BEST: BLUE MATCHA
While blue matcha lacks the antioxidants and caffeine of green matcha, this tea made from the dried flowers of the butterfly pea plant has benefits of its own. The jury's still out, but it's believed to improve overall cell health and preventing premature aging.
WORST: CHARCOAL-ACTIVATED VEGAN CROISSANTS
The activated charcoal craze apparently took a new turn with the introduction of charcoal-activated vegan croissants at a shop in London, which generated a bit of mayhem on Twitter. While charcoal has been around for quite some time as a skin cleanser and teeth whitener, the use of the ingredient in croissants led to detractors calling it culinary madness. The croissants are promoted as a way to detoxify the body.
BEST: MUSHROOM COFFEE
Mushroom coffee may be a bit surprising, but mushrooms are known to have amazing health benefits. They have been part of Chinese medicine for a good 2,000 years, and beilieved to do everything from help boost focus to fight disease, including cancer. While human trials to prove the benefits of mushroom coffee have yet to happen, advocates claim it can boost everything from focus to immunity.
WORST: BROCCOLI COFFEE
Sure, we could all use some more broccoli in our diets, but few could argue for the appeal of a broccoli latte. In an attempt to improve people's nutrition, scientists in Australia developed a broccoli powder that could be used in everything from smoothies to lattes. Unsurprisingly, the broccoli powder was subsequently tested at a Melbourne café to lackluster reviews.
BEST: GOLDEN MILK
Turmeric has many benefits thanks to the powerful medicinal properties of curcumin, but finding ways to incorporate it into your daily diet can be challenging. Golden milk offers a fortifying mixture of milk, turmeric, and aromatic spices that is not only an appealing drink, but has proven health benefits. Scientific studies link curcumin to brain and cognitive health, weight management, heart health, and inflammation support, among other benefits.
WORST: FLAVORED SPARKLING WATER
BEST: CAFFEINATED FOODS
Drinking coffee to get your caffeine jolt can have health benefits but does have some downsides, including stomach upset for some people sensitive to the stuff. Now there's an alternative in the form of caffeinated foods. The range of energy-boosting foods includes everything from caffeinated peanut butter to caffeine gummies and caffeinated snack bars.
WORST: RAW WATER
We all know drinking eight glasses of water per day is good for our health, but now the water craze includes drinking what’s known as “raw water” saysJasmine Shirley, nutrition coordinator for Tampa Rejuvenation. "This is unprocessed water that you can purchase for quite some money," said Shirley. "This is an absurd trend that has no health benefits whatsoever. In fact, drinking untreated water is unhealthy and can make you sick."
BEST: DRINKING SOUPS
The health food industry has formalized the idea of drinking your soup. Companies are now packaging soups in juice bottles and selling them at your local grocery store. Drinkable soups featuring everything from cucumber and avocado to tomato gazpacho are a popular new way to get your five-to-ten servings of produce each day. An added bonus? All those veggies are packed with antioxidants.
WORST: KETOGENIC DIET
Keto has been rebranded many times over the past decade, and it generates a buzz every time, says Dani Singer of Baltimore-based Fit2Go Personal Training. The diet calls for eating high amounts of fat, a moderate amount of protein, and very limited carbs. While this approach can lead to weight loss and has been shown to have other benefits (for people with epilepsy or diabetes), it rarely works as a long-term approach to maintaining a healthy weight because it's such a restrictive approach to eating.
BEST: TAHINI-BASED FOODS
Tahini is a popular part of the Middle Eastern diet for good reason. It contains monounsaturated fats and cholesterol-lowering phytosterols, which help promote a healthy heart. As a convenient way to obtain some of these benefits on the go, tahini-based snack foods are being rolled out everywhere.
WORST: VITAMIN AIR
The latest vaping trend is vaporizers that allow one to inhale vitamins, essential oils, and herbal supplements. While researchers are still studying the long-term side effects of vaping, some studies have found a link between vaping and an increased risk of heart attack and lung disease. Want to boost your vitamin intake? Eat more vegetables.
BEST: POPPED SORGHUM
An ancient whole grain that requires half the water of corn and is drought resistant, this development is good for the planet. It's also a superfood packed with fiber and is gluten-free, making it an all-around win.
WORST: HEALTHY FROZEN MEALS
By many accounts, frozen food is making a big comeback, with volume growth in the frozen food segment showing increases for the first time in five years. In general, processed frozen food isalmost always a less healthychoice than fresh, unprocessed food. While frozen food companies have begun working to align offerings with healthier attributes customers demand, the best option is always real food.
BEST: DATE SYRUP
A healthier alternative to some of the other sugar substitutes, date syrup is naturally sweet and packed with potassium, iron and antioxidants. Try using this on your pancakes, or for baking cakes, cookies and pies instead of honey.
WORST: HIGH-PROTEIN ICE CREAM
BEST: CBD OIL
While cannabis-derived products are not a new trend, the use of CBD, which also comes from cannabis, is suddenly on the rise. One of more 100 chemicals found in cannabis, CBD is an extract that's typically consumed in oil form under the tongue. It is now showing up in a variety of high-end products ranging from coconut oil to body lotion, gummy snacks, and jam. CBD does not cause a user to get high, but it can be used to treat epilepsy, manage the pain of cancer treatments, and alleviate inflammation.