Tricks for Healthy eating in Kenya today

Amaranthus green leafy vegetables have higher in iron content than spinach, according to nutritionists. 

According to them, native plants and meals have fallen into oblivion since they are associated with the poor, whereas meat has been retained as a sustenance for the wealthy.

A better diet that includes more local foods has been advocated for many Kenyans.

Indigenous foods are an important part of healthy diets and in lowering the prevalence of non-communicable illnesses, according to Irene Kimani, head of the nutrition team at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of Kenya.

According to her, there is a need to bring attention to the nutritional worth of indigenous foods as there is a dearth of understanding about their nutritional content.

She was speaking at a press conference ahead of next week's National Dialogue gathering, which will focus on indigenous diets and nutrition. 

The effects of these unhealthy diets on non-communicable illnesses and hypertension have been visible to the public, according to Kimani.

"The conversation we're planning for next week will go beyond a simple discussion of eating indigenous foods; it will also serve to bring attention to the importance of indigenous foods in promoting healthy diets and lowering the prevalence of non-communicable diseases."

In order to tackle malnutrition in the nation in a sustainable way, she continued, we need to examine several sectors.

Based on its higher iron content, Kimani recommended amaranthus green leafy vegetables—locally called mchicha in Swahili, terere in Kikuyu, lidodo in Luhya, and ododo in Luo—over spinach.

According to her, a lot of native veggies and fruits have fallen into oblivion since people associate them with the poor, whereas meat is associated with the wealthy.

"Cowpea seeds, for instance, are popular in some parts of Kenya but are sometimes linked to poverty, even though they are actually a great plant-based source of protein," Kimani said.

According to Andrew Egala, national secretary of the Scaling up Nutrition Business Network, there is a problem with international undernourishment, chronic illness, and inadequate nutrition.

The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2022 found that among Kenyans, 1 in 5 children are stunted, 1 in 5 are fat, 1 in 38 women suffer from anaemia, and 1 in 16 toddlers have an iron deficiency.

This indicates that our country is not in good health. This presents an issue, and with every challenge there is a chance for growth. He emphasised that the business sector, in conjunction with academics, researchers, developing partners, and the government, was the only entity capable of tackling this.

Addressing the issue of malnutrition and under-malnutrition at the home level costs the government around Sh1.4 billion, according to Egala.

This would have a total impact of Sh73.4 billion, or 6.9 percent of GDP, on healthcare, schools, and manufacturing.

federally supported by USAID The Future of Food Next week, the Government of Kenya, the corporate sector, and the Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems (KCDMS) will convene for a National Dialogue to discuss ways to increase consumption of locally grown foods. 

The meeting's main objective is to encourage more people to eat healthy indigenous foods in Kenya by making them more widely available, affordable, and consumed.

According to Dr. Robert Mwadime, Chief of Party KCDMs, food insecurity, inadequate agrifood value chains, economic inequality, and environmental vulnerability continue to be problems in Kenya, even if the country has had considerable political and economic progress.

'Indigenous Foods for Health and Wealth,' the National Dialogue he announced, would centre on how indigenous foods may help with things like better production and market access, public-private collaborations, and healthier diets.

In addition to showcasing indigenous food research and development, consumer participation, and novel funding methods, this will also examine the business sector's role in raising food safety awareness, as well as multi-stakeholder collaborations, research, and indigenous food promotion.

Indigenous food systems may be transformed to become more resilient to climate change and provide a steady supply of food, according to the National Dialogue's stated goal. Mwadime said that it would look at how the business sector can help improve agrifood processing, food safety, and people's understanding of indigenous cuisines.

In addition to discussing ways to improve market access and decrease post-harvest losses, the conference will include solutions, best practises, and policy suggestions in this area.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

About Author
Recent Articles
Mar 4, 2024, 4:12 PM Manish Singh Sinsinwar
Mar 4, 2024, 3:42 PM Manish Singh Sinsinwar
Mar 3, 2024, 9:38 PM Manish Singh Sinsinwar
Mar 3, 2024, 9:24 PM Manish Singh Sinsinwar
Mar 3, 2024, 8:34 PM Manish Singh Sinsinwar
Mar 3, 2024, 8:20 PM Manish Singh Sinsinwar