Should You Try These 4 Nutrition Trends?
July 16, 2017
Food & Drinks
Nutrition and wellness trends are on the rise, with new topics seemingly sprouting up daily. From the latest detox diet and superfood, to the hottest supplements and protein powders, there is no shortage of nutrition news. 

I've broken out a few trends to offer my thoughts and considerations (as an RD) to keep in mind when reading about the next wellness buzz.

Matcha Green Tea

Like many superfoods before it, matcha green tea is enjoying time in the spotlight as a nutrition darling. With claims from greater weight loss and fat metabolism to improved blood pressure and cancer prevention, it is easy to see why this tea is gaining popularity.

Matcha is different than bagged green tea for several reasons, but the most obvious being its powdered form. This gives a richer flavor and provides matcha lattes a pleasing, bright green hue. It has earned its superfood status through a potent source of catechins, which are a type of polyphenols and provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

While research is limited, we do know polyphenols are beneficial for health in a variety of ways. This may not mean in relation to some of the more dramatic claims, but it certainly wouldn't hurt any of us to include more antioxidants into our diets. Of course, it's important to remember these studies come from pure forms of matcha, so sweetened versions or adding the tea to high-calorie drinks or desserts will be counterproductive for any type of weight loss goal. Look for unsweetened matcha powders and be sure to steer clear of added syrups or flavorings when ordering your next matcha latte.
Brigit Hart Fotografie

Turmeric + Collagen

Recently, supplements like turmeric and collagen have received attention, noting anti-inflammatory properties and anti-aging abilities, respectively. While inflammation and aging is a topic we can all agree are worthy of attention, these supplements may not provide the benefits promised.

In general, supplements are unregulated products, meaning their claims may or may not be valid. My take? Stick with real food.

Turmeric does have anti-inflammatory properties, but research is not clear enough to state the supplemental form is more effective. Instead, try adding the spice while cooking to reap the benefits while adding color and flavor to your meal. As for collagen supplements, it's difficult to assess whether consuming the protein in supplement form boosts anti-aging properties, or if it is due to a healthy lifestyle, adequate hydration and plenty of anti-inflammatory foods (turmeric and beyond). In addition, like all proteins, collagen is broken down into individual amino acids when digested, and therefore is not absorbed as the whole protein, meaning it does not reach skin in its original form.

Annmarie Swift Photography

Sprouted Grains

Sprouted grains have been around for a while, but recently gained popularity thanks to sprouted breads and snacks. These grains differ than their unsprouted counterparts as they have been soaked and allowed to germinate. Luckily, if sprouted, you know the grain is a whole grain due to the inability to sprout a refined grain. Claims include easier digestions and improved absorption of nutrients, along with increased levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, fiber and folate.

Sprouted grains may also be beneficial as they are usually lower in calories than other grain products. For example, a slice of whole grain bread is usually around 100 calories, while a slice of whole grain sprouted bread generally runs around 60 calories. The calorie savings, added nutrition and easier absorption makes sprouted grain products a healthy choice.

Look for sprouted grains in cereals, English muffins, bagels, or even pizza crusts. Just be sure to keep portions in check and balance out your meals with plenty of non-starchy vegetables and lean protein, too.

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Amanda Baker Lemein, MS, RD, LDN, is a Registered Dietitian and freelance writer from Chicago. She works in private practice, helping both pediatric and adult clients find healthy lifestyles that work for a variety of nutrition needs.