The world of health and wellness may be ever-changing, but a focus on personal health, specifically gut health, continues to dominate the trends of 2021 as it did through 2020.
As Singapore National Day approaches, let us applaud ourselves for once again making it to the mid-year mark in this new normal world and shine the spotlight on the food trends we have adopted to keep our stomachs and bodies healthy. From alternative diets to miracle supplements, let’s take a look at the list of our healthy choices from the stores to the kitchen and to the dining room table.
- The Organic Food Craze
Organic. It’s the word on everyone’s lips this year. Organic food consumption has spread exponentially in most of Asia, particularly in Singapore. Approximately 54 percent of Singapore residents say they don’t mind spending up to 25% more on organic food. 
As the trend for better gut health spreads, more people are looking for healthier options available in the market. Luckily, you can try those healthier options with Now Foods. With whole grain, organic options such as Now Foods Sprouted Brown Rice, people are given wider choices for their next meal. Now Foods also offers protein powders for anyone’s fitness needs. Now Foods Organic Plant Protein is a premium vegetarian and vegan protein powder made specifically to keep up with anyone with an active lifestyle!
- Home-cooked Meals
Because we’ve been spending most of our time indoors, it’s no surprise that we’ve also resorted to cooking at home and picking out healthy ingredients as we go. At the start of the pandemic, people also started sharing pictures of their bread-making journeys  at home. People who didn’t cook before began trying their hand at it now. With the extra time afforded by the work-from-home and homeschool setup, some families even let their kids have a go at the kitchen.
Still, for some parents, the opposite can also be true. Having all the kids in one place can mean mess after mess, too, and when this happens, there’s often very little time to experiment in the kitchen. For the busy moms and dads looking for healthy, easy-to-prepare desserts for the kids, Now Foods offers pastry mixes! Treat the kids to some cookies with Now Foods Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. Or try your hand at making a delicious banana bread with Now Foods’ own Banana Bread mix!
- Alternative diets
Plant-based and vegan diets are also gaining attention. In fact, in Asia, Singapore has become the second most vegan-friendly nation, the first being Taiwan. Two in five Singaporeans are currently on a flexitarian diet, a diet which combines plant-based options with some animal products. Though most vegetarians and vegans in Singapore are likely to be aged 35 to 44 , a recent survey found that about 14% of younger Singaporeans aged 16 to 24 report consuming plant-based food several times a month. 
For your next plant-based meal, combine your vegan favourites with your choice of Now Foods tea. Try some Now Foods Green Tranquillity for your green tea fix, or Now Foods Ginger Tea, which offers a nice spicy freshness. Just make sure to drink tea at least an hour after a plant-based meal to prevent the risk of poor iron absorption in the body. 
However, keep in mind that switching from one diet to the next--especially from the usual diet to either vegan or plant-based ones--is a big change for your gut and your body. Take supplements that replenish your body’s nutrient requirements easily. Having enough iron in the body during this transition period, for instance, can be difficult because iron is usually found in meat products instead of vegetables. Now Foods Iron Complex can help your iron levels bounce back. Other supplements to take during this big switch also include vitamin B12, omega 3, and some daily vitamins that Now Foods also provides.
- Mindful Eating
Alternative diets such as veganism, vegetarianism, plant-based diets, and flexitarian diets might be all the rage, some people still can’t eliminate all meat in their diet. But even if you’re not interested in eating only vegetables or replacing poultry meat with fish meat, you can still keep that gut healthy.
Through mindful eating, you can ditch the strict diets and instead listen to what your body is telling you.  Instead of restricting yourself to a certain way of eating, figure out what works best for your body. If your diet is not working, break away from it and instead focus on making your meals healthy without sacrificing enjoyment. So, if you do want to eat meat, do so, just in moderation. Or choose rice alternatives if you want to cut your sugar intake from the usual white rice. Now Foods offers a great Whole Grain Quinoa option as a substitute to white rice. You can also try our Tri-Color Quinoa option to make your meals look a little more colourful!
- Substitute sugars
As more people decided to make healthy choices in their diet, alternatives for various foods spread through the market. One of those breakout food alternatives is stevia. Though it was introduced as early as the mid-1970s by Japanese scientists,  it’s not until recently that stevia really exploded. Known as a naturally-sourced sugar substitute supposedly without any carbohydrates and calories, stevia soared to popularity quickly exactly because of these flashy promises. But is there any truth to them?
Dr. Laura Wyness of the British Nutrition Foundation is happy to report that the health benefits attached to stevia can indeed, be trusted. Stevia has the potential to help with weight management, diabetes, and can even keep our teeth healthy!  Start off your stevia journey with Now Foods Organic Better Stevia, a zero-calorie sweetener you can easily substitute for sugar! You can even try Now Foods Better Stevia’s Original flavour to start, or pick a flavour from Now Foods’ many stevia flavour options!