Recipes to maximise nutrition with Emma Hanton

As part of our Health Unwrapped podcast series this week, host, Natalie Silverman, gets chatting with Associate Registered Nutritionist and Nutrition Consultant, Emma Hanton. Join them as they discuss the recipes for nutritious meals and reveal Emma’s top tips for incorporating more nutrition into everyday life!

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Meantime, here’s a sneak preview…

Are you passionate about making all your food look good?

Not always, as long as it tastes good and has nutritious ingredients that is all that really matters. Sometimes I’ll throw together a Shepherd’s pie at 830pm at night and it tastes great but the photos don’t go on Instagram!

How can we make food more exciting and less monotonous?

Yes, lots of people have the same dishes that are their go-tos and then repeat them almost weekly. It is important to vary the nutrients and switch it up – this can be as simple as having plant-based protein one day a week if you are usually meat eaters or even switch the carbohydrate you use in a meal, for example swap rice for spelt. It can be small changes, but variety is important. And it doesn’t have to be expensive!

What have you made in the last couple of days?

I made buckwheat banana bread and have a loaf waiting for me at home! I really enjoy buckwheat as a flour and as a grain. It is naturally gluten free and a great source of fibre!

What are more exotic ingredients you use for their nutritional benefits?

Cacao powder, unprocessed cocoa powder, offers so much nutrient wise. And it is great if you enjoy dark chocolate. You can mix it with other ingredients to sweeten it up – particularly for little people!

What are other quick fixes to boost nutrients?

I would say increasing plant-based fibres proteins in your diet. Many people don’t want to go meat free or vegan but there are ways you can mix plant based into a meat-diet. For example, using half the meat in a shepherd’s pie recipe and using half lentils. There are also so many ways of mixing veg into food – blending spinach into a smoothie for example. This can really help with fussy children as you can’t taste the spinach, but the nutrients are in there!

When it comes to nutrition are there things we need to be having more of?

My number one is always fibre, the majority of us do not get the recommended 30g per day. Also, fruit and veggies – the RDA is 5 portions a day although some guidelines suggest we should be eating more like 10 portions a day, which very few of us will be doing. If you’re increasing your fruit and veg, you’ll be naturally increasing your fibre so that is always a good place to start. Going on from there you can look at switching to leaner protein sources and more healthy fats. It is also vital to look at bacteria – the gut is so important and is linked to nearly every aspect of our health – fermented food is great for supporting your bacteria levels, things like kimchi and sauerkraut. I would also recommend that people take a good quality probiotic supplement with more than one strain and prebiotic fibre. Probiotics are the bacteria and prebiotics are what the bacteria feed on.

What supplements do you recommend?

Firstly, everyone in the UK should be taking a Vitamin D supplement, particularly between September and March as the sun is too weak. Iron and folate are also really important – particularly for women. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet will typically have to supplement more with things like Calcium too.

Check out Emma’s Instagram @essentially.emma 

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