Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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Uduak Ubak’s Blog: Who Knows the Health Benefits of Locally Grown Food in Nigeria?

Nutrition has become an essential and popular topic these days.

This is because of the many diseases associated with bad nutrition and unhealthy life styles. Also responsible is the fact that in recent times, many more people are aware of their appearances and want to look a certain way.

For the ladies, it’s about staying slim with the curves still intact, while the men are running seriously away from having the “pot belly” look.

Health Benefits of Vegetables

These days, there are people whose job/ business is centered on living a healthy life. They act as consultants to people by providing advice on what constitutes healthy living, for example – the kind of food to eat, the right body exercises, the type of cooking method that is not hazardous to health, health-talk generally.

Most times, this job description also includes how to stay slim and fit.

I was listening to this healthy lifestyle gist; it was an interesting one, especially considering the creative way the lady had discovered in the cooking of regular every day food in a healthy way. Like baking cookies with oats, honey and stuff like that without sugar and flour.

There were lots of lovely stuff she did and to my pleasant surprise, they all tasted delicious. However, I became concerned when I noticed that most of the product were foreign based.

Why must healthy living have mainly foreign products in it? What happened to our own God-given natural and organic food?

Most talks / articles about healthy living talk mainly about food that are foreign to us here in Africa. They are often imported food. Good examples are food stuffs like broccoli, blue berries, olive oil etc.

Not much is said about our own local food and I know for sure that God has also blessed us with good and healthy foods.

Knowing about the health benefits of these foreign food products is good but for the average Nigerian, that lifestyle would be expensive to maintain. That is why most people shy away from the healthy living lifestyle.

The information around the health benefits of these foreign foods are known to us because of the scientific research that has been carried out on them and made public, so an average person can know why these foods are good for their health.

This really isn’t the case with most of our food here. Most people don’t know the nutritional content of the local food they eat, so it’s tough marketing these foods as being healthy.

In Nigeria, we are so blessed with a vast array of food produce. In the south, we have all the leafy vegetables like fluted pumpkin, yams, cassava, corn, palm oil etc.

In the north, we also have vegetables like the carrots, cabbage and lettuce. We also have tomatoes, tiger nuts and grains growing there. We are so blessed; even our fruits are so unique like the African cherry (udara) and African pear.

We even have our own apple which seems to be going extinct as the market is flooded with the foreign ones. I believe most people are thinking the foreign one is better because a lot of information is known about them.

It would be nice if our Healthy Lifestyle Gurus will also research on our local produce and teach us how to live healthy with what we have! Thanks.

Over to you! Do you think we have enough information about the nutritional content and health benefits of our local foods in Nigerian / Africa? Share with us in the comments section below.

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