After a few years of having a pandemic mindset, it’s no surprise that the healthy food trends for 2022 reflect an intimate connection between human beings and our life-sustaining planet. Trends for this year include a deeper look into how what we eat affects the planet and, even more importantly, how we might make the world a healthier place by making changes in our diet and habits. Think sustainable packaging, less food waste, more home gardens, and some fun flavors to make it all come together.
Urban farming and indoor gardening
As the world’s population rises and more areas turn suburban and urban, we’re starting to think outside the box when it comes to growing the food that sustains us. Although it may be difficult to fathom in a rural state like Indiana, urban farming is incredibly important in larger cities and bustling suburbs like those surrounding Chicago and New York. Many urban-farming concepts also can be instituted here in the Hoosier state, creating fun spaces in cities like Greenfield, Carmel, Indianapolis, and more.
Urban gardening creates the ultimate opportunity for sustainable and locally grown produce. Hydroponics, aquaponics, rooftop greenhouses, urban greenhouses, and vertical gardening all conserve space by using alternative growing methods. Some stores, such as Whole Foods, even have greenhouses on their roofs or mushroom gardens along the tops of their stores’ aisles. It’s innovative thinking like this that will allow our planet to support us as the population continues to grow.
The reducetarian movement
You’ve heard that people go vegetarian or vegan to help the planet. While this is a worthy concept, many love meat and need the great bioavailability of nutrients it provides. Enter: the reducetarian movement. Reducetarians are those who still eat meat but purposefully eat less to help our food system remain sustainable. Anyone who follows the Meatless Monday trend is leaning in this direction. Think of it as eating meat in moderation.
The movement also focuses on high-quality meats and animal products that come from farm animals that were raised more in pastures than barns. We’re familiar with this concept in the Hoosier state. Indiana has a lot of local farms, raising and selling pasture-fed meats and eggs as well as cheeses and other dairy products.
Meal planning systems and online grocery shopping
The pandemic made online grocery shopping a staple in many Hoosier homes. This trend is here to stay, both for its convenience and cost effectiveness. Meal-planning kits are popular for the same reasons. Believe it or not, this is a healthy option for anyone just learning to cook for themselves and wanting to prepare nutritious and delicious meals at home. Look for more companies to spring up with meal kits of every kind and for online grocery shopping to become even more efficient.
Fun new foods and flavors
- Moringa. This superfood comes from the drumstick tree and is considered a miracle leaf. With seven times more vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas, this healthy green leaf is setting out to fight malnutrition and create healthier populations all over the world. Originating in the Philippines, these leaves can be found in America in powder form and are a healthy addition to any morning smoothie routine.
- Turmeric. This spice is long-renowned for its anti-inflammatory power. Deliciously earthy with notes of pepper and ginger, turmeric is used often in Indian dishes, but you can also find it in most grocery stores as either a fresh root or powdered spice. Health food stores are also beginning to carry turmeric supplements, powders, and other forms to add into your daily health routine.
- Hibiscus. You’ve probably heard of hibiscus tea with its beautiful bright pinkish-purple color. This gorgeous flower is grown in many home gardens and is known for its high vitamin C content and heart-health benefits. This fun and fruity flavor has been amid iced tea offerings in some restaurants for a few years but will probably be added to many more sweet treats, sodas, and even yogurts in the coming year.
The healthy food trends of 2022 are upon us, with all their fun, functionality, and flair. It will be exciting to see what changes we, as a human population, make in how we interact with the world around us by considering one of our largest connections to the earth: food. Whether you decide to join the reducetarian movement, build your own urban farm to grow delicious veggies, or add a fun, new superfood to your daily repast, one thing is for sure: There’s going to be a lot to offer our taste buds.
If you’ve got more questions about healthy foods and how to incorporate them into your 2022 diet, our Hancock Health nutritionists are just a phone call away.