The New Year is always a welcomed opportunity to start fresh and make positive changes toward achieving your goals. And as one of the most important aspects of health, of course, a healthy diet is at the forefront of our minds. But when I say ‘diet,’ I am not talking about the typical fad diet that arises at the start of every year and promotes excessive calorie restriction or an unhealthy mindset. What I am talking about are the healthiest foods to eat in 2022 that will support your health and wellness goals in a sustainable, attainable way.
Moringa is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. It’s rich in important vitamins like vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, plus it’s full of minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper. Research shows it can even reduce weight gain thanks to its low-calorie, nutrient-rich profile. And, its fibrous pods have also been shown to support digestion, not to mention its leafy constituents, which are rich in protein.
Moringa has an earthy taste – similar to matcha but without the caffeine – and can be utilized in a variety of dishes. Sneak it into your smoothie, add it to savory stews, or even sprinkle it on your salad or veggies.
Similar to other citrus, Yuzu is rich in Vitamin-C, antioxidants and full of immune-supporting properties, but the benefits don’t stop there. The nutrient profile of Yuzu is pretty incredible. Not only is it low in calories (just 20 calories per 100-gram serving), but it also benefits skin health and mood, reduces inflammation, supports brain health, benefits heart health (and healthy blood circulation). Impressive, we know.
So, how do you incorporate Yuzu into your diet? Add this citrus fruit to sauces, dressings, drinks, and desserts, which is what lots of health food products appear to be doing. Think: yuzu-infused honey, Hemp-based botanical beverages, and lots of sauces, vinegars, and dressings. You’ll even see restaurants utilizing this nutritious citrus fruit!
Seagreens like seaweed and kelp are rich in a slew of nutrients like vitamins K and A, iodine, magnesium, folate, calcium, and more.
Add them to soups, make your own sushi, or mix them into your salad. Best of all, not only are these some of the most nutrient-dense foods, but they’re also extremely low calorie (on average, 20 calories or less). Not surprisingly, seagreens have been shown to benefit health in a big way, supporting everything from thyroid health to weight loss.
With benefits like these, brands are jumping on board. While there are already lots of healthy food products utilizing these sea veggies – like Mary's Gone Crackers and gimMe Organic seaweed strips – expect to see lots more in your future.
The hibiscus flower is full of powerful antioxidants. Plus, this all-natural plant could support your weight loss goals. While more research is needed, studies show a reduction in body weight, body fat, body mass index, and hip-to-waist ratio in participants who took Hibiscus over a 12-week period.
Make it into an herbal tea at home or find it in lots of healthy store-bought beverages such as SunWink sparking herbal tea and CBD-infused Recess beverages.
#5 Sunflower Seeds
Nuts, nut butters, and nut-based dairy alternatives will always have a special place in our heart (thanks to their protein-rich, satiating benefits), but we’re making room for lots of seeds on our plate as we enter the new year. While we love seeds like pumpkin, chia, and flax, our 2022 eyes are set on sunflower seeds. You may have seen this product buzzing across the wellness market in the form of Sunbutter, a seed-based nut-butter alternative, but you can expect to see a lot more sunflower-based products in the year ahead (…Ben & Jerry’s has even made it into a non-dairy ice cream). So why are sunflower seeds on our list of healthiest foods to eat in 2022? Because they’re allergy-friendly, heart-healthy, rich in protein, and packed with fiber and antioxidants.
Meet Kernza: the eco-friendly, nutrient-dense perennial grain made from intermediate wheatgrass. Why is this grain so special? Because it supports the 2022 push for more sustainable foods. This new wheat-based grain has the potential to save soil, reduce nitrates and pesticides, and minimize the environmental impact of agriculture.
It has a sweet, nutty flavor that can be utilized in everything from cereal to bread and even ice cream. So, keep this trending 2022 grain on your radar – it’s making its way into some of the healthiest products on the market.
Turmeric is full of potent anti-inflammatory compounds that have been shown to benefit everything from immune health to brain health to weight loss, plus it’s full of nutrients like antioxidants vitamins, and minerals.
While you’re probably familiar with the classic (and delicious) turmeric milk latte, expect to see this super-spice appear in a variety of health foods. According to the 2022 Whole Foods trend report, expect to see turmeric-infused granolas, sauerkraut, plant-based mylks, and more.
#8 Buzzing Botanical-Rich Beverages
Adaptogenic drinks have been creating a buzz in the wellness market for some time, and they are here to stay. Different from the trending rise in mocktails (more on that below) these functional beverages serve the purpose of enhancing your health with botanical-rich (and century-old) medicinal ingredients that support everything from brain health to gut health.
Speaking of bubbly beverages, healthy mocktails are expected to line the shelves in the year ahead. And, we’re not talking about drinks that can be enjoyed as healthier alternatives to mixers (which are great too). These booze-free beverages are branded specifically as healthy alternatives to alcohol-based drinks, and given the (nutritious and all-natural) ingredients, we’re looking forward to enjoying plenty in 2022.
#10 Potato Milk
Potato milk!? You heard it here first. Don’t worry, your favorite dairy-free beverages like oat milk and the OG classics such as almond milk are here to stay. But, there’s a new plant-based beverage in the works: potato milk. While it hasn’t hit the market just yet, the word on the street is it’s on its way. Potato milk is not only sustainable and nutritious, but it’s also a great dairy-free alternative for those who have allergies to nuts and seed-based products, which currently dominate the market. So, be on the lookout for this 2022 health food!!
#11 Aji Amarillo Chili Peppers
We’re turning up the heat in 2022 and adding some extra spice to our plate! One of the healthiest foods to eat in 2022 is none other than aji amarillo chili peppers. Think of this spice as the new cayenne pepper. It appears to have all of the metabolism-boosting benefits thanks to its thermogenic properties, plus it’s full of flavor, low in calories, and makes for an extremely healthy addition to your plate.
Mix it into chilis and soups, add it on top of your avocado toast, or even sprinkle it on fruits like pineapple and mango.
#12 Fruit & Citrus-Based Vinegars
Step aside, apple cider vinegar — there’s a new vinegar trend in town. There are lots of tart new flavors coming to the 2022 market, including fruit and citrus-based vinegars. One of the healthiest ways to incorporate them into your diet? Use them as healthier alternatives to sugar-filled dressings and seasonings. You’ll also start to see brands (and restaurants) adding them to boosted bubbly beverages.
#13 Upcycled Produce
Tons of nutrients are often found in some parts of produce and plants that are typically discarded. So, not only will you support the environment, but you’ll also benefit your health.