A renowned nutritionist, Dr. Bisi Abiola, has identified cultural and natural restrictions as the major problems preventing a greater percentage of Nigerians from meeting the recommended daily fruit servings.
Abiola, who is the Managing Director, Indulge Nigeria Limited, said this in her latest monthly healthy living discourse, a platform that reviews the positive role that fruit juice can and does play in a healthy diet.
During the series sponsored by Chivita, the nutritionist said Nigerian culture does not recognise fruit as satisfying enough to stand as a diet. This, she noted, was one of the reasons many people do not pay serious attention to fruit consumption.
The expert regretted that the few people who have risen above the confine of unfavourable culture to embrace fruit meal are often confronted with convenience and suitability challenges.
To enjoy the benefits of fruit all seasons, Abiola urged health-cautious and busy individuals to embrace 100 per cent pure fruit juice, which she described as a perfect substitute for whole fruits.
She, however, cautioned consumers to pay attention to labels while shopping to ensure that they buy pure fruit juice, adding that: “if 100 per cent fruit juice is not clearly written on the pack, it is likely not a pure fruit juice.
“The truth is that 100 per cent fruit juice is proven to have similar or exactly same nutrition as fresh juice does, straight from a fruit without added sugar or preservatives.
“In other words, 100 per cent fruit juice is nutrient-dense beverage that provides vitamins, minerals (folic acid, thiamine and magnesium) and beneficial plant nutrients like polyphenols.
“When fruit juice is 100 per cent, it counts as one portion of fruit, which is not only convenient but also helpful as many Nigerians do not meet their daily fruit quota for the maintenance of good health.”