5 new food trends and their health benefits

From kombucha to vegan pulled pork and amazing grains, we take a look at 5 new foodie trends and how they can help you as a runner.

5 new food trends and their health benefits


Move along quinoa and freekeh, it’s time to welcome a new 'ancient grain' into our lives. Teff is the world’s smallest grain, and it comes from Ethiopia. It's a great alternative to wheat.

A starchy grain that’s also very high in protein and fibre, many Ethiopian long-distance runners rely on teff as a major source of carbohydrate, protein and iron. Getting enough iron can be an issue for endurance runners, especially women. Eating teff bread daily is an easy way to up your iron intake.


Once only known to die-hard health food fanatics, Kombucha is getting more and more mainstream. This fermented, sweetened green or black tea drink is now popping up everywhere, in the form of flavoured soft drinks and even as cocktails. Sour and slightly fizzy, it’s fermented using a symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeast.

Although it looks like a weird science experiment, (it’s sometimes known as tea mushrooms) Kombucha is reported to have many health benefits. It contains antioxidants, B vitamins, probiotics and beneficial acids, so it’s particularly helpful to your digestive system.

Pickled vegetables

Many chefs and food bloggers are now in love with pickles. Forget tasteless gherkin slices, these fermented veggies are delicious, colourful and they are actually really good for you. Fermented vegetables contain probiotics, which are great for your gut bacteria.

Opt for fresh pickles from the refrigerated section of your supermarket. Try fresh kimchee, sauerkraut, or pickled veggies such as cucumber, beetroot and peppers to give your digestive flora a boost and keep your immune and nervous systems functioning at their best.

Icelandic yoghurt

Also known as skyr, Icelandic yoghurt has recently hit the shelves of major supermarkets. Icelandic yoghurt is similar to Greek yoghurt, except it has more of the whey removed, making it even thicker and richer. It’s traditionally made with fat free yoghurt.

As well as being totally delicious, it generally has a higher protein content and lower sugar content than Greek yoghurt, making it a great option for a healthy breakfast or post-run snack.


The largest tree-borne fruit on the planet, the jackfruit looks a little bit like a dinosaur egg: huge and covered with knobbly, green skin. The ripe flesh inside tastes a little like a pineapple crossed with a pear. However, it’s what can be done with the unripe flesh that’s so amazing.

Jackfruit has been hailed as the 'vegan pulled pork'. And when it’s cooked well, it tastes so delicious and the texture is so meaty, one TV presenter refused to believe that it wasn’t meat, calling the guest chef a liar.

With almost no saturated fat (unless you douse it in BBQ sauce, that is), the wondrous jackfruit contains a whole host of goodness: vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and magnesium. So it’s much healthier than eating meat. Vegan pulled pork tacos anyone?

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