FOOD OR MEDICINE

Only a small percentage of Americans (any groupings by age, sex or skin color) actually consume the recommended minimum of five daily servings of fruit and vegetables to maintain health. The National Cancer Institute now suggests nine servings of fresh plant foods per day to reduce health risks, a goal which is not likely to be achieved by a significant percentage of the population, let alone among minority groups in society. Blacks with low intake of folic acid (green leafy vegetables) have higher homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an undesirable protein in the blood circulation, which is linked with cardiovascular disease and brain dementia.

It is amazing when they estimate the impact of poor nutrition upon Blacks. It is encouraging to realize that nutritional strategies could be employed to eradicate or reduce common health risks in Black American families at very little cost.

There is a connection to skin color, nutrition and disease as exemplified by the role of vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” among Blacks. Dark melanin skin pigment slows the natural production of vitamin D upon exposure to the sun. Blacks may require as much as ten times more sun exposure to produce the same vitamin D as Caucasians. Shortages of vitamin D are causally linked to high blood pressure, stroke, cancer (colon, breast, prostate, ovarian, lymphoma), Crohn’s disease, immune problems and osteoporosis, all health problems that are common in the black community.

Hypertension, stroke, colon cancer and obesity, and claims that “a low intake of dairy food nutrients”, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, may contribute to the high risk of hypertension seen in African Americans. Milk is a very poor source of magnesium and potassium. Blacks notoriously exhibit intolerance to milk products. In one study, abnormal lactose tolerance was found among 81% of Blacks and only 12% of Whites. This explains our avoidance of dairy.

It is obvious Blacks are genetically different (not inferior) and due to their melanin skin pigmentation exhibit special health and nutritional needs that are not being adequately addressed by the medical community nor the food industry.

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