What You Should Expect For 2016 Healthy Eating Trends

In 2015, we found multiple ways to use chia seeds. Roughly one out of every five Americans incorporates gluten-free foods into their diet. While some of the country went gluten-free, oatmeal reached an all-time high in trendiness (you can even get it in a grab-and-go squeeze pack now). Between increased focus on raw foods and hyper-local eating, our predictions for 2015 were pretty spot on. Now, with the majority of 2016's hopefully health-filled days ahead of us, it's time to reveal the scuttlebutt on what healthy eating enthusiasts will be digging into and dining on this year.

Click here for the Top Clean Eating Trends for 2015.

If you place your fingers under the point where your jaw hits your neck, you'll feel a pulse. While we're hoping that that pulse stays vital in 2016, we're hoping to see an increase in the consumption of a completely different (and much more edible) type of pulse. These increasingly-trendy pulses include beans, lentils, and peas, and their health benefits have made them popular sources of nutrition for centuries. Packed with protein and fiber, pulses are powerful antioxidants and help promote a healthy cardiovascular system — something that's vital for keeping the other pulse pumping.

Last year's promotion of locavorism and raw food consumption have left us in a state of increased awareness when it comes to our food's source and form. In 2016, we're expecting to see this shift in awareness continue. "Root to stalk" cooking may become, for lack of a better term, the next big thing. This practice argues that much that is thrown away in conventional food prep is edible and, further, that it should be eaten. The Wall Street Journal's Jane Black posed a brilliant question on this topic: "So is garbage the new kale?" We think it will be.

In addition to more peas, beans, and carrot stalks, we expect to see adaptogens (stress-reducing herbs like ashwagandha, ginger, and licorice root) to pop up more frequently as well as an anti-inflammatory turmeric takeover. Only time will tell, however, and it's possible that some not-so-accurate predictions for 2015 (hello, sea vegetables) may finally become staples in our clean eating diets.

The accompanying slideshow is provided by special contributor Lauren Gordon.

Click here for the Top Clean Eating Trends for 2015.