The 5 Must-Know Food Trends in 2016 (from Algae to Barley Grass)

Barley grass: Green power in a glass

Every year, new innovative food trends pop up that everyone hears about sooner or later. For instance, there is still no getting around kale, coconut water and matcha. But what are the must-try trends for 2016? We are sure the following foods and meals have what it takes to be this year’s highlights. They are guaranteed to tempt the taste buds of runners and fitness enthusiasts.

Food-Trend Algen: Treasure of the sea

1. Algae: Treasure of the sea
Now there is something new from the depths of the ocean: algae. This is definitely the new food trend of this year. Studies have shown that algae is very high in nutrients and is the perfect complement to a healthy fitness diet. It is low in calories and rich in fiber and polyphenols (phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables). It also contains most essential amino acids. Plus, the green food is high in vitamin C – although you would have to eat a lot of it to see any positive effects. But how can you incorporate algae into your meal plan? Maybe you have heard about spirulina (micro-algae), which is mainly available in powder form. These days, people don’t just consume algae as a powder in smoothies. They also use it in salads or soups.

Food-Trends: Superfood for breakfast

2. Acai bowls: Superfood for breakfast
Have you ever thought about eating your smoothie with a spoon rather than drinking it? Acai bowls are the new trend. The basis of the bowls is the acai berry, an unbeatable superfood. The berry originally comes from South America and has been eaten in Brazil for a long time. The smoothie bowl is made by simply blending the berries together with other fruit and some (plant) milk. Then you top the delicious breakfast with everything your heart desires: fruit, coconut flakes, muesli or nuts. It not only looks pretty, but it also tastes fruity delicious! According to studies, acai berries do not necessarily contain more nutrients than other soft fruits, but they certainly add some variety to your meal plan. In any event, you should definitely try them out.

3. Birch water: The new trendy drink
Last year, coconut water was all the craze, but this year’s “it” drink is birch water. The sweet-tasting sap is collected directly from the tree in spring and has long been the national drink of Eastern and Northeastern Europe. But what are the health benefits of birch water? It is rich in macro and micronutrients like protein, potassium and other electrolytes, making it a great post-workout drink. Additionally, the water is said to contain saponins: these are phytochemicals that help lower cholesterol. Plus, the sap has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body.

Barley grass: Green power in a glass

4. Barley grass: Green power in a glass
Many running fans swear by the effect of barley grass in their morning smoothie. Why? The green powder is a nutrient miracle worker and contains many more positive substances than other plants. The list includes:

      • calcium
      • folic acid
      • iron
      • B vitamins
      • potassium

According to studies, barley grass acts as a scavenger of free radicals. These play a negative role in the development of diseases and cell aging. It is particularly effective in combination with vitamin C. Ideal for this would be a juice made from oranges, apples and barley grass.

Turmeric: Golden miracle spice

5. Turmeric: Golden miracle spice
In India, turmeric (also called Indian saffron) is known as the “spice of life.” We all know it from exotic dishes and as an ingredient of curry powder. But you can also use the orange-yellow root for sweet drinks. Incidentally, the root gets its vivid color from the curcumin contained within it.
What are the positive benefits of turmeric? Studies have shown that the yellow spice can help prevent diseases like depression, arteriosclerosis and diabetes. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and boosts the immune system, which is particularly important for runners.

Try out the miracle spice for yourself – in golden milk. What you need is

        • 1 cup of almond milk
        • ½ tsp. turmeric
        • a dash of cinnamon
        • ½ tsp. honey or maple syrup
        • a dash of black pepper
        • some grated ginger

Combine all the ingredients in a pot, heat the milk for 5 minutes and then enjoy!

Have you tried one of these food trends before? What food can’t or don’t you want to live without this year? We’d love to hear your comments.


Julia Denner Julia is a dietician and sports nutritionist. Before she began her position as Communications Specialist at Runtastic, she spent several years working as a dietician in the surgical department at Vienna General Hospital. Julia is passionate about inspiring others to eat a healthy, balanced diet. View all posts by Julia Denner