Now that 2017 has come to an end, the chia seed smoothie bowls, overnight oats, unicorn & glitter coffees are all over too. Healthy foods are constantly evolving, some turn out to be passing trends, and others become a part of our daily routines. Here are MotivatePT’s predictions on the up and coming trends of 2018:

The Charcoal Craze

Charcoal has already come into play this year with the increasing amount of black charcoal face mask videos popping up everywhere. However, in 2018 we could be seeing a whole lot more. From toothpaste to water. You can now get your hands on black pizza, black lates, and even black hotdogs. Jonathan Moore says “charcoal was an ingredient we started to see emerging in restaurants and food pop-ups last year. With its earthy, slightly smoky taste and dark colouring, it gives a premium feel to food and makes it a real talking point.” But is it safe?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that when consumers are eating charcoal, they’re not eating the charcoal from burning wood or other materials from plants. They are in fact eating charcoal which is made from coconut. It is claimed to help the body cleanse itself from toxins, ease bloating, whiten teeth and even beat hangovers. However, our bodies are wonderful creations and the liver and kidneys remove any unwanted toxins from our bodies without the need for added charcoal in our diets. “I don’t see charcoal aiding in the work of our colon or liver,” says Toby Smithson, R.D.N., certified diabetes educator and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Overall, it is ok in moderation and it is perfect for Instagram, however, it is not a miracle health ingredient.

Avocado Oil

Say goodbye to coconut oil and we’re introducing to you avocado oil! Avocado oil is great because it is heat stable which makes it really good for cooking in. Also, most other fruits are higher in carbohydrate and contain no fat, but, an avocado has a good amount of healthy fats. It also contains vitamins A, E, and D, magnesium, and antioxidants.

Avocados have become an internet phenomenon and are not only great for an arty picture but they also have many health benefits.  Avocado oil aids nutrition absorption encourages softer skin, promotes gum health, helps to ease joint pain, amazing for heart health and also has a great taste.

Plant Protein

Protein powder has become widely available and has slowly made its way into our daily diets. However, plant protein is becoming more and more popular. According to Healthline, you need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day. Nearly all plants we eat contain protein. Each day we need to eat food which supplies us with 9 essential amino acids as our bodies cannot be make these on its own. Some plant-based foods have all 9 amino acids (quinoa, buckwheat, soy, chia and hemp seed) while others have some but not all. As long as we consume nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as part of our daily diet, this will mean you’ll be getting all the nutrients you need.

All natural plant proteins not only give us protein, but they also give us a huge supply of antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals too. When we consume animal protein we also end up consuming more saturated fat, cholesterol, added hormones, and antibiotics. Therefore, by switching your source of protein and adding more plant protein into your diet is hugely beneficial.

Healthier Alcoholic Beverages

Note to those who drink alcohol of course. With so many of us now aware of how many calories are in a glass of wine or how much sugar is in a cocktail, there is now a huge demand for healthier alcoholic drinks. Lots of people are opting for tonic water rather than sugary sodas. If you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle try to switch between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the night. Also, stick to wine or light beers, also try to avoid the added calories that are contained in mixed drinks. The ‘best’ drink you can have is liquor on the rocks, or if you have to have a mix then try opting for the diet tonic, sodas, and juices.