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5 humble health foods we can eat more of

HFG dietitian Melissa Meier shares five humble foods that bestow surprising health benefits.


Often unfairly blamed for weight gain, the humble spud is actually jam-packed with nutrition, including immunity-boosting vitamin C, gut-loving fibre, and potassium for better heart and muscle function. Potatoes are perfect oven roasted, boiled, mashed or sliced into a salad — and they offer energy-giving carbs that are essential for a balanced meal.

Baked beans

Did you know baked beans count towards your daily five serves of veg, because legumes like these are classed as vegetables and are loaded with fibre. Beans on wholegrain toast make a hearty, nutritious meal, but look out for a reduced-salt variety and you’ll be onto a real winner.


Banished in low-carb circles, bananas are in fact a worthy snack, especially before or after exercise. One medium banana has 20g of slow-burning carbs and 2g gut-loving fibre, plus plenty of potassium. If you enjoy them a little under-ripe, you’ll also get a dose of ‘resistant starch’ fibre that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

Canned sardines

Don’t turn up your nose, because canned sardines are a thrifty way to get a dose of healthy omega-3 fats that support heart and brain health! Plus, their edible bones are rich in bone-strengthening calcium. Try them in a toastie or add them to vegetable fritters.

Peanut butter

So delicious and good for you! Rich and creamy peanut butter is brimming with healthy fats, as well as a boost of muscle-building protein to keep you feeling satisfied. Enjoy a tablespoon on toast, on a sliced apple, or swirled through your morning porridge.

Date modified: 23 February 2021
First published: Nov 2019


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