Did you know that food grows on trees? Superfoods, micronutrients, antioxidants – what are they, and what difference do they actually make to your health?
Good nutrition during pregnancy and the first few years of a child’s life can be the foundation for brain development, a strong immune system, and healthy growth. It is vital that they get the right food now to set them up for the rest of their life. The right balance of nutrients can reduce your risk of developing illnesses like diabetes and certain types of cancer. However, understanding nutrition can be a minefield, and knowing which foods contain which nutrients isn’t always easy and people don’t normally think of tree foods as being a key source of nutrition.
So how do you ensure you’re eating the right food?
Here in the UK we can go to our local health food shop, read the nutritional information on packets at the supermarket or cook healthy meals from recipe books. But what if you had to grow all the food you eat? Would you be able to get all the nutrients you need? If you had a baby, would you know which food your baby needs for their brain development and growth?
TREE AID helps farmers in the drylands of Africa who have to grow or forage all the food they eat. Growing enough food in Africa’s Drylands is difficult enough, but due to the loss of indigenous knowledge about nutrition, people’s diets mainly consist of cereals – millet, maize and sorghum. Whilst giving the essential calories and carbohydrates that people need to survive, they are not nourishing enough. A third of children in Burkina Faso suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Luckily there are highly nutritious foods available, tree foods.
Not in a pricey health food shop or restaurant, but in their local forests.
Moringa is a superfood that can provide essential nutritions for mothers and their young children
TREE AID has just launched a project teaching families about the incredible nutrition that tree foods, such as fruits, nuts, and leaves, can offer. Not only are trees more drought and flood resistant than cereals, but the leaves of moringa and baobab trees are extremely high in Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and antioxidants.
TREE AID is teaching farmers, and particularly mothers how to grow, harvest, store and cook tree foods for the highest nutritional gain. There will be demonstration gardens growing baobab and moringa bushes, which can be harvested within just 6 months of planting. And mothers will be taught recipes in cooking classes which use these tree foods and these will also be shared through the local radio.
TREE AID relies on donations and fundraising to carry out vital work in the drylands of Africa, If you would like to support TREE AID, you can set up a regular gift or make a single donation.