I love learning about food trends and sampling new tastes. So I was in nutrition heaven while walking the exhibit hall at the recent Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ October meeting in Boston. I’ve narrowed down a few tasty trends to share.
Gut health reigned. So many food and drinks are coming out with added pre and probiotics. Prebiotics are forms of nondigestible dietary fiber that reach the colon undigested. Once there, they’re fermented by gut bacteria — sort of like fertilizer for the gut. The best prebiotic foods are garlic, onion, jicama, asparagus, artichoke and chicory. The term probiotics covers the hundreds of species of health-promoting bacteria found in the gut. These products are convenient for the days your food intake might be lagging.
Fermented foods, brimming with probiotics, were also present. I sampled gut shot from Farmhouse Culture and it was a unique and quite bold taste of fermented cabbage, carrots, onions and beet juices. I could see adding this to green drinks, salad dressing and other dishes.
More people must be using the FODMAP diet for irritable bowel syndrome as I saw a few booths with products formulated for this type of diet. The products ranged from sauces to bars and drinks. FODMAP can be a difficult diet to follow and I welcome anything that will assist a patient.
There are now alternatives to some of the standard tube or supplemental feedings patients with cancer or wasting conditions, or children with failure to thrive often receive. These products are made from whole foods with added spices and thus offer the benefit of phytonutrients and food synergy. Two of the products in the exhibit hall were Liquid Hope and KateFarms. This might be something to discuss with a doctor/dietitian if you or a family member find yourself needing a supplemental formula. (I paid my way to this meeting and did not receive compensation from any of the companies mentioned.)
Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Follow her on Twitter @sheahrarback.