhythm classes are fun and dynamic sessions designed to keep you moving. This type of class is accessible to everyone willing to try some new dance moves. Try out our FREE Refit or High Fitness classes to dance into 2020. Both classes have great instructors, good tunes and you’ll be dancing in no time. Kick off 2020 with some dancing, you may just fall in love with this new way to move your body more and invest in your health! Cheers to health and wellness in 2020! Hope to see you at one of our programs in the New Year!