A New Report Revealed The Top Food Trends For 2019, So Put Them On Your Shopping List

by Julia Guerra

The holiday season is in full swing, which means 2019 is just within reach. As you start to plan for the year ahead, reflect on the ways in which you took care of your body throughout 2018. What exercises did you try because an influencer, or maybe a Kardashian, told you to? Did you go keto, experiment with CBD, or play around with plant-based recipes? Wellness trends tend to come and go with the seasons, but some stick around for a lot longer, and experts are already anticipating the top food trends for 2019 based on a select few that seemed to thrive over the past year. Grab a pen and take notes, friends, because the new year is coming in hot, and these anticipated trends could help the next 365 days become your healthiest yet.

Of course, as is the case with any health and wellness “trend,” it's always a good idea to do your own research on the subject. Thanks to social media (I’m mostly looking at you, Instagram), anyone can be an influencer, post a lovely filtered image, and write captions that sound appealing, and maybe even intelligent. But just like you can’t believe everything you hear, you really shouldn’t believe everything people say on the internet.

Take it from someone (aka me) who took a shot of apple cider vinegar because it looked great on Insta, only to later discover that ACV actually flares up her IBS symptoms and makes her stomach hurt all night: If you're interested in experimenting with whatever’s buzz-worthy on the internet RN, read the relevant studies, check your sources, and always consult with your doctor first.

Now, let's get into the food trends, shall we? In a new annual report from KIND Healthy Snacks, a whopping 5,000 food and beverage experts and practitioners from around the world announced the food trends they're forecasting for 2019. Here are some of the ones you'll want to take notes on as you head into the new year.

Seed Butters Over Nut Butters

As much as I love crunchy peanut butter, not to mention chocolate almond butter, it looks like 2019 is going to be the year seed butter takes the spotlight. Get yourself a jar of the stuff ASAP and start spreading them over pieces of toast, dropping a spoonful into smoothies, or whisking them into cookie batter because, according to KIND’s health and wellness specialist, Stephanie Perruzza, MS, RDN, CDN, seed butters are about to be your new BFF.

"Seed butters are very nutritious, as they contain protein, unsaturated fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, zinc, and manganese," Peruzza tells Elite Daily over email. "They are also considered allergen-friendly and a good alternative for individuals allergic to nuts."

I'll admit, I'd never really heard of seed butters, save for sunflower butter, but apparently, there are a quite a few variations to taste-test, like pumpkin seed butter, hemp butter, sesame seed butter (aka tahini), and more. They're definitely an underrated delicacy, but Lena Halabi, KIND Snacks' senior food scientist, says you'll likely start to see them everywhere soon because they can be used in so many different ways.

"Seed butters are actually a very versatile ingredient," Halabi tells Elite Daily. She recommends adding them to breakfast foods like acai bowls or spreading the stuff on toast. "Additionally, it is great to bake with, especially in cookies or muffins, providing both flavor and nutrition in snackable baked goods," she explains.

Foods That Are Good For Your Gut

Foods that are rich in fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics had a moment in 2018, as "gut health" continues to be a primary focus in the health and wellness space — and with good reason. The three work together as a kind of healthy trifecta that keeps bad bacteria out of your system, and encourages the breakdown of foods so that, whatever isn't meant to hang around in your body, leaves, if you catch my drift.

Probiotics, specifically those found in kombucha, have become super buzz-worthy. In fact, there was recently speculation over whether or not kombucha is actually good for you, but thankfully, Grace Derocha, registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, was able to clear things up.

"Probiotics aid in proper digestion of food and support immunity, while efficiently absorbing nutrients in the gut," Derocha told Elite Daily during an interview back in November. "They also help you control harmful bacteria, while increasing the production of certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K, B12, B5, and biotin. As a result, probiotics can improve digestive health, decrease inflammation, and boost immunity."

Moving Away From Added Sugars

If one of your resolutions for 2019 is to eat more mindfully, making yourself aware of how many processed sugars are added into your snack foods and meals is probably going to tie into that. According to KIND's report, because many companies are starting to distinguish between natural and added sugars in their products, it's becoming that much easier to make educated decisions about what you're putting into your body.

Of course, this isn't to say that you should go into the new year with the mindset that processed sugars are bad, and natural sugars are good. Natural sugars, like the ones in fruit, are definitely better for you, but that doesn't mean you can't treat yourself to sweets every once in a while. Remember: everything in moderation. Just don't overdo it, and you should be completely fine.

CBD Supplements To Chill You Out

I wouldn't necessarily say that CBD oil has been a controversial subject in 2018; it's more-so that people don't really know what to make of it. Questions like what even is CBD oil, and what does CBD oil do to your body were on everyone's mind this past year, because when you think cannabis, you probably think straight-up weed. Contrary to popular belief, though the two are not one and the same, and because of CBD's rise in popularity in 2018, experts are expecting to see the oil added to foods like yogurt, soups, and even salad dressings in the new year.

"Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a natural compound found in [the flowering plant] cannabis sativa," CBD expert Boris Sharansky of Papa and Barkley explained to Elite Daily in an August 2018 interview, "which can be sourced from the hemp plant's seeds, stalks, and stems." The oil itself is 100 percent safe, Sharansky said, and ingesting it can sometimes help to calm anxiety, while topical use can help to heal inflammation and ease muscle pain.

Going Meatless On Monday, And Every day Thereafter

I personally transitioned to eating a more plant-based diet in July of 2017, just as documentaries like What The Health were gaining popularity. In 2018, Meatless Mondays were turning into Meatless Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and before you knew it, plant-based options were all but completely mainstream. According to the report from KIND, experts are predicting there will be "more innovations highlighting nuts, extruded seeds, beans, water lentils and algae across categories such as snack bars, chips, meat-free burgers or sausages and dairy-free yogurts and cheeses."

There are so many benefits to eating a plant-based diet, one of them being that eating an abundance of veggies and fruits just makes you feel good both physically and mentally. But if you're not ready to cut meat and dairy out of your diet entirely, don't. Take it slow, and start making little swaps throughout the week. For example, instead of adding creamer to your coffee, try a drop or two of creamy cashew milk. Or, if you're ordering a pizza for dinner, nix the cheese and load up on veggies instead. Look for alternatives where you can find them, and give them a try. Worst case scenario, this way of eating simply isn't for you or doesn't suit your body's needs, but hey, at least you can say you tried.

Eating Lots Of Whole Foods

In the same vein as paying closer attention to the processed sugars added to so many food items you're picking up at the grocery store, KIND's report is anticipating that consumers like you will be making an effort to eat predominantly whole foods — which, BTW, really just means any food that has been processed or altered as little as possible before it's available at the grocery store, as per the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies — in order to get the vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to thrive.

Supplements are great if you really can't get the nutrition you need from your diet alone, but try to make it a point in 2019 to reach for nutrient-rich foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, fruit, and basically anything where you can actually understand the ingredients listed on the product's label.

Overall, the best thing you can do is talk to your doctor to see which vitamins you're low on, the foods you should be including in your diet to get those vitamins, and then discuss whether or not supplements are necessary at all.