When Google talks, everyone listens. Especially when it comes to food

By Rachel Jacoby Zoldan
Updated: April 29, 2016
Shutterstock

Every time Google releases any data, it's like we get to know what the entire world's been thinking. So when the big G released a 75-page report on 2016's top food trends, we were more than intrigued-and even happier to see the results.

What Google found, most importantly, was the rise of so-called "functional foods": foods you add in-rather than subtract from-your daily diet to optimize your health. (Check out these 11 Vegan Superfoods to Add to Any Meal.) According to Google Trends, "best foods for" searches have grown ten-fold since 2005, often followed by terms like "skin," "energy," "acid reflux," "your brain," and "gym workout." That's the kind of stuff we like to see!

Specifically, Google looked at three different kinds of trends when it came to foods: 1) Steady Risers, whose search has grown, well, steadily, and you can continue to expect to see more of; 2) Seasonal Risers, which are trends that are likely to come back stronger; and 3) Rising Stars, foods which have seen sudden, exponential growth-although that growth and visibility might not last.

The top rising star for 2016? Tumeric, which should come as no surprise: The spice has a bazillion health benefits, and has been touted to treat everything from depression and arthritis to insomnia and high blood pressure. Other rising stars for 2016 included mostly healthy, functional type food, namely jackfruit and cauliflower rice, two of our faves.

Other functional foods that have seen marked growth on Google? Apple cider vinegar, Manuka honey, flax eggs, and kefir-all buzzy words in the wellness world. A Google post about the research surmises that "this growing 'obsession with health,' as food and restaurant consultant Michael Whiteman puts it, is in part due to the fact that people are living longer, and want their extra years to be healthy ones."

And we're inclined to agree: The whole point of living well, is to, well, live longer, better lives, right? (Now, see what healthy foods Pinterest predicts you'll be stocking up on this year.

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