A Nutritionist, Francis Ojile, says nutrition plays a huge role in the prevention and management of diseases like cancer, diabetes, hypertension and malaria.
Ojile, who is a consultant at Micraf Wellness Solutions, an NGO that advocates the total wellbeing of individuals, told the press in Lagos that nutrition had not been given adequate attention.
According to him, many people are not aware of the power beneath the food they eat and as a result, they develop communicable and non-communicable diseases due to poor eating habits.
“Nutrition is so important, because it is what we need to stay healthy and alive; it is what boosts the immune system and prevents unnecessary illnesses like cancer, hypertension, malaria resulting to deaths when not managed.
“Food is a form of antioxidant, especially plant-based foods; we need to maximise the nutrients in our foods so that our system will be rejuvenated against free radicals and toxins we take in daily.
So, there is need to make people understand the power that lies beneath the food we eat by exposing them to all the vitamins and minerals in our food, which our bodies need to stay alive and healthy.
“Good food prevents lifestyle diseases and there is power in our food; food is medicine,’’ he said.
The nutritionist said however that people could take food supplements if they could not meet up with the required daily food intake.
According to him, we lose 85 per cent of vitamins and minerals daily in our foods, due to poor feeding habits.
“Food supplements are equally important for foods you are not eating right, because from the purchase of your organic foods to the point of eating you have lost 85 per cent of vitamins and minerals.
Though, you eat every day, there is nothing to supplement the nutrients that you are supposed to take in; food supplements are not drugs, but are extracted from natural resources to make up for nutrients lost,’’ the expert said.
He urged governments, organisations and individuals to invest in nutrition by creating more awareness and partnering with experts in nutrition.
Besides, he called on the media to educate the public on the importance of nutrition in the wellbeing of individuals.
“A healthy nation begins from a healthy family; there is need for parents and teachers to be aware of the importance of nutrition so that we can bring up health and productive Nigerians,’’ Ojile said.
A wellness advocate, Mr Adelekan Ademiluyi, said that wellness was key to achieving a healthy nation.
Ademiluyi, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Micraf Wellness Solutions, said that information about wellness was lacking in the country.
“Wellness is health and encompasses everything including the mental, physical and social wellbeing of individuals.
To achieve wellness will require individuals to adopt healthy eating habits to prevent diseases and improve their quality of life.
Little is being said about health wellness so that more people will become aware and take their health seriously,’’ he said.