My new cookbook, Super Food Family Classics, is out now, and to celebrate, I wanted to share a round-up of the most useful info from my first super-food book, Everyday Super Food, to help you and your family live well.
You might be wondering why I’m banging on about my last book with a new one out, but ultimately that was the start of the super-food journey for me, and the info I shared there has become the foundation of the new book, too.
I’ve followed the same framework when it comes to putting delicious, nutritious recipes together, and the philosophies below will help you to live a healthy, happy life, and in turn, empower your loved ones to do the same.
It’s so important in setting you up for the day, it will fill you up, prevent you snacking on foods high in fat/sugar and can kick you off with a boost of micronutrients. We’ve got loads of super-delicious breakfast recipes to inspire you, some for every day and some that are more of a treat – enjoy!
Eat the rainbow, mixing up your choices with the seasons and aiming for at least five 80g portions of fresh, frozen or tinned veg and fruit every day of the week.
Starchy carbs are wonderful and provide a large proportion of the energy we need to move our bodies, and the fuel our organs need to function. Choose fibre-rich wholegrain and wholewheat varieties when you can, which take longer to break down, are slow-releasing, and give us a more sustained level of energy. Check out these clever carb swaps from my nutrition team, plus other easy ingredient swaps to inspire you.
Found mainly in plant-based foods, and also classed as a carbohydrate, most of us need to up our fibre intake. I’m celebrating carbohydrates and fantastic fibre, and want you to, as well!
While protein is an integral part of our diet, it does, like everything else, need to be eaten in the right amounts. Think of protein as the building blocks of our bodies – it’s used for everything that’s important to how we grow, repair, feel, break down and absorb things, and how we fight disease and infections. Find out more in my feature about the power of protein.
Whenever you can, trade up to organic food, both for your own health and for the good of the planet. If we start to readdress what we buy, cook and eat, gradually buying better and wasting less, that’s only going to help to move our food system forward in a positive and more sustainable way. Daniel Nowland, my in-house expert on all things food- and farming-related has some helpful tips on how to be an ethical shopper.
Dairy foods, milk and dairy alternatives (such as fortified almond or oat milk) offer us an amazing array of nutrients. Just remember that it’s organic milk, yoghurt and small amounts of cheese, rather than butter and cream, that we should generally be favouring as the portion of dairy in our meals, to maintain a healthy diet.
Of course, fat consumption needs to be controlled, but a healthy diet does require good fats, so choose unsaturated sources where you can, such as olive and liquid vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocado and omega-3 rich oily fish.
To be the very best you can be, staying hydrated is absolutely key. After all, water is essential to life.
It sounds simple, but getting enough sleep is absolutely essential. It’s one of the biggest contributors to good health, giving our bodies that crucial time they need to grow, heal and repair. Swot up on on my top tips for a good night’s sleep.
Movement is incredibly important, and being active should be a natural habit in all aspects of daily life – let’s all challenge ourselves to be more naturally active each day, and quite simply to move a bit more! This is one of the things I learnt from all the amazing people I’ve met around the world that are living super-long lives.
And do this every week to give your liver a break. Regardless of quality, alcohol, as far as your body is concerned, is not nutritious and is toxic, and it’s very high in calories, too. It’s also been responsible for some of the worst behaviour on the planet! But I do love it – just please be responsible.
Extract adapted from Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver, published by Penguin Random House ⓒ Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2016 Super Food Family Classics). Cover photography by Paul Stuart.