Feedback with Melissa and Simone – Week 1 – Jul 2018 – Food as Medicine

Hi, everyone, and welcome to our
first feedback video for week one of
Food as Medicine. I’m Melissa, your course mentor. SIMONE GIBSON: And I’m
Simone, one of the educators. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And
we’re here to feedback on some of the
comments and questions that you’ve had this
week for our course. And it’s great to see everyone’s
engagement, lots of comments, lots of discussion around
foods, what people are using as medicine, as
comfort foods, et cetera. And so it’s really great to see
that discussion and keep it up. So Simone, one of the topics
we do have in week one is talking about the
evidence around food as medicine and why– we pose the question why
is it important to have evidence when we are talking
about using foods for health. So is there something you’d
like to elaborate on here. SIMONE GIBSON: Yeah,
it’s really interesting, because a lot of you have been
sharing about different foods and diets that have
worked for you, which is absolutely fantastic. But when we’re giving
information at a population level, we need to be careful
that what we’re recommending actually does have an evidence
base, because some things that might work for one person
might not work for another. And I know that the
evidence-based information is a little bit conservative. And that’s probably
the reason, is because we need to
have the evidence to make these big
recommendations. MELISSA ADAMSKI: That’s right. Because, I suppose, imagine
if you were someone with– you know, if we go for a
serious disease such as cancer– and a doctor
recommended something that might have been
very new and novel, and you thought it was quite– going to cure you or was
definitely going to work. And then you found
out later on that it didn’t have a lot of
evidence behind it and made have made
your condition worse. You’d have to think about
how that would make you feel. So that’s why we do
need– when we’re making some more
robust recommendations, we do need to have a good
evidence base behind. And we need to know, also,
how to look at evidence and research, don’t we? SIMONE GIBSON:
Yeah, that’s right. And so what we mean
by the evidence is they run trials comparing
a placebo to an intervention, and it works out
what is actually the thing that’s having an
effect on people’s health. Because a lot of the time,
what we do– sometimes we’re going to
get better anyway. So for example, if
you cut your finger, it’s going to heal, probably,
no matter what you ate. But sometimes we can attribute
the last thing we ate or a certain thing
that we’re doing to what makes something
heal when it was kind of going to improve anyway. So that’s what all
of those randomised, controlled trials sort
of illuminate, I guess. That’s not to say that if
something does work for you and it’s working for you, then
that’s absolutely fantastic. It’s just that we
can’t say, hey, the whole world needs to
follow that particular diet. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
That’s right, and I think you make a really good
point around potentially getting better anyway. And that’s, I guess– we think about the skill
of experts in nutrition that have had a lot of training. We can help people sort
through that information to understand– was it
the last thing that you ate that might have helped you? Or might it have
been something else you might have eaten
a few weeks before? So that’s why it’s great
to do your own research and to know more
about your own body, but also then bring in
the experts when needed. So you can really have a
good understanding of what might be involved in that. SIMONE GIBSON: So the Voyage
to Australia activity. I love that document that you
had from your ancestors, Mel. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yes, that
my grandfather gave to me. When we first
developed the course he was very interested
in it and he thought that we might
like to have a look at it. And it turns out
that a lot of you enjoyed, as well, and are
interested to see what they used as medical comforts on
the long voyage from the UK to Australia back in the 1800s. And it’s very interesting
to see things on there like sugar, lime juice,
obviously, for scurvy. But there’s some alcohols
on there, some grains such as pearl barley and sago. And so it does raise
the question that, were they used to
actually treat conditions that you might
have seen on board, or were they used to help
patients feel a little bit better when perhaps they needed
a lighter diet while they were recovering? SIMONE GIBSON: Yeah, and
what’s the difference, I guess, between medicine and
comfort, sometimes, as well? If it makes you feel
better, is that medicine? MELISSA ADAMSKI: That’s
right, and that’s why we’ve got that
question that we ask you all in one of the steps
