HEALTHY EATING IS LIVING GREEN!
Healthy eating is a major factor that contributes to healthy living. We are a product of what we eat, as such, the food we eat goes a long way in determining our state of health, our mental well-being and general body fitness, in adults and children alike.
Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival, health and development. Well-nourished children are better able to grow and learn, to participate in and contribute to their communities, and to be resilient in the face of disease, disasters, and other global crises. But for the millions of children suffering from malnutrition, the reality is stark. Every year, around 3 million children die due to undernutrition – UNICEF.
There is a wide misconception on the term “Healthy eating”. A general survey shows that many people define healthy eating as consuming a large amount of meal and eating the required 1-1-1 meal or beyond daily. While it is important to consume a enough food, it is also important to put into consideration the nutrients we derive from these foods and how well we can combine them to provide the needed nutrients to help our body grow and function properly.
The term “Healthy eating” can be defined as eating the appropriate varieties of food that gives one sufficient and needed nutrient to live healthy and sustain general body fitness. To maintain a healthy eating habit, you don’t have to deprive yourself of the food you love, eat the same category of food daily, or skip meals to look in shape. It is rather the ability to be able to combine and consume the right classes of food needed by the body. There should be a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals in our meals to sustain a healthy body.
One major hitch to healthy eating is the predominance of excessively Processed foods. Basically, to enjoy a high nutritional value from the foods we eat, there is a need to adopt a more consistent consumption of fresh natural foods.
What are Natural and Processed foods?
NATURAL AND PROCESSED FOODS
Natural foods, otherwise known as whole foods are foods in their natural forms i.e foods that have not been processed, or do not contain any form of additives or chemicals. Examples of natural foods include raw fruits and vegetables. Foods in their natural state are highly healthy and rich in nutritional values. They align with other vital vitamins and minerals to ensure mental and physical stability. They sustain and energize the body.
While processed foods on the other hand, are foods that have been synthesized, thereby stripping them of one or more of their original elements. In essence, they are missing valuable nutrients, fibres or water. Examples of processed foods include savory snacks and convenience meals. Processed foods are the most widely consumed food, especially in Nigeria. Not all processed foods are unhealthy, but they oftentimes lack major nutrients and substances needed for optimal health, they also often times contain high salt, sugar and calories; which might be detrimental to the health.
This brings us to the need to adopt a Green eating habit, because living green and consuming green foods provides the best form of natural food nutrients.
GREEN EATING HABIT
Does adopting a green eating habit mean eating only meals that are green in colour?
Here is an unwavering NO to the above assumption. Adopting a green eating habit does not necessarily mean eating meals that are green colored. It simply means adopting a more healthier eating plan, with a predominance of fresh natural foods. Improving green eating habit goes a long way in ensuring a healthy life.
Adopting a green eating habit is highly cost effective and does not require an exorbitant budget, they are sometimes produce that can be planted and later harvested for consumption from our environments. Some easy sources of green foods are fresh vegetables, fruits planted in the compound, nurtured varieties of fishes in our fish ponds or just maintaining a friendly ecosystem where other animals like snails can breed.
This ensures that rather than buying stale/processed vegetables and fishes from the market, we can get them fresh from the source and enjoy it’s full nutritional value. The fruits can also be eaten fresh or used in making daily smoothies and shakes which provides the body with enough energy to keep it working, it also enhances the skin glow.
You don’t have to break the bank trying to adopt a green eating habit, It just simply has to do with adopting a new meal plan that helps us to be more productive and adds more nutritional value to our lives.
BENEFITS OF EATING GREEN
Enlisted are a few benefits of eating green foods and how it contributes to your everyday life and well being:
- High Nutritional Value
Since they are foods in their natural form and without any additives, green foods have very high nutritional values and can serve life boosting purposes. Green foods are very rich in minerals and so many other essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, B,C and K . They also serve as a powerful source of antioxidants, which helps to protect the body from toxins, it boosts the immune system and neutralises the body to help it fight against viruses and diseases. Raw vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach are especially considered life boosters because of how they protect the body and helps it stay strong enough to fight toxins. Darker coloured leaves are also considered to have higher nutritional values.
- Low in calories
There is a need to balance the presence of calories in our food, else they become toxic to the body. Green foods, contain a large amount of water and this makes them extremely depleted of calories. It helps us balance our calorie intake and prevent excessive weight gain which can lead to obesity. Deductively, you can consume as much green foods as possible and be sure of not adding unhealthy fat.
- Improves Agriculture
One cannot undermine the role of the Agricultural sector in the economy of the nation. In Nigeria, Agriculture contributes about 24% of the country’s GDP and provides employment for 70% of the country’s population. With diverse crops grown and varieties of livestocks bred in various states across the country, Agriculture is fast becoming one of the fastest growing sector. If the concept of eating green should gain more prominence, it will indubitably improve the citizen’s agro knowledge, reduce the importation of produce and advertently improve the agricultural sector, as crops will be grown widely across the country; thereby furthering the country’s economy and creating more employment opportunities.
Conclusively, after exploring the awe strucking benefits of adopting a green eating habit, Healthy eating and living healthy is not farfetched and is a great possibility, if only we can conform to living green.
What we do at FABE International Foundation
- We build school gardens to encourage good eating habits and right nutrition among kids.
- We use food waste gotten from the school kitchen as compost for the gardens to thrive well.
- We encourage parents to also have gardens at home so that kids can eat fresh vegetables and fruits at home and at school to enable kids grow well.
A Healthy eating habit, keeps the doctor farther AWAY.
FABE International Foundation is a not-for-profit environmental health organization passionate about the establishment and improvement of an eco-conscious generation committed and dedicated to the restoration, conservation, environmental sustainability, and protection of the environment. Our mission is to promote environmental sustainability, by engaging our youths and women in the identification, exploration, and facilitation of sustainable eco-solutions to problems caused by the impacts of climate change, affecting the health and environment of people and biodiversity in Nigeria through advocacy, education, youth development, women empowerment, community engagement and participation.