The field of nutritional science seems to change so quickly, it can be hard to keep up with the most current ideas about healthy eating. But what if you could take a peek into the future and see what concepts will be making headlines – tomorrow?
In this intriguing new video from #IPEtv, Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, discusses 4 trends that are heating up right now, and are just about to burst onto the mainstream nutritional scene.
If you want to find out what’s got the scientific community abuzz and be at the forefront of these exciting new developments, then tune in now and join Marc as he takes a little look into his crystal ball!
Below is a transcript of this week’s video:
Greetings friends, this is Marc David, founder of the Institute for the psychology of eating
Today’s topic is one that I’m excited to share with you about –
The Future of Nutrition: 4 Important Trends
As much as I try to live in the here and now, I love the future. I love futurizing, and looking into my crystal ball to see what might be unfolding in the years and decades to come. Of course, such forecasting is essential in financial planning, raising a family, education, technology, science, politics, you name it.
But we don’t always seem to look into the future when it comes to nutrition.
That’s why I’m excited to share with you what I consider five of the most important trends that are already happening in the field today, and that scientists and clinicians will be focusing on for a while to come. I’m interested in you getting a jump start on things. I’m interested in each one of us knowing the inside story right now, so we can begin to put some of the excitement that’s happening in nutrition research to good use. In no particular order, here are 4 exciting trends I’d love for you to know about:
Trend #1 – Epigenetics
It can be argued that the discoveries and the explosions that are happening in the field of epigenetics might be the most important scientific work in health and nutrition in this century. Epigenetics is the study of how DNA and genetic expression can be changed without any alterations in the DNA gene sequences themselves, but by extra-genetic factors that impact what the gene does and how it expresses.
Epigenetics means on top of, around, or outside the gene. In the simplest of terms, we’ve all been taught in our earliest science classes that our gene expression never changes. If you have brown eyes, you have brown eyes. If you’re a male, or female, then that’s what you are, end of story. And indeed, there are certain genetic expressions that will last in us forever.
However, we might have genes for alcoholism, genes for breast cancer, genes for brain disease – and yet epigenetics says that it’s environmental factors that will influence whether such genes are turned on or off. This is a groundbreaking understanding. It’s a major game changer. Genetics loads the gun, but environment pulls the trigger. And when I say environment, I mean the foods you eat, the air you breathe, the water you drink, the thoughts you think, the exercise you do, and the lifestyle you lead. It means your level of stress or relaxation, and it could mean the specific supplements or herbs that you take – all of which can influence whether a gene is turned on or off.
The beauty here is that this puts the power into our own hands when it comes to health and good nutrition like never before.
We’re discovering that things like turmeric, essential fats, B vitamins, stress, and all sorts of toxic chemicals and substances can literally switch genes on and off. Scientists have even noted such genetic changes that can happen quickly – simply when someone meditates.
Genetics is no longer destiny. It’s a co-creative process. There’s a vast amount of research happening right now behind the scenes to learn about what foods and what substances turn on and off which particular genes.
Trend #2 – The Importance of the Gut Microbiome
There’s a vast amount of research that’s exploding with the understanding that our gut ecology – meaning all the little organisms that inhabit our digestive tract – are fantastically important for optimum health. Consider this: there are more organisms sitting in your digestive tract than there are people on the planet. Indeed, each of us is literally a world that’s inhabited by billions and billions of tiny creatures. These tiny creatures are symbiotes – meaning they are meant to live in harmony with us. We provide an environment in which they can live and prosper, and they provide all kinds of amazing benefits that keep our body happy, healthy, and long-lived.
Scientists are studying how specific bacteria can provide specific benefits for the human body. Some bacteria literally contribute to increased bone density, some to cardiovascular health, while others help with brain health and emotional well-being. Into the future, we will literally have identified bacteria strains that can be used to treat hundreds of very specific symptoms and diseases. How amazing is that!
We’ve known for a while that gut bacteria are needed and necessary for digestive health, immune health, and the production of various nutrient-like compounds in the body. We know that a healthy gut ecology also keeps other organisms that might be harmful to us – in check. But we’re learning that the importance of gut bacteria goes way beyond what we ever could have imagined. Another fantastic statistic that’s come out of research into genetics and the gut ecology is that over 90% of our DNA is indeed bacterial in origin. We are literally living off of these creatures, they live off of us, and we incorporate their byproducts into the very structure and function of who we are.
Trend #3 – Fermented Foods
Closely related to the important trend of the power of our gut ecology is the new trend in fermented foods. This is literally a case of going back to the future. Somewhere in your cultural or genetic lineage – your ancestors were likely eating fermented foods. It could have been fermented vegetables, pickles, sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, fermented dairy, fermented drinks, or even fermented animal and fish products. And for sure, because our ancestors likely lived a little closer to the earth than we do, traditional cultures and societies soaked up a lot of their friendly bacteria by walking barefoot, being in the soil, farming, working with plants, and having hygiene practices that were more moderate and less chemically intensive. The point is, there are plenty of ways to NOT have enough healthy bacteria in our guts. Health begins in the digestive tract. Fermented foods have been a powerful traditional way that humans receive a good amount of natural probiotics – which means by the way, healthy bacteria.
You may have noticed that there is now a renaissance in naturally fermented products such as yogurt, kombucha, fermented vegetables, sauerkrauts, various fermented drinks found in the health food store, and much more.
If you ask around, you can hear amazing stories from clinicians who treat their clients, in part, with food. Introducing fermented foods is an amazing way to gradually increase gut health, which means improving digestion, elimination, immunity, and so much more.
Trend #4 – Eating Psychology
I have to admit I’m a little bit biased here, but with that being said, eating psychology is one of the most important trends that’s happening in the field of nutrition. That’s because so many nutritionists, dietitians, health coaches, doctors, and all sorts of health practitioners are realizing that there’s more to good nutrition than simply telling someone what to eat and what not to eat. So many of our struggles with health are profoundly connected to who we are as human beings and what’s happening in our personal and our inner worlds.
Lots of people know about good nutrition, know what they’re supposed to do, but they just don’t do it. That’s all about psychology. That’s all about who we are as human beings and what’s going on inside. What we eat is half of the story of good nutrition. The other half of the story is who we are as eaters. Our thoughts, beliefs, stresses, hopes, dreams, triumphs, fears, relationships, and so much more – can powerfully impact our food choices, our appetite, and quite literally, our digestive metabolism and calorie burning capacity.
The more we understand the mind of the eater, the better we can be at providing ourselves the nutrition and nourishment we need most. These are four of our favorites of the biggest trends out there in nutrition. I hope this was helpful my friends.
In the comments below, please let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you and we read and respond to every comment! Thanks so much for your time and interest.
Become a Mind Body Eating Coach
Now enrolling for October 2023.
Make real, lasting change - in your life and the lives of others using eating psychology coaching tools.
Subscribe to The Psychology of Eating Podcast
Get notified when new episodes go live.