in week one around, what are your comfort foods? Are they more from
a medicinal purpose or more just because
you’re not feeling well and you want to feel
a little bit better? So keep reading
through those comments to see what other
learners are saying there. SIMONE GIBSON: That’s
really interesting. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And Simone,
your area around inflammation has certainly gotten a
lot of people’s attention and is very interesting,
because it’s certainly an area that we’re seeing
some newer research come out around some of the
low-grade chronic inflammation and diet– its
association with diet. So can you tell us
a little bit more about why we’re seeing
this increased interest? SIMONE GIBSON:
Yeah, inflammation is really interesting. And as we’ve talked
about in the course, inflammation actually
does help healing. If you– going back to the
analogy if you cut yourself– but having that chronic
low-grade inflammation is not so good. And I guess it’s something
that’s really hard to measure, because the bio market is very
volatile, and a lot of things affect inflammation. So it might be pain, it
might be stress, insomnia, if you’re in a traffic
jam, you’re probably in mild state of
inflammation just because of that cortisol and
the different hormones that are circulating
around your body. So when it comes
to diet, there’s no real quick fix
for inflammation. Having a healthy weight or not
having too much visceral fat is really important
because that’s inflammatory all by itself, even
regardless of what you ate. But making sure– I
think, like, people talk about special
foods that might have magic anti-inflammatory
properties. But if your baseline
diet isn’t healthy and low in those
pro-inflammatory foods and high in those
anti-inflammatory foods, then a handful of something,
of nuts or whatever, isn’t probably going to
make a big difference. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
That’s right, so really looking at your
overall dietary patterns, so looking at the big picture is
one of the most important steps you can take if
you’re trying to lower some of those inflammation
levels through diet. SIMONE GIBSON: Yeah, exactly. And exercise actually helps
lower inflammation as well. Meditation has been shown
to lower inflammation, so yeah, it’s a whole
lifestyle thing. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
Yes, and Simone, you’re doing research
around inflammation and diet at the moment here
in the department, so we’ll definitely watch
out for the results of that in the in the coming future. So we can hopefully provide
you all with more information about which foods and
which dietary patterns are best for helping different
inflammatory conditions there. So thanks everyone,
as well, who’s participated in the survey
around inflammation and diet. SIMONE GIBSON: Oh yeah,
that’s really helpful. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Really helpful. SIMONE GIBSON:
Yeah, we’re really enjoying finding
out what you find helps with your different
inflammatory conditions. It’s absolutely fantastic. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yeah,
because that is something that we’re interested
here in the department, is not just what we think. We’re also very interested
in understanding more about what you think around diet
and what works for you. So we think it’s important
to involve everyone there. SIMONE GIBSON: Absolutely. We’re loving those comments. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And that
brings us to the next activity. SIMONE GIBSON: Yes, I saw
you walk in with some very interesting items. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Oh, yes. Our new foods? Absolutely. The– one of the activities
that we have asked you to do is to include some new
foods in your week, because we all tend to gravitate
towards our safer foods, or we get in a bit of a habit
around which foods we buy. SIMONE GIBSON: Especially
when you don’t have much time. MELISSA ADAMSKI: No. Isn’t that something that
you find happens, Simone? SIMONE GIBSON: Yeah,
I just have my go-tos. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yep. Well, I thought
I’d get out there to the supermarket
and the markets to try some new foods this
week, as well, myself, so along with all of you. So firstly, Simone, I’ve
chosen a Buddha hand, which is an interesting shaped fruit. So similar to a lemon
or a citrus fruit, originally from, I
think, India and Asia. Smells very citrusy. SIMONE GIBSON: Yes. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And
from what I understand in some of my research
is that it doesn’t have a lot of pulp
or flesh in it, so it’s more for using
the outside and the zest. So I’ll let you know how it
tastes and what I do with that. But then we’ve got– SIMONE GIBSON: Oh, I love okra. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Okra. I’ve never cooked
