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Healthy Balance

Which Fad Foods Are Good for You?

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It seems like there are constantly new fad foods that everyone’s talking about. But it’s often hard to tell whether these foods are actually healthy, or if someone's just really good at marketing. And even if they are good for you, most people don’t know why or whether they will help their particular health issue.

Fad Foods Health Benefits

Here are some trendy foods that have gained in popularity in recent years.


Many have touted the probiotics in this fermented tea beverage for promoting gut health and detoxifying the body. However, since every batch of kombucha is different, it’s hard to determine exactly how healthy any particular drink is.

Although kombucha may improve digestive issues, don’t drink too much because it may contain some alcohol and caffeine, as well as added sugar. Look for brands with no more than 8-9 grams of sugar per bottle.


Kimchi is made from fermented cabbage and seasonings such as:

Like kombucha, kimchi contains probiotics that may also help improve gut health. It's also high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A.


Sticking with the theme of fermented foods, kefir is a fermented drink similar to yogurt. It has lots of probiotics that promote a healthy gut. Some brands use cow’s milk or non-dairy milks such as cashew or coconut milk.

Since some have a lot of added sugar, stick to plain drinks or those with no more than 4-6 grams of added sugar per serving.

Nutritional Yeast

While it doesn’t sound too appealing, this popular vegan cheese substitute is loaded with protein (9 grams per 2 tablespoons) and is a good source of vitamin B-12. Nutritional yeast is actually brewer’s yeast that has been dried and deactivated. It has a nutty, cheese-like taste.

Colon Cancer Screening

Some of these fad foods claim to help with gut health, but that doesn't mean you can skip colon cancer screening.


You may use seaweed wraps to make sushi or munch on some seaweed snacks. Seaweed is one of the few foods that naturally contains iodine, which you need for thyroid health. It may also help prevent inflammation and regulate estrogen levels.


This bright yellow spice is popular in Indian cooking. The active compound that gives the spice its vibrant color (curcumin) has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Inflammation can play a role in serious health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.

Chickpea-based foods

There seems to be no shortage of chickpea options. You can find hummus in every flavor imaginable. But you can also find chickpea:

When eating foods made from chickpeas, you’ll reap the benefit of the fiber and nutrients this legume contains. Just make sure you check the label to see what other ingredients the food contains.

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