The Lists

10 Healthy Eating and New Food Trends You Need to Know in 2022

New year, new food and nutrition trends. Health, fitness, wellness and sometimes weight loss are top of mind for many of us right now. So we went in search of what’s trending in healthy eating and wellness for 2022. Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of words and phrases you need to know to eat healthy (or at least on-trend) this year. Here are the top 10 healthy eating and new food, nutrition and diet trends you need to know in 2022.

The Healthy Eating and New Food Trends You Need to Know in 2022

With a new year comes a slew of new predictions of what will be capturing our attention and appetites. And although it’s usually viral trends that no one saw coming — looking at you espresso martini and feta pasta — that doesn’t stop the industry from trying to anticipate our whims and desires.

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We’ve read the oft-quoted Whole Foods Market trend report and looked at various reports from food publications and other lifestyle sites to come up with our list of the 10 most relevant food trends that will help keep us healthy (and excited about being healthy) in 2022.

The Healthy Eating Trends You Need to Know in 2022

Clean Eating and Drinking

1. Reducetariansim

Last year the buzzword was climatarianism: the act of reducing one’s carbon footprint with one’s diet. This year? Reducetarianism. Rachel Bukowski, senior team leader of product development at Whole Foods Market, explains that it involves “reducing one’s consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs, often without cutting them out completely. It’s a quality over quantity approach to consuming animal products.”

If this doesn’t sound revolutionary to you, it’s because it’s not. We’ve probably been collectively  inching our way towards this middle ground as more plant-forward proteins flood our grocery stores. Personally, we love the flexibility and room for experimentation. It can be as simple as incorporating Meatless Mondays to your family’s dinner rotation or picking up ‘grass-fed’ or ‘pasture-raised’ animal products. Instead of deprivation, it’s about moderation and mindfulness.

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2. Alcohol-free spirits

According to our friends at the market-research firm Nielsen, half of U.S. adults (and two-thirds of those ages 21 to 34) are trying to drink less alcohol. And it’s not just during dry January. In the U.S, the downward trend in the rate of alcohol consumption has been occurring over the last two decades, according to Gallup.com. This is a lifestyle change that is part of the larger wellness movement.

The latest trends in healthy eating and new foods that you should know about in 2022: mocktails.

In 2022, we’ll see the rise of mocktail options that feel sophisticated and special occasion appropriate. Brands like Curious Elixirs and Three Spirit blend adaptogens and plant-based aphrodisiacs to stimulate the senses au naturel. Other brands like Seedlip, rely on a unique six-week maceration, distillation, filtration, and blending process to create delicious non-alcoholic spirits. What’s great is that these beverages don’t feel like a compromise — they’re special on their own and we always love to try new things.

Meet some new flavors

3. Yuzu

Of course, “new” is relative term. Yuzu is a citrus fruit that has been consumed in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cultures for centuries. But in the West, it’s poised to take the culinary world by storm. Whole Foods reports that “chefs are using its lime-lemon-grapefruit flavor to accent their soups, veggies, noodles and fish.” In the grocery aisle, its tart flavor lends itself to condiments like vinaigrettes and mayos, as well as in beverages like seltzers and non-alcoholic spirits.

4. Hibiscus

Move aside matcha! Hibiscus, with its signature hot pink hue, is going to be the new flavor in town. Known as ‘flor de Jamaica’ in the Spanish-speaking Latin American region, their visual (read: Instagram) appeal is undeniable. And their reputed health benefits fit into our love of wellness.

The latest trends in healthy eating and new foods that you should know about in 2022

The latest trends in healthy eating, diet, nutrition and new foods that you should know about in 2022: hibiscus.

From beverages to confectionery, yogurt to supplements, we’re looking forward to this antioxidant helping us lower our blood pressure and boost our immune system in more delicious ways.

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5. Turmeric

Millions of pounds of turmeric are imported to the United States every year where it ends up in spices and dietary supplements. Used for centuries in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine traditions, it is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

The latest trends in healthy eating and new foods that you should know about in 2022

The latest trends in healthy eating and new foods that you should know about in 2022: tumeric.

