Local Finds and Sodium Follow Up

Thanks everyone for your great comments on my sodium post.  Some of you mentioned the food companies, and I think with sodium guidelines, we should be targeting these companies.  This is the first line of defense.  People will be unable to meet the guidelines if the foods they have available to them are not made lower in sodium.  Obviously, it would be best to have them switch to whole foods, as many of you mentioned, which would focus more on fresh foods/produce.  But, it is unlikely we can get the whole population to change their habits at the drop of a hat, so putting pressure on the companies with lowered guidelines is a good thing.  I just don't think we should expect this of people yet (or the population as a whole) because honestly, they just aren't ready yet...but they will be once we reach the old goal of 2300 mg daily.  I would guess that if food companies decreased sodium by 25%, many people would not notice the difference and this would help the population as a whole decrease their sodium.  Let's see if companies can make the switch in response to lower guideline...I sure hope so!

Speaking of sodium (LOL), here is a veggie chorizo I found at a local Portuguese health food store.  I have had it sitting around for some time (I believe Ryan was not too interested in giving this a try...so I experimented while he was out of town). 
 I also still had a bunch of onions, so I decided to make a nice breakfast scramble.DSC08043
This was just eggs, with the onion and soy chorizo.  The next day I made one again and topped it with blue cheese.  Both meals were delicious.
I also found these at another local health food store.  I asked the owner what these were, and to tell me in English, but we still never found the English name.  So, curious as I was, I bought them.

When I got home I used Google Translate to determine that these are Incan berries, AKA golden berries, AKA cape gooseberry.  That was great to know, but I was still clueless.  So, if you are like me and have no idea what Incan berries are, here is some information I found online:

"The cape gooseberry is native to Brazil but long ago became naturalized in the highlands of Peru and Chile and became identified with the region. It was being grown in England in 1774 and was cultivated by early settlers at the Cape of Good Hope before 1807. Soon after introduction to the Cape the plant was carried to Australia where it quickly spread into the wild. Seeds were taken to Hawaii before 1825 and the plant is naturalized on all the islands at medium and somewhat higher altitudes. Only in fairly recent times has the fruit received any attention in the continental U.S."

"Incan berries are considered a good source of vitamin P (bioflavinoids) and are rich in pectin. Hundreds of studies on bioflavinoids have demonstrated they possess antiviral, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and antioxidant activities. They make a delicious, tart, and highly nutritious and exotic "raisin." They are high in phosphorous, vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, and B12. They are also extremely high in protein (16%) for a fruit."

"The Inca berries are characterized by a special flavor that makes it one of the most favorite types of berries in the world. The taste of these berries is noticed to be very sweet, which is accentuated by a tangy taste that makes it quite popular among the people.
There are several benefits of having Inca berries, which is the main reason behind its popularity as an adaptogenic food.
  • -These berries are very rich in their nutritional content and are found to be a good source of beta carotene, protein, thiamine, phosphorous, vitamin C and niacin. It has been noticed that the protein level in these berries are much higher than any other fruit.

  • -Owing to their laxative effect it is notice that the Inca berries will be very beneficial in ensuring fine health of the intestines.

  • -Inca berries are rich in bioflavonoids, which are found to be very beneficial and acts as a good antioxidant, apart from having anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties."

      • http://ezinearticles.com/?Inca-Berries---A-Great-Berry-Indeed,-Great-For-Children-and-Rich-With-Minerals&id=1690971

          • Here they are out of the package.  They do look a little like raisins.

      With a all information online claiming these as a super power when it comes to antioxidants and nutrition, could they taste any less amazing than they sound on paper...heck no!  These are super delicious.  They almost had a hint of fig flavor and were tangy and sweet.  I love these little berries.

      I really find the information about protein interesting.  I think when it comes down to it, after converting from 100 gram portions and what not as information was more readily available on UK and Australian sites, it seems 1 portion has around 2 grams of protein, compared to other fruits coming in just below 1 gram.  So it does seem it is high in protein for fruit, but do not let this fool you, it is not a high protein food.  You would need about 3.5 servings of this dried fruit to equal the amount of protein in around 1 ounce of meat (or egg, cottage cheese, whatever protein serving equivalent).  Those calories can add up fast trying to get a good amount of protein out of them.  But, they are very tasty and do contribute to protein needs for the day.

      QUESTIONS:  Have you ever tried soy chorizo?  Have you ever heard of Incan berries?  What is your favorite dried fruit?


      Rachel said...

      Melinda, thanks for the peds resources advice! Thank you! I'm inspired to cook with chorizo..I hardly know what it tastes like! And my favorite dried fruit is mango, no question.

      sophia said...

      Gooseberries = Incan berries? For some reason, I prefer the name Incan berries. :-)
      I've tried them in undried form, I think. I'm not too sure.
      But my fave dried fruit is mango, peaches, kiwi, and strawberries! :-)

      Gina; The Candid RD said...

      I can't remember if it was Incan berries or Incan nuts that Dr. Oz talked about not too long ago. It may have been nuts...but the berries sound packed full of nutrients! I'm not really into dried fruit, as I thin I malabsorb the sugars in them, but I do like dried fruit (prunes all the way!!).

      As for the soy charizo, I've never tried it. I'm not into soy products because again, the gas!! Ugh, my body is crazy.

      BTW, thanks for the tweet yesterday to @JessicaLeaRD!

      Beth said...

      I really enjoy dried fruit, but I find it dangerous because I can never stop!

      Kristen (swanky dietitian) said...

      The incan berries look delish! I do love dried fruit but don't eat it all that often. My boss bought a package from costco that has dried strawberries in it. They are delish!
      I don't eat a lot of soy meat products, but that chorizo looks great!

      Special K said...

      Vitamin P...That is a new one for me. Can you possibly grab me a pack for our next swap?

      ADvice: I am now walking with just ONE cane. Do you think I can ambulate around Marakkesh okay and go on walking tours? Or should I put my trip off for a time where I am boisterious and bouncy? I would like to shop, both food and textiles, see some history, and go the palace and garden. I think I need advice from someone who has been there.

      If I DO go...want anything?

      Ameena said...

      I can't eat soy so I haven't had this chorizo before. I haven't heard of Incan berries either but they sound intriguing!

      I really love dried apricots and cranberries but for some reason it's getting harder and harder to find them without sulfur. Why is that? I have no clue.

      Lori said...

      I used to go to a vegetarian lunch buffet in Brazil and I loved their vegetarian feijoada. Pretty sure there was some veggie chorizo in there! Ha!

      Groselha was the term that seemed to cover both gooseberries and currants. I never saw them fresh or dried where we lived, only as a flavoring. Including a juice added to beer. Very interesting, but way to sweet!

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