Nutrition trends come and go, so it can seem hard to keep track of what’s new in the world of wellness. Luckily, this article is the ultimate guide to upcoming trends and their potential health benefits. From mental health to weight loss, there’s a food and nutrition trend for everyone to try.
While not affiliated with any brands or products, our team of dietitians shares a glimpse of what you might expect this upcoming new year. Keep reading for health and wellness trends of 2023, including current nutrition trends.
9 Health and Wellness Trends of 2023
Looking for the top trends? Here are nine headline-worthy topics you’ll see all over the place in 2023.
Pre-, Pro-, and Postbiotics
One food trend you’ve probably already seen taking over supermarket shelves is an increase in pre- and probiotic products. Prebiotics are considered food for probiotics, which are the “good” bacteria that live in your gut. Postbiotics are new to the scene, but are created during digestion and are thought to have health benefits as well.
Prebiotic drinks (like Olipop soda) and popular supplemental powders (like Athletic Greens) are making it easy and trendy to get your daily dose of good bacteria. This year, you’ll see more products aimed at helping support gut health.
Nootropic Foods And Beverages
Functional foods and drinks have surely been in the spotlight lately. Nootropics, classically referred to as “smart drugs”, are substances that can improve aspects of brain health, such as:
While the term “nootropics” classifies chemicals like prescriptions, it also refers to a class of nutritional botanicals and herbs as well. Popular compounds you’ll see cropping up labels include functional food components like rosemary, turmeric, and ginseng.
Cleaner energy drinks are also having a moment, utilizing ingredients like ginkgo and L-theanine. Along with marketed nootropics, you’ll be seeing more natural caffeine sources line the shelves that support plant-based eating and crash-free energy.
Making upcycled ingredients usable has benefits for both the producer and the consumer. Suppliers use production byproducts to create new products and save money, while consumers use these products to contribute to their healthy lifestyles.
Popular products getting sustainably repurposed include:
• Ends (after cutting)
• Pomace (from juicing)
Pastas From Greens, Beans, And Beyond
Even eaters who aren’t usually interested in plant-based foods are turning to plant-based pastas. Eating fruits and vegetables sometimes seems unmanageable since fresh foods can perish. However, pantry and shelf-stable pasta alternatives make it easy to cook up your nutritious dishes at a moment’s notice.
Instead of wheat-based pastas, you’ll see oodles and oodles of these noodles in the future. Find pasta made from the following products taking up space at your closest superstore:
• Black beans
• Leafy greens
Pastas aren’t the only food item getting a makeover. Meat is turning plant-based, too!
In the past, “processed foods” have been frowned upon. However, modern-day processing methods are capable of adding nutrients to food and turning plant-based protein palatable.
For example, companies like Beyond Meat are making their way onto fast-food menus and turning plant products into kid-friendly chicken nuggets.
Meat alternatives have also gained traction thanks to increased awareness about animal welfare. While eating plant-based diets has gained popularity due to potential health benefits, many people have switched eating habits to support more protective farming practices.
For example, cage-free farming practices promote animal welfare and may potentially improve nutrient quality, too. This year, consumers will continue to seek stamps such as Animal Welfare Approved or Animal Welfare Certified on their products.
When reaching for products, consumers are now increasingly concerned about the long-term effects of food production on the environment. Companies that address the following topics may have an advantage when it comes to purchasing:
• Reducing carbon footprint (i.e. pledging to be carbon neutral by a certain year)
• Using local or hyper-local ingredients
• Zero waste practices or policies
Products like kelp, hemp, and mushrooms are having a resurgence in popularity as well, especially since their cultivation has a minimal carbon footprint. There's no doubt that sustainability will remain at the top of shoppers’ minds as more people switch to products that are better for the planet.
Twists On The Classics
It may seem like clothing trends have turned retro recently. Well, foods have turned retro, too.
Once stigmatized eating patterns, like veganism, are becoming more mainstream as food options like boxed vegan mac and cheese become available. As mentioned above, brands like Olipop soda are turning nostalgic flavors into better-for-you beverages.
So, what’s on the horizon for 2023? Think throwback products reminiscent of your favorite snacks, like The Good Crisp (a gluten-free chip similar to Pringles) or Stonyfield low-fat yogurt tubes (a GoGurt look-alike that’s making a comeback).
Mushrooms are making their way to center stage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fungi, as a functional ingredient, are thought to improve the function of your immune system or improve overall immune health with their medicinal properties. Not the “shrooms” of past generations, varieties like Lion’s Mane are being heralded for increasing awareness and health (not getting “high”).
If you’ve been on social media, it’s hard to escape the surge of mushroom-based products. The algorithm has likely already exposed you to mushroom-based MUD\WTR (a coffee alternative), or other products with the following fungi:
• Turkey tail
Wrapping Up Wellness, Health, and Nutrition Trends of 2023
From functional foods to better-for-you beverages, 2023 will be replete with more thoughtful ingredients. Consumers are becoming more insightful and informed, seeking products that align closely with their enlightened lifestyles. Try a new trend in this season of life, like a burger made from black beans or a beverage made from medicinal mushrooms.
What health and wellness trends of 2023 are worth your attention?
Trends come and go, but a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) can help you find eating practices that are worth trying. Some trends can point you toward sustainable health goals, while others may be harmful to your health. Luckily, an RDN is qualified to give you trusted nutrition advice and answer your questions about trending food topics.
How can you stay in the know on current nutrition trends?
Social media is a great place to start! You’ll find trends on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, but be wary. As mentioned above, not all trends are truly healthy (and can even be unsafe). You may also find the latest nutrition news in magazines, online media outlets, and news headlines.
Today’s dietitians are generally aware of trends and can help answer your questions about popular products like supplements. Be sure to consult your healthcare team before introducing something new to your routine.
Cornelia R. Upcycling helps reduce U.S. food waste, boost sustainability. Natural Products Insider. Published August 2020. https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/ingredients/upcycling-helps-reduce-us-food-waste-boost-sustainability.
Hultin G. Botanicals/Herbs: Nootropics — Do They Really Boost Brain Function? Today's Dietitian. Published July 2019. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0719p12.shtml
Hunt R. Food Trends That Are About To Take Over 2023. Mashed. Published November 2022. https://www.mashed.com/1095968/food-trends-that-are-about-to-take-over-2023/
La Forge T. 6 Mushrooms That Act as Turbo-Shots for Your Immune System. Healthline. Published April 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/best-medicinal-mushrooms-to-try
Loh A. 10 Food Trends to Look Out for in 2023, According to Whole Foods Market. Eating Well. Published October 2022. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/8007708/10-food-trends-to-look-out-for-in-2023-according-to-whole-foods-market/