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Smoothies, best breakfast for a healthier you —Expert

Even as nutritionists continue to promote breakfast as the most important meal of the day, a medical expert, Dr. Kayode Adedapo, has said that smoothies made from fruits and vegetables, been good sources of vitamins and minerals, are better off as breakfast to ensure good health.

Adedapo, a Consultant Chemical Pathologist at the Department of Nuclear Medicine, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan spoke during a UCH-wide grand round on “Immune Boosters in Health-The Role of Vitamin-Mineral Infusion”.

Adedapo, who remarked that Nigerians need to make food their medicines, said that for people that want to live long and healthy, consumption of smoothies has been found to be helpful.

“Fruits and vegetables are blend into smoothies to ensure the body receives its nutrients in its natural form. The closer we eat to nature in our breakfast, the healthier we become because eating fruits and vegetables in their raw form is what helps our body to detoxify.

“So when we skip cooked foods in the morning and take raw diet, this will help our bodies to recover because they are rich in antioxidants that prevent free radicals in the body.”

Oladapo stated that taking smoothies can help to ensure the body has enough antioxidants, which has potentials to decrease the chances of processes that lead to cancer and many other diseases.

He declared that inflammation was being associated with diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular diseases, adding that overwhelming evidence abound that increased intake of fruits and vegetables can help in preventing them.

According to him, “Data from a review of 250 case controlled  cohort studies  overwhelmingly supported  an inverse  association  between  intake of  fruit  and vegetables  and  cancer  risk. The association was more consistent with vegetables than with fruit.”

He also declared that people that consume plant-based foods were better off than animal-based foods because animal protein makes blood cholesterol increase, adding “there is a strong correlation between high blood cholesterol level and diseases such as heart disease.”

Oladapo declared that low vitamin C intake was also related to many cancers, adding that “cancer rates were five to eight times higher where fruit intake was lowest in the China study.”

But Mr Tunde Ajobo, a dietician, stated that vitamins and minerals are supposed to be prescribed when required because excess of any vitamins and minerals in the body could have adverse effects.

Ajobo, however, declared that many people now misuse vitamins and minerals supplements in Nigeria because they believe that foods no long contain the right nutrients in adequate quantities and that supplements can enhance athletic performance and cure many diseases.

According to him, “no amount of vitamins will build muscles, only weight lifting will do it. Vitamins do not provide energy themselves. They help to release the energy within carbohydrate, protein, and fats that people ingest.

“Only certain diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies such as beriberi, scurvy and rickets can be cured with the help of supplements. Heart disease, cancer and common cold cannot.”

He listed people that may require vitamin and mineral supplements to include women before conception and during the first month of pregnancy, aged and malnourished persons.

Ajobo, however, declared “if you learn to select the right diet, you can help activate your own powerful internal defense arsenal and keep it working at top efficiency to remain healthy. Conversely, when eating habits are haphazard, it might be harder for your body to fend off illness.”

But, Mrs Bunmi Talabi-Adeyemi, Chief Executive Officer, Activlife Infusion Clinic, declared that over a third of the world population have different levels of nutrient deficiency that is causing a weakened immune system.

Adeyemi declared that Activlife Infusion Clinic was set up as a result of the growing body of evidence that intravenous infusion of vitamins and minerals is efficacious in both preventing and treating many health concerns.

She stated, “most doctors recommend oral supplements to their patients even though they are not 100 per cent effective unlike infusion therapy that would go straight into the blood stream. We at Activlife Infusion Clinic encourage the use of infusion therapy to correct nutritional deficiencies and also aid quick recovery thereby improving the healthy lifestyle of the community.”

Chief Medical Director, UCH, Professor Temitope Alonge described intravenous infusion of vitamins and minerals as important immune boosters that would benefit patients with chronic illnesses like cancer.

The introduction of intravenous infusion of vitamins and minerals by the hospital, he said was also to ensure the hospital continue to provide first class services to its patients considering the silent epidemic of micro-nutrient deficiency in the country.

“Part of treatment modality for cancer in civilised society is immunotherapy. We decided to have people get used to this before our cancer centre starts. We want people to benefit more from this mode of treatment so that we can have more cancer survivors,” said Professor Alonge.

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