Healthy Eating – Way to longevity
By Ify Onyekwere
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nutrition is a critical part of health and development as it lowers the risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease) and enhances longevity.
There is a belief that people of old lived longer than the present generation. Interestingly, it has been attributed to the kind of food people take in.
NatureNews sought to find more in an interview with a nutritionist, Mr Ayo Bajo.
He affirmed that people who lived in the old times lived longer because they were close to nature which involved local science even if they were unable to publicise all they did in their time.
“We had more farmers then and a lot of us grew up on the farm and our fathers taught us the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.
“Even if they did not put it out in white and black, they got to know that some of these fruits and vegetables have effects on our health,” he said.
Baje who had his first degree in food technology explained that the people of old were not even able to write down some of the preservative methods that were used at that time such as using ashes to cover some food and fruits.
Another method was use of clay pots for cooling effect to water or any other liquid.
“They were also engaged in hunting; together with farming was a sort of physical exercise.
“More to it was that there were no processed foods at that time. All these processed foods are processed with some chemical preservatives and some of these chemical preservatives have negative effects on different organs of our body,” he explained.
The nutritionist gave an instance of when some group of nutritionists carried out a practical example to find out people who live the longest.
They discovered that the Asians live longer especially people living in Okinawa, on the island off the coast of Japan.
“The group of nutritionist went further to look at the type of food they ate and they saw that they ate more vegetables, fish, low processed foods.
“But immediately fast and processed foods were introduced to them, the people who used to live very long began to live less than 100 years.
“This is because processed foods began to give them heart issues,” he said.
Baje explained that low awareness has become the main issue for healthy eating.
He said nothing is worth stopping anybody eating healthy as a low cost can be budgeted in maintaining a healthy diet even in urban areas.
He reiterated the fact that people should allow food to be their medicine and medicine be their food.
He stressed that there are foods for every category of people and the society should take seriously prescriptions by the Nutrition Society of Nigeria which he is a member of.