The healthy food essentials you need now, recommended by nutritionist and health consultant, Maggie Chai.

High up on our everyday ‘I will’ mantras list is ‘I will eat a little more healthy’. Whenever it comes to actually making the decision between a bar of chocolate or a grapefruit as our 3pm afternoon slump snack though, let’s admit it, we’re all slaves to old habits. But lately, we’ve had nutritionist Maggie Chai hit up our cupboards for a shake-up of the healthy food staples you need now:

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is quite rightly having its 15 minutes of fame at the moment. Versatile and packed full of benefits, it turns out that coconut oil does more than work excellently as a post-shower emollient. “Coconut oil is classed as a superfood with MCTs that help energy expenditure. In other words, it’s a brilliant energy giver,” says Maggie. “You can introduce coconut oil to your cooking simply by replacing your usual cooking oil with it. A tiny sliver goes a long way and you won’t even notice the taste.”

Pumpkin seeds

A great cupboard basic is the humble pumpkin seed. A kernel full of nutrients ranging from magnesium to calcium, iron and copper potassium an more, these seeds can aid all sorts of concerns (and non-concerns!) including boosting immunity, helping your sleep, giving your overall health an easier time - “magnesium and potassium help transfer nutrients where they’re needed”. They up protein levels and help to control blood sugar levels as well as maintain healthy blood pressure. Try sprinkling a generous handful on top of salads if you’re not keen on snacking on them by the shedload.

Agave nectar

If you’re toying with the idea of cutting out sugar, agave nectar is a natural sweetener that you need to invest in. Agave contains saponins and fructans that are said to hold immune system-boosting properties and aid weight loss by helping you to feel most full from the foods you are eating.


Chickpeas are a great source of potent protein, iron and zinc with a boatload of vitamins and minerals to boot. Again, they’re versatile - add them to curries, salads, create hummus from them… the possibilities are endless.

Protein powder

Often overlooked as a bodybuilders’ staple, a good protein powder will add heaps of whole foods to smoothies, juices and even baked goods. This EnergyBoost powder features maca, lucuma, cacao and hemp protein that provides you with antioxidants, iron, magnesium, vitamin B3 and amino acids that’ll pack your meals with energy, health benefits and help to combat fatigue and tiredness.

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