We ask the experts for the best piece of health advice they’ve ever been given – and the answers may surprise you!
Nutritionists, doctors and dietitians regularly give out tips and tricks, but we asked them for the best piece of advice that they’ve ever been given that’s changed their lives. So, from a nutritious drink to add to your morning routine to ways to improve your overall physical and mental wellbeing, these are the best little gems experts have received that have made a powerful impact on their health for good.
“My best tip, given to me when I trained as a nutritionist, was to prepare a glass of water, containing a tablespoon of golden flaxseed, before bed and drink it the next morning,” says nutritionist, author and blogger Suzi Grant (alternativeageing.net). “This is a great source of phytoestrogens [which is good for tackling symptoms of the menopause] and omega 3, as well as being a natural constipation cure. Whether you’re menopausal or not, this is my favourite piece of advice that I always pass on to others. However, don’t drink the seeds if you have diverticulitis or any similar bowel complaint.”
“The best piece of advice I had is for good mental heath,” says nutritionist Shona Wilkinson (shonawilkinson.com). “Somebody once told me to spend just a few minutes each day thinking about what you love in your life at that moment and what you are thankful for. It can become too easy to get caught up in the rat race of life and forget about the truly important things. If you spend a few moments (preferably in the morning) thinking about what you love in your life and what you feel is truly important, it can help reduce stress levels, which will help set you up for the day. It can also put things into perspective and stop you worrying about the little things. Stress plays a huge impact on not only our mental health, but also our physical health, so this is a great way to help reduce anxiety in your life.”
“Don’t eat like a five-year-old is the most succinct way I have come across of summarising the world of dieting,” says Dr Emil Hodzovic, medical doctor and nutritionist at Medichecks (medichecks.com). “It basically means to eat the opposite of how a five-yearold would if they could do what they wanted – less chocolate and sweets, less fast food and less fizzy drinks and milkshakes; more vegetables, more home cooked meals. This applies to food timing, as well as choices. For example, no ice cream for breakfast!”
“I used to push my body and mind to the maximum,” says Katherine Kimber, consultant registered dietitian and founder of Nude Nutrition (nudenutritionrd.com). “I was in a constant cycle of getting ill and catching colds – but how could this be when I ate so well? It wasn’t until I invested in a personal coach for my road cycling training that I realised why I was always ill. The coach had an in-depth view of my life and immediately pointed out that I was over training and doing too much in general. I hesitantly took her guidance to listen to my body more and to trust it to tell me when I was mentally or physically tired, underfed, over worked or needed time out. I subsequently trained less, rested more and got fitter – and I didn’t fall ill or catch a cold! We must remember that our body is better equipped to indicate what we need than an app or diet plan. So, let’s listen to and trust it.”
“I think the most recent gem has been ‘simple living, heightened being’, which I heard from an ayurvedic doctor at the beginning of the year,” says nutritional therapist Henrietta Norton (wildclinics.com). “He was referring to the power that living life simply, eating simply and thinking simply (this means not over analysing, over thinking or over eating) and living according to your heart provides. It’s a motto I always use in nutritional therapy as well – it’s important to keep it simple and respect your body.”
“Just after I graduated, a leading nutritionist in Australia told me to try to live more in the moment, rather than focusing on potential future problems that never happen most of the time,” nutritional director of Healthista (healthista.com) Rick Hay tells us. “He also emphasised the importance of keeping stress under control to help with your overall physical wellbeing.”
“I was told to be wary of everyday drinks, such as milk, coffee, orange juice, milkshakes and alcohol, as they are a quick way to rack up unwanted sugars,” says registered dietitian Jo Hollington (doctify.co.uk). “It’s important to get your energy and nutrition from whole foods, and to try to drink lower calorie drinks, including fruit teas, water and fruit or mint infused waters.”
“I received my favourite piece of health advice around 20 years ago,” says James Collier, registered nutritionist and co-founder of Huel (huel.com). “An experienced and respected nutritionist told me that nutritional science need not be as complicated as it appears. We all know what good, healthy foods are and that we should be avoiding junk foods and overly processed snacks. There’s a lot of over complicated messages around but people should simply follow the basic message that is just to eat well.”