Long before studying Nutrition at university, I have been interested in the properties of food. So it’s with this passion that I am writing the intro to this month’s theme: Healthy Eating.
Wherever possible in my diet I try to swap out white for brown, it’s a really simple thing that anyone can do. This month we have gone a little bit further; we have taken whole grains and nutrient-rich foods and packaged them up in to delicious and simple recipes.
We used oats, quinoa and buckwheat, all whole grains which lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of death in NZ and Australia) and type 2 diabetes. Just a tip when selecting whole grains, make sure you choose an actual ‘whole’ grain, as not all ‘brown grainy foods’ are created equal – some foods only contain the husk of the grain which means you miss out on fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and good fats. Check the packaging of foods, especially breads and cereals, making sure to identify a ‘whole grain’.
As well as preparing whole grains this month, we also used carrots and beetroot, both high in fibre and vitamin A (specifically Beta Carotene) and both linked to healthy heart function. We cooked with salmon and nori (seaweed), as well as LSA (a mixture of linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds), all of which are rich in omega 3 oils, and associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, aiding joint mobility and improving brain and vision function in young people. We also used blueberries which as well as being a rich source of antioxidants, are also linked to benefits in brain function, motor skills and cholesterol lowering.
The Our Kitchen team don’t think a diet should resemble rabbit food but rather a wide variety of nutrient-rich, fresh foods. We want you to eat well and feel good this month because, as the saying goes “you are what you eat”.