The wheels of the trend buggy go round and round and pick up every innovative passenger along its way. Finally, this trend buggy has landed in 2018 and stands at the doorsteps of all restaurants, bringing new food trends. These trends are ready to shape your annual meals and invade your Instagram feed.

Lots of predictions and guesswork has risen to form solid opinions. But what can be said for sure about these food trends of 2018 is that they focus on personalization and healthfulness. Naturally, expectations are high. So, sit back, sip on some breathe easy tea, and read on to discover the food trends that will shape this year:

1. Medicinal foods

Last year shed the limelight on probiotics for essential gut health. There was an emphasis on the need for maintaining a healthy stomach for a healthful body. In fact, we were blasted with probiotics in every other product including yogurts, supplements, and skincare essentials. However, as the past year has slipped into the current one, probiotics have extended their stay along with company.

You can expect this year to revolve not only around the critical gut bacteria but also essential gut fungi. Mahmoud Ghannoum, Ph.D., is among the world’s leading scientists who studied microbiome. And, in his recent research, Ghannoum has discovered the role played by fungi alongside bacteria in promoting good gut health.

He explains, “The rapidly evolving field of the microbiome is highlighting exciting new discoveries showing that both bacteria and fungi play a critical role in optimizing digestive health. These studies are showing significant cooperation between bacteria and fungi that can impact our overall health and wellness.”

The key takeaway is that the probiotics will start concentrating on the essential role played by fungi too. As the trend of gut healing continues, you can also expect to see Ayurveda foods. Pair this up with different supplements such as amino acids and collagen for this year.

2. Plant-based diet

Plant-based dietYou can expect to see more green dishes, as people are headed toward ditching the carnivorous ways. The vegan population is on the rise with a study showing that 55% of Americans are favoring plant-based foods.

It is not only a matter of preference but also health when it comes to choosing such a diet. Plant-based nutrition shows several health benefits such as hypertension control, diabetes prevention, better skin, improved vision, and more. Consequently, lots of innovations will center around plant-based food.

The year will also witness plant-based alternatives for meat. Meat and fish will be swapped with vegetarian options like tuna-free sushi. Brands such as Daiya are already making such healthy, alternative diets accessible now than ever before. Moreover, meatless burgers will continue to gain traction such as those produced by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.

You can also expect to see the use of edible flowers in dishes with Lavender embracing the hype. Floral flavors in cocktails, teas, and coffers will also be observed. Rose and elderflower will be among the flowers taking the front row in floral flavored beverages.

3. Intermittent Fasting

When given the spotlight, some centuries old practices don’t aim at giving it up soon. This case rings true with intermittent fasting as well that orbited throughout 2017 and is here to stay this year too.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is nicknamed as time-restrictive eating. Its axis lies between alternative cycles of eating and fasting. Research has applauded the role of IF in weight loss, protection against disease, and improved metabolism. This dieting pattern is rather easy to follow as well.

There are several approaches to IF, but in simple terms, you need to know that there are no harsh calorie calculations involved. During the fasting periods though, food is banned, but you can sip non-caloric drinks like coffee, water, and tea.

With celebrities such as Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, Miranda Kerr, and Beyoncé following IF, there is no doubt it would dominate 2018. So, lots of food patterns will revolve around this eating pattern. In case you plan on blending fitness and food, then you can definitely reap the benefits of intermittent fasting.

4. Mediterranean diet

Mediterranean diet has hopped on the first place with Dash Diet as the Best Diet Overall. Subsequently, it is only natural that you’d see more of the Mediterranean diet making its way through the food trends.

With seafood, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats taking the spotlight, the Mediterranean diet isn’t unduly restrictive as well. There are lots of colorful veggies minus the processed food to focus on. Sweets and saturated fats are consumed to a minimum for optimal health advantages.

The primary aim of this dietary plan is to chop the risk of heart disease and cancer. The diet originally dates back to the 1950s. Research determined that focusing on a diet followed by the Greek people helps to reduce cardiovascular disease and lowers cholesterol.

Additionally, it helps to shed the extra pounds too without having to seal your mouth shut. In fact, a study found that Mediterranean diet is far more effective in reducing weight than the low-fat diet.

5. Middle Eastern flavors

Middle Eastern foodFalafel and hummus have graced the American meals for long now. But 2018 is teeming to welcome more from the Middle Eastern region. You will see more flavors and spices from Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, and Israel.

Spices such as harissa, za’atar, halloumi, turmeric, and shakshuka will be popping more frequently on your menu this year. More Middle Eastern ingredients like tahini, lamb, dried fruits, and pomegranate will also bless your meals.

You can also anticipate spices from Northern Africa and Western Asia joining the ranks of food flavors. Turmeric will continue staying on top of the game with its anti-inflammatory properties. On top of that, it offers several health benefits as well.

As the food trend shifts in favor of plant-based diets, these spices will enhance the flavor profile of dishes. Each seasoning, herb, and spice, for instance, za’atar, offers health well-being too.