Physician / Advanced Professional Vegetable Sommelier Megumi Miyata
Vegetable intake is recommended as the number of patients with lifestyle-related diseases increases, but the annual vegetable intake of Japanese people is said to have decreased by 10 kg per person compared to 20 years ago. The cause is said to be that the number of busy people has increased, and not only is the time and effort of cooking avoided, but there are also social factors such as a higher rate of price increase for vegetables compared to meat and fish.
Dr. Megumi Miyata says, “If the medical, food and agriculture fields work together, people and society can become healthier.” In addition to being a physician, she holds the qualification of “Advanced Professional Vegetable Sommelier,” which has only about 140 people nationwide, and offers lectures, health classes, food education activities, etc. at various locations. She taught us about the health of people and society that spreads from vegetables.
── Do vegetables change people’s physical condition so clearly?
I work at an orthopedic clinic and see many elderly people who complain of pain in their knees, lower back, and shoulders. Unlike injuries in young people, joint pain and numbness due to aging cannot be improved due to muscle atrophy unless they are moved. However, when I hear their stories, in addition to having difficulty as they try to go shopping and/or cooking at home, many of them have difficulty moving because of severe pain. No matter how much medication or rehabilitation is repeated in that state, the effect will not be obtained easily.
First of all, I tell patients to eat a well-balanced diet containing even a small amount of protein, preferably a lot of vegetables, and to move their bodies in order to exert their natural healing power. There are adequate amounts of staple foods and animal foods, but it is unlikely that people will overeat vegetables, except for dietary restrictions and allergies to treat illness, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and extreme unbalanced diets. Rather, vegetables have the power to balance out the whole, so I confidently recommend to people to eat more and more vegetables.
── If people’s whole body is in good condition, it will be easier for people to move their body, and the effects of rehabilitation will improve?
That is right. Unlike medicine, vegetables take some time to realize their effects. Although there are individual differences, it seems that many people realize that their physical condition has changed when they continue to eat vegetables in larger quantities and more varieties in a month. I think it is also necessary for those who recommend vegetable consumption to be creative.
As an industrial physician, I am in contact with a large number of people who are working. I know firsthand how difficult it is to have ideal meals while busy at work. In particular, there are quite a lot of men who do not think that vegetables are delicious. Also, when people eat fast, they don’t notice the true taste of the ingredients; because as they are chewed, the cell walls of the ingredients are broken and each taste comes out. As the variety of vegetables is abundant, the taste is also diverse, and there are many other elements to enjoy such as texture, aroma, and color. It’s a waste not to enjoy the taste of vegetables. When I talk like that, some people start to get interested by asking me, “Is vegetables so delicious?”
However, convenience store salads and cut vegetables are in a state of being eaten because the ingredients of deliciousness are reduced in the cooking process so one is like only tasting the flavor of the dressing. It’s a pity that there aren’t many chances to experience the deliciousness of vegetables.
Vegetables contain various nutritional components that are important for our body, and they work in a complex and multifaceted manner, and our body gradually becomes well-organized.