More people than ever are embracing natural plant-based foods and health supplements, with a recent study showing that the market now exceeds $3.1 billion.
According to first of its kind data from the Plant-Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute, the sector experienced 8.1 percent year-on-year growth (2016 into 2017).
Rise in Plant-based alternatives
Vegan alternatives to dairy products have seen a 20% rise, with plant-based milk rising by 3.1% from the previous year. Alternative yoghurts, in particular, have skyrocketed, growing 56% this past year. Plant-based meat substitutes have also risen by 6%.
Vegetarianism and veganism are clearly on the up, and shifting from an animal-rights movement or a health fad into a global lifestyle change.
And it makes sense. Plant-based foods contain more fibre, minerals, vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and less saturated fats than meat-based diets. Plus, going plant-based today isn’t boring, and doesn’t mean you have to settle for a diet of only fruit and veg. Protein-based options are growing, with hemp seed a clear frontrunner.
CBD and other Hemp-based alternatives proving equally popular
Hemp seed contains all essential amino acids the human body needs, so it’s an excellent protein alternative for meat and fish. It also contains high levels of omega fatty acids (omega 3, 6, and 9), as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, folate, copper, manganese, and insoluble fibre – which most people lack in their daily diets. It’s fast-becoming a plant-based dietary superstar.
Cannabidiol (CBD oil) is also blazing a trail. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic properties.
Consumers are moving towards healthier alternatives, which includes embracing natural ways to manage pain, insomnia, anxiety, and other long-term health conditions.
CBD oil and other cannabis-based food supplements and products are surging in popularity in the UK, Europe and U.S. In the UK, recent figures from the regulatory body, Cannabis Trades Association UK (CTAUK), show that over 250,000 Brits now use CBD — up from 125,000 in 2016.
In fact, they are reporting 1,000 new users every month, 65 percent of whom are women across every age group using cannabis oil for a range of health purposes.
Despite this popularity, CBD is still struggling with the same stigma as weed. Despite not containing THC (an active ingredient which produces the ‘high’ in cannabis), CBD oil is still working to break through the trust barrier required to gain widespread acceptance as a health supplement with the general public. This began to change in October 2016 when, backed by scientific studies into its use, CBD was made legal in the UK.
Last year, CBD garnered national media attention when Oxford University announced a new £10 million research programme into the benefits of cannabis compounds. The results of the study can be used to better inform the government and general public.
CTAUK chairman, Mike Harlington, hopes that education can help eradicate the existing stigma.
“Products like CBD, because of where it comes from, are stigmatized despite the fact that every mammal has an endocannabinoid system and is therefore designed to use cannabinoids naturally,” he told the Daily Mail recently.
“Cannabinoid deficiencies are starting to become understood by the medical world, and it is slowly becoming obvious that cannabinoids like CBD are actually essential for general health and wellbeing.”
The more word spreads of its benefits and safe use, the more we can expect its popularity to increase. A quarter of a million people across the UK are benefitting from a better way of life thanks to CBD oil. If 2017 growth is anything to go by, it won’t be long until that number enters the millions.
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Truth Naturals is a retailer and advocate for CBD oil and scientifically proven food supplements in the UK. Truth Naturals is a registered member of the UK Cannabis Trades Association. We have been using CBD oil as a food supplement to improve our rest, recovery and performance– and as supply became varied, we decided to source our own so that we could actively share it with our community.