Science / Health

4 Interesting Ways the Health Food Market Is Adapting to Wellness Trends

Your health is invaluable. It impacts how you feel and perform in your professional and personal life. It’s also a huge determining factor in how long you’ll live and how well you’ll get around as you age. If you’re serious about nurturing your health and enjoying a high quality of life, eating a nutritious diet is a must. Fortunately, the health food market is stepping up and making it easier to purchase foods that support your lifestyle goals.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed some positive changes in the health food industry. From offering on-the-go healthy meals to providing more clean-label snacks, the market is stepping things up for its health-conscious consumers. Here are four ways the health food market is making it easier for you to achieve your wellness goals.

1. Simplifying Healthy Eating

It takes time to make healthy, home-cooked meals every day, which is why so many people choose fast food instead. Unfortunately, most convenience foods are loaded with saturated fats, salt, sugar, and other potentially harmful ingredients. You may be able to eat like this for a short while without noticing any repercussions. But eventually, the negative health effects of a shoddy diet will always catch up to you.

Thankfully, the health food market is stepping up and making a conscious effort to simplify healthy eating. Grab-and-go protein bars and drinks have been around for a while. However, although generally considered “healthy,” they still contain primarily processed ingredients rather than fresh. And some even contain as much sugar, carbs, and calories as candy bars.

To prove that the words “healthy” and “convenient” can go hand in hand, some health food manufacturers are now offering better grab-and-go options. Simply Good Jars, for example, offers ready-to-eat healthy meals that require no extra preparation. For their salads, you simply shake the jar to mix all of the fresh ingredients together when you’re ready to eat. And for the parfaits, you just dig in. When you’re done, you even get to reuse or recycle the jar — doing good for your body and the planet.

2. Catering to Consumers With Food Allergies

Food allergies have been on the rise in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 6% of adults and children in the United States have some sort of food allergy. These can range from mild and annoying to severe and life-threatening.

Millions of people avoid allergens when shopping for beverages and food and the grocery store. This can cause a significant amount of stress and make it harder to eat healthfully. Federal law requires manufacturers to list nine “major food allergens” on their labels. These include fish, shellfish, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soybeans, wheat, sesame, and peanuts.

In addition to clearly labeling allergens on packaging, some food brands are choosing to offer more allergy-friendly food options. The allergen-alternative market is primarily dominated by gluten-free and dairy-free products. However, some manufacturers also offer alternative products for the other top nine allergens, as well.     

3. Focusing on Gut Health

The importance of gut health has gained a lot of traction in recent years. There’s a link between poor gut health and diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and heart disease. The digestive tract relies on a healthy colony of desirable bacteria to thrive. High numbers of undesirable gut bacteria lead to inflammation, poor nutrient uptake, weight gain, and other undesirable side effects.

Health food companies are seeking to improve digestive health by offering more probiotic-rich and fermented food options. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are good for your digestive health. They’re found in fermented foods and drinks like kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut. Consuming probiotic-rich foods regularly may help you fight off illnesses more effectively, maintain regular bathroom habits, and feel healthier overall.

It’s important to note that beneficial bacteria thrive on nutritious foods called prebiotics, which are often found in fiber-rich foods. Examples include, asparagus, chicory root, garlic, bananas, and onions. Beneficial bacteria feed on these foods after you consume them. If you primarily eat highly processed foods, you won’t give the good bacteria the nutrients they need to survive in your digestive tract.

4. Diversifying Diet-Compliant Food Options

Quick, name the top five trending diets in the nation! It turns out there isn’t an official list, but there are a few popular diets that are taking the nation by storm. They include the keto, Mediterranean, paleo, and DASH diets. No matter what way of eating you choose to adopt, health food companies are making it easier to find foods that support your plan.

Your local grocery store may have an aisle dedicated to health-food options that adhere to some of the top diet trends. Or, they may sprinkle diet-compliant foods throughout their store. But regardless of how they’re situated, you’ve probably noticed a rise in options like “keto-friendly” syrups and “paleo-friendly” dairy alternatives. Health food manufacturers realize there’s a growing demand for these types of products and are working to meet that demand.

In the past, long-term diet compliance was always a challenge that resulted in many people falling off the wagon before getting good results. It used to require significant time and effort to scan food labels and find options that fit the parameters of strict diets. But that’s all changing, thanks to the rising availability of diet-compliant food and drink options. Now, people are finding it easier than ever to stick to healthier ways of eating.

Today’s fast-paced society is raising the demand for quick and convenient healthy food options. Fortunately, the health food industry is rising to the occasion by adapting to wellness trends in these exciting ways. Hopefully, their efforts will help reverse the obesity trend and make it easier for individuals to reach their wellness goals.

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