(NC) A new year brings new beginnings, a time when many of us make resolutions to be healthier. To help you get there, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) surveyed industry experts to identify the top five natural health trends for this year:
1. Pumpkin: Primed to be the kale of 2015, we are going to see an increase in the use of pumpkin across the country. From oils to seeds, this unique squash has many health benefits and has been linked to heightened prostate and urinary tract health. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc and essential fatty acids.
2. The Gut: Digestive health is poised to reign supreme amongst natural health trends in 2015. Increasingly, natural health products that support digestion, including a diversifying probiotic category, are being linked to benefits beyond digestive health, such as mental health, skin health, and weight maintenance, among others.
3. Fermentation: The trend of supporting digestion also extends to fermented foods, which are no longer limited to kimchi, tempeh and sauerkraut. Fermentation can liberate nutrients in foods which helps our body better absorb them. For 2015, natural health lovers are taking fermentation outside of the mason jar. Canadians will see a plethora of new fermented foods in different forms including bars and powders popping up in stores across the country.
4. GMO labeling: In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. Food labeling activism is on the rise in Canada. We are seeing an increase in consumers demanding to know where their food comes from and whether it has been genetically modified.
5. Fancy Fats: In 2014 coconut oil was all the rage, and while it has many health benefits, we are seeing more and more people using new oils, each offering their own unique health advantages. Some of those that will be trending this year include:• Avocado Oil - Rich in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E and with a high smoke point which makes it better for use in cooking than olive oil. • Camelina Oil - Rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats with a high proportion of omega-3s for cardiovascular health.• Flax Seed Oil - Rich in alpha-linolenic omega-3 fats.
If you would like some help for locating a health food store in your neighbourhood, this information is available online at chfa.ca.