For the past 10 years, Google searches for the keyword "healthy foods" has continuously increased, and it's not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vietnamese market is not an exception to this trend.
The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) report states that food has been a popular trend in 2020. The following trends are expected to thrive post-COVID-19:
- Foods that strengthen the immune system and aid in digestion.
- Prebiotics, probiotics and cannabidiol for general well-being
- A balance between healthy foods and cravings
- Natural (especially plant-based) alternatives.
Based on the recommendations from nutritionists shared with Everyday Health, Vietcetera has selected 5 foods suitable for Vietnamese life.
The digestive system plays a vital role in human health as 80% of the body's immune cells are in the gut. Thus, foods rich in probiotics are currently on the global consumer top priority food list.
Originating more than 2,000 years ago in the Far East as ‘the tea of immortality', Kombucha, a fermented beverage made from tea, sugar, good bacteria, and yeast, is slowly emerging in the market.
Kombucha contributes to aiding the digestive system and strengthening the immune system, bringing benefits such as ridding the body of toxins and helping the process of weight loss.
Previously, because Kombucha did not exist in Vietnam, people either accepted to pay a high price for the imported products or did not feel secure about the quality of the drink when making it themselves at home.
Currently, Star Kombucha - the first Kombucha brand name in Vietnam to achieve a FDA certification in the United States - was born and solved their inconvenience at an affordable price.
The trend of cutting back on meat or going 'vegetarian' is one of the environmentally-friendly healthy-living habits trend and is not expected to be "outdated" anytime soon.
"Plant-based food is the biggest trend I have ever seen," says nutritionist Tara Collingwood.
Plant-based foods are preferred by consumers because they have less allergenic proteins found in traditional foods (i.e. milk and seafood) and the saturated fats that are abundant in red meat.
These foods also contain phytonutrients that provide many health benefits. Even plant-based meat is slowly becoming a mass-produced product. This type of food is considered a solution in the process of solving the human food crisis in the future.
Products made from oats
Oats have been a long-time prominent food trend in many countries, especially in the US. In Vietnam, oats are favored because they are rich in vitamins, fiber, low in sugar, and are full of antioxidants.
Oats can be a great substitute for cow or soy milk for those with allergies as it contains half of the protein found in these types of milk.
However, for people with a gluten allergy, pay close attention as not all oat products are completely gluten-free. Different growing processes determine the gluten content of the final oat product.
The sea vegetable is also one of the most 'environmentally-sustainable' ingredients as the seaweed farming process not only does not consume a lot of resources and contributes to CO2 absorption.
Lactose Free Products
Lactose intolerance is the body's inability to completely digest lactose, the main carbohydrate in dairy products due to a lack of the enzyme lactase.
Common symptoms of lactose intolerance include: abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms usually start about 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming dairy.
Vietnam has a high percentage of people who are lactose intolerant. The process of aging also affects the ability to break down lactose in milk causing colic, bloating, diarrhea and belching.
Large domestic and foreign brands such as Vinamilk, TH True Milk, and Abbott have quickly met this demand of consumers for many years by creating lactose-free products. Today, other items such as lactose-free baked goods, sweets and produce are also gradually appearing.
Although experts consider the 5 foods mentioned above as foods that support healthy lifestyles in recent years, what's most important is still the sense of preserving and improving the health of each other. Food is just one of many factors among physical, mental and emotional health that lead to a healthy lifestyle.
This article is adapted by Angie Tran.