Physician / Advanced Professional Vegetable Sommelier Megumi Miyata

Clarity is the key to practice and continuity

── If production, distribution, and consumption are combined into one, it will help solve health problems.
I have the opportunity to give lectures on vegetables and fruits for medical professionals, and although they all think that vegetables are essential for their patients’ diet, they do not have knowledge on quality and freshness and/or information such as “where to get them.” They also say that if the patient “cannot cook,” it is extremely difficult to guide them.
At the time of my medical examination, I started by saying to my patients, “Let’s eat more vegetables. If cooking is difficult, just wash them and eat them raw in a salad.” Then, I am asked about what kind of vegetables are good and where they can buy them. I share various casual information like “anyway, there are many different types of vegetables” “locally produced ○○ are delicious,” “Simple way to consume various vegetables are just by steaming and or baking.” The number of people who buy vegetables, cook them, and eat them has increased. Iwate, where I live, is easy to obtain fresh vegetables, so I think it is a feasible instruction.

── It is good to eat various kinds regardless of one’s symptoms and physical condition.
Medical institutions often offer dietary guidance in grams and units, and some patients cannot practice such detailed advice. Some people tend to be swayed by information such as television and radio.
The goal of “eat more and various kinds of vegetables” is acceptable and has more chance of patients to continue. As the patients began to feel the change in their physical condition and their test results improve, they themselves realize their vegetables consumption really changed their body, and they will further improve their eating habits. After all, it is important to have creative ways of communicating.

── As a vegetable sommelier, it’s been about 15 years since the activities that convey the deliciousness and enjoyment of vegetables.
Instead of a doctor’s dietary guidance, I thought that the story of the vegetable sommelier would be fun to listen to for my patients. By visiting farmers all over the country, I learned a lot of about delicious vegetables. I realized that deliciousness comes from the vegetables since they are rich in ingredients.
Vegetables, herbs, and fruits each have unique colors, aromas, spiciness, and stickiness as functional ingredients created to protect themselves from harmful substances. These, called phytochemicals, are the source of deliciousness. Vegetables made slowly, carefully and with all the hearts of producers are rich in phytochemicals. Not only did I feel it with my five senses, but it was clearly different in the component analysis.
Eggplant and blueberry anthocyanins, tomato lycopene, green-yellow vegetable β-carotene, and tea catechins are well known. There are also fruits and vegetables with functional claims labeled such as β-cryptoxanthin of Satsuma mandarin, isoflavone of soybean sprout, and polyphenol of Fuji apple.