It can be easy to be confused about what to eat and what not to eat? With so much information online about healthy eating, it can be tricky to be sure about what’s best for a healthy gut. In light of current events, consumer trends are going to shift with health and wellness, becoming even more prominent, and the attention towards gut health and getting the right nutrition.
"What Snacks are Good for Our Insides Too"
Rightly so, people are wanting to eat a sensible, balanced diet to maintain a healthy immune system. Digestive health was already earmarked as a top trend for 2020. Snack and drink producers are developing new products in an expanding wellness market that has been evolving during the past few years. What was once a category dominated by fibre and probiotic ingredients is now seeing prebiotics and fermented foods making inroads. Here are our top picks for the best ranges to stock, to help consumers keep their gut health in tip top shape...
Drive Towards Healthier Living?
Consumers have given food and drink brands a clear message that a better balance between healthier and tasty snacks is needed. The demand for healthier living isn't going away any time soon. The health and wellness food market is expected to see a growth rate of 5.7% between now and 2024. Supporting and even adapting to changing lifestyles, the UK snack market has never been as tasty, diverse or as on trend.
With the boundaries between snacking and traditional meal times blurring, how do you understand what is really driving changes in people's snacking habits? Government legislation and online campaigns have bought the health agenda to the front of shopper minds for one. Consumers are clearly more aware of the foods they are putting in their bodies and understanding the multiple health benefits that come from making nourishing snacking choices. Shoppers are more aware than ever about health & wellness, especially what is needed to stay healthy on the inside. That's evident from over half (54%) of shoppers are more conscious about their mental well-being and a quarter workout regularly (HIM Healthy Snacking Report 2018).
Why is Gut Health Important?
The incredible complexity of the gut and its importance to our overall health is a topic of increasing research. The term 'gut microbiome' refers specifically to the microorganisms living in your intestines. A person has about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. While some microorganisms are harmful to our health, many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary to a healthy body.
We know that junk food, especially a lack of fibre, along with the more scientific sounding glyphosate - antibiotics, and other toxins can compromise the bacteria upon which your digestion and brain health depend. There’s a lot you can do to nurture a healthy gut and to support a flourishing collection of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system.
Probiotics are the so-called 'good' microorganisms inside your gastrointestinal tract. They aid in digestion and keep your tummy happy. Like all living things, probiotics must be fed in order to remain active and vibrant. Prebiotics are the food that probiotics need to thrive. They’re a type of plant fibre that humans can’t digest and that take up residence inside your large intestine. The more of these prebiotics you feed to your probiotics, the more efficiently they’ll do good work inside you. The simplest way to think of it is this - If you want to nurture good bacteria, eat lots of fibre and whole plant foods — especially fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Mindful snacking, no not a new form meditation but one of the snacking industry’s fastest growing and most popular trends. Born from people’s desires to eat healthier, be more aware of the foods they are putting in their bodies and understanding the multiple health benefits that come from making nourishing snacking choices.
The idea of mindful snacking is a fairly recent concept, with the term originating around 2014 in the USA. Since then it has continued to gain attention, fuelled in a large part by health and wellness bloggers across the world. The idea of mindful snacking goes beyond simply selecting bars and drinks made from natural ingredients, there are also a myriad of guidelines on how to be more present in enjoying the foods you choose. The craze for mindfulness is spreading through blogs, YouTube tutorials and social media at a vast rate. With Generation Z almost twice as likely as Millennials to be influenced by YouTube videos to make a purchase, there is a huge potential audience looking for snacks that fulfil a ‘mindful’ criteria.
A Focus on Functional Foods for Gut Health
Through a focus on functional foods, wellness-focused brands are making it easier to get consumers looking after their mental and physical health. The rise and evolution of wellness-focused diets such as paleo, keto and high fibre have shown consumers is a clear signs consumers are wanting to look after themselves. 92% of adults say maintaining digestive health is important to their overall health. Health conscious consumers looking for something that fits their lifestyle better than a bowl of cereal or plate of scrambled eggs.
