As we welcome 2018, here are 3 nutrition trends the PLC Dietitians feel are worth keeping your eye on throughout the year!
Probiotics: Most of us are familiar with probiotics found in yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut. But, with a demand for other probiotic options, food companies have responded with probiotic-enriched foods like granola and chips. Purely Elizabeth Probiotic Granola and Farmhouse Culture Kraut Krisps are a few products that we’ve sampled recently. We feel that more research is needed to determine newer probiotic products can provide the same gut-health & immune boosting benefits as their more familiar counterparts and hopefully we’ll know more in the coming months.
A Low FODMAP diet: If you suffer from IBS or other digestive issues, eating a low FODMAP diet may be a way to get some relief. FODMAP is an acronym for various types of sugars: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. FODMAPs are small in size and will therefore draw fluid in the gut that results in increased delivery of water through the bowel. FODMAPs are also poorly absorbed in the small intestine so they continue along the digestive tract to the large intestine where they are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, which produces gas leading to bloating, discomfort and abdominal pain. With a Low FODMAP diet, you reduce foods that contain any of the FODMAPs (a small sampling: apples, garlic, watermelon, honey, milk, lentils, sugar alcohols, etc.) for 2-6 weeks. Once symptoms improve, you can gradually re-introduce foods. Your PLC Dietitian can help to determine if a Low FODMAP diet is appropriate for you and can provide guidance on a low FODMAP diet if needed.
Spices: Adding spices to food and beverages has always been a great way to add flavor without calories. But, now, the focus is on the potential health benefits of spices like turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, etc. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory potential, cinnamon may help with blood sugar control and has anti-fungal properties, and black pepper aids digestion. We have already been recommending some patients incorporate particular spices into their regimen to help with their various issues and we are excited to see what new research brings to the world of spices this year; we’ll share what is discovered along the way!