This year we couldn’t get enough of coconut water and baobab thanks to their slimming properties – but if experts are to be believed, these super foods will be old news by January.Leading nutritionists have revealed the top food and drink to help you lose weight in 2017, including plant water and jack fruit. The products they predict will be flying off the shelves next year may sound somewhat unappetizing – but not only do they have slimming properties, they can also help boost digestion, lower cholesterol and even banish hangovers.
‘You might have heard people referring to jack fruit as “pulled pork for vegetarians”,’ says Carly Tierney, personal trainer and expert nutritionist at UK gym chain DW Fitness Clubs. ‘If not, you almost certainly will have done by the end of 2017; as a popular substitute for meat, it’s going to be everywhere!
‘Studies have shown that Jack fruit has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be an important aspect of preventing obesity. ‘The seeds are particularly good for you. A strong source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, they can help to prevent cell damage, which is great news for your immune system. ‘Additionally, the seeds are thought to be beneficial for your blood circulation. This can be vital for hair growth, among other things.’
Following on from the coconut water boom, Frida Harju, the in-house nutritionist at health app Life sum, reckons we’ll be seeing more plant waters being added to our diets than ever.Cactus plant water is set to be huge next year; it has health benefits that include helping fight high cholesterol levels and curing hangovers.Being high in fiber and low in calories means it can also help you stay fuller for longer – making it an excellent weight loss aid. Expect birch sap water will be a hit thanks to its high levels of antioxidants, natural minerals and xylitol (a natural sugar).
After being a mainstay in Asian cuisine for many years, seaweed is increasingly catching on in the West – with TV chef Jamie Oliver attesting to its weight loss properties.Its growing popularity, says Carly, is down to it being vegan-friendly. ‘Naturally low in calories, seaweed can add an extra dimension to a wide range of dishes.’Whether you include it in a stew or soup, or you add some to your stir fry, it’s an extremely versatile ingredient.
‘In terms of nutritional benefits, seaweed is said to be a rich source of iron and calcium. Also, a piece of research cited by the European Food Information Council suggested that an 8g portion of dried seaweed provides a similar amount of fiber to a banana. ‘This makes it a great alternative for those who are wary about the high natural sugar content in certain fruits.’Perhaps unsurprisingly, some types of seaweed have a high salt content, which you need to take into consideration when adding it to your meals.’ There is also a natural fiber in sea kelp called alginate, which inhibits the enzymes that digest fat so that less is absorbed by the body.
Hawaiian poke bowls – low-calorie, raw fish salads – are tipped to go take the foodie scene by storm after migrating from Hawaii to the ultra-trendy restaurants of Los Angeles.’Combining raw fish with fresh greens is never a bad idea, and these convenient, super-nutritious meals could revolutionize your lunchtime routine,’ says Carly.’The health benefits of raw fish are well documented. Tuna is full of ‘good fats’, which help to prevent blood clotting and boost cognitive functionality. ‘You should be eating at least one portion of Omega-3-rich fish each week, and poke bowls are a great way to go about this. ‘Be prepared for Poke Bowls to dominate your Instagram feed in 2017!’