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Eat Smart: How The Nigerian Diet Affects Your Health

Eat Smart: How The Nigerian Diet Affects Your Health

Your food, your health! Lately, I have really taken to the adage “you are what you eat” when food stares me in the face in large proportions. Most especially during the festive period as it is usually very easy to indulge in every and anything with the excuse that the period permits it. #EasterLoading

As Nigerians, to say it is our culture to eat a lot would be putting it lightly. Traditionally, there is no moderation when it comes to Nigerian food. In fact, culturally, loading up food for someone is a signing of love. On the reverse, giving a man a small portioned meal suddenly becomes an insult. You can expect him to unfailingly ask: “Is there no food in this house?”

Nigerian diet is filled with lots of carbs in large proportions, lots of fried foods and little fresh vegetables when the exact opposite is ideal. When it comes to meat, the more the better as we constantly juggle between suya, fried fish, peppered snails, bush meat and more. All these we eat at our detriment. We end up being either overweight from eating too much or malnourished from eating only a certain kind of meal and suffering from the ailments that often accompany these issues. Think high blood pressure, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and more.

There may be a lot of confusion regarding what Nigerian food is healthy or not. However, it’s easier to eat smart by focusing on how to eat healthier.  You need to start making healthy choices in the way you deal with food, and we’re here to get you started on the right path.

Follow these steps to start eating healthy…

1. Reduce the portion of your meals

Eating healthy

Susan Albers recommends eating with a chopstick to teach one how to eat in small portions. I know this may be quite extreme for Nigerians, however, you can start by reducing the portion of food you consume on a daily basis. It is of no use to eat to stupor until you could barely take a step. This is a sure way to become overweight which could lead to heart issues, joint pains and depression.

2. Eat a well-balanced breakfast

Eating healthy

A heavy unbalanced meal in the morning won’t do your health any favours. The key is eating a nutritious, well-balanced meal in the morning so that you have the energy to run your day and avoid overeating during the rest of the day. #AvoidFufuintheMorning.

3. Infuse fruits to your menu

Eating healthy

You need antioxidants to detoxify. Apple, watermelon, grapes, pawpaw and more fruits and better health is guaranteed.

4. Drink lots of water

Eating healthy

A lot of Nigerians tend to drink more fizzy drinks, wines, lagers and ales much more than they do water. All these drinks, in the end, translate to sugar! Which could lead to diabetes. So it is wise to drink as much water as possible daily. 6-8 cups of water in a day will not only help in detoxification but will keep you hydrated and fresh.

5. Avoid midnight indulgence

Eating Healthy

You are lying in bed in the middle of the night, restless and unable to catch a glimpse of sleep. The next thing that pops into your head is food! Maybe it might help, you think… No! It won’t! Don’t you know your late meals becomes you? You eat it and sleep while it digests and spreads at will to the necessary luscious parts of your body and takes root. Hilarious, but true.

The decision to stay healthy is yours. Start making healthy choices today on how you handle your food.

Photo credit: IG | As captioned

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