This 2022 follow these healthy eating trends shared by Chef Kunal Kapur.
With the pandemic, we have realised how vulnerable we indeed are. It has driven the need to be conscious and take steps towards better health. No longer can we take our health for granted. The rise in consciousness is reflected in the new emerging healthy food trends. A recent Mintel study reported that more than half of all Indian consumers surveyed said they included essential nutrients like proteins and vitamins in their meals (52%) and consumed food containing healthier ingredients (50%) more often during the pandemic than before. It shows an increasing awareness among Indian consumers about their diets and contributing to better health and immunity.
Chef Kunal Kapur shares five emerging food trends, which have enormous benefits in the long run
Our lives are under constant stress with multitasking and managing responsibilities, giving rise to comfort foods. Nothing can be more comforting and de-stressing than a warm beverage of choice. Emerging superfoods like matcha and turmeric are making their way into our diets. Drinks like matcha chai and turmeric latte made with these superfoods can elevate your health quotient while also being delicious. Superfoods have a high nutritional density; they contain minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Antioxidants decrease or reverse the effects of free radicals that have close links with immune deficiency, heart disease and other ailments.
Not only have many people increased consumption of home-cooked meals since the pandemic began, but conscious cooking has also emerged as a new trend. Consumers are also now more aware of the ingredients they choose in their cuisine. Let’s take the example of cooking oils; there is an increased awareness about healthy oils. The choice of oil has moved away from just taste to health benefits. Earlier, people used single seed oils like sunflower, soya, groundnut, mustard, or olive oil, and now there is a shift to heart-healthy blended oils. Most single seed oils are either rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), so you cannot get the right balance of fatty acids that are required for nutrition by using only one single seed oil. Blended oils, also known as multi-source edible oils, combine at least two oils in the correct ratio through a scientific process, so you get the benefits of both oils in one and a good balance of fatty acids. Saffola Gold, for example, is a blend of rice bran and sunflower oil that supports heart health.
With growing awareness about the benefits of plant-based eating, people have consciously chosen to cut back on meat. This does not mean that we must all turn vegan or vegetarian, but increase our food consumption from plant sources, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, while cutting back on meat consumption processed animal products. For example, if one enjoys a non-vegetarian meal once daily, try substituting it periodically with soya chunks, mushrooms, tofu and other belly-filling foods. Adopting these changes can help reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.
As Indians, many of us grew up in households where it was tradition to soak almonds and walnuts overnight and eat them first thing in the morning to sharpen our memory and think better. Today, globally, people are choosing such foods to improve brain function. This also includes increasing the consumption of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, fish or even flaxseeds, to name a few. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods help improve brain and heart health simultaneously. From antioxidant-rich berries, nuts and seeds to leafy greens, you can curate a bowl of choice for heart-mind harmony.
We are going back to our roots of eating fresh vegetables and fruits. However, there is also an increased awareness of pairing the right foods for maximum benefits: proteins, fats, or even superfoods. Choosing regional choices, like the local variety of rice in your diet, can also make a difference. For example, boiled Matta or Ponni rice is considered a healthy choice over regular rice. Today, there is also an abundance of millets available, seen as healthier alternatives to rice. Similarly, eating local fruits like Jamun is suitable for controlling blood sugar levels and reducing cholesterol.
With these emerging trends gaining popularity, getting access to healthier options has become easy, making the times conducive to adopting healthy eating, not just as a curative measure, but proactively staying healthy, keeping your energy and immunity high, and having a healthier heart!