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Fruit and Vegetable Servings

Fruit & Vegetable Serving Size

Healthy eating is essential for overall health and nutrition. It supports our immune system and reduces the risk of many chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. 

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help you stay healthy and maintain the vitamins and minerals our bodies need. 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend eating 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables daily. 

Fruit and vegetables come in many forms, shapes and sizes, meaning each serving size is different and therefore each serving is generally based on grams or (more accurate) kilojoules.  

Fruit

The recommended amount of fruit is two servings because fruit is high in energy (kJ) and excessive consumption can contribute to poor weight management.  The number of servings can vary for certain people.  Some may be highly active and require more than two serves and some may be less active and require less energy for their body to process.

Tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes, pineapple and papaya become sweeter as they begin to ripen, so it is best to eat these fruits just as they become ripe. Some fruits like watermelon have more fruit sugars in them compared to fruits such as berries and passionfruit. This means that when adding fruits on top of breakfast cereals, choosing those lower in fruit sugar is recommended. Having some fruit with yoghurt or as a snack in-between meals is a great way to incorporate fruit into your diet each day. 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines define one serving of fruit as 150 grams and contains around 350 kilojoules (kJ). One cup represents a metric measuring cup or a household cup that holds a maximum of 250ml. One medium piece of fruit is roughly 150 grams and 1 small piece of fruit is roughly 75 grams.

 

Vegetable

Eating plenty of vegetables each day is important for overall health. Similar to fruits some vegetables should be consumed in moderation. There are two main categories of vegetables: starchy and non-starchy. 

Starchy vegetables include legumes, corn, potato and sweet potato, taro and cassava. Non-starchy vegetables include leafy greens, asian greens, carrots, asparagus, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. 

Starchy vegetables are a good source of carbohydrates, fibre, minerals and vitamins, however, they may cause blood glucose levels to rise. Nonetheless, all vegetables are low in energy (kJ) and are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre which help with regular digestion. 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines define one serving of vegetable as 75 grams and contains 100-350 kilojoules (KJ)

What does a serve look like

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Quail Eggs

QUAIL EGGS

quail 2

Quails are mid-sized, short-tailed birds that belong to the pheasant and partridge species (Phasianidae and Odontophoridae, order Galliformes).

Australia has ten native species of quails. At Martelli Orchards, we breed and raise two native species of quail, the King Quail and the Coturnix Quail.

The Coturnix quail is the best breed to raise for eggs.  Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and North America.  In other countries like Latin America, quail eggs are considered common and inexpensive.

While chicken remains Australia’s most popular egg, quail eggs are rapidly gaining traction.

Quail eggs taste similar to chicken eggs but are small – typically just one-third of the size of a standard chicken egg. They have cream-coloured shells with brown splotches and deep yellow yokes.

For their size, they are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. according to the USD Agriculture and other literature

There is a common misconception that these eggs taste different than chicken or duck eggs and/or gamey in flavour. All three eggs have very similar tastes depending upon how they are raised and what they eat.

Quail eggs are lighter in flavour than duck eggs and creamier in composition than chicken eggs, to sum it up. Quail eggs have a high yolk-to-egg white ratio. This means the eggs come out much thicker and creamier when used for cooking or baking.

There are so many wonderful ways to use quail eggs in all sorts of appetisers and meals! Here are some tips, tricks and meal ideas for you to try out.

Quail eggs require less time to cook as they are smaller and a bit more fragile.

Cracking Quail Eggs:

Don’t try cracking quail eggs on the side of a bowl, like you would chicken eggs — this is because the membrane underneath the shell is thicker!  Instead, crack your quail eggs with a paring knife or serrated knife. You can also use a special quail egg tool – seriously this exists.

Boiling Quail Eggs:

Like any egg variety, you should always bring the egg to room temperature before being boiled.  This prevents the egg from cracking or bursting during the boiling process.

 Approximate boil times though may vary depending on your stovetop.

Soft – 2-minutes

Medium – 3 minutes

Hard – 3 ½ minutes

Once boiled, place the eggs in cold water or ice water to stop the cooking process and this will also make it easy to peel the eggs.

 

Meal Ideas

You can use quail eggs anytime you would use chicken eggs, whether you’re frying, scrambling, poaching, boiling, or baking.

Quail eggs can be used interchangeably: 3 to 1 standard chicken eggs. 

Try these creative and delicious meal ideas to spice up your usual routine. Here are a few links to recipes, or you can search for thousands on the world wide web!

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Eat the rainbow

EAT THE RAINBOW

Different-coloured plants are linked to higher levels of specific nutrients and health benefits. While eating more vegetables and fruit is always a good idea, focusing on eating a variety of colours will increase your intake of different nutrients to benefit various areas of your health.

The general consensus of recommended daily intake (RDI) is 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables. There are various health organisations that recommend up to 5 fruit and 10 veg serves per day. 

