Australia’s top nutritionist identifies superfoods we enjoy in many foods we order in.

Superfoods are not as rare as one might believe.  A new list of health enhancing foods found in takeaway has been confirmed by Australia’s leading nutritionist, Dr Joanna McMillan, with surprising inclusions such as duck, cashews and spices.

Menulog recently launched Healthy+ with Dr Joanna who says, “There are three things Healthy+ dishes have in common: healthy cooking methods; healthy ingredients and superfoods!”

 Here are seven superfoods included in typical take-out dishes that will boost your nutritional intake.

1. Lentils

Super ingredients – Lentils are protein-rich, they contain low glycaemic carbs, fibre and folate and are one of the best plant sources of iron.

Dr Joanna says – “I choose lentils as the ‘smart carb’ when ordering healthy takeaway or as my protein choice in a vegetarian meal. The humble lentil can be transformed into delicious, nutritious comfort food in many takeaway dishes.”

Order these dishes – Daal, stews and soups, Lebanese side dishes and lentil salads.

Menulog’s Healthy+ takeaway options were developed by Dr Joanna to help busy Australians make healthy choices when ordering takeaway

2. Duck

Super ingredients – Duck breast has 80 per cent more iron and 65 per cent more zinc than chicken breast, along with a host of B-group vitamins.

Dr Joanna says – “Much of the fat is under the skin which you can remove – the meat itself is lean with half of the fat being the healthy monounsaturated kind.”

Order these dishes –Vietnamese rice paper rolls, Peking duck pancakes and Chinese, Thai and Asian-style duck dishes.


3. Bok Choy

Super ingredients – Bok Choy is packed with antioxidants called glucosinolates and as part of the cabbage family, it is thought to reduce cancer risk, especially in the stomach. It provides B-group vitamins needed for energy production, and minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc.

Dr Joanna says “Bok choy is often found in stir-fries which are a healthy takeaway choice as they introduce vegies you wouldn’t usually cook at home.”

Order these dishes – Stir-fries, noodle soups, Pho, and Chinese dishes.


4. Cashews

Super ingredients – Cashews have more iron and zinc than other commonly consumed nuts and they’re a great nutrient source in vegetarian diets. They’re rich in both magnesium and super-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Dr Joanna says – “Unless you have an allergy, be sure to get nuts into your daily diet. Research shows that a handful of nuts a day dramatically reduces our risk of heart disease,”

Order these dishes – Salads, stir-fries and Thai, Indian and Chinese dishes with cashews.

5. Spices

Super ingredients – Spices such as cinnamon and turmeric are rich in antioxidants with anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities plusthey boost the detox pathways in your liver, and can have anti-cancer properties.

Dr Joanna says – “Look for dishes that also contain cumin, coriander, chilli and garlic which you may not use as often in your home cooking.”

Order these dishes – Indian curries such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Middle Eastern meats with harissa spice, Lebanese kebabs and Indonesian curries.

6. Parsley

Super ingredients – Parsley is packed with vitamins K and C, folate and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which boost your eye health.

Dr Joanna says – “Dishes such as tabouli use the herb liberally so they maximize the amazing nutrition benefits of the plant.”

Order these dishes – Middle Eastern tabouli, Mediterranean dishes such as pizza, pasta, soups and stews.


7. Rocket

Super ingredients – Rocket contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, antioxidants and vitamin K and C. It sustains eye health as it’s packed with carotenoids.

Dr Joanna says – “Rocket staves off infections like colds and flu. It has a big nutritional bang for each bite.”

Order these dishes – Parmesan and rocket salad from Italian restaurants, pizza and pasta dishes that include rocket.


Menulog’s Healthy+ takeaway options were developed by Dr Joanna to help busy Australians make healthy choices when ordering takeaway. Look for the ‘H+’ icon on takeaway menus for restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

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