May Newsletter 2 2022: The Batman of Regular Foods?

That’s because it’s a superfood!


This course is for anyone working in medium to large commercial food manufacturing, product design and development, farmer’s markets or small home-based business, specialised kitchens or eateries, hospitality staff, marketing in health foods and retail, or healthy eating and lifestyle influencers.

Students develop skills in how to make healthy foods, encourage reflection in product development, and increase confidence to move forward in business!


  • Introduction to Health Food
  • Diets for Medical and Health Reasons
  • and more!


  • Introduction to Nutrition Science
  • The Concept of Diet
  • and more!


  • Gluten
  • Chemistry of Gluten
  • and more!


  • Wheat
  • Wheat Products Free-from Gluten
  • and more!


  • Specialised Protein Products
  • Protein and why we need it
  • and more!


  • Cow’s Milk Protein (CMP)
  • Cow’s Milk Sugar (Lactose)
  • and more!


  • Overview of Vegetarianism
  • Types of Vegetarian Diets
  • and more!


  • Sourcing Ingredients
  • Buy Local
  • and more!


  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Monitoring and Controlling the Marketing Plan
  • and more!

So you want to be a nutritionist?

If you like to combine healthy living, science and food the career of a Nutritionist might just be for you.  As their name suggests nutritionists are all about nutrition – the food we eat. As professionals, they advise individuals and other professionals about the right sort of food they should be eating.  Depending on your particular role you may also be involved in conducting the science to further improve nutritional knowledge.

pot with vegetables in it

Becoming a Nutritionist

Nutritionist is a professional role and, while not legally required in the same manner as nursing or doctor careers practically every client or employer will require a degree either in the field or in a very close subject.  A few may accept extensive experience in a related field. Depending on seniority of the role it may be necessary to progress to a master’s degree in order to be considered. This would entail the completion of up to four years higher level education.

A more affordable way of getting started with this is to pursue a diploma route with a recognised qualification that can be transferred for credit towards a final BSc or MSc qualification.  Many providers offer such courses and these are often ideal as a low-risk first entry point, especially for mature students who may be only able to study part-time in pursuit of their degree.

Nutrition courses teach the science behind food.  How it impacts our health, how we can improve our lives by changing what we eat and how to manage underlying conditions and diseases better by consuming the right food.  Naturally, a proper understanding of the biology of the human body is important to this.

Unlike the similarly named and often mistaken role of “Dietician”, “Nutritionist” is not a name protected role, meaning you are not legally obliged to register before working as one.  However, accreditation and membership of a professional body is a sensible course of action. It both provides opportunities for professional growth and connection and formal recognition of your status which is important to individuals who will want your services.

Is Being a Nutritionist For Me?

Aside from the formal qualifications and accreditation, it’s important to consider if you have the personal qualities that would let you excel in this field.  Some of the personal traits and aptitudes you will need for success include:

A Scientific Mind: As previously mentioned professional Nutritionists take a science-based approach to their work.  Every person is different and in order to deliver appropriate nutritional advice, it is important that you are able to give advice in line with best practice, analyse the results and make changes based on the outcome.

Good Communication Skills:  With your training, your knowledge of nutritional matters will be far above those of most people.  This means you need the ability to take concept words and scientific language and explain it in simpler terms to your clients.

Positivity, Empathy and a Drive to Motivate Others:  All the science in the world is useless if it is never put into practice.  You’ll need a people-oriented perspective that lets you encourage clients to act based on your advice as well as the sympathy and understanding to accept that things won’t always be easy.  Anyone who has ever tried a diet has experienced a failure to keep to it and it will be your job to help get your clients back on track.

If you have a scientific mind, a love for food and a desire to make a real difference in people’s lives a career in Nutrition really should be on your menu.

Fenugreek: Nature’s Next Superfood

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a wonderfully versatile annual herb from the pea family (Fabaceae). It is native to Southern Europe, the Middle East and Western Asia. It was first mentioned in the Egyptian Medical Ebers Papyrus in 1500BCE as a medical herb and to embalm the dead. The fenugreek plant is quite hardy and reaches 2-3ft which makes it an ideal cover or overwintering plant in arable agriculture. Fenugreek is also a nutritional powerhouse so the ancient Greeks & Romans used it for cattle fodder, a practice which is still followed today. But of course, most people will know Fenugreek for its culinary uses; the seed pods contain 10–20 small, flat, yellow-brown, pungent and aromatic seeds wwhich are used to season curries, and the green tops can be used like spinach where it is called methi in Hindi.

Fenugreek seeds have a somewhat bitter taste, vaguely similar to celery, maple syrup or burnt sugar. In order to take the bitterness out of the seeds, heating them in a frying pan or skillet, or frying them on oil, is necessary. Most Indian households cannot do without methi or fenugreek seeds and leaves. It is used in almost every Indian preparation, be it dal, paratha or curry. My favourite use of methi is to make Methi Aloo; fring dried or (ideally) fresh methi leaves, with potatoes in heroic amounts of ghee and salt.

There is an impressive amount of research data which confirms fenugreek as being a potent anti- inflammatory, cholesterol lowering, appetite increasing, energy and libido raising herb. It can even improve lactation in new mothers. In the Indian medical system of Ayurveda, Fenugreek is considered a warming spice, and contributes the bitter, pungent and sweet tastes. It is used to enhance digestion and prevent stomach disorders. It is also good for the skin and hair. Fenugreek seeds can be used both whole and ground. Powdered seeds can also be used topically (applied to the skin) to reduce inflammation, skin problems, injuries, etc. In short, it is a medicine chest and likely at some point to be classed as a ‘superfood’.

And the best news of all- fenugreek is easy to grow in the UK climate!

Obtaining seeds is straightforward; just use any supermarket seasoning variety or a World Food store where the seeds can be bought in bulk quite cheaply. They can be sown outdoors by sprinkling over a patch of well-drained soil in full sun, raking over, and watering well. The soil should be rolled after sowing to increase soil moisture contact with the seed. The ideal sowing time for fenugreek is generally between March – May. The seeds germinate quickly to form a low mat of clover-shaped leaves about 30cm high, which can be used as groundcover between taller, widely spaced crops. This is an example of a self- mulching multi- layered agriculture system.

Despite being a Mediterranean crop, fenugreek will show a surprising resilience to hard frosts. This crop rapidly produces large amounts of biomass. Its growth is vigorous enough to compete against weeds without the need for cutting. Fenugreek has few pest and disease problems. This crop has a very short persistence, as it will start to flower and set seed after a few months and ideally as a green manure, the plant should be dug back into the soil before flowering to preserve nitrogen. Having said that, bees do love the flowers of fenugreek.

The RHS perhaps disparagingly say of fenugreek cultivation:

“This annual legume will only grow in the spring and summer; it is unlikely to fix nitrogen in the UK. “

However this nitrogen fixation problem can be overcome. When sowing fenugreek the seeds need to be ‘inoculated’ with the bacterium Rhizobium meliloti. This culture is bought in sachets and mixed with the seed at the time of sowing. It is a relatively simple process and only needs doing once per crop. That way you can utilise the range of culinary, medicinal, and cultivation functionalities of this unsung plant.

Think outside the box! Designing unique horticulturalsustainable agriculture and permaculture solutions is a feature of courses offered by ADL. Sign up today!




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