Dr Johanna Ward was in the North East this January to launch her new book, Superfood to Superhealth, at Middleton Lodge Estate, a stunning Georgian country estate in leafy North Yorkshire.
Her guests were treated to a vitamin-packed purple smoothie and superfoods brunch as Dr Johanna talked us through her mission to inspire intelligence and sustainable food choices in the next generation.
This is a mission she’s been passionate about for several years, following her own experiences of ill health, in which she felt the clinical response was to manage her prescription drugs rather than consider how nutrition, diet and lifestyle could nurture her body back to health.
Dr Johanna believes that most of us have accidentally slipped into unhealthy habits through our poor food choices and increasingly busy but sedentary lifestyles. We cook less and eat more processed foods that are packed with preservative chemicals. We drink hundreds of calories every day, whether it’s a caramel latte to boost our energy in the morning, or our favourite alcoholic tipple to unwind at night. We have easy access to super-sized portions and eat out more than ever at restaurants that serve us rich, salt- and sugar-packed meals.
These may seem like fairly standard choices for modern-day life, but they are decisions that make a huge difference to our health. Most westerners will die from preventable diseases that are directly related to poor diet and lifestyle choices: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Our choices also have a huge impact on the planet, with meat production, plastic packaging, food waste, pesticides and food transportation massively affecting our natural resources and sustainability. We are living in what Dr Johanna calls a ‘toxic soup’ as our diet and environment are increasingly filled with harmful chemicals that diminish our health.
Dr Johanna presents a solution in Superfood to Superhealth by “eating more from the earth and less from a box”. In essence, that means more plant-based foods and fewer animal products and processed foods. It means less sugar, salt and alcohol, and more filtered water and cooking with fresh ingredients. It means being more mindful about what we eat and where our food comes from.
“Now is the time to embrace dietary and lifestyle changes to overhaul the toxic load and start anew”, says Dr Johanna. After listening to her passionate and evidence-based argument, I’m certainly convinced that it’s worth a try.
Superfood to Superhealth is available to buy now : RRP £30