Being a nutritionist & naturopath there some foods I try and eat every day. By making sure I eat these foods most days, they act as an insurance policy for both my immediate and long term health and give my peace of mind. I will be honest I am not 100% perfect all the time, I don’t think it is healthy to be absolutely obsessed with getting your diet perfect when we obsess and fail we feel guilty and further self-sabotage. I eat the following most days and then at least I know if I have a cheat meal or struggle to find a healthy option when I am out, I know I have covered all the bases for my nutrition.
The foods I eat below support gut health, boost immune function, fight inflammation & oxidative stress and help keep my hormones & blood sugar happy.
Sauerkraut: A delicious fermented cabbage dish, rich in beneficial bacteria to support gut health, immune function, skin health and mood. There are so many different flavours available I will serve it with my salads, eggs, as a topping on steak or chicken and even eat it straight out of the jar for a savoury pick me up (I aim for 1 tablespoon every day). Always buy sauerkrauts that are refrigerated, the ones you can buy off the shelf in room temperature do not have the same benefit on your gut health.
Kefir: A delicious fermented milk beverage, kefir is an amazing way to get additional beneficial bacteria into your diet. And has very similar benefits to our health as sauerkraut. I like adding it to my protein shakes or smoothies but usually just like to have a kefir shot in the morning. Be aware that not all kefir beverages are created equal many supermarket brands contain fillers and nasty additives. I like a brand called Tummify, it comes as a shot and has one of the highest amounts of beneficial bacteria available, it contains no nasty ingredients and is an Australian made product.
Green tea: Known for its antioxidant & anti-ageing benefits, what is lesser known is its benefit as food for the microbiome. Studies have shown green tea encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. I have one cup of green tea most days, usually as an afternoon refresher. In summer I love to make big jugs of iced green tea with fresh lemon and frozen raspberries.
Garlic: I eat garlic in at least one meal every day, either in my breakfast omelette, added to a homemade salad dressing or sautéed and served with my vegetables for dinner. Garlic helps support the balance of a healthy microbiome by killing of “bad” bacteria and supporting the growth of good bacteria. Garlic is also great for immune function and cardiovascular health. I always buy Australian grown garlic.
Green Leafy Vegetables: I try and eat at least one cup of green leafy vegetables every day at a minimum (3-4 cups is ideal). My top choices are rocket, baby spinach and kale. They are rich in minerals such as magnesium & zinc and also contain a significant amount of B Vitamins which are essential for energy production, mood and methylation. I either have them in a salad (where I will have 2-3 cups) added to my omelette for breakfast or sautéed as aside.
Hemp Seeds: These guys are literally one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Super high in protein, magnesium, zinc, B Vitamins and anti-inflammatory omega 3 compounds, they make the perfect anti-ageing food. They have a very mild nutty flavour making them highly versatile. I sprinkle these on salads, blend in my smoothies, mash through vegetables, I basically put them on as many meals as I can. I aim for at least 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds every day.
Bio: Michaela Sparrow is a Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist, Certified Anti-Ageing Practitioner BHSc, ACAAM, mANTA