Zambians should take pride and start consuming more indigenous vegetables and fruits to improve their nutrition status, a nutritionist has advised.
Nelly Phiri, the Nutrition Program Officer at the Zambia Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition Alliance said local vegetables such as Chibwabwa, Impwa and Kalembula have more nutrition value than most western foods.
Zambia is one of the most malnourished countries in the world with close to 40 percent of children under five years stunted while a growing adult population is obese.
Years ago, we never used to hear of malnutrition because we used to grow our own vegetables in the backyard.
Ms. Phiri said consuming local vegetables and fruits is cheaper and beneficial for households with low incomes.
‘Most of these vegetables and fruits contain vitamins like A,D, A, K which are fat soluble vitamins and B Complex which are water soluble vitamins and these can be gotten from our local fruits such as Baobab fruit which is locally known as Masau including the Masau which also have other mineral elements which people can benefit from,’ Ms Phiri said.
Traditional Zambian foods and their nutritional values. (2016)