Hottest Health Trends for 2018
I get excited to read about what professional say is the forecast for 2018’s hottest health trends. Although I am not a huge advocate for “trendy” dieting I do love seeing what new research is telling us about how to eat and make our bodies well. Needless to say when Natural Grocers released their predictions for the Hottest Health Trends for 2018 I could not wait to share them with you! Without further waiting, I have copied the list here along with my thoughts on each of the 10 health trends!
Natural Grocers, America’s Nutrition Education ExpertSM, tapped their nutrition experts, category managers and more to identify the expected breakout trends in nutrition and health in 2018.
The author, Jon Clinthorne, PhD, Natural Grocers’ Manager of Scientific Affairs and Nutrition Education breaks down why you’ll see these trends gain ground in the New Year.
Collagen Is In
NG – Is there anything collagen can’t do? The popularity and selection of nutrient-dense and “superfood” collagen has exploded over the past year, and for good reason. Collagen supplements are rich sources of two amino acids that are important for health, but not typically found in high concentrations in modern diets. One of these amino acids, proline, has been shown to be crucial for joint health and also helps support smooth and supple skin (yes, please!) by strengthening the collagen that keeps our skin firm.i Glycine, the other major amino acid in collagen supplements, has been shown to modulate inflammation in the digestive tract, participate in detoxification and liver health, and also helps support healthy, restful sleep. ii iiiiv
G2K – I fully agree! Collagen is a superfood found in high-quality grass fed bone broths. You can also find great supplement powders that will give you a concentrated boost of collagen. Robin takes it for skin health, I take it for joint health, and my dad uses it for joint pain. As always talk with your health professional before starting a supplement regimen.
Everyday Detox Diets
NG -Instead of trying unhealthy fasts and juice diets for detoxification, consumers are more interested in what foods they can eat that will help facilitate the body’s natural detox processes. While labels make it easier to avoid foods with GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients, there still isn’t a standard label for everyday toxins. Chemical toxins can be found in our food, drinking water, air and even the soil. We recommend looking for foods that contain plenty of sulfur as well as other detoxification supportive vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc.
G2K – Once again I love this concept of turning the body into a detox machine. Harsh detoxes can be harmful and put your body out of balance that is sometimes hard to recover from. I like the idea of boosting the bodies ability to naturally detox through our amazing elimination organs. Read more hear about taking first steps into turning your body into a detox machine!
Organic is the Way to Go
NG – American consumers are still confused about which is better – the USDA Organic label or the Non-GMO Project Verified label. But hands down, the USDA Organic label wins. Why? Not only does a “Certified Organic” label mean that an item is naturally GMO-free, it also means that the contents are 95 percent or more organic, free from chemical dyes, grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers and must not be processed using industrial solvents, or irradiation.v Additionally, studies show organically grown food is higher in nutrients and lower in heavy metals. As more people realize how synthetic pesticides and nutrition impact their health, they are looking for more nutritious, higher quality and healthier food. The USDA Organic label ensures that the food you choose meets the highest standards possible, and the research coming out on organic agriculture also indicates organics are better for the environment, human health and the economy. vi
G2K – Referencing the above comment I had about turning the body into a detoxing machine, lower the consumption of toxins by buying and eating organics is always a top priority for me! Not to mention that when we eat organic, we are eating non-GMO which helps our environment too. Better tasting, less toxic and great for the environment. Organics are a big YES!
Pasture-raised is Raising the Bar
NG – Healthy land management begins with properly managing the animals on that land. Rotating animals through pasturelands can dramatically improve the health of the soil, trapping carbon dioxide in the soil (where it belongs), helping with water retention and reducing erosion. As an added benefit, having animals on pasture also results in animal products that are more nutrient dense.vii Go with grass-fed beef and dairy, and pasture-raised eggs and even turkey to join the movement.
G2K – I love that this made the list. When I see companies like Natural Grocers supporting farmers that grass feed and pasture raise their animals I know that the tide is changing for consumer demand. People are asking for the food producers to be more responsible to their customers and be better stewards of the land and the animals that live on that land. When I eat meat, dairy or eggs they always come from pasture raised, grass fed and wild caught sources. You should too!
Black Seed Oil
NG -Black seed oil (also called Nigella sativa, black coriander oil, or simply black oil) is very popular in various traditional systems of medicine, like Ayurveda. The seed and its oil have a surprising amount of research showing their effectiveness in various health conditions.viii Research suggests black seed oil helps insulin function and also keeps the insulin-producing pancreas working at a healthy level. Other studies show that by modulating inflammation, thymoquinone (the active component of black seed oil) helps build strong and healthy bones.ix x xi
G2K – This is a promising trend I am going to keep my eye on. One of the biggest problems I see people that are transitioning from a poor diet to a healthier diet is recovering from insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. I can’t wait to dig in a little further and learn more about Black Seed Oil and it’s effects on the human body.
NG – Shortened from ketogenic diets, “keto” diets are making their mark on the nutrition world. It’s common to think that the body (and more importantly, the brain) relies solely on glucose and fatty acids for energy. However, there’s another type of fuel made from fatty acids, known as ketones—which are especially important for neuroprotection and also have been shown to support brain function and cognition.xii Research shows that medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are easily converted into ketones by the liver, meaning foods that contain coconut oil, palm oil, cheese and butter could all contribute to ketone production in the body—and why demand for these ingredients is high. Diets, like the keto diet, that are high in fat and low in carbohydrate also result in enhanced ketone production.
