Raise your nutrition game

14 August 2017 by
First published: 3 February 2017

Raise your nutrition game and live a healthier life with our expert tips.

What you eat can have a huge impact on your overall health, which is why you need to make sure you’re including lots of nutritious foods in your diet. With our tips from the experts, find out how you can raise your nutrition game and become a healthier, happier you!

Wholegrain oats for breakfast

As the first meal of the day, it’s important that your breakfast is healthy and nutritious. ‘Wholegrain oats make a healthy breakfast and are a much better alternative to the majority of sugary breakfast cereals,’ says nutritionist Cassandra Barns. Give Nairn’s Oat Muesli a go, perhaps throwing some nuts, fruit and natural yoghurt into the mix as well.

Cut down on coffee

Many of us depend on coffee on a daily basis, but it could be doing you more harm than good. ‘Coffee is a stimulant, which prompts your body to release stress hormones, making you feel more stressed and jittery than you should be,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville, nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar’. Cutting down on coffee could help you calm your mind and focus better.

Lovely lemons

Lemons have an amazing array of benefits. ‘Their antibacterial and antibiotic qualities make lemons effective as a cleaner for the body,’ says nutritionist and author Juliette Bryant. ‘They’re high in vitamin C, great for treating colds, flu and a sore throat, and they contain limonene, which is a potent anti-carcinogen.’ Drinking a glass of lemon and water a day could keep the doctor away!

Go nuts for nuts

Not only are nuts a handy snack to eat throughout the day when you’re feeling peckish, but a study reported in BMC Medicine has discovered that eating at least 20g of nuts a day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 per cent, cancer by 15 per cent, bring a 40 per cent reduction in diabetes and half the deaths from respiratory disease.

Less sugar

It’s so easy to give in to sugary temptations, but reducing your sugar intake will do you a whole lot of good. ‘Balancing blood sugar is essential in lowering stress, because the crashes in sugar levels that happen during the day stimulate the stress hormones and cause adrenaline and cortisol to be released,’ says Dr Glenville.

A whole lotta oats

If you’re looking for an alternative to refined carbohydrates, then oats are definitely a good shout. ‘Oats provide slow-releasing carbohydrates, making them a good alternative to bread or wheat-based crackers,’ says Cassandra. ‘Like buckwheat, oats can also be a good source of magnesium, which supports our bones, muscles and nervous system.’ Try Nairn’s Rough Oatcakes for a healthy snack.

The power of garlic

Not only does garlic taste fantastic when incorporated into recipes, but it’s also incredibly good for you. ‘Garlic is one of the most powerful plant medicines for keeping the physical body healthy,’ says Juliette. ‘It is one of nature’s top antibiotics with 39 known antibiotic compounds. It has anti-parasitical, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, immune-boosting and blood-cleansing properties.’ Warding off vampires isn’t the only thing garlic’s good for!

Beetroot benefits

There’s a reason why so many people are now jumping on board the beetroot train. ‘As a purple food, beetroot has powerful antioxidants such as anthocyanins that assist detoxification and regulate the immune system,’ says Juliette. ‘Beetroot contains compounds that increase memory, energy levels and help the body process sugar more effectively.’ So, overall, it’s an absolute winner!

Veggie pasta

If you love pasta but fancy finding a healthier alternative then consider adding vegetable pasta to your diet. ‘Pasta made with legumes such as split peas, lentils or beans are gluten free and are much higher in protein than standard wheat-based pastas,’ says Cassandra. On top of that, veggie pasta, such as Clearspring’s Organic Green Pea & Quinoa Pasta, certainly makes for a tasty dish.

Cabbage fever

We all know about the amazing benefits of kale, but did you know that cabbage is also a superfood? ‘Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins and essential minerals,’ says Juliette. ‘Cabbage juice is an ancient remedy for rejuvenation and healing, and cabbages have the highest level of beneficial bacteria of any vegetable.’ Make sure you stock up!