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Looking Back: The Top 11 Healthy Food Trends from the Last Decade

Just like fashion, food trends are always changing.  It seems like every day there’s a new superfood to try, or something else to cut out of your diet.  With so much new health information constantly pouring in, it can be difficult to remember all the healthy foods you’re supposed to be eating.  There have been a lot of great trends during the past ten years, and it never hurts to be reminded of all the healthy foods you should have on your plate!  So without further ado, here are the top food trends from the past decade.

1.      2005: Fiber

Fiber was all the rage back in 2005.  People were starting to realize just how healthy and filling fiber-rich foods could be.  Fiber can slow the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, helps your intestines function faster and can keep you regular.  It also helps keep you fuller longer, so eating foods high in fiber, such as whole grains and vegetables, discourages mindless snacking! 

2.      2006: Finding Nutritional Balance

In 2006, people grew sick of fad diets that required completely giving up certain food groups or ingredients, like carbohydrates or sugar.  Nutritional balance became the top eating trend.  Nutritionists expounded the importance of balancing all types of nutritional elements (carbohydrates, fat, protein, etc.) to create a healthy, well-rounded diet.  That idea is still around today!

3.      2007: “Flexitarians”

2007 was the year of the Flexitarians, or those who are semi-vegetarians.  People started to embrace their fruits and vegetables and began to eat more plant-based foods.  Not underestimating the importance of protein, however, Flexitarians would still eat lean meats a few times a week.  Flexitarians had the right idea:  A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a super healthy one!

4.      2008: Local, Natural and Fresh

Produce continued to be popular in 2008.  To get even more health benefits from fruits and vegetables, people began to look to local sources.  Fruits and vegetables are at their most nutritious when allowed time to ripen.  Often, when produce is not locally sourced, it’s picked before it reaches its nutritional peak, and the nutritional value suffers.  It’s no wonder local produce became such a hot trend!

5.      2009: Home Cooking

Not only is cooking at home cheaper than eating out, it’s also a whole lot healthier!  In 2009, consumers took this to heart and began to cook more meals at home.  Creating your own meals gives you complete control over your nutrition- you decide exactly what ingredients are used.  This is a trend that’s still encouraged today by healthy eating advocates, such as First Lady Michelle Obama.

6.      2010: Gluten Free

2010 marked the beginning of the gluten free craze.  In order to cut back on carbohydrates, people began cutting out gluten.  Gluten free products do not contain whole grains, which can be difficult for the body to digest.  While a gluten free diet can offer health benefits, it is not necessarily the best approach.  Instead of cutting out gluten (unless you’re gluten-intolerant of course) try cutting out white breads and sticking to whole grains.

7.      2011: Juicing

If you’re a juicer, chances are you started in 2011.  Making custom blends of pressed juices is a great way to incorporate tons of fruits (and even some hidden vegetables) into your diet. While fresh fruit juice is healthy (especially healthier than sugary processed juices) it is not a substitute for whole fruits and vegetables.  If you’re an avid juicer, don’t forget to include whole fruits and vegetables in your diet as well. Or take your Juice Plus+, as an easy way to get the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables without the hassle of juicing.

8.      2012: Local, Seasonal Produce

Building off of the trend of 2008, consumers began to embrace different types of produce during their peak seasons.  Not only do in-season fruit and vegetables taste better, but they are more likely to be sourced locally.  (If you’re seeing watermelon in the dead of winter, it most likely was not grown near you).  As stated above, local produce tends to have more nutritional value, and there are plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables ripe and ready to eat each season.

9.      2013: Protein

Two years ago, greater focus on healthy proteins became a hot nutritional trend. The mighty quinoa hit the scene, creating a superfood craze.  This protein-packed little grain became everyone’s favorite rice substitute, salad topping and more!  It’s so versatile and so good for you, it’s no surprise that it’s still one of the trendiest health foods around.  If you haven’t jumped on the quinoa or protein band-wagon yet, you should give it a try! Try the Juice Plus+ Complete Shake Mix for a protein boost in your diet. 

10.  2014: Clean Eating

Recently, clean eating has become both a diet and a lifestyle trend.  Clean eating means you only eat foods that are 100% natural and organic.  Some clean eaters even eliminate animal products as well.  The idea is that you cut out all processed and refined foods so your body only gets what’s good for it- and nothing else.  While committing to a completely clean diet is quite the undertaking, it has tons of health benefits.  Even those who are not clean eaters can take note of best practices by incorporating more natural, plant-based foods in their diet.

11.  2015: Cauliflower

Even though we’re not even halfway through 2015, it’s clear that cauliflower has emerged as the new “it” vegetable.  Like quinoa, cauliflower can be used in many ways!  It can a healthy alternative for rice and pasta, and can be incorporated into salads to up their health factor.  Cauliflower’s mild flavor allows it to be transformed into anything from chocolate cake to Buffalo wings!  So get your creative juices flowing, because something tells us cauliflower is here to stay!

While each of these trends offer sound nutritional benefits, it can be overwhelming to keep up with them all.  Good thing there’s one healthy food group that has always been on trend: fruits and vegetables!  Juice Plus+ has been delivering whole-food-based nutrition (at peak ripeness) for more than 25 years.  Food trends come and go, but the health benefits of fresh produce will never go out of style!

What’s your favorite food trend from the past decade?  Tell us in the comments!


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