On Your Health

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12 Health Food Trends in 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused undeniable and lasting changes in nearly every aspect of your life, including what you eat. With more time at home, it’s easy to reach for salty potato chips, fattening desserts and sugary soda when you want a snack. But as the emphasis on home cooking continues into 2022, people are getting more creative in the kitchen. Check out our list of 12 health food trends in 2022 to keep an eye out for.


Functional fizzy drinks

Beverages can harm your health with added sugar, artificial sweeteners and acidic qualities—or they can effortlessly infuse healthy ingredients into your day. More people are coming to realize this as they swap out traditional soda for more functional fizzy drinks, including prebiotic soda with added fiber, sparkling tonics full of adaptogens and kombucha for a healthy gut.

Buzz-less cocktails

The alcohol-free trend is growing in popularity and availability in 2022. It’s a refreshing alternative to the booze-laden pandemic when high stress levels drove many to imbibe at worrisome levels. The right mocktails taste just as delicious and indulgent as the real stuff, and they don’t come with a hangover. You can make your own at home or even order them at a bar or restaurant to enjoy the ritual of drinking with friends while keeping your alcohol consumption in check.

Sunflower seed butter

Peanut butter alternatives like cashew butter and almond butter have been popular, allergy-free choices for years. Now, there’s a newcomer on the scene—sunflower seed butter. This rich, creamy seed butter is even a primary ingredient in four non-dairy ice cream flavors released by Ben & Jerry’s last year.

A new take on non-dairy milk

The popularity of non-dairy milk exploded in 2021, with oat milk leading the way. Other dairy milk alternatives made from grains, seeds, vegetables and nuts are also capturing people’s attention.

First is potato milk made from boiled potatoes and the water they cook in. Potato milk is available in European and Chinese countries and should soon be offered in the states. Then, there’s barley milk made from upcycled barley used in the beer-making process. Because it’s formulated from ingredients that would normally go to waste, barley milk is considered highly sustainable.

Other unexpected nuts now available as dairy-free milk include cashews, macadamias, pecans and pistachios. Look for other plant-based options as well, including milk made from tiger nuts, hemp, flax and quinoa. If dairy sensitivities aren’t a concern, you may want to try hybrid milk that combines dairy and plant-based ingredients.


Along with the continued interest in plant-based milk, mushrooms are becoming incredibly popular as a tasty meat replacement. The hearty texture, savory flavor and absorbency of mushrooms help them effectively imitate meat. For many people, the superior health and sustainability of mushrooms seal the deal. Try topping your toasted bun with a grilled Portobello mushroom instead of a beef patty, or stir mushrooms into soups and stews as a flavorful addition.

Water lily seeds

While lesser-known in the Americas, water lily seeds have been popular in India for centuries. The seeds have a light, fluffy texture and mild flavor, making them an excellent addition to both sweet and savory dishes. They’re packed with essential amino acids and vitamins, yet they have only about 100 calories per handful.


Hibiscus is a flowering plant native to many parts of the world. Hibiscus flowers are high in antioxidants, including vitamin C, and make a deep, rose-colored tea when steeped in hot water. Hibiscus tea naturally contains zero calories and no caffeine. You can also enjoy hibiscus as a juice, in cocktails or mocktails, or as chutney.

Immunity-boosting foods

A strong immune system is the foundation of good overall health. As immunity continues to be a top concern in 2022, people can take a holistic approach to help strengthen it. This includes making lifestyle changes like getting more sleep, meditating to reduce stress and eating immune-boosting foods full of vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, probiotics, prebiotics and adaptogens.

Some of the food trends for 2022 outlined in this list are considered immunity-boosting foods, including mushrooms, water lily seeds and hibiscus. Here are a few others to add to your grocery shopping list.

  • Berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, acai berries, goji berries)
  • Fermented foods (yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut)
  • Spices (ginger, turmeric, cinnamon)
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds)
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, kiwis, grapefruit)

Reducetarianism foods

According to the International Food Information Council, two-thirds of Americans report eating plant-based meat alternatives. Most of these people aren’t vegetarians—they simply hope to gradually reduce their consumption of animal products. This trend, known as reducetarianism, is gaining popularity in 2022.

As a result, plenty of new and improved plant-based products are becoming available these days, including non-dairy milk and mushrooms, as already discussed on this list. Here are some of your other options.

  • Nut-based cheeses made from almonds and cashews
  • Soy and coconut cheeses
  • Meat-free salami and other cured “meats”
  • Plant-based dips, such as hummus, black bean dip, olive tapenade and mushroom pate

Environmentally sustainable foods

Many people want actionable ways to fight climate change. As a result, environmental sustainability now has a more dominant impact on consumer purchases than ever before. 

One approach is to tackle food waste by purchasing products that use “ugly” fruit and vegetables to make yogurt, applesauce, puffs, fries, and dried snacks with the nutrient-rich skin and peel intact. As discussed in the barley milk example covered earlier, upcycling is another way to reduce food waste. For instance, some companies are starting to make snacks from carrot peels and pulp collected during juice-making and carrot-stick production.

Consumers are also paying attention to carbon emission labeling, which has increased significantly in the last year. Carbon miles reveal how much pollution food generates on its way to your table. Certified Carbon Neutral is a group that provides guidance and certification labels for food companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Lab-grown food

How about a scientific approach to more sustainable food production? It has taken a while for consumers to get comfortable with the idea of lab-grown food. Still, over 100 global companies will produce animal-free dairy products and eco-friendly beanless coffee and chocolate using lab-grown technology this year.

Sea-based plants

Seaweed, seagrass, dulce and kelp are being hailed as sustainable, nutrient-rich food sources in 2022. As such, you can find them in salads and snacks, as condiments, and in cubes for adding to smoothies, sauces, soups and dressings.


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