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Humble greens: Food for the sick

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Added 19th September 2020 08:55 PM

 Humble greens: Food for the sick

Greens are ideal for patients with various ailments


When sick, eating becomes particularly difficult. Loss of appetite, blisters in the mouth and throat and the prospect of throwing out whatever goes in, are only a few of the problems that make eating such a nightmare.

Yet without food, the healing process becomes more complicated.


Nutritionists observe that eating right is very important in the management of diabetes, a disease characterised by abnormally high glucose levels in the blood.

Diabetes patients are advised to eat a number of foods; among them vegetables.

According to the Reader's Digest, vegetables do not have many calories and provide the much-needed fibre.

They also fill up the patient, providing a sense of satisfaction, which alleviates the need for such people to depend on carbohydrates and fats.

In addition to vegetables, patients are advised to eat fruits, which just have similar advantages as vegetables.

More fibre-rich foods such as beans and cereal is also good. Fish is also needed for proteins.

High blood pressure

Closely related with diabetes is high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure has a lot to do with the kind of food that we eat, people with this disease are challenged to observe nutritional discipline.

Dr. Hanifa Bachou, a senior nutritionist and consultant, says high blood pressure sufferers need to avoid foods that bring weight gain.

"They should avoid oily food, as this contains a lot of energy and, therefore, could lead to weight gain. They should also avoid high cholesterol foods such as eggs and red meat." 

It should be noted that meals for these people should be spaced out and eaten in small and frequent servings.

High blood pressure sufferers are advised not to consume the simple sugars we find in refined tea sugar, cakes and other sweet snacks.

Instead, she says, they should eat more vegetables and fruits. While it is acceptable for them to eat other foods, they should do so in moderation.

Above all, they should do regular moderate exercises such as walking.

"When you eat and do not exercise, much of the food eaten will be stored as fat, which only makes your high blood pressure worse."


Good feeding is essential to the wellbeing of any person with HIV/ AIDS. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation manual on nutritional care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, providing nutritional care and support for people living with HIV/ AIDS is an important part of caring at all stages of the disease.

The manual reveals that while a person who is infected with HIV/ AIDS and is not showing signs of illness does not need a specific "HIVdiet", "those infected with HIV should make every effort to adopt healthy and balanced nutrition patterns."

Tamara Nsubuga, a nutritionist, adds that in addition to having a balanced diet, people with HIV/AIDS need to increase the frequency of food consumption and the variety of their food."

For instance in addition to the three main meals of the day, they should have two reasonably good servings of snacks at different intervals."

She also advises for more consumption of fruits and vegetables.

"These are good sources of micronutrients- vitamins and minerals, which are essential for boosting immunity and act as good fillers."

Preparing greens the healthy way

Rinse fresh vegetables well.

To preserve water soluble vitamins and minerals, cut the vegetables into large pieces or cook them whole.

Keep cooking time, temperature, and the amount of liquid to a minimum.

Baking or roasting is another healthy option for most vegetables.

This story was first published on April 29, 2013

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