Royal-approved health habits – from green smoothies to dark chocolate

Kate Middleton celebrates a milestone occasion as she turns 40 this week – and the Duchess never looked so radiant and healthy.

With their busy schedules packed full of official engagements, the royals know only too well the importance of self-care.

Of course it helps that they have access to top advisors when it comes to diet, exercise and wellbeing – and nutritionist Jennifer Hanway is privileged to have enjoyed that role in the past.

Here she reveals the tips and tricks to eating, drinking – and exercising – like a royal…

Sip green breakfast smoothies

Though you may not find the Queen tucking into a green smoothie anytime soon, Kate is apparently a big fan of kickstarting her days with a glass of nutrient-rich goodness.

Jennifer wholeheartedly explains that not only are they an easy ‘meal in a glass’ to fit in around busy schedules, but they’re fantastic morning pick-me-ups.

“Green smoothies mean you get all the vitamin and mineral benefits as well as the fibre from the vegetables which is important for gut health and blood sugar regulation,” she says.

For the ultimate breakfast smoothie, Jennifer suggests mixing some protein and collagen powder with unsweetened almond milk, avocado, lemon, baby spinach and courgette.

Save gluten for birthdays

When filming for Suits, Meghan did her best to ensure that her skin was flawless despite the long days on sets, even if that came at a foodie lover’s price.

By limiting her gluten to the odd bowl of pasta while travelling abroad, she noticed that minimising her intake cleared up her skin while boosting her energy levels.

“When we have gluten, things get into our bloodstream that shouldn't be there and that can set off an inflammatory response,” said Jennifer. “When we see inflammation in the body, we see it in the skin as redness as breakouts, eczema, rosacea and premature ageing.”

Her tip? “My advice is gluten on birthdays and holidays.”

Choose red wine over white

Having named her old website The Tig after her favourite glass of red wine – Tignanello – it’s no secret that Meghan has been an advocate for a glass of red.

Though abstaining from alcohol is better than drinking alcohol, red is as good as they get, with the “quality over quantity” mindset being crucial, Jennifer explains.

When drunk in moderation, you benefit from its anti-inflammatory effect, with organic and low-calorie wines the best options.

“Red wine has a lot of antioxidants as well as resveratrol, which is for skin and anti-ageing,” Jennifer adds.

‘We are what we eat’

The royal family may have access to the best dermatologists but for Jennifer, the secret behind mother-of-three Kate’s age-defying skin and enviably bouncy locks is less about treatments and more about nutrition.

The Queen enjoyed, for many years, a plate of grilled chicken or fish with a side of vegetables or salad when dining alone, while Kate stuck to a high protein diet to maintain her health and energy levels after her three pregnancies. Jennifer encourages this simple approach to food.

“We are what we eat,” she says. “It’s really easy to buy a cream or have a facial, but it’s not that easy to change what you eat. We want that quick fix but that quick fix doesn't give you the resulting glow that comes from the inside out.” She recommends cutting out sugar in favour of healthy fats and protein, such as avocados, tofu and oily fish.

Don’t shy away from strength training

While Wimbledon-obsessed Kate is a huge tennis fan, she apparently enjoys regular CrossFit sessions too – a form of high intensity interval training, focusing on strength training. For a less intense workout, Meghan’s love for yoga and Pilates is equally as good.

Jennifer approves and says too much cardio “breaks down structures in the skin and increases cortisol levels, making us look older.

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“Strength training is anything where you're moving your body against gravity," she says. "It could be throwing weights around in the gym, or doing Barre and Pilates.”

Following any workout, staying hydrated should be the priority, with electrolyte drinks – Jennifer recommends HALO Hydration – helping to combat feelings of sluggishness. “You're going to feel better straight away. Looking after your hydration and keeping your electrolytes in balance can be a good way of getting that energy,” she said.

Indulge in dark chocolate

According to former royal chef Darren McGrady, the Queen is a huge chocoholic, opting to satisfy her sweet tooth with the darkest chocolate possible. In fact, one of her favourite snacks is believed to be Bendicks Bittermints.

The epitome of health at the age of 95, Jennifer hints that her majesty’s confectionery choice may be something that's helped her keep in tip top shape.

“Me and the Queen both advocate for dark chocolate!” says Jennifer. “It contains a specific type of antioxidant – polyphenol – that’s great for anti-ageing and longevity. If the Queen is promoting something that’s really helping longevity, we all need to be doing that.”

Jennifer Hanway recommends HALO Hydration powder sticks which contain electrolytes, vitamins and minerals to provide complete, low calorie hydration and are available athalohydration.com.

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