Nutrition experts are leading the charge to get Kenyans to take up eating more indigenous foods to control the rise of non-communicable diseases and malnutrition. Ruth Kaloki, a lead nutritionist at Makueni County Referral Hospital, said rising cases of diseases like diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, stroke and obesity point to the need for a healthy diet.
Many of the required nutrients are found in native foods, she said, but a majority of the population largely consume rice and maize. Veronica Kanini, a farmer in Thange A, Kathiani, Kibwezi East sub-county, said she grows pumpkin, sorghum, amaranth and cowpeas, among other traditional crops.
The baobab tree, which grows mostly in arid and semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa, are also common in her region. Kanini said the tree’s pulp and seeds can