6 Popular Nigerian Nutrition Myths You Should Debunk

Popular Nigerian Nutrition Myths You Should Debunk

By Amina

No doubt, healthy nutrition is paramount to good health. Growing up as Nigerian kids, we have been fed with several myths about certain foods, ranging from the so-called acne-causing foods to the ones considered unhealthy.

Some of these myths arose from cultural practices and personal experiences. However, medical research has helped debunk these myths.

This article debunks six nutritional myths in Nigeria.

1. Scientific research has proven that SNAIL MEAT is high in protein and very nutritious, but Nigerian pregnant women, especially Yoruba women, are forbidden from eating it because it is believed that the baby will slobber a lot. Some Nigerians believe that eating snails has an effect on their destiny.

Fortunately, research has shown that snails are also an excellent source of iron and omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease.

2. Another popular nutritional myth is that drinking COCONUT WATER makes you a dummy. Medical research shows that coconut water is highly fortified with calcium, manganese, and potassium, which improves memory and cognitive function.

3. It's no longer news in Nigerian homes that eating BEANS will make you tall. Majority of our parents made us believe that a person’s tall height was mostly because he or she ate a lot of beans. This is false because height is primarily a genetic trait. However, the nutrients contained in beans are essential for growth. When you reach your maximum or final height, your diet will do little or nothing for your height.

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4. It is also believed that STANDING WHILE EATING or standing at the entrance would not allow the food to get to the right places. Although medical research proves that eating while standing may increase the speed at which you eat, which could cause you to overeat and consume more calories, Eating while standing is considered unhealthy because it may cause bloating, but it doesn't affect how food gets into your digestive system.

5. Sugar is bad for you. You must have been told to replace white table SUGAR with unprocessed sugars like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. Several studies show that some forms of unrefined sugar may have a modest amount of vitamins and minerals, but sugar is still sugar. The benefit is negligible because they are still regarded as additional sugar.

6. Garri causes eye problems: It is generally believed in Nigeria that drinking GARRI can cause eye defects. In fact, some Nigerian parents discourage their children from taking Garri because of this belief. However, research from ophthalmologists shows that the consumption of properly processed Garri cannot cause blindness. Although not well processed, Garri contains cyanide, which is toxic to the body and affects the eyes over time and the nervous system.

Over the years, some of these nutritional myths have influenced our dietary choices and how we eat. Now that we have these myths debunked, let's embrace healthy nutrition in order to stay healthy.

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