2018 Food Trends: New Twists to Mix It Up
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New Foods 

Thousands of new food products pop up every year, but few stick around. We see a lot at the annual Food and Nutrition Expo and this year we saw some enduring themes. Here are some food trends that may help you add variety and new flavors to your cancer protective, plant-based diet.

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Whole Grains

Beyond bread or brown rice, look for these terms: ancient, sprouted, popped, gluten-free, and quick cooking whole grains. Fiber, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and more make whole grains a health-boosting, cancer protective addition to your diet. AICR’s evidence shows that eating whole grain foods helps reduce risk for colorectal cancer. 

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Whole Grains: Try This

Some whole grains can take 30 minutes or more to cook, but for many you can find quick cooking or already cooked frozen versions. If you like to do things yourself, you can even get a home mill to grind grains into flour. 

Try this: Golden Quick Barley with Sweet Peas and Corn

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Chickpeas and Other Pulses

International Year of Pulses was 2016, but Americans are still on board. Lentils, split peas and beans of all colors are economical and pack protein, fiber, B vitamins and a variety of cancer-protective phytochemicals. They are showing up in creative new ways and are perfect for your meatless Monday meals to help cut down on red and processed meat. 

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Pulses: Try This 

In the supermarket, you may spot some pasta brands made with pulses like chickpeas, so you can cook up your own higher protein pasta dish. Pair the pasta with a pulse like Fava beans for a plant-based protein boost.

Try this: Spring Pasta Salad

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Water

Flavored, sparkling, cactus, and naturally-essenced waters offer a delicious alternative to sugar-sweetened drinks which are linked to weight gain.

Be sure to check the nutrition label to confirm little or no added sugar and be wary of unproven claims that these waters offer any special health-protective powers.

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Water: Try This

One easy way to make refreshing and pretty drinks is to start with plain club soda as a base and add a dash of fruit juice and chunks of fresh or frozen fruit. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Try these ideas. Not Your Ordinary Water

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Plant-Based Beverages

The popular quest for dairy substitutions has powered a market for plant based “milks” like soy, rice, almond, flax and one based on pea protein. Some are fortified with calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients, but not all, so check the label. 

Plant-based drinks work well for culinary purposes, but as milk replacement you need other foods to provide dairy's protein, B-12 and other nutrients.

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Beverages: Try This

Drink the plant-based beverages as they are, or add to smoothies, soups, baked goods and sauces. 

Try this: Mango Carrot Ginger Smoothie

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Just Add Vegetables and Fruits

A cancer-protective diet can include many of these foods along with plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits. Follow AICR's New American Plate filling 2/3 of more of your plate with plant foods and 1/3 or less with animal foods.

For more delicious ways to help you fill your cancer-protective plate, sign up to receive our bi-weekly Healthy Recipes.

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    Published on January 5, 2018

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