By Samuel Oluwole Ogundele


Meals and well being need to be dancing collectively with a purpose to engender financial development cum growth on a sustainable scale in Nigeria. Wholesome meals together with vegetables and fruit have the capability to spice up immunity, thereby making the human physique sturdy sufficient to take care of international microbes.

This consciousness is very essential at this cut-off date when coronavirus is wreaking havoc on harmless people in Nigeria together with the remainder of the globe.

At the moment, major well being amenities make up 88 p.c of the whole medical investments, whereas the secondary and tertiary ones have roughly 12 and 0.25 p.c respectively.  These amenities are primarily based on a three-tier structural association – federal, state and native governments.

However painfully, good high quality well being care providers stay a wild goose chase.  Most Nigerians particularly within the rural settlements can not entry good well being care providers.

It appears to me, that Nigerian leaders are shedding over time, not solely their discernment however confidence of their capability to set clever, people-centred priorities and targets.

On this connection, wholesome diets can’t be glossed over within the scheme of issues. They will considerably cut back ailments to the barest minimal.

The Nigerian Well being Insurance coverage Scheme (NHIS) which began in 2005, has some sound theoretical underpinnings, however with none critical influence on the strange folks notably the non-government employees.

The central mandate of NHIS is to enhance the well being of all Nigerians at an inexpensive price by means of a pre-payment plan.

Nevertheless, a go to to any public hospital would present even a doubting Thomas that NHIS was one other failed experiment.  The drivers of personal well being amenities must do far more on this respect.

Meals is the unsung hero of radiant well being which is but to occupy a conspicuous area within the vocabularies of latest discourse in Nigeria.

There’s want for some common public enlightenment campaigns about meals and their well being advantages.  Meals is a networked actuality which can’t be neatly disentangled from agricultural productions, cultural flows/interconnections, on a regular basis domesticity, spatiality and temporality.

No person can survive for lengthy with out meals together with in fact, water.  It’s because the human physique is a fancy chemical, mechanical and electrical system that can’t operate with out meals.

However intently associated to this difficulty, is the truth that the sorts of meals, methods of processing, portions taken at any given time and mealtime customs matter an excellent deal.

Nigerians like different members of the worldwide group are going to cut back hospital visits and payments to the barest minimal within the face of wholesome meals.

Most individuals out of ignorance, use their mouths to dig graves for themselves.  Longevity and/or ageing gracefully are/is most often inseparable from the sorts of meals we habitually eat and the way that is ready.

Given the tentacular nature of meals, a variety of students in such fields as Human Diet, Agriculture, Anthropology, Meals Know-how, Archaeology, Botany, Chemistry, Microbiology and Medication is within the topic (meals).

The Nigerian authorities wants far more public enlightenment campaigns about wholesome diets for the residents as coronavirus ravages our land.

We don’t want to attend for sure international companies just like the World Well being Organisation (WHO) to do our pondering for us.

Nigeria should set itself free from the bondage of inferiority complicated because it learns to take part within the international economic system in a essential vogue.

This nation has quite a few crops with sturdy well being advantages, however sadly Western-educated Nigerians (with a number of exceptions) proceed to reject their plant heritage at their very own peril.

These wholesome staple crops embody maize, beans, bananas, plantains, water yam, yellow yam, white yam, and cocoyam.

As well as, there are a number of vegetation/greens and fruits like onions, garlic, turmeric, cayenne pepper, pawpaw, African star apple, lime, grape fruit, ginger, lemon grass, basil (efinrin), fluted pumpkin (ugu) and bitter leaves.

Water yam and maize originated from Southeast Asia and the Americas respectively and commenced to unfold in the course of the prehistoric and historic durations to Nigeria.

Each crops amongst others had been efficiently integrated into the Nigerian agricultural panorama.  Maize prevents anaemia, regulates blood strain, promotes good imaginative and prescient, boosts power and prevents constipation.  Beans forestall constipation and cut back the possibilities of heart-related ailments.


Staples from beans hold levels of cholesterol inside acceptable limits.  Such meals varieties as akara (bean truffles) and moin-moin serve a twin function – meals and drugs.

The central ingredient for ikokore – a particular delicacy that defines the Ijebu sub-ethnic id in Yorubaland, is water yam.

Water yam has the capability to battle or forestall diabetes.  Apart from this, consuming ikokore usually makes one to age gracefully.  Plantain and bananas are an power booster.

Certainly, they will cut back poor sexual efficiency of males to the barest minimal.  Plantain flour known as amala agbagba or kelukelu is a pleasant staple for victims of diabetes.

Boiled garlic, turmeric, ginger, and onion combined with honey and lemon or lime can be utilized to battle cough, bronchitis, bronchial asthma and hypertension.

That is additionally good for enhancing males’s sexual efficiency. Covid-19 can not efficiently wrestle to the bottom, common shoppers of this combination.

Why are Nigerians struggling in silence?   A squeeze of bitter leaves with or with out efinrin (basil) prevents or fights pile and invigorates a person.

There’ll quickly be backyard egg all over the place out there, please eat it in a uncooked type or put together it right into a stew for boiled yam or bread.  This reduces weight and makes an individual more healthy.  Nigerians also needs to take lime or lemon answer usually.

It’s a deceit, to say that pot stomach is an indication of affluence.  Certainly, pot stomach is a warning sign to a few well being challenges which can be considerably redressed with none Western medicine typically with unwanted effects.

Most Western-educated city dwellers are nonetheless ashamed to eat cocoyam thought-about to be a staple meals for the extraordinarily poor folks.

That is monumental ignorance!  Cocoyam has been discovered to comprise helpful parts able to managing diabetes amongst different well being points.

So far as most city dwellers are involved, taking an answer of lime or basil (efinrin among the many Yoruba) twice every week is at variance with fashionable social requirements.  However such persons are all the time desirous to spend their scarce assets to buy loads of Chinese language medication known as Tianshi merchandise.

One of many risks of colonial/neo-colonial schooling, is the lack to interact in artistic pondering as a consequence of an absence of self-confidence and/or vanity.  A culturally educated and wholesome inhabitants is central to sustainable growth in Nigeria.

Certainly, wholesome meals and meals customs can considerably cut back the incidence of illness.  The well being indicators (even previous to the arrival of Covid-19) within the nation right this moment, are a number of the worst in Africa.

With a inhabitants development charge of three.2 p.c yearly, it’s estimated that Nigeria will likely be having 440 million people by 2050.

Subsequently, we want some thoroughgoing, common public enlightenment campaigns in addition to culture-loaded schooling to halt the nation from going additional into items because the clock ticks.


  • Professor Ogundele is of Dept. of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Ibadan.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *