NGO urges Nigerians to eat balanced diet as preventive medicine

The National Complementary and Alternative Medical Association (NACAMA), an NGO, has urged Nigerians to eat balanced diet as preventive medicine against known and emerging diseases.

Prof. Peter Katchy, the National President of NACAMA made the call on Friday in Enugu while speaking on the 2021 World Food Day and the need for Nigerian to eat right and healthy foods.

This year’s celebration is themed: “Our Actions Are Our Future – Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and Better Life.”

Katchy said that with good and nutritious food especially balanced diet, Nigerians have a chance to live healthy and fulfilled lives.

According to him, our surest survival strategy is to protect the body from illnesses by eating right- nutritious and healthy foods. it’s  the best and the most rewarding approach.

He said: “We have the state of our health in hands, because we are part of our health, as we are part of our diseases.

“It is true that our diseases have their root in food, which means that the food we eat has the capacity of nourishing us as well as planting a seed of illness or illnesses.

“When we eat a balanced diet, the cells in the body will be nourished, their activities will be optimal and we will enjoy a feeling of well-being.

“This emphasises that it is our individual responsibility to stay healthy, because no two persons owns a body.

“When we talk about food, we are referring to the raw material that builds, maintains and repairs the body. We have two classes of food – balanced food and junk food.

“A balanced food contains the necessary nutritional chains of life in their right proportion and quality.

“A junk food contains a certain limited percentage of what nourishes us, and the other percentage nourishes the doctor’s pocket, because junk food causes malnutrition and ill-health.”

He gave example of junk foods  to include foods high in  carbohydrate, high cholesterol through fatty meats and poor cooking oils, as well as  chemicals from seasoning, preservatives and additives.

The NACAMA boss also warned against denatured foods through over processing, or wrong methods of cooking, while advocating for the consumption of more fruits and vegetables in meals in order to get the daily needed  vitamins, minerals and fibres.

The don said that the world had advanced to the point where what we eat and how we live our lives should be our number one health concern.

According to him, the problem of food and its effect on health is a cold war, and many of us are ignorantly digging our graves with our teeth by sacrificing our health at the alter of appetite.

“For us to understand the effect of food on health, the body could be compared to an automobile that uses fuel for energy, engine oil for lubrication, water for cooling, brake oil for maintaining breaking efficiency and air in the tyres to make them more resilient to shock.

“We all know that when one item is missing or a wrong thing substitutes, that the automobile will not function well until the problem is rectified.

“This is exactly what happens in the body, though they do not use the same items but they work on the same principle,” he said.

He, however, urged food vendors, processors and handling companies to desist from excessive preservative addition and substances on foods to stem the tide of diseases such as heart problems, cancer, hypertension, fibroids, pile, diabetes, arthritis among others.

He noted that man, in his civilised and modern way of living, tried to improve on what nature had perfected and “what he met was dietary inadequacies.”

“It is clearly obvious that our food is poorer in quality but more appetising due to its cosmetic dressing and seasonings,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Food Day is celebrated every year on Oct. 16, in commemoration of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945. (NAN)