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From fast food to the Pharmacy

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Fri, Jun 11, 2010

Editor: Judging from the lengthy lines of customers to be found in fast food outlets and pharmacies, there’s a direct correlation between levels of business conducted in the two. Could a conclusion be drawn that consumption of fast food leads us directly to the dispenser’s counter via the doctor’s clinic? {{more}}

Consuming processed food places stress on our bodies, through burden of excess carbohydrates, sugar and cholesterol, toxins ingested in animal feed, lack of roughage and vitamins; our immune systems thus compromised, many sicknesses ensue for which there are hundreds of over the counter and prescription medications that may alleviate symptoms but do not address the underlying causes.

On the other hand, natural clean local food is medicine and is health-sustaining, as the naturalists know and the following facts from the Food and Agriculture Association prove:-

l One Guava fruit has four times the amount of fibre, and nineteen times the amount of vitamin C as an American apple.

l In comparison to a whole bunch of grapes, one guava has twenty-five times more vitamin C, four times more fibre.

l It would take fifteen American apples to supply the vitamin C content of only one West Indian cherry.

l Cranberry juice has become very popular because of its benefits to bladder health. Similar benefits could be had from coconut water at less than half the calories and with appreciably more potassium.



l Coconut milk, like the vegetable margarines, is free of cholesterol. A tablespoon of coconut milk has only a third of the amount of calories of margarine. Also, coconut fat is healthier for the body than margarine fats.

l Callaloo has more than four times the calcium, two or more times the iron with more than twice the amount of vitamin A as the American vegetables such as broccoli.

l Compared to whole grain cereals our ground provisions are equally beneficial in providing dietary fibre. Our local breadfruit provides more fibre than rolled oats, or whole wheat bread.

Bush teas can be easily grown in our yards and all have positive effects on our health- guinea pepper; ginger; turmeric (saffron); redhead; basil; mint; trumpet bush; lemon (fever) grass; cinnamon; bayleaf; citrus bush; shadombeni and many more medicinal herbs found among our local wild shrubs and bushes. Plant some herbal remedies in your yard, drink bush tea every day and feel the difference!

A nation that has all it needs for healthy eating right within reach is truly blessed, but one that chooses to sustain itself on costly fast foods should not be surprised that the price we pay does not stop there. Lifestyle diseases of obesity, high blood pressure (stroke and heart attack) and diabetes are the most common health risks. Any nutritionist will proclaim the best preventative is a healthy diet, and a healthy diet is what we have at our (green) fingertips.

If we eat what we grow and grow what we eat, local farmers and community enterprises benefit, local economy strengthens – medical expenses and the burden on the health service can be eased. If a local diet seems old fashioned and going ‘back in time’ we must ask ourselves what kind of future lies in burgeoning ill health?

Vonnie Roudette

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