Millennial food trends that are actually good for you
By Shweta Vepa Vyas
There’s more to a millennial than Netflix and Uber. That’s right, there’s also avocado on toast. While, no one can resist making a joke at the expense of your average millennial, let’s admit, they need to be given credit where it’s due. So, if you’re finding your healthy food inspiration on Instagram, thank a millennial for it. In the spirit of all things Instagrammable, here’s our compilation of millennial-friendly food trends that are as healthy as they are photogenic.
Avocado on toast
Social media’s most favourite breakfast certainly deserves a toast. The creamy, green fruit spread on a crisp slice of multigrain bread and topped with crumbled feta, eggs, or an array of colourful fruit, certainly makes for a healthy start to your day. Such is the craze around avo-toast, that a May 2017 report even held it responsible for preventing millennials from buying homes! At almost approximately Rs.100 a piece, this certainly isn’t cheap. What it is though is, super healthy!
Expert view: Since avocado is a ‘good’ fat, it’s ideal as a substitute for butter or other unhealthy fats and tastes great when served with sprinkled seasonings. It’s rich in fibre, potassium, copper and vitamins B, K, E and C. While Vitamin B is essential to maintain your skin’s health, Vitamin K works to strengthen the skin, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is known to prevent damage caused by free radicals and Vitamin C boosts your skin's collagen production to give you firmer, plumper skin. It’s also alkaline in nature and aids with weight loss. The expert opinion though is to swap the bread with either wheat or millet chapati or ditch it altogether.
Scrolling through your feed, you’ve probably come across those pretty little bowls—with neatly-arranged sections of whole grains, protein and greens and sprinkled with seeds and nuts—that also go by the name of Buddha bowls. Of rather frugal origins, this one pot meal was named so, because oral traditions tell us stories of Buddha roaming the streets and accepting whatever food people could spare. Version 2.0 of course, with its ingredients like quinoa, avocados (what is the obsession, really!), microgreens and organic seeds is anything but frugal and certainly high up in the health department.
Expert view: Comprising different food items like cereal, proteins, greens, veggies and good fats, Buddha bowls offer variety and are an amazing blend of the all food groups. They are low-carb and rich in fibre, proteins and minerals including vitamins B and E, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus. Zinc plays a role in maintaining skin’s integrity and structure, while potassium keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated and magnesium helps improve your skin's overall appearance, reducing acne and other skin disorders by lowering cortisol levels, stabilizing hormonal imbalances, and improving cellular processes. Since they contain whole grain sprouts and energy boosting foods, they’re also considered a brain booster. All experts would unanimously agree though that you need to choose your dressings carefully. Steer clear of toppings like butter and mayonnaise that defeat the purpose of your healthy bowl.
Millennials can also be given credit for elevating fruit into something that’s a work of art! Beautifully decorated bowls of fruit along with yoghurt and seeds make for a healthy (not to mention pretty) breakfast. In fact, there’s no better way to start your day, than with fruit. So, here’s what you need to know about putting together a smoothie bowl.
Breaking meals down
Back in the day, three square meals in the day were the norm. The average Indian meal consisting roti, sabzi, dal, rice and curd in some form was enough for sustaining one through the day. However, many nutrition experts today often suggest breaking down the traditional meal in order to boost metabolism and energy levels.
Expert view: By eating 4-6 smaller meals, you remain satiated and don’t gorge on junk food. This is also great if you have a demanding job, as a heavy meal tends to make you sluggish. By eating smaller meals, your mind will stay alert. You can reduce the number of carbs in your main meals and include healthy foods like nuts, fruit and herbal teas in the smaller ‘meals.’ You’ll automatically start controlling portions in your bigger meals and will notice that you don’t crave junk food anymore.
It’s the catchphrase du jour and today between your supermarket and favourite restaurant, you’ll find anything from keto pizza to keto parantha. By limiting the intake of carbohydrates, the aim of the diet is to create a state of ketosis in the body wherein it starts deriving energy from ketones produced by the liver instead of blood glucose. While your internet search will throw up conflicting opinions, read on to find out what the experts have to say.
Expert view: A keto diet is a tough regimen that requires high discipline, will power and sustainability. By depriving the body of carbohydrates, it is forced to start using fats as fuel. A keto diet can be beneficial if you suffer from epilepsy, diabetes or have a certain goal in mind. While it will certainly kickstart your weight loss journey, it is not recommended for more than 45 days and that too under the guidance of a professional. By cutting out certain food groups for long periods, you are depriving your body of essential nutrients (read zinc, biotin and vitamins). So, consider this diet to give your body a boost, but in the long run, it’s always advisable to have a balanced diet, supplemented by exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. Of course, most importantly, a diet that is approved for your body type by a certified nutritionist.
With expert inputs from Hetal Chheda, Holistic Nutritionist and Founder, YOUR HEALTH Nutrition Clinic and Gautam Kapur, Nutraceutical Expert and Founder, Be Conscious Nutrition