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Food Therapy: Expert recommends body detox for healing, weight loss



Ms Ruth Oghotuama, a Natural Health and Wellness Therapist, has recommended that people should often undergo body detoxification which, she said, was “body reset” for healing certain ailments and weight loss.

Oghotuama, who is the Managing Director of Gen129organic, made the recommendation on Friday in Lagos in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on the organisation’s ongoing, “14 Days Weight Management and Detoxification Programme”.

She said the body could be reset when it undergoes a process of detoxification and restoration of its proper functions with the aim of healing and weight loss through food therapy.

She noted that the process could be done by adopting a diet plan using specific fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, water and exercises within a period of seven to 30 days.

Oghotuama added that the foods could either be eaten raw or taken in form of smoothies to get the required benefits.

“Raw foods are in their natural state, they contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and other essential nutrients that has not been reduced or damaged through cooking, processing or added food preservatives.

“They are also easy to digest and move faster in the intestine because they do not require too much digestive enzymes.

Oghotuama said that the factors to consider while combining foods include; the liquid content, acidic content and the time it takes to digest the food.

“The meals are timed to give the body space to digest and absorb the nutrients in one meal before introducing another.

“Water rich fruits like watermelon is best taken in the mornings to help restore fluid used throughout the night and also maintain hydration.

“Acidic foods don’t combine well with sweet fruits, they go best with green vegetables; cruciferous plants like cabbage don’t digest quickly and they contain starch, it’s best to combine them with leafy greens and fatty fruits like avocado,” she said.

Oghotuama said combining cabbage, avocado, waterleaf and chia seeds is proper, while combining banana, pineapple and orange is wrong.

She cautioned ulcer patients against eating acidic fruits.

She advised those exceeding a seven day plan to add supplements to their diet as “the body requires other nutrients like Vitamin B12, D3, Heme iron which are not found in plants.

“The seven day programme, participants should start introducing one cooked meal daily after taking only raw foods for that period,” she added.

She said that if carried out properly, the therapy could help heal cancer and other degenerative diseases.

“I restricted my meals to basically garden eggs, cucumber, pears, apples and nuts; warm lemon water first thing in morning and last thing at night.

Also, Mrs Judith Asuni, a Pharmacist’s Assistant, said she always felt bloated, weak and her systolic blood pressure (BP) was between 120 to 127 millimetres of mercury (mmHg)

She added that she lost about six kilograms (kg) in the course of the programme, while her BP dropped to about 97mmHg.


Ethiopian food delivery startup rides to restaurants’ rescue



Restaurants may still be officially open in Ethiopia, but diners are staying away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Connecting the two is an Ethiopian food delivery service, Deliver Addis, which has seen demand surge since the start of the health crisis.

For many restaurant kitchens, take out has become an important avenue to staying afloat since Ethiopia confirmed its first case of coronavirus in March and restrictions on public gatherings came into effect, leading to people staying at home.

In a leafy suburb of the capital, Henok Girma, 26, who runs a communications company, fancied trying some Mexican food. He used Deliver Addis’ mobile app to order.

“When it comes to working from home in a safe environment and being able to order whatever I want, it has really made that aspect of this whole situation a bit easier to deal with,” he said.

The owner of La Morena, a Mexican restaurant in Addis Ababa is also relieved.

“Our business virtually overnight slowed down to almost 10 per cent of what we used to be,” said Selamawit Paulos.

But joining Deliver Addis “really kept our business alive,” she added.

Launched in 2015 by United States-raised Feleg Tsegaye, the company is growing, hiring staff and drivers to keep up with the spike in demand.

“We don’t see that subsiding any time soon,” Tsegaye said.

Ethiopia has confirmed nearly 1,300 positive cases of COVID-19, with 12 deaths as of June 2.

African consumers have typically been shy of ordering good online but the coronavirus pandemic has created a boost for e-commerce to flourish on the continent as people are forced to stay at home.



Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)


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World food prices drop to 17-month low as coronavirus pandemic limits market demand




World food prices fell for the fourth consecutive month in May, hitting their lowest point in nearly a year and a half as the global coronavirus outbreak continued to erode demand and slow supply chains, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported Thursday.

The overall index dropped 1.9 percent in May compared to April, reaching its lowest point since December 2018.

Four out of five sub-indexes fell in May, with the index for grains and cereals — the largest component in the index — slipping by 1.0 percent. Prices for wheat and corn fell based on lower demand, but rice prices bucked the trend, rising slightly as demand for Japonica and Basmati rice saw demand rise compared to recent months.

Prices for vegetable oil slipped 2.8 percent to their lowest levels in ten months, pushed by lower palm oil prices.

Dairy prices were 7.3 percent lower based on lower demand for cheese and butter, though FAO said increased demand from China helped stabilize prices for powdered milk.

Meat prices saw a modest 0.8-percent decline, as rising supply was nearly offset by increased demand in Asian markets.

Only sugar prices rose in May, up 7.4 percent after falling 14.6 percent in April. FAO said up-and-down sugar prices were a reflection of unpredictable export levels from India and Thailand.

The monthly FAO Food Price Index is based on worldwide prices for 23 food commodity categories covering prices for 73 different products compared to a baseline year. The next index is scheduled for release on July 2, 2020.


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UK food banks hand out record number of emergency food parcels during pandemic: report




Food banks in Britain have had their busiest month ever in April, as the number of emergency food parcels distributed to British families in the month saw a 89 percent increase compared with the same month last year, a recent report has revealed.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country, Trussell Trust, one of the leading food bank charities Britain, said in its report that it recorded a 107 percent rise in food parcels given to children.

Meanwhile, food banks in the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) reported a 175 percent increase in need during the same period.

The Trussell Trust said almost half of the increase in emergency food distributed from food banks was due to people reporting a fall in income from work or benefits, with 11 percent saying it was because of sickness.

A coalition of leading charities on Wednesday urged the government to act quickly to provide a stronger lifeline to people and prevent many from being swept into destitution.

“We have been seeing rises in food bank need for the past five years but this 89 percent increase — with the number of families coming to food banks doubling — is completely unprecedented and not right,” said Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust.

“The solution to the escalating food insecurity crisis has never been the provision of charitable food aid. Everyone needs to be able to afford to buy food and the bare essentials. Our joint call details how this can start to be achieved,” said Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the IFAN.


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More than 27 mln people face acute food insecurity in East Africa in 2019: report




An estimated 27.6 million people were already food insecure in the Eastern Africa region in 2019 before the outbreak of COVID-19, a regional bloc said in a joint report released in Nairobi on Thursday.

The 27.6 million people were classified in Crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity in 2019 in the bloc, which represents 20 percent of the total population facing food insecurity that required urgent action across the world, according to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises by the regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

“Our region faces multiple threats to food security. We are living challenging times with extreme climate events and the worst desert locust invasion in decades. Currently, we are grappling with the severe challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread flooding of arable lands,” said Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD executive secretary.

Without taking into account the effects of COVID-19, the report said, projections indicated that around 25 million people would face acute food insecurity in the region requiring urgent action in 2020, largely as a result of weather extremes, conflict/insecurity and economic shocks.

However, the report said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to push the numbers of acutely food-insecure people well beyond these early 2020 forecasts.

“Our attention must now turn to what can be done to reduce the number of food-insecure people in the region,” said David Phiri, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization subregional coordinator for Eastern Africa.

Phiri warned that the disruptive impact of COVID-19, the desert locust, recurrent flooding, and conflict/insecurity will continue to hamper the availability of food and people’s access to it across the subregion.


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Retired Kenyan athletes to benefit from COVID-19 food relief




Retired Kenyan athletes who have been financially effected by the COVID-19 pandemic are set to benefit from a food relief program launched by the local Olympics committee on Wednesday.

