4 Healthy Staples of the Ugandan Diet

Blog Lifestyle 4 Healthy Staples of the Ugandan Diet

11.19.2019 0 comments

One look at the Ugandan diet, and you will find many, MANY differences from our Western diet. There are many healthy foods consumed in Uganda that deserve a place of prominence in our American world. Replacing some traditional American ingredients with these foods can be a great way to improve your balance of micro and macronutrients.

Here are some healthy staples of the diet of Uganda that you should try:

Root Vegetables

The Ugandan diet is heavy on the root vegetables, including cassava and sweet potatoes. Both of these are much better alternative to the starch-heavy diet common in the Western world.

Take sweet potatoes, for example. Not only are they loaded with Vitamin A [1], but they also contain a hefty dose of Vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and B vitamins. The high antioxidant content of sweet potatoes make them far healthier than the regular white or yellow potato, and they contain potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Their high fiber content ensures that they don’t cause blood sugar spikes when you eat them!

Cassava is another amazing veggie! It’s loaded with Vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin. It delivers a powerful dose of resistant starch, which nurtures the health of your gut bacteria and is easy on your digestive system.

Gluten-Free Grains

The average Ugandan doesn’t eat anywhere near as much wheat as the average Westerner—in fact, their diet is far heavier in gluten-free grains like rice, sorghum, and millet. Not only are these grains far less processed than wheat, but they have a much better nutritional profile.

Take sorghum, for example. The grain is gluten-free [3] and loaded with protein, fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. There are more antioxidants in sorghum than in both pomegranates and blueberries, phytochemicals that may help to fight colon and skin cancer, improve cardiovascular health, and lower cholesterol.

Brown rice is another incredibly healthy grain. It’s high in fiber, fairly low in calories, and gluten-free, and contains a hefty dose of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and manganese [4]. The high fiber content makes it excellent for your cardiovascular health, and it’s a “low glycemic index food” that won’t spike your blood sugar levels.

And don’t forget millet! Millet [5] has a lot of heart-smart magnesium, bone and tissue-friendly phosphorus, and can do wonders to decrease diabetes risk. It can protect against gallstones, breast cancer, and even asthma!

All in all, these grains are critical for a healthy diet, and are a great alternative to wheat.

High Nut Intake

A lot of Ugandan dishes involve stews and sauces made from groundnuts—a family of legumes that include peanuts.

Peanuts are surprisingly healthy, not only despite their high fat content, but often because of it. The saturated and unsaturated fats in peanuts [6] can help to decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as lower cholesterol levels.

Peanuts are also rich in fiber and protein, making them an excellent diet-friendly food. 100 grams of peanuts contains 25.8 grams of protein and 8.5 grams of fiber, which will go a long way toward helping to speed up your metabolism and increase fat-burning.

High Raw Food Intake

The Ugandan diet is rich in raw foods: everything from pineapples to bananas to leafy greens. These high-fiber foods are a staple of a healthy diet, as they can help to improve digestion, enhance blood sugar control, decrease cardiovascular risk, and so much more.

As countless studies have proven [7], a diet rich in raw foods—specifically fruits and veggies—can improve heart function, brain function, even internal organ function. This is one aspect of the Ugandan diet you definitely need to start imitating today!

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Resources:

[1] https://www.health.com/nutrition/sweet-potato-health-benefits

[2] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323756.php

[3] https://www.medicaldaily.com/sorghum-health-benefits-grain-gluten-free-high-nutritional-value-244895

[4] https://www.livescience.com/50461-brown-rice-health-benefits-nutrition-facts.html

[5] http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=53

[6] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325003.php

[7] https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/135/10/2372/4669843/

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