Today’s Solutions: September 25, 2022

Desiree Nielsen is a key figure when it comes to functional approaches to nutrition. While she treats people with chronic digestive and inflammatory diseases, Nielsen makes sure to include a practical, lighthearted approach with her clients. She recognizes that although functional nutrition is crucial for health, it doesn’t have to be a chore.

While explaining her personal food philosophy on a podcast for MindBodyGreen, Nielsen revealed some pretty unconventional ingredients that she tends to include in her grocery lists. Check out the three foods she recommends we should have on our plates for optimal nutrients. You might be surprised by her favorite picks!


In terms of deep green vegetables, Nielsen doesn’t play it safe with your typical kale, spinach, broccoli trifecta. Although those greens are incredibly nutrient-dense as well, sometimes we just need a little variety on our plates. For a more unique, flavorful bitter leaf, Nielsen suggests you add some radicchio to your diet. 

Hemp hearts

Just three tablespoons of hemp hearts will give you 10 grams of plant-based protein, “which is remarkable in such a small amount”. Hemp hearts are also high in minerals—especially magnesium—that many people lack in their immune systems. Basically, hemp hearts could very well be the Superman of superfoods. Like Nielsen, you can sprinkle hemp hearts in your smoothies, on top of your salads, or in yogurt for that extra boost of protein and omega-3s. 

Cold-water fish

These fish (such as sardines, wild salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and herring) are packed with protein and omega-3s, and they’ve even been shown to have positive effects on cardiovascular health and cholesterol. While you might be partial to the sweeter, buttery taste of lobster or sea scallops, opting for sardines or anchovies, instead, has the potential to better your health.

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