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Soul Food: Establishing the Relationship Between Food and Wellness

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This year, self-care should be given prime importance, especially for women. Over the past year, the unfortunate circumstances of the global pandemic have caused immense amounts of stress and anxiety for everyone. Women, in particular, had to struggle with balancing their professional lives alongside their familial responsibilities.

Suffice it to say, 2020 has already come to pass. However, the effects that it has left everyone with will linger for quite a long time. The remaining months in this year should be used as an opportunity to reset and regain what was lost over the past year. In this light, various women’s lifestyle websites have all been presenting new ways to approach overall wellness from simpler skincare routines to more meaningful wellness retreats.

Food and Wellness

One of the most notable among these fresh takes on wellness is the significant lifestyle changes centered on food. Mindful and intuitive eating is expected to rise in popularity as the year progresses. What this entails is essentially changing how food is perceived.

Everyone’s eating and drinking habits underwent drastic changes and it’s becoming more evident. After coping with a global health crisis, healthy food options are understandably leading people’s diets. These are some of the most prominent food trends that should be considered, according to a nutrition expert.

In the Greens

Aside from the global pandemic, the previous year also highlighted the growing concern for the climate crisis. The country suffered some of the costliest wildfires and hurricanes, further cementing the fact that natural calamities are only increasing in intensity and frequency.

In an effort to significantly reduce their environmental footprint, countless Americans have shifted their diets to include plant-based products. A survey conducted by a menu research firm in July 2020 found that 58% of respondents were hoping to increase their consumption of plant-based food.

Moreover, at least 33% expressed that they wanted to increase their consumption of plant-based animal protein substitutes, while 31% aimed to decrease their intake of red meat. It’s no surprise that plant-based diets are both healthier and more sustainable in the long run. This is a transition that everybody should be aware of.

Trust Your Gut

Prebiotics and probiotics are usual terms that can be heard around food. Both of these concepts are scientifically proven to be extremely relevant to maintaining gut health. However, there is also another term that’s just as essential as the first two: postbiotics.

Probiotics are the live bacteria and yeast present in the digestive system that helps to keep the gut healthy. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are the types of dietary fibers that probiotic bacteria need to produce nutrients. Meanwhile, postbiotics are the by-products of the fermentation process that probiotics carry out in the digestive system.

Postbiotics are currently being studied by scientists for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits as well as boosting the immune system. These can be found in similar foods that contain probiotics like sourdough bread and kimchi. Postbiotics are expected to become widely available in supplement form and other food products, which should definitely be incorporated in daily food intake.

From Scraps to Snacks

The volume of food waste that Americans produce is another relevant issue that needs to be addressed. In line with the sustainability trend, upcycling food should also be common practice for every household. It has slowly been gaining popularity in the past few months. Everyone is essentially attempting to limit their food wastes to an absolute minimum.

Food security was also threatened at the height of the pandemic. In effect, people have simply been attempting to incorporate most of their food scraps into other meals or turning them into standalone snacks. Likewise, there has also been an increase in the purchase of less common fruits and vegetables, which would have been left to go bad in groceries otherwise.

Micro Food, Big Nutrients

There has also been a surge in demand for microgreens over the past few months, which was highly unexpected. Microgreens are not entirely new food components, but they are typically utilized for garnishes in dishes served in high-end restaurants.

The primary reason for this sudden demand is due to the fact that they are filled with nutrients. It’s been found that microgreens actually have four to 40 times more nutrients than matured greens. Not to mention the fact that they help to elevate the flavor of certain meals. What even better is that these have become widely available at grocery stores in different varieties.

Food for Thought

Finding wellness through food is definitely a habit that everyone should develop. Better food consumption will evidently result in healthier lifestyles. More than this, however, it’s extremely important to note that the relationship people have with food also intersects with a lot of pressing issues that are present throughout their lives. Being able to address these through their food consumption can ultimately help to guarantee their peace of mind.

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