Nutritional expert, author and founder of Wild Nutrition, Henrietta Norton is something of a guru when it comes to women’s and children’s nutrition. If you are feeling run-down, want to maximise your physical and mental wellbeing or have a specific issue you’d like to address, then Henrietta is your woman. As well as running her own clinic in Sussex and practicing at the uber-chic Grace Belgravia health club in Mayfair, Henrietta is also the author of ‘Take Control of Your Endometriosis’ and the mother of two young children. Yup, she’s busy.
Luckily, for us, she’s taken time out of her hectic schedule to give us the run-down on the 5 foods we should be eating this summer to stay in tip-top health. And the really good news is that there’s not a mud-tasting herb or dodgy smelling vegetable in sight – they’re all delicious and of course, nutritious…
1. Pomegranate – This beautifully vibrant fruit is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. These natural compounds have been clinically associated with improving the skin’s protection from sun damage, age-related DNA damage, and inflammation. Scoop out the seeds and add a tablespoon of colour to your oat porridge or wild rice salad.
2. Pu Erh tea – One of China’s oldest teas with a greater ability to reduce cholesterol and support weight loss than green tea, as well as a fabulous digestive aid. Steep in boiled water for 3-5 minutes, leave to cool and keep in the fridge adding a handful of fresh mint or lemon slices for a cooling summer iced tea.
3. Avocado – Simply one of my favourite foods. Dense in skin-supporting Vitamin E and the digestion-supporting healthy fats, oleic acid and phytosterols, recent studies have also shown avocado’s ability to support blood sugar balance. Don’t just save them for the salad, make a nourishing face mask with them to cool and moisturise over-sunned or dry skin. Blitz half an avocado with 1/4 cup of manuka or local honey, apply to skin and leave for 10 minutes before washing off with a warm face cloth.
4. Yoghurt – Live natural organic yoghurt (goat, sheep or cow’s) contains lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, two healthy bacteria strains that are natural inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract and play an important role in immune health and healthy digestive function. However I often recommend patients take a multi-strain probiotic supplement especially before, during and after travelling. I use Wild Nutrition’s Multi Strain Biotic, a high strength 8 strain probiotic containing lactobacillus bulgaricus, shown to reduce the negative health effects of charred meat (think bbq’s!) and lactobacillus rhamnosus for supporting the body after travel vaccinations.
5. Strawberries – It wouldn’t be an English summer without strawberries. Not only are these British favourites delicious, they’re also packed with natural compounds called ellagitannins, which have been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes and therefore support weight management and stabilise energy. A recent study demonstrated that they are so effective at doing this that the effects of pure table sugar on blood sugar fluctuations were significantly reduced if the sugar was taken in conjunction with strawberries. Chop into a rocket & watercress salad with toasted pecans and crumbled goats’ cheese.