Gut Health Solutions
Digestive and gut health is something good manufacturers and ingredient suppliers are tapping into, with new products from innovative brands arriving in the last 24 months. Here's our curated selection of tasty healthy bacteria boosting warriors:
NOORO... NOOTROPIC BARS
Did you know this is the UK's first raw vegan CBD snack bar? These flapjack bars come packed with peanut butter and oats, derived from organically grown hemp, available in three delicious flavours. Each bar contains 25mg CBD to help revitalise and relax your mind in a tasty grab and go format.
Nooro aims to provide consumers with an accessible and tasty way to consume CBD. Nooro’s banana and cinnamon bar contains the amino acid theanine, which the brand says helps to prevent the brain from producing an anxious response to stressful situations. Meanwhile, the cacao and coconut flavour includes tyrosine, an amino acid that improves alertness, attention and focus.
Its range of snack bars combines 25mg of CBD from organically grown hemp with nootropics that help to support cognitive function and mind performance. RRP £2.95!
LOVE CORN... CRUNCHY CORN KERNALS
As we've discussed, the gut plays a big role in your total health, so eating more fibre-containing foods has many health benefits. Sometimes to make something exceptional you need to strip everything back and let the ingredients shine for themselves. This is certainly the case with Love Corn, the flavour-filled corn snack that isn't afraid to let it's delicious and deceptively classic flavours speak for itself. The brand has a very simple mission - to make it's customer smile and fall in love with corn - not popped, not buttered up, just simple and delicious kernels that pack a punch, free from gluten, sugar and packed with fibre.
They have a deep belief in simple and clean ingredients, in the power of delicious food to change snacking habits, and in using their business to do good. If you share a similar mindset, you'll fall in love with these delicious crunchy treats. Available in BBQ, chilli and sea salt varieties, they use natural ingredients to turn the familiar into something that is altogether unexpected. RRP £0.79
FATTBAR... Super Fats snACK BARS
Fattbar is a simple concept at heart. Using only natural and nutritious ingredients created with nut or seed bases for a hit of heart healthy fats and sustained energy. High Fibre with added chicory extract and prebiotic inulin for a happy healthy gut. Not only are FattBar snacks ketolicious, they’re 100% natural, free from sweeteners, packed with brain boosting healthy fats, and a great source of prebiotic inulin to help promote a happy healthy gut!
Always clean, natural goodness to support your health and keto lifestyle. Despite the recent surge in interest, the keto diet is nothing new. Dating back to the 1920s, the high-fat, low-carb regime was historically used to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children. Over time, it's evolved to become a weight loss method. A Harris Interactive poll last year revealed 35% of consumers see keto as an ‘on-trend’ diet. Online interest in the regime has also skyrocketed in January to three times that of the year before. The keto diet now has on average over six times more searches than ‘paleo diet’ or ‘Atkins diet’ on Google. No Sweeteners No stevia. No polyols. No erythritol. Always sweetener free. Keto perfection! RRP £2.39
LO BROS... ORGANIC KOMBUCHA DRINKS
Lo Bros are a delicious living drinks brand with a uniquely refreshing, thirst quenching line-up. Lo Bros are completely organic and vegan, made using natural ingredients that are low in sugar. Their kombucha product is brewed in the UK, slowly and steadily in small batches to create a refreshing brew, bubbling with millions of living cultures in every single can.
What is Kombucha then? It starts as a sugary tea drink. The bacteria & yeast eats the sugar and turns it into goodness. By ‘kombucha goodness’, Lo Bros mean beneficial acids, probiotics and natural flavours… as well as being naturally low in sugar.... all great for good gut health! Taking inspiration from an ancient recipe, this range is fermented slow and steady in small batches with organic ingredients and delicious natural flavours to create a refreshing brew bubbling with pre and probiotics. RRP £1.89
Boundless... ACTIVATED NUTS AND SEEDS
Boundless is on a mission to let loose game changing flavours, creating activated, handy snacks that are big on goodness and bold in attitude. What does ‘activated’ mean? When you soak nuts and seeds you activate germination – the sprouting of a seed – which releases all the natural enzymes and amazing nutrients Mother Nature had locked away for the growing process. This makes activated nuts and seeds super nutritious, lighter on your digestion and more in tune with nature – mindfully majestic! RRP £1.19