January 1 will bring a new year, a new you, and… new foods? If you’re on the self-improvement bandwagon (and most people are, at this time of year) you might be interested in the latest foodie trends that promise improved health and functioning. Are they really all they’re cracked up to be? Can they fit into your weight loss plan?
Medicinal mushrooms. No, we’re not talking about the kind you might encounter at a music festival. Mushrooms such as lion’s mane and cordiceps are known to provide B vitamins and selenium. Many people believe these mushrooms have powerful brain-boosting and immune-health properties. In most cases, it’s safe to go ahead and try them. But talk to your doctor first, because there could be possible interactions with prescription drugs or other supplements that you’re taking.
Brain enhancers. You’ve probably heard the buzz about various supplements that promise increased memory, processing power, and clarity (for your brain, not your computer). But do they work? Some research does indicate that ginseng and gingko biloba, in particular, can produce positive effects in the brain.
Collagen. As we age, the collagen production in our skin tends to slow down, leading to wrinkles, sagging, and lines. Collagen is even related to the formation of stretch marks, even though young people can get those as well. It’s no wonder that many people swear by collagen-containing foods and supplements, to promote a younger appearance and keep their skin healthier. Good food sources of collagen include bone broth, bone-in chicken, wild fish, grass-fed beef, and colorful produce. You can also consume collagen in powdered form, but of course the foods listed here are also good for you in other ways.
“Plant-based”. As public interest in the vegan lifestyle grows, it’s no wonder food manufacturers are coming up with all sorts of interesting new “plant based” products. You can find animal-cruelty-free substitutes for just about anything these days, including milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and meat alternatives. While some research indicates that we should avoid excess soy, the good news is that many of these newer products use peas, mushrooms, and other protein sources. If you’re hoping to make these plant-based products a part of your weight loss plan, just remember that calories are calories. These products won’t necessarily help you lose weight, unless you’re also monitoring their caloric content.
If you’re curious about any trendy foods or supplements on the market, bring up the subject at your next appointment. We can point you toward foods and supplements that are safe, and warn you against any that might be untested or possibly contradictory for your health and lifestyle goals.