8 things nutritionists want you to know

Accessing reliable, professional and trustworthy advice on nutrition can sometimes be hard to come by in an era where information is at your fingertips. So, we put it to our nutrition experts: “What is the one thing you want people to know when it comes to nutrition and well-being?”

Smiling nutritionist

We know you’re all unique, and one size doesn’t fit all, so here are a few staple tips from the people in the know to get you on the path to health and wellness.

1. Eating is more than just about food

Eating is more than counting calories and providing nutrients to keep us healthy. Eating is also about socialising, celebrating and enjoying food. There aren’t good and bad foods. All foods can fit in a healthy lifestyle. Denying yourself certain foods that you enjoy can lead to unhealthy relationships with food. 

“Being healthy is not just about diet. There are many other factors that contribute to our health. For example, our genetics, stress, environment, financial and food security.

Joana Jardim, senior healthcare dietitian.

2. The gut affects overall well-being

“Imagine your gut lining is like a delicate net allowing helpful nutrients to seep through into your bloodstream to be used by the body. Expose this net to junk foods, alcohol, toxins, medications and stress and the small holes can enlarge, allowing harmful substances to enter the bloodstream and make you unwell.

“How do I fix my damaged gut lining? Eat a well-balanced, healthy, organic diet, drink filtered water and bone broth, speak to a practitioner about helpful supplements and meditate.” 

Michelle Boehm, nutritional therapist.

3. Small steps make big progress

“‘Small but permanent change’ is a phrase my clients are used to hearing. By that, I mean taking baby steps to achieve your health and wellness goals.

“It can help manage your expectations and motivate you to continue on the right track. For instance, having three or four alcohol-free days a week may seem less daunting than abstaining completely; adding more vegetables to your plate is easier than changing the whole dish.”

Susan Hart, nutrition coach, cook and food writer.

4. Eating for your genes is the right diet for you

“No two people look the same on the outside so you can imagine we all work differently on the inside and require different nutrition. The one-size diet approach doesn’t fit all, so eating The DNA Way (according to your genetics) can liberate the confusion of what diet is best for you. Instead of wondering what to eat, a diet based on your nutrigenomic insights can give you all the answers!”

Rachel Clarkson (The DNA Dietitian), specialist dietitian and nutritionist.

Lady smiling with watermelon

5. You don’t have to give 100% all of the time

“What matters is what is happening 90% of the time, you don’t have to be totally perfect all the time to reach your health goals. You can still make big changes in your health and well-being while having the things you really enjoy 10% of the time.

“I find this is a much more sustainable approach to nutrition and yields a higher success rate. I find out early with clients what their ‘can’t live without’ food is and try to keep that in their diet somehow. This is the 90% Philosophy.” 

Michaella Mazzoni, nutritional therapist.

6. Feed your immune system through the gut

“Eating a wide variety of plant foods has been shown to support gut health. This is because diverse prebiotic fibres and polyphenols will feed a broad spectrum of beneficial, probiotic bacteria. And greater probiotic diversity ensures more gut benefits are available, including better immunity. 

“Inspired by a lecture from neuroscientist Miguel Toribio-Mateas, here’s a patchwork pesto recipe to help support diverse prebiotic consumption: a delicious variety of plants, in one simple recipe.”

Clare Backhouse, nutritional therapist.

7. Herbs are superfoods

“Maximise the health benefits of your food by using as many culinary herbs as possible be they fresh, dried or frozen. Adding herbs to your recipes is a fantastic way to add great flavour and aroma, and they make the food so much healthier. Herbs have a wealth of polyphenols – plant compounds with potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. 

“Start with one herb or go for a combination as below!

Makes 125g

  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast/flakes
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp celery seeds

Blend and store in a jar. Start with two teaspoons and add to as many things as you can – broths, soups, sauces, curries etc. Bon Appetit!”

(Spice blend from How not to die Michael Gregor MD)

Dalbinder Bains, nutritional therapist and medical herbalist.

8. Try to eat the rainbow

“Eating more fruits and vegetables helps reduce our risk of serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and certain types of cancers. And variety is key.

“You could use mashed bananas or raisins and sultanas as sweeteners for baking, get colourful with your snacks and have a banana, apple or pear, a slice of pawpaw or a handful of grapes. Even add fruit to your main meal, with a slice of pineapple in your sweet and sour sauce.”

Douglas Twenefour, registered dietitian.

If you’d like help with your diet, eating habits or have a health concern that can be supported by nutritional therapy, you can find a practitioner online or in your local area using our search tool.

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Written by Katie Hoare
Katie is a writer for Nutritionist Resource.
Written by Katie Hoare
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