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How healthy is your lunch?

Ahead of the free online course Food is Medicine, course mentor Melissa Adamski reviews the lunches of some of our online followers.

Ahead of the free online course Food as Medicine, course mentor Melissa Adamski reviews some FutureLearner lunches.


The avocado and tomato sandwich 

food as medicine wheatgerm sandwich

Melissa says:

“What great flavours together- I just love Avocado! Your sandwich is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats from olive oil and avocado; and wheatgerm is a great source of insoluble fibre- great for gut health and keeping you ‘regular’. Tip: While cherry tomatoes are a great addition, it would be good to add more vegetables to your sandwich to help you reach your 5 serves a day. Also be mindful of your protein intake for the day- being vegan can make it harder for some to reach their protein requirements. You may want to add a handful of nuts to your delicious sandwich.”

The salad with treats 

food as medicine saladMelissa says:

“What a great rainbow of salad vegetables! This helps provides you a range of vitamins and phytonutrients- all good stuff. While including a source of protein with lunch will help keep you feeling fuller through the afternoon, processed meats such as ham can be high in salt and other preservatives which may contribute to negative effects to health if eaten too often; try limiting to once a week. While we love treats on occasions it would be great to swap the crisps for a high fibre wholegrain option to go with your salad; you could add a slice of wholegrain bread or mix quinoa through your salad.”

The quinoa and sesame burger

food as medicine seasame burger

Melissa says:

“So great to see chia seeds- such a great source of fibre and heart healthy omega 3 fats. Quinoa is also a source of fibre as well as protein which is great to help us feel fuller and more satisfied throughout the afternoon (to help us fight those pesky 3pm sugar cravings). While pumpkin is such a fabulous vegetable (full of carotenoids and low in energy), it would be great to add some more vegetables to your ‘smash’ to get a variety of nutrients.”

The sushi

food as medicine sushi

Melissa says:

“What a great variety of sushi! Nice to see more than 2 ingredients in the sushi roles. Sushi can be a source of iodine which is an important nutrient for health; seaweed is one of the richest sources. It is important to be mindful of sushi as can be full of white rice which can raise blood sugar levels quickly, while not necessarily containing much protein or vegetables. If you enjoy sushi, try having 1-2 rolls alongside some sashimi and salad. That way you get all the benefits of the sushi while boosting your intake of a range of nutrients.”

The zucchini (courgette) with beans

food as medicine pasta
Food-as-medicine – tonight’s dinner. First try at zucchini spaghetti, multiple veggie topping with kidney beans and nutritional yeast

Melissa says:

“Doesn’t your plate look great! ‘Pasta’ made from zucchini is a great way of boosting your vegetable intake and helping you meet your 5 serves a day. And kidney beans are a good source of protein, low GI carbohydrates and fibre; being such a versatile legume you can add them into a range of dishes!”

And Melissa’s advice about lunch in general?

When you are reflecting on your lunch trying to decide whether it was ‘healthy’ or not, remember it is only one meal of the day. We have many other meals where we also eat foods and have a chance to take in nutrients and so it important to consider your overall dietary pattern, not just individual meals, when thinking about lifestyle and health.

Learn more about eating well.


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