Diet trends purport to be the secret to better health, increased energy, and a smaller pant size. But which of these latest crazes deserve a pace at your table?
GREEN SMOOTHIES- These super-concentrated blends of green vegetables and fruits can deliver up to five daily servings in one glass. I mean who really likes kale? But it is so good for you and when you put it in a smoothie with others that you like, you can reap the nutritional benefits. The phytonutrients in green smoothies can lower inflammation in your body, which can help reduce your risk of many diseases from cardiovascular disease to cancer. Green smootjhies are a great way to get your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. But remember, these are NOT meal replacements.
GLUTEN-FREE- This label is popping up on everything from pancake mix to water (really!) According to research, 18 million Americans have a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. To some, gluten causes symptoms like: gas, bloating weight gain, fatigue and inflammation. The only real way to know that you have sensitivities to gluten is to eliminate foods that contain gluten for 2 weeks and see if you feel better. It is perfectly healthy to do without gluten in your diet and if you feel better, why not? Just watch your wallet!
PROBIOTICS- Probiotics are healthy bacteria or “good buggies” that are necessary in your intestinal tract and strengthen the immune system. Probiotics are found in cultured foods like yogurt kefir; fermented products like sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi and supplements. Fans say that fortifying the gut’s population of good buggies keep the digestive system smooth. You should definitely use probiotics if you have ever taken antibiotics, which strip the intestines of the good bacteria. In my opinion probiotics are a smart addition to your diet or supplementation regime.
CHIA SEEDS- These fun sounding seeds (yep, the same stuff you sprinkle on a Chia Pet) come for the salvia plant and are chock-full of two healthy powerhouses: omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Ounce for ounce, chai seeds provide more omega-3’s than salmon. So if you are not a fan of choking down fish oil pills, give it a try.
BEE POLLEN- Not to be confused with honey, bee pollen is what the bees take from the flowers and bring back to the hive to feed their young. It’s rich in carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants and vitamins. Proponents claim that it can do everything from boosting stamina to easing allergy symptoms. Well, I am not sure about all that, but research has revealed that bee pollen reduces inflammation. If purchased locally, bee pollen will reduce your environmental allergies. So if you like a little crunch in your yogurt and you would like to load up on antioxidants, give it a try.
So in this New Year, step out of the box and give some of these trends a try.