In continuing the quest to be the best that one can be in helping build a Nu World Order, we will continue to look at individual health and well-being. In this column we’ll look at nutrition and its impact on people of color. It is important to note that this column is not a decree on what one should or should not put into their bodies. We certainly are not trying to tell people how to live their lives. We each have to make that choice individually. The idea is to point out that improved nutrition makes for a healthier you. The goal is to offer alternatives to what western society has brainwashed most of us into eating. For many, it will be a return to the future of how our ancestors used to nourish themselves.
One notable diet to examine is the Plant Based Diet. According to Wikipedia, a plant-based diet is defined as a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products. The use of the phrase has changed over time, and examples can be found of the phrase “plant-based diet” being used to refer to vegan diets, which contain no food from animal sources, to vegetarian diets which include eggs and dairy but no meat, and to diets with varying amounts of animal-based foods, such as semi-vegetarian diets which contain small amounts of meat.
Plant based diets are not new and have been practiced in communities across the diaspora. Many have gotten away from it over the years, opting to eat from entities who only have a monetary interest as opposed to a genuine concern of most communities health and well-being. Drive through wealthy, middle class, working class, and poor neighborhoods and take note of the nutritional choices for each community. It’s obvious that the lower the economic standing, the worse the nutritional options. This is slowly changing, as many people in urban centers around the diaspora are beginning to get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with the benefits of plant-based nutrition.
Dr. Baxter D. Montgomery, a Board Certified Cardiologist with years of experience in the latest medical practices and nutritional health, has the following to say about the benefits of a plant-based diet in the video below.
Dr. Montgomery is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Texas in Houston, a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and the founder and president of the Houston Cardiac Association (HCA). Having seen many patients suffer the consequences of chronic heart disease, Dr. Montgomery founded the Montgomery Heart & Wellness Center in 2006 with the mission to reverse and prevent life-threatening illnesses. Located in Houston, Texas, The Montgomery Heart & Wellness Center is a state-of-the-art wellness facility complete with all the technology and resources to provide comprehensive medical and wellness care.
You can find out more about Dr. Montgomery’s work on plant-based diets at the following link, AMAZING! DOCTOR SAVING LIVES WITH A PLANT-BASED DIET
It’s important to note how a plant-based diet has taken hold in communities like Detroit, Michigan, as noted in journalist Brittany Hutson’s column for Tostada Magazine, These Detroiters are building community and access around plant-based eating. She writes about the journey of Detroiters working to create a healthy, nutritional way of life in the Motor City by opening plant-based eateries and services in their communities. Hutson goes on to state:
“It’s a common anecdote among people of color: that those who decide to transition to a plant-based diet do so for their health. Within the last year, Detroit has been called one of the nation’s most vegan-friendly cities, but the city’s communities of color aren’t necessarily concerned with the hype of news coverage. Instead, they’re increasingly interested in introducing young and older generations a way of eating that they may not be used to or have been leery of – in order to save their lives, and work against a systemic food system that denies non-Caucasian bodies access to fresh food.”
If it isn’t obvious by now, the African diaspora has to take its health into its own hands. It won’t be easy as it will take time to undo years of conditioning. The transition to a healthier diet may need to be gradual for most. Showing up one day with a boat load of fruit and veggies won’t work for everyone (Note: I personally am gradually moving towards a plant-based diet). Remember, the goal of moving towards a healthy diet will not be a sprint, but more like a marathon. With that being said, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
We would love to hear your comments on this topic below. Feel free to mention what works for you. Also, don’t forget to give a shout out to the individuals and businesses that are working to improve nutrition in your communities.
Let the discussion begin!