The best way to get all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need is to eat the average RDI and include a  variety of colourful fruits and veggies.

For serving size and kilojoules  head to  Eat For Health: Australian Dietary Guidelines

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Why you should eat soup this winter….

Why you should eat soup this winter...

The chilly weather makes you want to pile on layers and sit down with a hot meal. But winter foods are often in the “comfort” variety, which can mean they’re high in calories and unhealthy ingredients.    Soup doesn’t have to fall into that category, however. Soup has a surprising number of health benefits if you prepare it correctly.

Seasonal weight gain varies from person to person, but certain phenomena during winter tend to tip the scales in a less desirable direction for most.  While the cold weather makes you want to bundle up and eat a warm meal, winter foods are often “comfort foods”, which can be high in calories and unhealthy.

Soup is a great way to stay warm, reduce calories and maintain nutritional intake during the winter months.  Soup has many health benefits if you prepare it correctly.

Immune Boost

Soups can support your immune system when you’ve been cooped up indoors during the winter. Protein and vegetable stock contain vitamins and minerals, which are useful against common ailments like the common cold, which may help the body repair itself.

More so, bone broth is a superfood that can strengthen your immune system and be incorporated into various dishes. Bone broth contains essential nutrients that help your immune system to function properly. Bone broth has several essential amino acids which aid the immune system.

 Increase the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

The RDI amounts differ by age, gender and life stage. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend at least two serves of fruit and five servings of vegetables per day excluding starchy vegetables

Fruit and vegetable soups (hot /cold) can fill part of your daily serving and boost your health through vitamins, fibre, and support anti-inflammatory properties.  

The best way to get all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need is to eat the average RDI and include a  variety of colourful fruits and veggies. You can choose to include these by chopping them up for a chunkier soup or by blending them together for a creamy smooth texture.  

Benefits of cooked vegetables

While it’s great to eat some veggies raw to preserve their vitamin and mineral content, cooking certain vegetables can also reveal an added benefit. In some cases, cooking vegetables can help our bodies better absorb the nutrients in vegetables.

Tomatoes, Carrots, Cabbage, and Potatoes are some of the vegetables you can benefit from cooking.  

A great example of this is lycopene — a type of carotenoid — found in tomatoes.

Carotenoids, an important form of phytonutrient found in most vegetables, have been associated with a decreased risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancer

Extra Hydration

During the colder months, dehydration actually increases because people don’t feel as thirsty, and many forget to drink enough water. Additionally, cold air requires our bodies to work harder to stay warm, causing sweat to evaporate more rapidly.  If you’re not paying attention your body can become dehydrated which can cause harmful consequences. 

You can replenish your fluid levels by drinking water, decaffeinated green tea or by eating foods that have high water content.  Soup is one food that contains a high amount of water and helps your body retain water.

Broth-based soups contain sodium which can cause your body to hold water longer. This can lead to better hydration without constantly drinking water.  A broth-based dish can be enhanced by adding dumplings, protein, or vegetables.

Source of Protein

Nutritional proteins are essential to a healthy diet, as they assist your body in growing, repairing, and functioning normally. 

Proteins are made up of chemical building blocks called amino acids, which build and repair muscles and bones and to make hormones and enzymes. In addition to providing essential nutrients for bones, skin, and blood, proteins are also used as an energy source by the body. 

Adding protein to soup leads to increased meal satisfaction, especially when combined with carbohydrates and healthy fats.

For meat eaters, protein is straightforward, but vegetable lovers can also benefit from protein-rich soups. Plant-based proteins such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans are an excellent way to add protein, fibre, and texture to round out a satisfying soup. Many leafy greens like spinach have a surprising amount of protein in them.

 

Warm up cold and flu season

Scratchy throat, cold chills, runny nose? Soup, particularly chicken soup, has been an age-old recommendation for colds. While studies are unclear on chicken soup’s benefits for colds, there is some evidence that it has medicinal properties. Hot chicken soup can increase the flow of mucus and clear nasal passages better than plain hot water.

Chicken broth is said to help control inflammation. The spices and temperature of the soup also help sinuses, and soup is considered comfort food for many people when they’re under the weather.

 

Keeps you full

Soup can keep hunger at bay longer than an unblended meal because of how your stomach digests food and water. A hormone called ghrelin lets your body know when the stomach is empty, but when you eat blended foods like soup, this process slows down. Essentially, your appetite responds to a full stomach and soup achieves that.

According to some studies, those who eat soup can stay full for up to an hour and a half longer than those who eat solid foods.

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Nourish your skin with avocado

   

Besides tasting delicious as guacamole or spread on a warm piece of toast, avocados boast an impressive list of skin-boosting benefits. This is due to the healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that are packed inside this nutritious super fruit. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how avocados may benefit your skin, plus how to use this versatile ingredient for a healthier, more radiant complexion. 
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