By Diana Maricruz Perez Santos
Despite having high rates of obesity, people in Central and North America show a contrasting change: The Fitness Revolution. This new trend opens a door of opportunity for the food industry.
The mentality of consumers regarding lifestyle is directly affected by beauty ideals and fashion. The publicity with beautiful, healthy and fit bodies opens a new segment of consumers who are conscientious of the nutrients they ingest.
Not long ago, bodybuilders and athletes used in their diets the famous “dietary supplements” that consist of pills, energy bars, and beverages with electrolytes (some of which didn’t taste all that great). As the name says, they serve as a supplement to the daily nutrient intake of an athlete. These products are increasingly being replaced by functional foods, which have had better acceptance for being natural, and also tasting better.
Formulations with spirulina algae, carnitine, creatine, whey protein, caffeine, and some antioxidants are favorites used by those who look to take advantage of the benefits of physical activity. Products on the market ranging from simple energy bars to basic food products are using these functional ingredients now, and the number is increasing.
These kinds of products have also caused controversy regarding the effects of some of these substances in the functioning of vital organs. Studies published in medical journals show that prolonged use of some products effects liver function. The debate if they are good or not, has been exacerbated by the lack of strict regulation to protect the consumer.
The trend in the food industry is to replace certain substances that may be considered harmful with natural sources of ingredients. The pineapple, nopal, chia, and blueberry are some examples of super foods that provide similar results to that of nutritional supplements. This is a growing market and promising for the food industry. See my recipe below for a healthy and delicious recipe I call “Green Juice”!
My “Green Juice” Recipe
½ cup pineapple
1 stick of celery
½ cup chopped nopal (fleshy portion of the prickly pear)
8 ounces of orange juice
1 teaspoon agave syrup (optional)
Put everything in a blender, mix, and serve.
Tip: If you are going to buy a whole pineapple, freeze leftover ingredients (except the orange juice)
Do you have any tasty superfood recipes to share?
Photo credit http://tinyurl.com/k3ehoga