Foods to Follow This Fall

With food trends constantly changing, there’s always something new on the horizon.  Is seems like the focus recently has been on kale, quinoa, and Greek yogurt but new foods are making their way into mainstream diets.  Often times chefs, “foodies”, and the media will make predictions about what they think the new “it” foods will be. Here are some of the hottest foods that may pop up on your radar this season:

 

chia seedsChia Seeds

When someone mentions “chia” you may think of the collectible clay Chia Pets popular in the 90s.  But did you know chia seeds can be a healthy addition to your diet?  Chia seeds initially gained popularity as an excellent vegan alternative to omega-3 fatty acids.  In fact, in a gram-to-gram comparison, chia seeds contain more omega-3s than salmon!  These tiny seeds are also a great source of fiber, iron, calcium, and zinc.  Two teaspoons of these powerful seeds contain over 10 grams of fiber! Try mixing them into oatmeal or sprinkling them on cereal, rice, yogurt, or vegetables.  Chia seeds are also very absorbent.  When soaked in water or juice, they develop a gelatinous texture, making them easy to mix into cooked cereals and other dishes. 

 

Kimchikimchi

Kimchi is a spicy staple in Korean cuisine and it’s taking America by storm!  This reddish fermented cabbage is traditionally made with garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers, and other spices.  You can now find kimchi used in everything from soups and Korean tacos to toppings on pizzas and burgers. So, why should you try kimchi?  This spicy side is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C.  Kimchi is also a natural source of probiotics which are healthy bacteria that aids in digestion and may even prevent yeast infections.  If you are interested in trying kimchi, look for it in the refrigerated or ethnic sections at your local grocery store. 

 

 

Kamutkamut

Kamut is the brand name for the ancient khorasan wheat variety.  This grain is an excellent source of protein (11 grams per cup) and contains important minerals like selenium, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.  Kamut has about 30% more protein and fatty acids than wheat.  In addition to these benefits, some people who are allergic to wheat can tolerate kamut!  If you are looking for a tasty alternative to wheat or quinoa, try adding this chewy, nutty grain to your salads or pilafs. 

 

 

Bee Pollenbee pollen

Beeieve it or not, bee pollen is packed with nutrients.  Although this food may not sound edible, it is loaded with 22 amino acids, B12, protein, and antioxidants.  These crunchy nuggets are very different from honey.  They come from the pollen that is collected on the bodies of the bees during the pollination process.  Try adding a spoonful into your smoothies or mix into oatmeal or low-fat yogurt.  Aside from foods, bee pollen can also be found in skin softening products such as diaper rash creams and eczema lotions.  This product appears to be safe for general consumption, however pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with pollen allergies may want to avoid this product.  Check with your doctor before deciding to use bee pollen if you take any medications, over-the-counter medicines, or herbal supplements. 

 

Try mixing things up a bit this season by incorporating some of these interesting foods into your favorite meals.  Don’t be afraid to try new foods, you never know if you’ll like it until you try it!

 

This blog was written by Andrea Belloli, @ABelloli, University of Maryland Dietetic Intern.