The initiative, that was started with seed capital of over 500,000 shillings (4,700 United States dollars) by the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK), will initially target athletes who retired by 2004 and have competed for Kenya in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and African Championships.

This is after the group was identified according to NOCK to be the “most vulnerable” by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic since Kenya declared its first case in mid-March.

“Food support has been identified as a critical priority need area of focus for the next three months. We want to give food support to retired athletes.

“After consultation, we felt food aid will be of greater assistance as we continue looking for other partners in this initiative,” the acting general secretary of NOCK, Francis Mutuku, said.

He added that a mobile phone contribution service number will be launched on Monday next week to enable the public to contribute towards cushioning needy athletes through the COVID-19 crisis.

The program is the latest relief effort targeted towards athletes in Kenya with active athletes starting to receive 95 dollars each from the Ministry of Sports kitty that rolled out last week as part of a state-run effort to alleviate the suffering brought by loss of income due to COVID-19.

The Olympic champion and world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, has been distributing relief food to athletes in the vast and talent-rich Rift Valley for three weeks now.

“Many people have lost their relatives due to the virus and I want to ask them to take heart at this trying moment. Countries have lost many people and we are experiencing worse situations but it will come to pass,” said Kipchoge, the first man to run the 42.195km marathon distance in under two hours.

The food rations donated by Kipchoge, in addition to the government stimulant fund, have benefitted the likes of Beijing 2008 Paralympics star, Abraham Tarbei, who won gold medals in the 1,500 meters T46 and 5,000 meters T46 as he continues to train in isolation in Kaptagat, western Kenya.


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General news

Covid-19: Rotary Club donates food items to 200 widows in Plateau



The District 9125 of Rotary Club International has donated food items to 200 widows and widowers in Plateau to cushion the hardships occasioned by the advent of Coronavirus disease.

The beneficiaries of the gesture were drawn from Zaria Road, Tudun Wada, Kwal and Jebbu Bassa communties of Bassa and Jos North Local Government Areas of the state

Presenting the items seperately to the beneficiaries on Wednesday, Mr Mike Okachi, the Coordinator of the District, said the gesture aimed at supporting widows and widowers in the society.

He said that the gesture came from  personal donations of members of the seven rotary clubs existing on the Plateau, which constitute the district.

“We the members of the seven rotary clubs on the Plateau decided to contribute in our little ways to support these widows and widowers in this time of COVID-19.

“This pandemic, no doubt, has devastating effects on the people; particularly the poor, and this informed this gesture.

“We have decided to take from our personal savings to put smiles on the faces of these poor brothers and sisters of ours.

“This is what Rotary is all about; supporting the have nots in our communities. We are not the richest in the society, but we are always moved by compassion to support,” he said.

The coordinator admonished the beneficiaries to share the items donated to them with other members of the community who are facing similar challenges.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that items donated include rice, beans, and garri (cassava flakes).


Edited By: Peter Dada (NAN)

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Experts urge Nigerians to embrace natural foods, proper hydration



A Professor of Biochemistry at Lagos State University (LASU) has urged Nigerians to embrace natural foods and proper hydration to boost their immune system to fight against COVID-19.

Prof. Babajide Elemo made the call at the sixth LASU Virtual Public Lecture, entitled; “COVID-19: Effective Use of Science in Overcoming the Pandemic,” on Wednesday in Lagos.

He said that regular consumption of natural foods and balanced nutrition were part of the keys to stay free from contracting COVID-19 and any other diseases.

World Health Organization recently published a nutrition advice that people should eat fresh and unprocessed food, drink enough water, eat moderate amount of fat and oil, amongst others.

“Balanced diet and hydration are vital during COVID-19 pandemic, while nutrition status plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system,” Elemo said.

Dr Josephine Sharaibi, Lecturer, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, LASU, said that absence of cure for COVID-19 necessitated that everyone consumed the right foods and herbs as a means of boosting the immune system against the virus.