G2K – It is no secret I am not a fan of the dangerous and restrictive Keto diet. I firmly believe unless you are under the care of a professional it is not something that should be attempted from a google search! I do like the idea of the body producing more liver ketones to burn as energy. You can achieve this by simply adding some healthy high-fat foods like MCT’s and coconut oil to your diet.
Traditional Medicine Meets Modern Science
NG -Whether you’re studying the health benefits of garlic or trying a turmeric latte, reference the traditional medicinal uses of plants. Did you know that the Egyptians, Greeks, and Arabs all used aromatherapy as a medicinal tool? And now, modern research is exploring the use of essential oils and aromatherapy for relaxation and other aspects of mental health. The resurgence in popularity of herbal medicine and products is likely related to the hard science that exists which backs up the traditional uses of these valuable plants.
G2K – As a cancer coach I see this first hand. I see major medical outlets turning to ancient medicines to as adjunctive therapies to treat cancer. It is promising to think we are thinking more about food as medicine and its healing abilities.
NG -Similar to kombucha, drinking vinegar is a trendy new alternative to sugar-laden sodas and juices. Most of these are made with apple cider vinegar – what we refer to as a health powerhouse – and other health-promoting ingredients that make them a tasty, tangy and trendy way to balance blood sugar. A study published in the Diabetes Care journal demonstrated that consuming vinegar at bedtime can actually support healthy blood sugar levels when you wake up, so this would be a great post-dinner beverage.xiii Vinegar can also help facilitate the absorption of vitamins and minerals from food as well as help you feel full longer.xiv
G2K – YES I want to try these…stay tuned!
Sneaking in vegetables.
NG – Americans have a hard time eating enough vegetables, and many people acknowledge this problem and seriously want to increase their vegetable consumption. The trendy solution? Sneaking antioxidant-rich vegetables into your food whenever possible. Swap out typical noodles for organic veggie noodles, snack on real veggie chips and add frozen cauliflower or greens powders to your smoothies.
G2K – #Queen of vegetable sneaking! Check out our recipe pages to learn more about my very sneaky vegetable dishes!
Botanicals to boost brain function.
NG – Botanicals, such as epigallocatechin from green tea for boosting brain function, are gaining more appreciation. More formulas built for clarity and mood are showing up on the market, and some of the best new botanicals for brain health include herbs and mushrooms. Look for formulas containing ashwaganda, lions mane, reishi, gotu kola, turmeric and holy basil in order to capitalize on the latest research.
G2K – I am seeing Green Tea being used in cancer treatments. As always botanicals have superpowers in the human body. Plants are so good at receiving energy and making something beautiful and sustainable. When we consume them, we get that benefit in our human bodies. When they are concentrated supplement form, we benefit even more. Please hire an herbalist, holistic or functional medicine doctor before starting a supplement regimen.
My Final Thoughts on the Hottest Health Trends for 2018
If I could, I would add the 11th trend..Functional Foods. You will hear a lot more about these foods from me in 2018. I have always loved the idea of eating with purpose and being mindful of every food we put inside out bodies. Functional Foods are the over achievers of food, the provide us with hard to get or mega boost of certain nutrients. I love the idea of SUPER POWER FOOD!
I think Dr. Clinthorne and the Natural Grocers team nailed it. I had the privilege of the interview Dr. Clinthorne on my radio show Fork It Over Radio. I would like to invite you to have a listen by clicking here. He was so delightful and informative.
If you would like to know if there is a Natural Grocers near you, you can click there store locator here. Also, check out NaturalGrocers.com for recipes and amazing blog content. They are the leaders in the natural food education and also providing us with the best of the best in their stores!
References for above content:
 Van Vivan JP, Luijsterburg PA, Verhan AP, van Osch GJ, Kloppenburg M, Bierma-Zeinstra SM. Symptomatic and chondroprotective treatment with collagen derivatives in osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2012; 20(8): 809-821
 Zhong Z, Wheeler MD, Li X, et al. L-Glycine: a novel anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and cytoprotective agent. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2003; 6:229-240
 Ito K, Ozasa H, Noda Y, et al. Effect of non-essential amino acid glycine administration on the regeneration of partially hepatectomized rats with hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury. Clin Nutr. 2008;27(5):773-80.
 Chail A, et al. Legume finishing provides beef with positive human dietary fatty acid ratios and consumer preference comparable with grain-finished beef. J Anim Sci. 2016; 94(5):2184-97
 Gholamnezhad Z, Havakhah S, Boskabada MH. Preclinical and clinical effects of Nigella sativa and its constituent, thymoquinone: A Review. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016; 190:372-86
 Shuid AN, et al. Nigella sativa: A Potential Antiosteoporotic Agent. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012():696230.
 Ibrahim FM, et al. Biochemical characterization, anti-inflammatory properties and ulcerogenic traits of some cold-pressed oils in experimental animals. Pharm Biol. 2017 Dec;55(1):740-748
 Sharma A, Bemis M, Desilets AR. Role of Medium Chain Triglycerides (Axona®) in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2014 Aug;29(5):409-14.
 White AM, Johnston CS. Vinegar ingestion at bedtime moderates waking glucose concentrations in adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2007;30(11):2814-5. Epub 2007.
 Ostman E, Granfeldt Y, Persson L, Bjorck I. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8.