Is still puzzles me that we are still being fooled by the West in this new era of education. How can it be that people still say things like “African food is the cause of your weight gain” or “I do not give my children African food because it is unhealthy”? Excuse me???
When gestational diabetes forced me to start researching our foods in 2010, I found out that we Africans have gold in our hands. I wrote about it here. I cannot begin to tell you how fortunate the African continent is with regards to food. Mother nature has blessed us with everything our body need to get to 120 years and more. But why do people think or why have we been made to believe that our food is unhealthy or the reason for a our numerous diseases? To answer that question first let me break down own food for you:
1. Our food is unprocessed
They have not undergone any chemical transformation that ripped food of its nutritive value. From cassava , sweet potatoes, to yams, taro and plantain.
2. Our tubers are rich in complex carbohydrates
Referred to as dietary starch and are made of sugar molecules strung together like a necklace or branched like a coil. They are often rich in fiber, thus satisfying and health promoting. Complex carbohydrates are commonly found in whole plant foods and, therefore, are also often high in vitamins and minerals. Our foods: dark leafy veggies, green vegetables, Whole grains (sorghum, cassava flour, sweet potato flour, plantain flour) and foods made from them, such as oatmeal, pasta, and whole-grain breads, vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and pumpkin, beans,lentils, and peas are exceptionally great foods.
3. Our food is mostly naturally grown
Our food is grown naturally with little or no growth chemicals unlike the numerous genetically modified plants and animals (rice, corn, chicken, fish, canola) which are imported and sold in many African countries today.
4. Our animal are grass-fed
Our animal are grass-fed and bred in the open and not densely packed in cages. There is little use of antibiotics for treatment compared to industrially breed poultry and game.
5. The fats and oils we use are heart-healthy.
Red fruit palm oil is amongst the healthiest oils in the world. Palm oil, particularly virgin or “red” palm oil has been revered as both a nutritious food and a valuable medicine. Today, medical doctors are recognizing the value of red palm oil in the treatment and prevention of malnutrition and vitamin deficiency diseases.
Red palm oil not only supplies fatty acids essential for proper growth and development, but it is packed with an assortment of vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients important for good health.
See? Unlike what we have been made to believe over the years, our food is among the healthiest in the world. The Lancet Global Health recently published an article backing this. Remember that any food, even the healthiest should be cooked in a healthy way and consumed in the right portions to benefit from its nutrients and for good health and well being.