Here are 5 of the top nutrition trends for the new year!
1. DINING IN
With today’s shaky economy, more and more people will be dining in to save some dough. But the benefits don’t just end with saving time and money; they can have a nutritional advantage too. Some of these benefits include consuming a meal that typically contains less calories, fat and sodium compared to a traditional restaurant meal, having the ability to accommodate any special dietary needs (low-fat, low-sugar, gluten-free, etc.), and being in control of portion size—all of which can also help trim the waistline.
New York City already seems to be paving the way for this trend. But it’s not just the “Big Apple” getting into the act. Recently, the entire state of New York has led an effort partnering with other states and health organizations to promote a voluntary program aimed at lowering the sodium content in packaged and restaurant foods. Already considered a leader in food regulation with the ban of trans fat and the requirement for restaurants to post calorie counts on menus, NYC now turns to sodium and for good reason. High intakes of salt have been associated with increased risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Currently, the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for sodium is around 1500mg for adults.
While this came on the scene a few years ago, food sustainability will be an even bigger trend 2010. Purchasing food from local farmers markets is a great way to find locally-grown and healthy food options all while supporting the local economy and farming communities. Try using www.localharvest.org  to find a farmers market with near you.
4. IMMUNITY-BUILDING FOODS
Out with the diets that simply provide you with the sensation of feeling full and in with diets that also give you a boost in your immunity. Look for the consumption to go up in foods high in vitamin C (broccoli and red peppers), vitamin E (almonds and peanut butter), zinc (crab and baked beans) and beta-glucan (oatmeal and mushrooms) all have beneficial effects on the immune system and can help you stay healthier during the winter months when the flu seems to be everywhere.
5. ANTI-ENERGY DRINKS
While this is more of a personal prediction than anything I think a new brand of “supplement drinks” will find a niche in the beverage market in 2010. Drinks like Mary-Jane Soda, Slow Cow, and Drank contain ingredients like the hormone melatonin, the amino acid L-Theanine, and plant extracts such as valerian root and kava which have been linked to aid with relaxation and reducing stress. This new type of drink is embracing the idea that people no longer want to gulp down energy drinks that result in a “crash” or the “jitters” but rather beverages that will, at the end of the day, provide some calm in their already stressed out lives.
Assistance provided by Robert Masterson .