Nutritionists Share Their Best Healthy Food Hacks
Nutritionists Share Their Best Healthy Food Hacks

Nutritionists Share Their Best Healthy Food Hacks

Eating well doesn’t have to be complicated. From clever ways to support digestion to smart solutions to ensure you’re getting the most out of your food, here are the favourite healthy food hacks of some of the industry’s top nutritionists…
By Tor West

Leave Carbs To Cool

“When pasta and potatoes are cooked and left to cool, the starch in these foods – which would usually contribute to spiking blood glucose levels – converts into resistant starch. Resistant starch doesn’t create such a spike in blood sugar and acts as food for the beneficial microbes in the gut. Next time you’re cooking pasta or potatoes, leave them to cool before eating them. There’s also some thinking which suggests reheating the pasta or potatoes after leaving them to cool can also cause a lower blood glucose spike and higher levels of resistant starch.” – Jenna Hope, nutritionist


Prepare Garlic Ahead Of Time

“Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and immune-boosting, garlic is a superfood. Studies also show it can improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. But how you prepare garlic makes a difference. When fresh garlic is chopped or crushed, an enzyme called alliinase is converted to allicin, the compound that gives garlic its distinctive taste. However, allicin is unstable, so exposure to heat through cooking will destroy any health benefits. The solution is to chop or crush garlic ten minutes before cooking. This will ensure the maximum amount of allicin will have been produced and will stay intact even when exposed to high temperatures.” – Xuxa Milrose, specialist nutritionist at OMNI Wellness


Combine Turmeric With Black Pepper

“Turmeric is known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can even aid in the management of arthritis and anxiety. The key compounds in turmeric are curcuminoids, with curcumin being the most active and significant. One tiny hitch is that it’s poorly absorbed in the bloodstream, meaning we could be missing out on its many benefits. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which also has anti-inflammatory properties and the potential to help relieve headaches and nausea. The most noteworthy trait of piperine is that it can boost the absorption of curcumin in the bloodstream by up to 2,000%. Together, the two make a powerful duo – if you’re cooking with turmeric, always include a pinch of black pepper to supercharge the health benefits.” – Xuxa


Hold Onto Strawberry Leaves

“We tend to slice off strawberry leaves and throw them away but they’re particularly nutrient dense and contain high levels of antioxidants. In fact, one study found the leaves of berries such as strawberries and blackberries contained higher levels of antioxidants than green tea. Try to avoid trimming the stalks when snacking on berries or incorporate them into your diet by adding the whole strawberry to smoothies, homemade compote and baked goods.” – Jenna


Always Cook Tomatoes

“It’s often believed that cooking vegetables destroys the nutrients, but in the case of tomatoes and carrots, the opposite is true. When you cook tomatoes with a source of healthy fats such as olive oil, you supercharge the bioavailability of lycopene, the skin-nourishing antioxidant found in tomatoes. If you have a glut of tomatoes, consider making a roasted tomato soup or serve roasted tomatoes alongside a piece of fish for an antioxidant boost. The same goes for carrots, which contain more beta-carotene when cooked rather than raw.” – Jenna


Eat Black Beans Daily

“Blue Zones are regions of the world where people live longer, healthier lives compared to the global average. These areas also have a high proportion of centenarians (people living to 100 years old or more) and low rates of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. One common dietary trait among Blue Zone populations is a high consumption of plant-based foods, including legumes like beans. Reap the benefits for yourself by eating at least one cup of beans daily, choosing the darkest beans possible, like black beans, red beans and kidney beans. Dark-coloured beans and food (e.g. blue, purple and red) contain high levels of antioxidants that protect cells from damage and promote longevity.” – Tina Lond-Caulk, nutritionist & brand ambassador for Revive Active


Invest In Quality Olive Oil

“In many Mediterranean countries, extra virgin olive oil is considered a powerful plant medicine. Many families take a tablespoon or shot of it daily. When buying extra virgin olive oil, always consider the source of the oil, the method of extraction (ideally cold-pressed or refined), and the taste and aroma profile. High-quality olive oil should have a pleasant aroma, a well-balanced flavour, and a slightly peppery or bitter aftertaste, all of which are characteristic of fresh and authentic extra virgin olive oil. Do not cook with this oil but do pour it over salads and soups or use on your bread.” – Tina


Start Rich Meals With A Rocket Salad

“Bitter foods – like rocket, artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, radishes, ginger and olives – increase the production of digestive enzymes, which aids both digestion and food absorption. Next time you have a meal, eat something bitter, such as a small green salad, first; you’ll notice you are less bloated, digest your food better and feel satisfied for longer.” – Alison Cullen, nutritional practitioner & education manager at A.Vogel


Don’t Waste Apple Cores

“The skin of the fruit, the outer flesh and the core all feed different gut microbes. This is important because a diverse gut microbiome is linked to a wide range of physical and mental health benefits. Cut your apples and pears across through the core, take out the seeds and that way, have a bit of the core in every slice of your apple or pear instead of wasting this gut-loving bit of the fruit.” – Gabi Zaromskyte, founder of Honestly Nutrition


Chew Properly

“How often do you guzzle down your food as you work from your desk, eat while driving, or eat while scrolling? Did you chew your food or did it go down whole? This type of eating can lead to all sorts of digestive problems like bloating, indigestion and gas. The stomach doesn’t have teeth, which means digestion starts with proper chewing. Not chewing properly and swallowing food whole puts strain on the digestive system. This means you’re more likely to overeat and feel sluggish, and you won’t properly absorb the nutrients in your food. The next time you eat, take smaller bites, slow down and chew to give your digestive system a boost, and to hit your satiety buttons sooner.” – Alison


Leave Broccoli Before Cooking

“Broccoli is regarded as a super vegetable due to its abundant levels of a compound known as sulforaphane, prized for its ability to aid detoxification and support balanced blood sugar. However, the action of chopping activates this compound, and it needs at least 40 minutes to activate. If you chop broccoli and cook it straight away, you miss out on its detoxifying benefits. Instead, chop your broccoli at least 40 minutes before cooking to reap the benefits.” – Hannah Richards, nutritionist & founder of The Gut Clinic


Store Mushrooms In The Sun

“Mushrooms are the main plant-based source of vitamin D, which otherwise mainly comes from sunshine, but can also be found in oily fish and eggs. When left in the sunshine, mushrooms absorb vitamin D similarly to the way humans absorb it from sunshine through the skin. Leave your mushrooms in a sunny spot for at least 15 minutes – although ideally for up to two hours – to boost their vitamin D content.” – Gabi


Always Leave The Skin On

“The skin of fruit and vegetables not only feeds different gut microbe species compared to the flesh, but it also contains fibre. Fibre is essential for a healthy gut microbiome, which affects your entire physical and mental health. Get into the habit of leaving the skin on potatoes, carrots and even kiwi fruit. Washing your produce with apple cider vinegar or saltwater can help remove excess pesticides.” – Gabi


Soak Nuts & Seeds

“Nuts and seeds – especially sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and almonds and walnuts – are nutritional powerhouses full of healthy fats, protein, minerals and vitamins. By soaking nuts and seeds, you can enhance their nutrient bioavailability and digestibility. This is because there’s a naturally occurring compound in most nuts and seeds that can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron, zinc and calcium. By soaking them overnight in filtered water with a pinch of sea salt, you’ll unlock their nutritional potential. Be sure to drain the water and rinse thoroughly before eating.” – Joan Abebe, nutritionist & holistic health coach

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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