with it before, but I’ve had it
lots in southern USA down in Louisiana, in gumbo. And so I’m looking forward to
trying to make my own gumbo. I’m going to try
that this weekend. SIMONE GIBSON: Right. It’s in Middle Eastern
cooking a lot, as well. MELISSA ADAMSKI: That’s
right, that’s right, and it’s a really
good source of fibre, especially soluble fibre, which
is why it helps to thicken up dishes, and so it’s used,
I guess, in gumbo as a– to thicken in that stew, there. But it also has other
properties, as well, other than just fibre, such
as that dark green colour. We’ve got folate in
there, vitamin K, couple of the antioxidants–
lutein and xanthine, which are good for your eyes. So, yeah, good little
nutrient bundle there. I’m looking forward
to giving it a go. Not something you see a lot
in Australian supermarkets. SIMONE GIBSON: No, that’s right. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And then
finally, a persimmon. SIMONE GIBSON: No,
that’s a tomato. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
Certainly looks like it. And I think you had an
interesting time in Italy. SIMONE GIBSON: I kept on
getting sent to the market to buy tomatoes and kept
coming back with those. MELISSA ADAMSKI: You said
they were a lot redder. So I’ll let [INAUDIBLE] that. Now, this is something
I don’t eat a lot of, but I know in my
childhood my nan and my dad used to
eat persimmons a lot. And this one’s quite
firm still, and I think they need to be a little
bit softer before eating them. But that orange colour there
definitely means it’s a good source of beta
carotene, and so– vitamin C, as well, I believe. Trying to expand my
repertoire of fruits. SIMONE GIBSON: Good on you. MELISSA ADAMSKI: So I’ll let you
know how that goes next week. SIMONE GIBSON: Yep. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And then,
yeah, finally, our last activity was the superfood activity
for the week, in which we got people to write
or indicate which foods out of a list that
they thought were superfoods. So, Simone, you helped me
come up with that list, and we came up with
some common foods there. There are about 15 or 20. And the interesting thing
is that every time we’ve run this course, blueberries
have come out as– SIMONE GIBSON: Blueberry farmers
have very good marketing, I think. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Exactly. Would you like to comment,
Simone, a bit more on the term “superfoods” and
its relationship with marketing? SIMONE GIBSON: Yeah,
I guess it’s something that the advertising people
have attached to a lot of foods. And it’s been a very, very
successful marketing technique. And it’s kind of– I think it goes
back to what we were talking about inflammation,
about it being a whole diet approach rather than having a
handful of blueberries that’s going to make me super healthy. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Exactly. And I think, as
well, is that what’s interesting in the
nutrition sphere is that there is no
definition of a superfood. SIMONE GIBSON: No. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
So you can really put that label on anything. And when you look at
the foods that we’ve chosen for you to comment
on, every single one of those foods, at some time,
has been called a superfood. So it was a little
bit of a trick, there, when we asked you to
say which ones were superfoods. They all, in fact, are. But what’s interesting
is where, when we look at all
the other courses, is that eggs and
yoghurt have always been the bottom two, basically. SIMONE GIBSON: Interesting. MELISSA ADAMSKI: But when
you think about them, eggs– SIMONE GIBSON: Yeah, they have
got a lot of nutrition in them. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yeah. Little powerhouse
there of nutrients. And so definitely, if we’re
going to put a label on them, I would consider them in
the “superfoods” basket. SIMONE GIBSON: Yeah. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Be
very careful, I guess, is our message, when
you’re out there and you’re wanting
to improve your diet or using foods to
improve your health, that we need to get
behind the marketing and behind some of
the terms on packaging to really understand
what’s in a food. SIMONE GIBSON:
Yeah, that’s right. Don’t believe everything
that the label says. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yes. So that’s it from us this week. We hope you’ve
enjoyed our video, and keep the comments coming. We’re going to be
here helping you through the course for
the next two weeks, and you’ll also be hearing from
us with our feedback videos at the end of the next
two weeks, as well. SIMONE GIBSON: Yeah,
so thanks very much, and keep those comments coming. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
Thanks, everyone. SIMONE GIBSON: Bye.

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published