Just 11 Superfoods Everyone's Going to Be Obsessed With in 2021
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Like almost everyone else on the planet, I am very much looking forward to the end of the dumpster fire of a year. After all, B21-Harris is already looking pretty good with the coronavirus vaccine just rolling out and Biden-Harris due to take office in late January.
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Another thing that I'm particularly excited about for the new year? According to a nutrition trend report from Pollock Communications and Today's Dietitian, some of my favorite superfoods will be very popular over the next 12 months. That said, hopefully I can finally have avocado toast with every meal without being judged.
Before we dive into their predictions of what will be trending in 2021, though, let's start with the basics. Do you know what makes something a superfood? I can't say I did. According to the definition in the Miriam Webster dictionary, a superfood is "a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) that are considered beneficial to health." In other words, superfoods = foods that are rich in nutrients and health benefits.
Now that we know what they are, let's move on to the good things. Here are 11 superfoods poised to hit banana bread glory this year.
1. Fermented foods
Do you love a good bottle of kombucha, a bowl of yogurt or pickles straight out of the jar? Then you are already familiar with fermented foods. Basically, they're foods that contain good bacteria and yeast, also known as probiotics. Kimchi is another great example.
Fermented foods support gut health, which in turn can support immune health, explains Samina Kalloo, RDN, CDN, national communications director for Pollock Communications. And of course our immune system is a big priority these days.
Eat it: A bowl of yogurt with fruit, nuts, or nut butters for a droolable, easy way to get some fermented foods first thing in the morning. You can also take some kimchi and put it on a sandwich or in a soup, Kalloo suggests.
If blueberries aren't a staple in your fridge, they should be. They're very high in antioxidants, which are good for internal health, explains Kalloo. Oh, and they're high in fiber, too.
Eat it: Add some bluebs to your morning oatmeal or add some to a smoothie. Or, keep them in the freezer and grab a bowl for a refreshing snack, Kalloo says.
Seeds - especially chia and hemp seeds - already have a moment and will still be big in 2021. "[They] are just a great way to add protein and fiber to pretty much anything you eat." explains Kalloo.
Eat it: Combine chia seeds and almond milk, plus some vanilla and cinnamon, leave it in the fridge for a few hours and you have a delicious chia pudding. An Easy Way To Include Hemp Seeds In Your Diet? Just sprinkle them on your avo toast, says Kalloo.
4. Exotic fruits
Yes, acai peels don't go anywhere anytime soon. In fact, they're getting even more popular now that acai is easy to find in the frozen section of most food stories, Kalloo says. Maqui Berry and Pitaya will be on trend again this year, adds Kelly Landrieu, global coordinator for local brands at the Whole Foods Market. Sooo why are they good for you? Exotic fruits are a source of antioxidants, potassium, and fiber, explains Kalloo.
Eat it: Mix in some acai or pitaya and make a neat bowl of smoothie. Then of course Insta Story.
5. Green tea
Green tea sales are increasing, likely thanks to the fact that it is known to support immune system health. The drink is filled with flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that are good for overall health. It's also anti-inflammatory, so your immune system can calm down from inflammation, explains Kalloo.
Eat it: To get the full benefits from green tea, you should brew it for at least three minutes, Kalloo says. If you want, you can also drink matcha, which is made from ground green tea leaves.
Apparently, I'm not the only one obsessed with avocado toast these days. Pollock Communications nutrition experts say avocado is and will be one of the most popular superfoods in the new year. This is a good thing considering that they are a prime source of healthy fats.
Eat it: You don't have to eat a ton of avocado to get its benefits. Kalloo recommends spreading 1/4 of one on a piece of toast or adding something to a smoothie for extra creaminess.
7. Spinach & leafy vegetables
These guys are full of fiber and nutrients so you should try incorporating them into your meals on the reg. Aside from spinach, the leafy vegetable category includes things like mustard greens, kale and cabbage, bok choy, and basically everything else that is leafy greens and greens ...
Eat It: Adding leafy greens to smoothies is a great way to get extra greens, says Kalloo. You can also sauté certain ones like spinach and add them to dishes like the vegetable bowl above.
Sure, kale is technically a leafy green, but it gets its own place on this list because it's so darn popular. The benefits are the same, however - it provides a lot of fiber and nutrients.
Eat it: You can always go the smoothie route mentioned above, but Kalloo recommends making kale chips as well. Make sure your kale is completely dry, sprinkle the leaves with salt and pepper, and toss in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
Just like avocados, nuts are high in healthy fats that can give you energy and make meals feel more filling. Walnuts are a great choice because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the immune system and general well-being, says Kalloo.
Eat It: Of course, there are a ton of different ways to eat nuts. (Hello, walnut brownies.) Some of the easiest? Add some almonds or walnuts to your favorite salad recipe, or just grab a bag of trails to nibble on.
10. Old grains
Here is a category of superfoods that you probably haven't heard of. Ancient grains are a term used to describe grains rich in protein, fiber, and potassium, such as amaranth, millet, teff, farro, and freekeh, explains Kalloo. Think of it like rice - but with more nutrients.
Eat it: The most common way to eat old grains is to cook them, just like you would with rice or quinoa. You can eat them as a side dish, or you can make them the base of a vegetable bowl like the blogger did above.
Not a big fan of walnuts? Don't worry, salmon is also an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids (although technically a different type of them). It's also high in protein. And if you only find the canned version, don't panic. You will still get the benefits, says Kalloo.
Eat it: If you have a salmon fillet, Kalloo recommends grilling or baking it and combining it with a cereal and some vegetables. Try making a salmon salad with canned salmon - like tuna salad ... but with salmon.
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