Food Trends for 2020

Food Trends for 2020

We’ve had smashed avocado, coconut water and kale everything.  Smoothies, juice diets, goji berries, and veganism. Now it’s time for 2020 to give us the next big foodie trend.  Will it be nettles? Pine needle tea? Or my favourite (and vastly underated) combo of mashed carrot and swede?

According to food trend forecasts from Waitrose and Whole Foods, flexitarian eating styles and plant-based options are set to continue their popularity next year.  Research reveals celery juice, tahini and seaweeds are all in increasing demand and could be the next big trends (though I have to say, celery juice excites me about as much as pine needle tea).

These have always had a devoted fan base.  Their distinctive taste adds depth and saltiness to soups, stir fry, and casseroles and makes a great sprinkle topping for salads (and chips!).  Rich in iodine, zinc, selenium and fibre seaweeds are especially good for mental wellbeing, energy, weight loss and supporting healthy thyroid function if your thyroid is underfunctioning (hypothyroidism).

Seaweeds are an extremely useful source of iodine for those who are dairy-free.  Aside from fish and seafood, dairy products are the main source of iodine in most diets.  If you’re not regularly eating fish and/or dairy products, aim to include seaweed 2-3 times a week to look after your iodine intake.

Clearspring produce a wide range of seaweed products as do Seagreens.  Both companies carefully source and sustainably harvest the seaweeds, ensuring strict high standards of production.

Well known as a key ingredient in houmous, it can be hard to know what to do with any leftover tahini paste.  The type of tahini might influence your decision here; there are two types of tahini to choose from based on what sort of sesame seeds have been used.  Hulled sesame seeds produce a paler paste, whilst unhulled result in a darker coloured paste and slightly bitter taste.

Nutritionally, it is a great source of protein, B-vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium – great for energy levels, healthy bones, cardiovascular health and hormone balance.  A perfect menopause food if ever there was one.

If you’re brimful with houmous, try these suggestions for using up tahini paste;
– Add to salad dressings with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice
– Spread on griddled aubergine with a dash of soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free)
– Drizzle it over warm falafels
– Make baba ganoush
– Add a spoonful to butternut squash soup for a thick, creamy and slightly nutty taste
– Mix with honey and spread on sourdough toast for a comforting snack

Celery Juice
Perhaps my resolution for 2020 could be to get more excited about celery juice.  Whilst I love crunching on raw celery sticks (especially smothered in nut butter) the juice just turns me off.

Many of the health benefits of celery come from its fibre content and antioxidant compounds. Celery fibre aids digestion and cholesterol balance, whilst the antioxidants have anti-inflammatory actions, helping protect cells and tissues from damage.

The fibre is lost in celery juice, but vitamins and minerals remain, and celery’s high water content makes it a good base for a mixed veg juice blend.

According to the trend-setting soothsayers other foods to watch in 2020 include fruit based sugar substitutes such as pomegranate syrup and coconut syrup; different kinds of noodles, and unusual types of flour – think cauliflower flour and banana flour rather than plain or self raising.

Let’s see what unfolds over the next twelve months.  Maybe there’ll be a late surge for carrots & swede mash after all…

Tell us what will be on your plate in 2020 – come and join the conversations over in the Facebook group.  Trendy and non-trendy foods allowed.  So long as they taste good.




Is Your Thyroid Slowing You Down?

Is Your Thyroid Slowing You Down?

Thyroid problems are one of the most common health issues affecting women.  If you’re feeling exhausted all day, struggle to concentrate and remember things, have low mood, constipation, or weak hair, your thyroid may be underfunctioning.  The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are often mistaken for other conditions such as stress or menopause, so hormone testing is important.

What does the thyroid gland do?

Think of it as being like the accelerator in a car.  When it’s underactive, all your body processes slow down, as if you had taken your foot off the gas.  Equally, it can go overactive.  An overactive thyroid can cause palpitations, restlessness, difficulty maintaining weight, diarrhoea, and anxiety.  All the body processes are speeding up – the accelerator is being pressed too hard!

The symptoms of a sick thyroid can be mixed.  Some people experience constipation, tiredness and anxiety, while others have no problem losing weight but feel exhausted and struggle to concentrate.  Sometimes the gland can go overactive for a short while before crashing and underfunctioning.

Hashimoto’s & Graves Disease

There are different reasons why the thyroid gland becomes sick; one of these is auto-immunity.  During auto-immune conditions the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks parts of the body, causing inflammation and damage.  If this happens in the thyroid gland it can lead to:

– Hasimoto’s Disease: hypothyroidism (under functioning) caused by auto-immunity

– Graves Disease: hyperthyroidism (over activity) caused by auto-immunity

It’s important to know if your thyroid imbalance is an autoimmune one or not.  If it is, you may need to be tested for other auto-immune conditions like Coeliac disease or rheumatoid arthritis.  An autoimmune condition is primarily an imbalance with the immune system that happens to be affecting the thyroid – it’s not just a straightforward thyroid issue.  A Registered Nutritional Therapist can support you with managing an autoimmune issue.  Nutrition and lifestyle medicine can be hugely helpful for these conditions.

What medication is there for hypothyroidism?

The standard medical treatment is Levothyroxine.  This is a synthetic version of T4, one of your thyroid hormones.  However this is only prescribed if you fall below certain parameters on blood tests.  Many people suffer with sub-clinical hypothyroidism where the gland is underfunctioning but not badly enough to be prescribed meds.

Simply taking Levothyroxine is only part of the picture of managing hypothyroidism.  Your body converts T4 to T3, the more biologically active thyroid hormone.  If this conversion doesn’t work very well, you can still have all the symptoms even though you’re taking medication.

This conversion of T4 to T3 is disrupted by stress, poor diet, and digestive problems.

Blog_Thyroid_snipSimply replacing T4 by taking Levothyroxine is just the first step in managing hypothyroidism.  A personalised whole-body approach focusing on:

Healthy digestion: making sure foods are broken down and digested properly, and bowel movements are regular and comfortable

Foods to support thyroid function and hormone conversion: Brazil nuts, sea vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, oats, sweet potatoes, avocados, eggs, slow-cooked red meats, naturally gluten-free grains – these are some of the best thyroid supporting foods

Relaxation & movement: vital for managing stress and supporting T4/T3 conversion

is the most positive way forward for true thyroid balance.  Contact a Registered Nutritional Therapist today to find out more!