Nutritious Memories

A slice of nutrition, food, photos, music, life and unforgettable memories


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Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables in Spring (September)

 

Fruit and vegetables come in  all different colors, shapes and flavours :). However the real beauty is what is found inside. As I have previously mentioned ( and I will still continue to say that)  fruit and vegetables are known to provide ample sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural antioxidants that may help reduce the incidence of chronic diseases.

 Buying fruit and vegetables in season, generally taste better 🙂. People who buy produce in season will  notice the difference in taste between a freshly picked, warm sun ripened fruit and one picked when unripe and then consumed several weeks later.  There are some fruit and vegetables are available all year round, such as apples and potatoes. Availability of some fruits can vary which depend on the time of year, for example strawberries and mangoes.

For those who are interested in making recipes the Better Health Channel website has a recipe finder that helps you cook based on what’s in season. Also you can check you local supermarkets ( Woolworth’s or Coles),  which also have free booklets of which produce is in season. Or you can go to your local fruit shop (I’ll post a link below of some of  the main local produce stores in Melbourne) .

I’ve posted some links below which provides which fruit and vegetables are in season, benefits of buying seasonal fruits and some recipes aswell.

 

Resources

http://marketfresh.com.au/producereport.asp?ID=111 (Provides details of every produce from A-Z, recipes, education and programs, that aim increase fruit and vegetable consumption).

http://www.healthyfamiliesmonash.org.au/seasonal-produce (seasonal availability and  Markets in Melbourne)

http://www.mygreenaustralia.com/2010/08/australian-fruit-and-vegetable-season-list/ (seasonal availability)

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcrecipes.nsf/InSeasonView/InSeason?OpenDocument (seasonal availability and recipes)

http://livehealthyosu.com/2011/09/01/summertime-a-time-to-try-a-new-recipe/ (more reasons why you should eat your fruit and Vegies!!)

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/what/index.html ( What counts as  1 serve)

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Bring on the Bento Box

I have always loved Bento boxes , they way how food is presented in bento boxes (not to mention the food itself).  Furthermore I thought this would be great topic to talk about.

A bento box is a thin box, made of plastic or lacquered wood, divided into compartments which contain small separate delicacies which include the following.

 

 

Rice

Is one of the main staple meals in a Japanese culture and the main source of carbohydrate. This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Folate and Manganese.

Egg

Is rich in protein, and can be a valuable source of protein and vitamin B12 for vegetarians or even chosing a meal without any meat. Egg is also a good source of selenium.

Vegetable.

Provides a vast amount of vitamins, antioxidants and can be a good source of fiber, which can help you feel more fuller. Eat your Vegies :)!!!!!

Seaweed

Are also known as “sea vegetables” which exists in many forms such as nori, arame, kelp or wakame. The nutritional profile may differ for certain nutrients for each seaweed. But I have a link below which provides a detail  nutritional profile for each of the seaweed I listed.  (Thanks Nutrition Diva 🙂 )

See http://nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com/is-seaweed-good-for-you.aspx

Meat : Which include either pork, meat, chicken or fish.

Itadakimasu (“Lets eat”)

Even though the bento box is filled with many different types of vegetables and proteins sources, which can provide a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, there are few factors that should be taken under consideration. Most Bento box dish can be quite high in sodium.  Even in  a healthy diet, it pretty easy to over exceed your daily sodium intake. Unlike in Western societies where processed foods account for 75% or more of the daily sodium intake   Foods that contribute to the high sodium intake include ( salted fish, pickled vegetables, condiments and soy sauce).

Chronic levels of sodium has been shown to increase your blood pressure and lead to hypertension, which may increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. However that’s not all too much sodium can have negative impacts on calcium levels and can increase the excretion of calcium via the urinary pathway. To compensate for this your body draws the available calcium from your bones, which  can be a risk factor osteoporosis, especially if you are not getting enough calcium in your diet.

  I don’t want to give the impression that sodium is bad, the fact that our bodies cannot create sodium, probably suggests that sodium is essential to our diets. It’s just that  we consume more sodium than whats is needed, which leads to health problems.

Now this does not mean that you should never have these ingredients,  Here are a few suggestions that may help reduce the amount of sodium in a meal.

  • Try to find lower sodium versions of condiments such as soy sauce, or pickled vegetables whenever possible, or better you can reduce the amount.
  • Get enough Potassium. Potassium can be found in range of foods such as ( which are expensive at the moment, however there are other options  such as Leafy green vegetables, vine fruit such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant and pumpkin, and root vegetables are particularly good sources of potassium. It is also moderately abundant in beans and peas, tree fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas, milks and yoghurt and meats.

see :http://nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com/sodium-high.aspx (for more ways of reducing sodium)

With the right tactics you can also make your own  healthy bento box. Also I have included  few links which  provides some bento box recipes, nutritional information in regards to bentos.

Resources:

http://www.aibento.net/2009/04/miso-chicken-in-a-gorgeous-bento-box/ (Bento Box blog which includes recipes, tips, ideas and styles of bento box)

http://leightheo.blogspot.com/2011/03/things-i-love-thursday-bento-baby.html (Bento box blog for kids)

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-a-bento-box.html ( Nutritional information for bento box)

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/theappetizer/archive/2008/03/27/bento-box-breakdown-japanese-food-gets-put-to-the-nutrition-test.aspx

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt/sodium-china-japan/index.html

http://lunchinabox.net/2007/03/07/guide-to-choosing-the-right-size-bento-box/