What’s up and coming in the world of health? I just spent last weekend in California at Expo West, the show that is the Mac Daddy of natural, organic and healthy products. I tasted lots of interesting things and saw lots of interesting trends. Here are some of my favorites.

Watermelon Everything

As I walked through all of the halls of Expo West, I bumped into watermelon everywhere. It feels like the new hot flavor for all kinds of products including chewable supplements and maybe my favorite thing that I tasted for the very first time, dried watermelon.

And in the growing water category, watermelon is showing up a lot. My personal favorite brand is Wtmln Wtr. It’s a delicious drink with many health benefits and one of my favorite brand stories.

The founders, Jody and Harlan, were looking to create something new and healthy in the beverage category. They were also looking for a home for slightly damaged and often discarded watermelon, part of a bigger and very important initiative around ending food waste.

Edible Beauty

The never-ending quest for the fountain of youth continues. As a culture, we remain obsessed with things that make us look and feel younger. What if instead of botox and creams we could eat our way there? Maybe we can thank Edible beauty.

Collagen Bars
Collagen is the largest and most abundant protein in the body- making up 30-35% of the total protein in the body. It is in essential for maintaining “firmness and elasticity”. Now brands like Kalumi and Bulletproof are making collagen you can eat in the form of bars. And the bars have 12 grams of protein that claim a ton of health benefits like smoother, more hydrated skin, stronger joints, and faster recovery. Kalumi looks and feels like a beauty product, and they have very creative distribution that is very consistent with their purpose.

Aloe drinks
Thanks to some innovative beverages, you can drink from the fountain of youth.

Detox water is a brand of aloe in drink form. Aloe has a long list of health benefits including improving digestive health, boosting immune systems, and providing an overall “natural glow”. Founder, Ken Park was inspired by his mom’s use of Aloe as a remedy for her own digestive issues and started making Detox Water in his dorm room in 2012. Now Detox water is available in 6 flavors and available all over the county.

Innovative ways of using Pulses

First, what is a Pulse?

Pulses are the dried edible seeds of certain plants in the legume family. Pulses are very high in protein and fiber, and are low in fat. They are a great alternative to animal protein and the other health benefits go on and on. They are showing up in many of different forms. Stay tuned for a blog all about Pulses.

Pulse Snacks
Brands like Peatos and Crunch-a-mame are replacing typical snacks with nutritious ones made from lentils,edamame beans, fava beans and chickpeas. In addition to protein, these snacks offer a healthy dose of heart-healthy fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

One of my very favorite brands at the show has an amazing new format for the most popular pulse, the chickpea. Modpodco is making hummus already in a little pita pocket. These little snacks are warm and delightful as is the team, who I had the pleasure of meeting!

Pulse Pasta
People have been wishing for a healthier way to eat pasta for a long time. The call has finally been answered by Explore Cuisine. I have personally been waiting for a better-for-you pasta that tasted like the pasta I love and miss eating. Explore actually makes their pasta in the Apulia region of Italy. They worked side by side with pasta masters and chefs to recreate the authentic taste and texture of pasta, with chickpeas and lentils and other pulses as the main ingredient. At Expo West, they were debuting their new Fava Bean pasta, which I have to say was delicious!

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