04 Oct Madia (Food)
African Heritage Diet “What is in your heritage is a healthy heart, a strong body, extraordinary energy, vibrant and delicious foods and a long healthy life”.
Good health is not just about food.
Good health = healthy eating + healthy living (Africa Heritage Diet).
Many people wonder what does eating well mean? Or how to have a firm health. Ate well does not mean filling our belly with any kind of food and drinking a glass of water or a bottle of beer.
Eating well means finding ingredients that can help our cells function well, our brain to think well and increase our immune system. Have a good diet filled with different minerals, vitamins and other supplements.
It must be remembered that all living things manifest in on degree or another the following functional activities: Irritability, respiration excretion, nutrition and reproduction.
What is nutrition and where can we get nutrients from food?
Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet combined with regular physical activity. Poor nutrition can lead to malnutrition and reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development and reduced productivity. Food and drink provide the energy and nutrients we need to be healthy.
These food components include the macro-nutrients such as protein, carbohydrate and fat that offer calories as well as play specific roles in maintaining our health.
Micro-nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, don’t act as an energy source but do serve a variety of critical functions to ensure our body operates as optimally as possible.
It’s about understanding what nutrients we need, or what food to find, how they are used by our bodies, and how they affect our health.
Good nutrition is important not only in allowing normal physical growth, but also in brain development and the ability to acquire new knowledge, both in and out of school. For example, proper dietary intake of iron is critical for preventing anaemia.
Optimizing nutrition not only helps individuals but also has a major impact upon decreasing suffering and economic cost in families, communities and nations. People need to focus on three key areas:
- Promote healthy lifestyle, people need to concentrate on diet and physical activity.
- It is important to work toward prevention rather than cure.
- Nutrition fits very well within the life cycle.
We get nutrients from the food we eat (Figure: Africa heritage diet pyramid). When we choose the right combination of foods, our diet provides all the nutrient we need to stay healthy. If we choose a poor combination of foods, we may be missing out on some essential nutrients. Choosing a diet that provide all the nutrient can be challenging because of many reasons other than to obtain nutrient.
It is important for use to consume these essential nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins, mineral and water) in our diet because our body cannot produce them in large enough amounts to optimize health.
Eating well for good health requires a basic knowledge of foods and the nutrients they provide and an understanding of our nutritional needs throughout the various stages of life with this knowledge we can practice good, life-long eating habits that will help us be as healthy as we can be.