What’s noteworthy is that “the golden spice” has been making its way into everyday staples like cereal and even treats like ice cream sandwiches.

6. Borderless cuisine

Describing a cuisine as fusion lost its cache a long time ago. There’s a sense that it lacks authenticity but as the country grows more diverse (nearly half of Gen Z identifies as non-caucasian), multi-ethnic food is an everyday reality. And it would be hard to overlook the influence of the pandemic. Perhaps the hiatus of travel has only intensified these mash-ups.

From Korean Tacos to Indian-style pizza or restaurants like Kimika in New York City that combine Japanese and Italian cuisines, there are no limits when it comes to our taste buds. In 2022, we can expect to blend and appreciate the infinite flavor combinations from around the world.

Unexpected greens

7. Sea plants

Terrestrial plants are so 2021. Say hello to plants from the sea — which are more than just for wrapping up sushi. These nutrient-rich foods include seaweed, micro algae protein, and seagrass and it’s being used in snacks, condiments, plant-based meats, and as grain alternatives.

The latest trends in healthy eating and new foods that you should know about in 2022: seaweed salad.

Sea vegetables are also being lauded for sustainability. They actually have a much smaller carbon footprint than land vegetables and can help reduce carbon emissions. And according to a report from Forbes, “Ounce for ounce, seaweed contains more nutrients than any food on the planet.” Some sea vegetables contain more calcium than milk, while sea lettuce has 25 times the iron found in beef. They also have 10 to 20 times the amount of Vitamins A, B, C, and E than are found land vegetables. Under the sea is where it’s at!

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8. Urban farming

The farm-to-table movement just might change to “rooftop-to-table” or “greenhouse-to-table.” Whole Foods notes that “innovation in indoor farming has ballooned, from hydroponics and aquaponics to mushrooms grown above our grocery aisles — and even fresh produce grown by robots.” The hyperlocal crops not only provide fresher greens and vegetables, but can also help engage the community, educate on nutrition, and even help us develop new skills.

The latest trends in healthy eating and new foods that you should know about in 2022

The latest trends in healthy eating, diet, nutrition and new foods that you should know about in 2022. Urban farming and gardening.

Vertical farming company, Infarm, for example is now in supermarkets throughout the world including Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, Kinokuniya, and Kroger and harvests more than 500,000 plants monthly, using 90% of their electricity from renewable energy. In New York City, Teens for Food Justice, is a youth-led movement that has tackled growing food insecurity challenges while teaching farming skills since 2009. Veggies — not only good for your health but the environment and social justice too.

Rethinking restaurants

9. Smaller menus

Say goodbye to five page menus. Supply chain issues, rising food costs and a lack of available labor have led many restaurants to cut menu items. And as Rick Camac, dean of restaurant and hospitality management at the Institute of Culinary Education believes, we won’t even miss them. Dining out will become even more special and fewer items mean fresher ingredients done really well. As the late Anthony Bourdain said, “Never order fish on a Monday” and it’s comforting to know that old fish won’t even be a choice on the menu now.

10. Rise in food halls

What’s filling up the space in abandoned commercial real estate? Since 2016, the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield recorded 223 food halls operating in the U.S. and another 165 in development.

The latest trends in healthy eating, diet, nutrition and new foods that you should know about in 2022. Food Halls.

Popular among younger diners, food halls typically offer gourmet quality food at a more affordable price point as well as a social experience. And best of all, it offers flexibility for diners in the same party (sushi for mom and dad and burgers for the kids) and the ability to mix and match from different vendors. Many also have expansive outdoor patios or rooftop gardens which elevate the ambience from memories of the college dining hall.

The Healthy Eating Trends You Need to Know in 2022

That’s our roundup of the top 10 healthy eating, new food, nutrition and diet trends for a healthy and yummy 2022! Have fun experimenting…seaweed, yuzu and hibiscus smoothie, anyone?

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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