Home NewsNational MINAGRI Promotes Awareness On Health Benefits of Eating Vegetables

MINAGRI Promotes Awareness On Health Benefits of Eating Vegetables

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
12:51 pm

Harvesting tomatoes-All photos by Minagri

Vegetables constitute a very important component of our meal. Nutritionists admit that there is no single most healthy vegetable, but eating a variety of vegetables can improve health and well-being.

In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) has put special emphasis in a programme that seeks to encourage the Rwandan community to consume and get the health benefits of vegetables including tomatoes and onions.

Jointly with the European Union, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev) and the Belgian development agency (Enabel) in March 2023, MINAGRI launched the ‘KWIHAZA’ project to support transformation towards sustainable food systems.

The four year programme (2023-2026) will develop the value chains in the aquaculture, fishery, and horticulture sectors.

With funding from the European Union and Luxembourg (10 million euros and 5.5 million euros respectively), the “KWIHAZA” project is set to promote development of aquaculture, fishery, and horticulture sectors by providing training to smallholder farmers and setting up research centers to improve the quality and meet market standards.

The initiative also aims at promoting consumption of healthy and sustainably produced local food and increasing farmers’ income.

At the launch of Kwihaza project, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri said he had much trust in the programme.

“I believe it will leave a transformative impact in the development of Rwanda’s aquaculture, fishery, and horticulture sectors for the next four years,” he said.

What Do We Get In Vegetables?

Nutritionists say that all vegetables contain healthful vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber — but some stand out for their exceptional benefits.

Some nutritionists propose their rankings of most important vegetables which should be more or less regular on our meal to make a balanced diet. They placed tomatoes among the top ten.

Although tomatoes are technically a fruit, most people treat them like vegetables and use them in savoury dishes. Each cup of chopped, raw tomatoes contains 32.4 calories, 427 mg of potassium and 24.7 mg of vitamin C.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Research suggests that lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer, while the beta carotene in tomatoes also helps combat cancer.

Meanwhile, other potent antioxidants in tomatoes, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, may protect vision.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study reports that people who have high dietary intakes of these substances have a 25% reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration.

People enjoy tomatoes raw or cooked, and cooking them releases more lycopene.

Here are onions for you

Also on the nutritionists’ list of important vegetables are onions. Each cup of chopped onions can provide 64 calories, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese.

Onions and other allium vegetables, including garlic, contain sulfur compounds. Review studies, including a 2019 review and an older 2015 review, suggest that these compounds may help protect against cancer.

It can be easy to incorporate onions into soups, stews, stir-fries, and curries. To get the most from their antioxidants, eat them raw — in sandwiches, salads, and dips such as guacamole.

Related Posts