Office of the High Commission of India, Lagos has partnered with nutritionists in Nigeria to introduce the Ayurvedic concepts of nutrition. The concept was introduced to enhance nutritional status and address problems of malnutrition as well as resultant health issues like stunting, wasting and diseases among others.
Speaking at the Commission’s office in Lagos to mark Diwali, India festival the Head of Chancery, Office of the High Commission of India, Lagos, Rachit Rawat, said the Government of India, which has focused on improving nutritional status of the country to achieve the target of Swastha Bharat, which means ‘Healthy India’, has extended the many initiatives being taken to promote Indian systems of medicine and age-old scientific traditions to Nigeria to address the problem of malnutrition and resultant health issues.
According to him, Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life, is the complete well-being of mind, body, and social lifestyle and not just the absence of diseases and illness.
“An ayurvedic health system is a holistic approach that considers all the factors and not just the disease. It is both curative and preventive. It works uniquely in finding the root cause of a disease by taking different approaches toward specific health problems.
“Ayurvedic treatment helps in creating a healthy and strong body by using different methods that involve a series of diet exercise, lilestyle practices, and ultimately ayurvedic medicines,” Rawat said.
He explained that undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases have been the greatest global health challenges, with its developmental, economic, social, and medical impacts severe on individuals, their families, communities and countries.
“The main objective of providing an Ayurvedic diet is to help people practice mindful eating habits by intaking minimally processed food, Avurveda uses diet to enhance mental as well as spiritual development of a human being and it all depends upon the type of food provided. Our human body, like any other machine, requires proper fuel and maintenance, An Ayurvedic diet helps in good health of that machine,” he added.
He said both India and Nigeria have rich traditions of diverse food practices in different parts of the countries.
He added that while India is the second most populous country in the world and Nigeria the largest in Africa, it is important to ensure that the young populations and demographic dividend, take quality nutritious food, in order to realise the fruits of development.
Launching the Ayurvedic dental care product in Nigeria, the Head of Business Sub Sahara Africa region, David, Sanjay Kashyap, said Dabur is an Ayurvedic company that takes the healthy way of life to Nigeria to ensure dental health care is addressed, as many people suffer from dental issues.
“We want Nigerians to key into the Ayurvedic habits to promote dental health care, especially as the western foods we consume cause issues in our teeth,” he said.
Co-founder, Veggie Victory, Bola Adeyanju, said the Ayurvedic way of life would help increase nutrition habits among Nigerians.
“I researched and found out that it is the science of life, and it would help us in improving our diets to live a healthy life style, which would also improve our life expectancy, especially with the western food most Nigerians consume, which has had a negative impact on the society. We have to embrace this way of life,” she said.
Founder, Eat Right Nigeria, Michael Kayode, said with the consumption of package and processed foods, which is beginning to take a larger chunk of Nigerians eating habits, embracing Ayurvedic in the country would help in reducing the rate of Non-Communicable Diseases.
“In Nigeria, we are gradually losing it to modernisation and this is a time we have to embrace the culture of eating healthy and natural foods, especially with the increasing rate of Non-Communicable Diseases globally.
“India bringing the Ayurvedic diet and its whole essence to the Nigerian populace, is very good,” he said.