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Healthful Facts

Whether you are a mother who feeds her children with fruits and vegetables grown in your home garden, a local agriculturalist who uses farming techniques that preserve the optimum nutritional value of your crops or a restaurant chef who serves up delicious meals prepared with locally grown, fresh ingredients, the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) applauds you for your contribution to our nation's food and nutrition security. We believe that food and nutrition security is a goal for every family and an imperative for the nation.

Food and nutrient security at the individual, household, national, regional and global levels is achieved when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet the dietary needs and food preferences for an active, healthy life.

Recognizing that nutrition is critical to the well-being of our population, we emphasize the nutritional value of our locally grown commodities and the importance of nutrition in food preparation. We encourage the eating of fresh and nutritious food and a national interest in knowing what you eat. The following are nutritional facts on some of the crops that can be locally grown that underscore this:

Pineapple

PINEAPPLE is more than just delicious in recipes; its juice is great as a marinade and meat tenderizer because of its ability to break down protein assisting in digestion. It also is a natural diuretic and helps clear mucus from bronchial tissues because its fiber aids in excretion.

Breadfruit

BREADFRUIT is a great rice and flour substitute. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Breadfruit is a nutritious addition to any meal, but it must be used within a few days of being picked. Store it in water to help reduce its rate of spoiling

Pigeon Peas

PIGEON PEAS contain high levels of protein and the essential amino acids methionine, lysine, and tryptophan, which the body uses to synthesize the proteins it needs. Served with rice and corn, Pigeon Peas make a meal well-balanced and delicious!

Paw Paw

PAW PAW, like mango, is a good source of soluble fiber. It is also rich in beta-carotene and enzymes that aid in digestion. Many people don’t know that Paw Paw seeds are edible. They have a peppery taste and can be crushed or left whole and sprinkled on salads.

Sweet Potato

SWEET POTATO is a good source of the antioxidants, vitamin A and C. It is rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, protein, iron and vitamin B12. Sweet Potato stabilizes blood sugar levels and so lowers insulin resistance. So diabetics, eat up!

Ochro

OCHRO is an essential ingredient in callaloo. It is very high in soluble fiber, which can help lower blood cholesterol, prevent constipation and improve bowel function. Make the most of Ocrho’s nutrients by cooking it as little as possible, using either low heat or slight steam.

Cassava

CASSAVA is nutritionally comparable to potatoes, except that it has twice the fiber content and a higher level of potassium. It is also a very good source of vitamin C. Cook your Cassava tubers well because in their their raw state, they contain dangerous chemicals that are destroyed once the cassava is cooked properly.

Spinach

Spinach also known as Bhagi, contains large amounts of the antioxidant beta-carotene and the carotenoid lutein, which are important in eye health. Spinach is rich in iron. Eat with vitamin C-rich foods like tomatoes, oranges and other citrus fruit. These combinations will help your body absorb more iron.

Dasheen Leaves

DASHEEN LEAVES or Dasheen Bush contains excellent amounts of vitamins and minerals like B6, C, niacin and potassium. Dasheen Tubers are very high in starch and are a good source of dietary fiber. Be sure to cook you Dasheen Bush and Dasheen Tubers properly. Whether fried or boiled they should always be eaten fully cooked.

Guava

GUAVA is considered by health experts to be a “super fruit”. It is rich in vitamins A and C, omega-3 & 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (mainly found in the seeds) and dietary fiber. If you don’t have any citrus in your kitchen, use Guava rind as a substitute. It has great flavor and four times as much vitamin C as does Orange. Guava rind is also great for tea.

West Indian Cherry

The WEST INDIAN CHERRY is the richest source of vitamin C known to man. It is also rich in vitamin A, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and carbohydrates.

Rabbit

RABBIT is a well-loved culinary delicacy. It is a very low fat source of protein and the meat is leaner than that of beef, pork and chicken. Although many of us think of Rabbit meat as a delicacy, the truth is it can be substituted for chicken in most recipes. It should always be cooked until well done.

Tilapia

TILAPIA is a great, low calorie source of protein. This mildly flavored fish is also an excellent source of phosphorus, niacin, selenium, and vitamin B12. Before cooking ensure to marinate Tilapia for short periods only or the fish’s delicate structure will start to break down.