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  Recently, there’s been a movement suggesting that there are no inherently “bad foods” or “good foods”; rather, what matters is the quantity consumed. What we eat significantly influences how we feel and appear. While this article doesn’t promote unrealistic body standards, it aims to guide you toward ensuring proper bodily function and health. One approach to achieve this is by consciously seeking out nutritious foods and snacks to incorporate into our daily diet. Excessive consumption of fatty and processed foods can lead to various health issues, including obesity, high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular diseases, increased risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Here are some healthy food alternatives to help you build strength and enhance your overall health.
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  1. Tomatoes

The University of Vermont
Tomato stew is a Nigerian dietary staple renowned for its numerous health advantages. Tomatoes boast vitamin C, an antioxidant that safeguards our body cells from oxidative damage, along with fibre that enhances gut health and prevents constipation. When buying tomatoes, ensure they are fresh and wash them thoroughly before consumption.
  1. Avocados

In Nigeria, we probably stroll by avocado trees daily. Avocados are abundant in healthy fats, which are essential for our well-being. Contrary to popular belief, fat isn’t a nutrient group to be shunned entirely. Avocados, in particular, are packed with high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are beneficial for overall health. Moreover, they’re rich in B vitamins, including folate, crucial for the health of pregnant women and their developing babies. Additionally, their composition of healthy fats not only enhances skin radiance but also promotes heart health, making them a valuable addition to our diet.
  1. Groundnuts

The Standard
Groundnuts are commonly found in Northern Nigeria and make for a great snack. You can enjoy them raw, roasted, or boiled, and they’re packed with healthy fats, protein, and fibre. These nutrients can help you feel full and aid digestion, reducing the chances of constipation. Plus, the healthy fats in groundnuts can give your hair a lustrous shine.
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However, it’s important to be cautious if you have allergies. If you know you’re allergic to groundnuts, it’s best to avoid them to avoid any negative reactions. Also, make sure to store groundnuts properly to prevent mould growth. Moldy groundnuts can be harmful to your health and may even increase the risk of liver cancer. So, always check for freshness before eating them.
  1. Plantains

The Pioneer Woman
Plantains are not only known for their sweet, sugary taste but also their versatility and nutritional benefits. As a healthier alternative to sugary snacks, plantains offer a variety of delicious preparation methods. Whether enjoyed raw, boiled, fried, roasted, or incorporated into other dishes, plantains are a tasty addition to any meal. Rich in essential vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as dietary fibre, potassium, and magnesium, plantains provide a wide range of health benefits. These nutrients support overall health, contribute to better digestion, and help regulate blood pressure. The high fibre content in plantains aids in improving gut health by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Their potassium content supports heart health and helps maintain proper fluid balance in the body. Their satisfying and filling nature can help curb cravings and keep you feeling full for longer periods, reducing the likelihood of overeating.
  1. Potatoes

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In Nigeria, sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes are popular choices for their versatility and health benefits. Sweet potatoes serve as a nutritious alternative to sugary snacks, while Irish potatoes are beneficial for those aiming to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, such as diabetes patients. These potatoes are commonly boiled, fried, or roasted and enjoyed with stews and sauces. Interestingly, when consumed cold, they have a lower glycemic index, reducing the risk of blood sugar spikes. Potatoes, especially sweet potatoes, are rich in fibre, aiding digestion and promoting regular bowel movements, which is particularly beneficial for the elderly. Sweet potatoes are also packed with vitamin C, boosting immunity and preventing scurvy.
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Incorporating healthy plant-based foods like sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes into our diet is a proactive step toward improving our health at any age. We can positively impact our overall well-being by consciously selecting nutritious/healthy food alternatives. These nutrient-rich tubers not only offer a multitude of health benefits, but they also contribute to a balanced and wholesome diet.
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This article was first published on 9th April 2024 and updated on April 10th, 2024 at 3:36 pm


I am a passionate health writer. Recognizing the lack of comprehensive health knowledge among my non-medical peers, I took to health writing to provide scientifically sound and easily understandable health information.

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