Sharaibi said that plants were critical to both the prevention and eventual cure of the disease and advised participants on the responsible use of herbs and herbal medicines in their search for solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said that there were many local herbs which included ginger, garlic, tumeric and cinnamon that could be taken as immune boosters.

“There are also anti-malaria herbs such as moringa lucida (Brimstone tree), alstonia boonei (God’s tree), enantha clorantha (African whitewood) and the popular Dogonyaro tree, all of which can be used to treat symptoms of the virus.

“We should also regularly detoxify our system by taking herb drinks and natural fruit smoothies but avoid processed foods and as much as possible, stay natural,” Sharaibi advised.

Also speaking, Prof. Sunday Omilabu, Director, Centre of Excellence on Human and Zoonotic Virology, Lagos State Biobank, warned against unapproved testing process of COVID-19.

Omilabu said that till date, no serological testing platform had been licensed for COVID-19, and even when available, was not meant to replace the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for diagnosis of the virus.

Prof. Richard Adegbola, Research Professor and Consultant, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, recommended three pronged approaches to prepare for future pandemics.

Adegbola said that the three approaches were consistent surveillance for data aggregation and trend monitoring; modelling for prediction and forecasting; and translation and research that turned basic research into health-improving products.

He said there was need for multidisciplinary approach to problem solving because research alone would not be enough to solve all science-related problems.

“Technology and other fields, have major roles to play in keeping our world together,” Adegbola said.

Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

Assembly donates N5 million, food items to family of deceased colleague



The Zamfara House of Assembly has donated N5 million and 20 bags each, of rice and maize to the family of a member of the assembly, Alhaji Tukur Jekada, who died on Monday, June 1.

Its Speaker, Alhaji Nasiru Magarya, announced the donation on Tuesday in Gusau, when he led his colleagues on a condolence visit to the the family of the deceased.

A statement signed by Mustafa Jafaru-Kaura, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the House of Assembly, quoted

the Speaker as describing Jekada as “honest, hardworking and dedicated in the worship of Allah”.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Jekada died on Monday, June 1, at Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto after a protracted illness associated with diabetes.

Jekada, a PDP member, represented Bakura Constituency and was the Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

NAN reports that the funeral prayer for the lawmaker was led by Malam Bello Tambuwal with the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Musa Bawa, in attendance.

Jekada’s colleagues, some members of the State Executive Council, traditional rulers and top politicians were also present at the prayers.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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Homegrown food distribution, a success in Lagos State – LASUBEB



The Lagos State Universal Education Board (LASUBEB) says  it has recorded success in the ongoing  Homegrown School Feeding Programme launched in Lagos on May 21.

This is contained in a statement by Mrs Eniola Adewunmi, Public Relations Officer of the board, in Lagos on Tuesday.

Adewunmi said  the targeted 37, 589 households of pupils in public primary school. one to three  had been concluded.

She  said the Feeding Programme was anchored and financed by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development.

She said the programme also   supported by the Lagos State Government through LASUBEB was designed to see to the continued sustenance of primary school pupils in spite of the schools closure.

“Immediately after the flag-off, the distribution of Take-Home Rations to households of pupils started in earnest in 202 centres across the 20 Local Government Education Authorities (LGEA) in the state.

“Each beneficiary received a Take-Home Ration made up of 5kg Bag of Rice, 5kg Bag of Beans, 500 ml Vegetable Oil, 750ml Palm Oil, 500mg Salt, 15 pieces of eggs and 140gm Tomato Paste.

“During the exercise,  the Executive Chairman of LASUBEB, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King, Board Members, and the Board Secretary effectively monitored the distribution exercise.

“At most of the centres visited, the chairman expressed satisfaction with the conduct of government officials at the various centres as well as the orderliness of the parents being attended to,  describing the exercise as transparent,’’ she said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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