Prof Tim Spector, author of The Diet Myth was a recent guest on Jim Al Khalili’s radio programme The Life Scientific.

He argued the need to re-evaluate what we think we know about a good diet: the importance of diversity in the types of food we eat on a daily basis and the unique mix of microbes (gut bacteria) as being the most important factors for health.

He explained the importance of personalised nutrition and how we all have different dietary needs for our optimum health.

However, Prof Spector also has a list of top 10 tips that we can all follow to ensure we get as much variety in our diet as possible using nutrient dense foods.

Our blogger and nutritional therapist, Pippa has decided to break this down into bite size chunks to give you lots of easy to follow advice so you can add these into your diet.

It’s all about the oil – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (EVOO)

EVOO can be used cold for drizzling on food but you CAN use it for cooking too.  It contains powerful polyphenols – plant chemicals that have antioxidant qualities that not only benefit our health but help to protect the oil when it is heated up (but don’t let it heat to smoking point).

EVOO is an important part of the Mediterranean diet – often considered the gold standard for health and longevity (Mediterranean diet).  It has anti-inflammatory qualities, protects against heart disease and type ll diabetes and helps to feed your beneficial gut microbes.  In trials it has been shown to have antioxidant properties, is antimicrobial,  helps to prevent strokes and can benefit brain function.

EVOO is cold or mechanically pressed retaining its flavour and polyphenols so make sure you look for that on the label when you are buying it.  Try to store away from sources of light and heat – buying in green glass bottles will help – and we recommend buying the best quality that you can.

Use liberally in your cooking and for flavouring vegetables and salads.

image: Pixabay at