Aiesha Banks

Aiesha Banks

As we are a week into the new year, it is essential to spruce up our resolutions a little bit. This new year not only brings new hopes, but also new health trends. As 2021 brings us more precautions about COVID-19, how we handle our health is extremely important.

Here are some new health trends to expect in 2021.


Plant proteins have become more and more popular over time and have been introduced as “Impossible Foods” and “Beyond Meat.” Plant protein is a product that mimics ground beef and dairy that is made of yellow peas or soy, and meals that have substituted meat staples for such ingredients as eggplant or beans. According to Google Trends, the use of black beans, chickpeas, and tofu was at an all-time high in 2020 and will continue in 2021. Even if people decide to continue to eat meat, a few meals throughout the week that don’t contain meat can make an immense difference for the environment and our health.


Meat-based meal

Ground beef for taco night: $5

Chicken breast: $8

The plant protein alternative

1 can of black beans: 99 cents

1 eggplant: $2


As 2020 brought us quarantine, it also brought us new ways to cook our meals. An air fryer is a form of convection oven that creates a crispy texture on food without needing any oil, and it heats up frozen foods within minutes. Air fryers can cook a variety of foods without large amounts of oil and butter, which is a beneficial factor to improving health. Air fryers can cook any meats, seafood, frozen foods, vegetables and even sweet treats.

For air fryer recipes:


In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, fewer people are shopping inside grocery stores and instead are picking up food curbside. Those who don’t want to do that may order weekly meals through companies such as Daily Harvest, HelloFresh, Purple Carrot, The Good Kitchen, and Freshly. Meal kits create a fun and enjoyable experience of cooking and trying new foods for the family. This health trend focuses on local foods, sustainable practices, and can cater to specific diets and/or food preferences. All meal kits come prepackaged, which reduces the amount of food waste at home.


Healthy Kingsport is working with the community to reach 4 million miles of steps calculated through the Walker Tracker app! A variety of workplaces in Kingsport are taking their next step together by downloading the app and improving their health. If you would like to be a part of this trend, log on to

Healthy Kingsport is also running the LiveSugarFreed campaign advocating for a sugar-free diet by raising awareness about detrimental sugary beverages, handing out reusable water bottles to local schools, and raising funds for refillable water stations in schools. If you would like to be a part of this trend in helping our schools reach this goal, contact us. A $1,000 donation will allow your business name and logo to be on the local school’s refilling station. For more information, contact me at (423) 392-8816 or

To learn more about the work of Healthy Kingsport, go to

Start today by trying one of these health trends and improving your health in the simplest of ways by substituting meat for plant protein, air frying your chicken, and ordering a meal kit.

Healthy Kingsport is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a community that actively embraces healthy living by promoting wellness, enhancing infrastructure, and influencing policy. Aiesha Banks is the executive director of Healthy Kingsport. She can be reached at For programs and events, contact Desteny Clemons at or ETSU Intern Jessica Vargo at