Home NewsNational Featured: MINAGRI Promotes Fruits As An Essential Part Of Your Daily Diet

Featured: MINAGRI Promotes Fruits As An Essential Part Of Your Daily Diet

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
5:25 pm

You probably heard about the famous, now more than 30-year-old ‘Five-A-Day’ campaign which encouraged people to take five varieties of fruits and vegetables on any diet.

The campaign started in the UK back in 1994 in response to numerous studies that demonstrated that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables helped to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and obesity.

A call to consume fruits is still valid not only overseas, but also in the region and in Rwanda because West or East, fruits give indispensable benefits to our body.

From a sliced banana and a glass of pure fruit juice on a breakfast menu to fresh melon or mango slices and dried raisins at lunch (just a sample), fruits are necessary to health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consuming at least 400 g each day to reap their health and nutrition benefits because their absence is catastrophic. In 2017, some 3.9 million deaths worldwide were attributable to not eating enough fruit and vegetables.

We should all be aiming to eat at least five portions of a wide variety of fruit and vegetables a day – just over a third of the food we eat each day.

Children should also be encouraged to eat at least five different portions a day, always taking just an amount that fits into the palm of their hand.

Our likes and dislikes of foods are formed in the first few years of life, so children who eat a variety of fruit and vegetables are more likely to continue to eat them as teenagers and adults.

Avocado, the powerhouse super food

Among fruits, nutritionists and food scientists know to make the rankings, and their advice is worth following.

They called avocado a powerhouse super-food. Avocados contain healthy fats, anti-aging, disease-fighting antioxidants, and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

Regular avocado eaters have higher intakes of fiber, vitamins E and K, magnesium, and potassium than those who don’t eat avocados. Just one avocado provides 40% of the Daily Value (DV) of folate, 30% of the DV for vitamin K, and over 20% of the daily value vitamin C.

Nearly 30% of the daily value of potassium and almost 20% of the daily value of magnesium, a mineral essential for structural and chemical reactions in the human body, is in this fruit.

Avocado boosts satiety, helps manage heavy weight, protects your heart, prevents diabetes complication, boosts nutrients, promotes health digestion, increases brain function, protects your eyes, and provides anti-cancer properties.

Avocados can be eaten alone or added to dishes, but there are many ways to enjoy them, including in sweet dishes.

They can be whipped into fruit smoothies or chocolate pudding and added to fruit tacos.

They can even be substituted for butter when baking.

The Passion Fruit

Passion fruit also stands out as a rich source of vitamins A and C, which support skin, eye, and immune health.

It contains small portions of potassium and magnesium, which play a role in heart health and muscle function. Low in calories, it boosts nutrient intake without exceeding calorie needs.

Passion fruit boosts the immune System, supports heart health, improves insulin sensitivity, supports gut health and skin health.

There are many ways to enjoy passion fruit and those include; pressing passion fruit through a strainer and mix the juice into various drinks and mocktails.

One can also add passion fruit to yogurts and salads for crunch and a burst of sweetness. It is also appropriate in topping desserts.

The government is promoting fruits consumption

Given the importance of fruits on our diets, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) has put special emphasis on a programme that seeks to encourage Rwandans to consume and get the health benefits of fruits including avocado and passion fruit.

In March 2023 the European Union, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev) and the Belgian development agency (Enabel) joined MINAGRI for the launch of ‘KWIHAZA’, a project that supports transformation towards sustainable food systems.

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

The European Union and Luxembourg supported Kwihaza project with 10 million euros and 5.5 million euros respectively.

Kwihaza project will provide training to smallholders and set up research centers to improve the quality and meet market standards.

The project 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.

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