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New Year's 2014 - Nutrition trends to watch for in 2014

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New Year's 2014 is just about here in the US. With less than 2 hours before 1 million revelers in New York City's Times Square bring in the New Year's 2014, few if any may be thinking about what some of the nutrition and diet trends to watch for in 2014.

Here is just a small sample of what we might see.

Make over Vegetables

White mashed cauliflower has already appeared as a mashed potato substitute. Cauliflower is now available in a variety of colors which will lend themselves to be used as a main plant based entree not unlike the portabello mushroom burger and steak. Watch for exotic recipes featuring cauliflower steaks and on the menu of upscale restaurants with equally exotic prices.

Sabellian, a leafy variety of cabbage dates back to Greece in the fourth century BC. and was the predecessor to one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe until the end of the Middle Ages ... Kale. It was introduce in North America in the 19th century. An easy to grow vegetable known for its nutritional value high in concentrations of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium, kale saw a resurgence of cultivation in the U.K. to counter the effects of nutrients missing in the diet due to food rationing. Kale is also a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which apparently act directly to protect the macula of the retina, the part of the eye with the sharpest vision by absorbing blue and near-ultraviolet light, which can damage the eyes. It is also a good source of indole-3-carbinol that appears to block cancer growth and boosts repair of DNA. When chopped or minced sulforaphane, another chemical with potent anti-cancer properties is more readily available. Steaming kale increases these bile acid binding properties of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat.

Kale, has been popularized as a vegetable of choice in plant based diets and its versatility, with recipes including juices, smoothies, salads, chips, soups, etc. One source boasts 200 recipes. Many recipes require a specific variety of kale (Red, Light Green, Green, Dark Green, Violet-Green, Violet-brown, Tuscany, Dinosaur, Russian, etc), each one requiring different handling and preferred cooking techniques to preserve its nutrient value and to capture the best results. For many who do not cook, the option of choice has often been to purchase pre-made kale dishes with a variety of ingredients such as dried fruits, cheese and exotic flavors - at a much higher price than home recipe versions. Watch for prepackaged kale products on the grocery shelves in 2014, especially a robust variety of snack options with a variety of flavors added salt and fat to cater to the American tastes preferences.

The anti wheat and gluten free momentum still strong this New Year's 2014 and beyond ...

This momentum will take us into 2014 driving a continued interest in wheat-deprived diets like, gluten free or wheat free disguised as " wheat belly" and the Paleo diet. The gluten free diet is a necessity for those with celiac disease and the wheat free may be useful in other clinically diagnosed disorder or disease. Interest in following any of the wheat-deprived diets for conditions which are not associated with a clinically diagnosed disorder or disease will still include weight loss, even though evidence of research supporting such diets for weight loss is controversial and lacks of to support.

In with old out with the new ... super food ancient grains ...

Super food ancient grains offer health benefits as a result of nutrients in variety and concentration that exceed other grains. Many ancient grains get their super food status from their high fiber content, which often translates into a low-glycemic index. The super food old world ancient gains in 2013 included quinoa and chia seeds.In 20 14 the standard whole grains like steel ground oats, whole grain breads, brown rice and corn, will still play a major role in our diets as will natural fiber additives like inulin. Buckwheat, an alternate to gluten containing wheat often found in gluten free flour mixes may gain traction in the gluten free arena and additional old world grains to watch for include:

Freekeh, - is a super grain from the Middle East. Freekeh from wheat that is harvested before ripening when it is still green. It is then roasted, dried and processed. According to one source this harvesting process captures the highest nutritional content. Freekeh similar to quinoa, in protein and calories and supplies twice the fiber.

Teff - a tiny size (similar to a poppy seed) from a grass, referred to as lovegrass, Eragrostis tef, teff, annual bunch grass, taf, that has thrived in Eritrea and Ethiopia, where it has been attributed to energy and health by long distance runners. Teff can be grown during droughts or in swampy areas, at sea level or 1.8 miles elevation, and is virtually free of plant diseases. This seed is so small that it is virtually impossible to refine making it a truly whole grain food.

Tea time ...

Tea is here to stay and is competing for prime shelf placement on the grocery shelves. With Starbucks partnering up with Teavana, the first Tea Bar in New York and independents like the Tea bar and Fusion cafe in California, offering specialty tea libations like frosted tea lattes and blended tea sorbets and sparkling teas infusions, watch for more of the same in 2014.

Editable packaging ...

Based on a review of hot food trends, food suppliers are creating edible wrappers. According to the review "JWT, a global marketing and advertising agency that compiles a trend report every year," noted that "Bob’s – a burger chain in Brazil – now serves its burgers in packaging you can eat, while Los Angeles-based ice cream truck brand Coolhaus wraps ice cream sandwiches in edible material." No telling where manufactures could take this concept. Adding an edible wrapper can increase the variety of taste, smell, texture and appearance. that can be added to a product. Sensory properties of food can influence the way we select our food, our appetite and how much we consume. A review of human studies have identified taste, smell, texture and appearance-specific factors that drive our appetite and satiety for food.

This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical/nutritional/fitness advice. Information presented is subject to change as additional discoveries are made or additional research is published.

Sources:, Broccoli chemical's cancer check",,,,,, Science Daily. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.,



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