Glory Ife and Chisom Ebih
The Publicity Secretary of the Nutritional Society of Nigeria, Olusola Malomo, has urged Nigerians to explore the nutritional and health benefits of fruit juice to recover lost nutrients during fasting.
Speaking in the first series of his engagement on the health and nutritional benefits of fruit juice, sponsored by Chi Limited, Malomo said fasting helps to relieve human system, adjusts fat level, strengthen the digestive system and increase its efficiency.
He expressed regrets that many people lose the health benefits of the spiritual exercise when they take to junk food shortly after.
“They break fasting with lavish, sweet and oily feasts. This increases cholesterol level and, perhaps, triggers diabetes. A few individuals, on the other hand, overstrain their systems, leading to deficiency of vital nutrients. These two contradictory challenges make post-fasting (in the case of extended rite) a crucial moment,” he noted.
Malomo, a renowned dietician, said fruits and vegetables consumption remains the healthiest way to recover lost nutrients without compromising the benefits associated with fasting.
He continued: “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables helps to reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart diseases, high blood pressure and cancers because they contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which keep one healthy and energised.
“Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories, and they have no cholesterols. The same is true with hygienically packaged fruit juices from reputable brands, like Chivita, which contain a range of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and bioactive compounds such as phytochemicals. These are sources of many essential nutrients that are under-consumed, including potassium, vitamin C and folate (folic acid).”
The dietician said 100% fruit juice is important for religious faithful during and after fasting owing to its role in easing digestion and ability to revitalise human system. Other benefits of fruit juice, according to him, are the provision of phytochemicals, aids in absorption of iron and regulation of blood pressure.
“It is important to stress that fruit juice provides similar levels of carotenoids and flavanones contained in whole fruits, as confirmed by different studies on the potential health impact of the bioactive found in pure fruit juice,” he said.