A tural whole foods are the most advanced “drugs” you could ever imagine.’ No, that’s not the voice of a well-meaning blogger or idealistic health food fanatic – these words come straight from the mouth of an NHS GP. In his new book, The Doctor’s Kitchen: Eat to Beat Illness (Thorsons, £16.99), Dr Rupy Aujla, explains how the future of your health lies in the food on your table. ‘As a doctor, it’s my responsibility to deliver credible, evidence-based information,’ says Aujla, ‘which is why I’m comfortable talking about the medicinal effects of eating well.’ His principles for a healthy diet are simple: eat whole, colourful, mostly plant-based foods, including quality fats and plenty of fibre, and treat meat and fish as luxury items, rather than staples.
Beat Disease and Eat Your Way to Optimum Health With Recipes From The Culinary Medic Photo Gallery
In the book, Aujla looks through the lens of science and draws upon hundreds of research papers to offer a professional insight into how the food on your plate can boost your wellbeing and protect you from illness. Want to increase your vitamin B12 intake to boost your energy levels? Try the Fennel Sardines with Pine Nuts. Worried about oxidative stress? The Watercress Walnut and Crayfish Salad contains sulforaphane and indole-3- carbinol compounds, proven to manage inflammation. ‘By approaching disease from a holistic perspective, of which food is a vital part, we can tackle the root causes of disease,’ says Aujla. ‘Our plates are more powerful than pills.
His wholesome recipes are based on speed, simplicity of ingredients, incredible flavour and high nutritional value, and the book is divided into chapters that focus on optimising the health of your brain, heart skin and eyes, to boost mood and immune function and reduce inflammation. But it doesn’t stop there, each chapter ends with a section called Lifestyle 360, in which Aujla highlights a handful of lifestyle changes that will support your healthy eating regime for that ‘condition’ Improving your sleep is the best habit change you can make to improve heart function, for example, while walking in nature (and forest bathing, especially) has been shown to reduce inflammatory proteins in the blood. Get ready for a healthier, more energetic you…
BAKED RAINBOW CHARD WITH APRICOT AND WALNUTS
Serves: 4 Per serving: 149 calories, 12.5 fat (1.5g saturated fat), 3g protein,1.5g fibre, 5g carbohydrate (3.5g sugar), 0.5g salt 40g walnuts 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced 200g Swiss chard, roughly sliced into 2cm-thick strips, stem included 1 fresh apricot, stoned and diced into thin segments 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas mark 6. Toss all the ingredients into a large roasting dish with plenty of salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until the chard has slightly crisped up, then remove from the oven and serve with a drizzle of extra oil, if needed. Did you know? Rainbow chard is packed with vitamin K and magnesium, both of which are essential for bone health. 1 2 It also contains antioxidant- rich phytochemicals such as betalain. The walnuts add texture as well as providing a source of fats that enable your body to better absorb the vitamins in the chard.
SWEET CAJUN SALMON
Serves: 2 Per serving: 477 calories, 24g fat (9g saturated fat), 30g protein, 6g fibre, 32g carbohydrate (6g sugar), 0.4g salt 2 x 200g salmon fillets (preferably wild) 200g quinoa 500ml water 1 tsp sweet paprika 150g sweetcorn, sliced off the cob Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 150g watercress, roughly chopped, to serve For the Cajun marinade 2 tsp Cajun spice blend 2 tbsp milled flaxseed (or wholemeal breadcrumbs) Grated zest and juice of 1 lime 1 tsp brown sugar or coconut sugar 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the salmon fillets and leave to marinate for 20 minutes. While the salmon is marinating, soak the quinoa in a bowl of water for the same amount of time, then drain. Add the quinoa to a dry saucepan over a medium heat and toast the grains for a few minutes. Boil the 500ml water then add it to the pan of quinoa along with the paprika, sweetcorn and some salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes then arrange on a plate with the watercress. Heat a frying pan over a medium-low heat and place the marinated fillets in the pan skin-side down, pressing them gently for the first 30 seconds. Cook for about 6 minutes until the top side begins to turn opaque, then flip the fillets over and cook on the other side for a further 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Place the salmon on top of the quinoa and watercress and enjoy.
AUBERGINE AND WALNUT RAGU
Serves: 6 Per serving: 130 calories,11g fat (2g saturated fat), 3g protein, 2g fibre, 3g carbohydrate (3g sugar), 0.2g salt 200g baby tomatoes 400g aubergines, cut into chunks 50g walnuts, roughly chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 100g celery, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 1 shallot, finely chopped 10g rosemary needles, finely chopped 2 anchovy fillets from a can, chopped (optional) 150g puy Ientils, soaked for at least 20 minutes, then drained l0g dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated 400g can chopped tomatoes 400ml boiling water 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced 10g fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 15g Parmesan cheese, finely grated Sea salt and ground black pepper Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Scatter the tomatoes, walnuts and aubergine in an oven dish and pour over the marinade. Mix together and bake for 30-35 minutes until the aubergine has softened and the walnuts browned.
Stir the mixture halfway through so it cooks evenly. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the celery, carrot, shallot and rosemary, season and sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Add the anchovies (if using), lentils and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, water and sun-dried tomatoes, and cook for 16 minutes until reduced. Add the baked vegetables and walnuts and simmer until the puy lentils are cooked but still have a slight bite. Sprinkle over the parsley and Parmesan and serve. If you’re in a hurry, you can speed things up by using any pre-cooked lentils you like, for added protein and fibre. MARINADE In a bowl, mix together 30m olive oil, 20ml balsamic vinegar, six garlic cloves, roughly chopped, and 1 tsp dried chilli flakes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.