By: Michelle W. Book, CHFA in-house Holistic Nutritionist
The new year brings a fresh start and new opportunities. It really is the perfect time to try and change some of your unhealthy habits: maybe in 2017 you want to exercise more, stress less or eat better. To help with your healthy resolutions, at the Canadian Health Food Association, we’ve identified the top five natural health trends that will keep you healthier and ultimately happier this year.
- Sprouting. Sprouts are a great addition to salads and smoothies, and I love adding them to the top of my soups to give them a fresh summer crunch in the middle of winter. Almost any seed can be sprouted, from broccoli to mung beans, and they have a ton of essential vitamins and minerals. You can purchase a sprouting kit and seeds at your local health food store and embrace your inner DIY maven.
- Plant-based dairy alternatives. Along with the increasing popularity of plant-based diets comes the trend of plant-based dairy alternatives. From cheeses, to cashew and hazelnut “milks”, coconut yogurt and chocolate, the options are becoming seemingly endless.
- Digestive enzymes. Last year, digestive health was top of mind with the focus on probiotics and fermented foods. This year, we’re going to continue to hear about the importance of digestive health, but with more emphasis on digestive enzymes. They help our bodies absorb nutrients better, and work to reduce gas, bloating and indigestion. Digestive enzymes are found naturally in many foods, such as pineapples and papaya, but you can also find them in supplement form.
- Mushrooms. There are tens of thousands of strains of mushrooms in the wild; some are nutritious, others are poisonous, and many contain medicinal properties that will be gaining some well-deserved popularity this year. Superstars such as reishi, chaga and maitake have been shown to help stimulate the immune system. Visit chfa.ca for a simple chaga tea recipe.
- Smart carbs. If you love pasta or snacking on chips, but not the sugar crash afterwards, you’ll be happy to hear about the smarter carb options hitting shelves this year. From sweet potato and lentil pasta to roasted chickpea snacks and bean chips, these healthier alternatives can lead to better digestion, brain function and more balanced energy, and will eliminate your post-carb slump.
You can find these options and more at your local CHFA Member health food store. Visit chfa.ca to find the closest one to you, so you can keep your resolutions on track for a naturally healthy 2017!