A community fights malnutrition with local leafy vegetables

| January 25, 2016

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This week’s story from Malawi underlines the importance of eating a varied diet for good health. Our Script of the week also focuses on dietary diversification.

We eat to live. Without food, we would go hungry. But hunger is not only about not having enough to eat; it is also about what you eat. “Hidden hunger’’ occurs when people suffer from micronutrient malnutrition. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. Unlike macronutrients such as calcium and magnesium, these nutrients are needed in smaller amounts. Nevertheless, they are essential for good health. Millions of people, and most often those who live in rural areas, eat staple foods such as maize, cassava, and sweet potato. While these foods fill people’s stomachs, they cannot provide enough micronutrients to ensure good health.

There are many indigenous African leafy vegetables with high levels of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. But these local vegetables are being underutilized due to lack of knowledge. This week’s short drama highlights the many uses and benefits of local leafy vegetables.