Lesson 7: Fruits, Veggies, and A Healthy Lifestyle
Last Tuesday was the last session of the plant based A Taste Of African Heritage cooking class with the youth of The Boston Project Ministries! We made a fruit salad with pineapples, chopped apples, bananas, and frozen blueberries.
We talked about the rainbow colors of fruits and vegetables and how they are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that keep us healthy (and regular). All fruits and veggies help reduce risks of cancer. Red colored produce like watermelon, cherries, beets, and tomatoes also help the heart, immune system, and vision (as does orange and yellow produce). Green produce like avocado, green apples, broccoli, leafy greens, and green peppers help with vision. Purple and blue such as blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, and purple flesh potatoes help with aging and improved memory. White, tan/beige, and brown like pears, bananas, dates, cauliflower, mushrooms, jicama, and onions help the heart. They ALL help with a host of other health benefits and disease prevention and treatment. One student declared, “I’m gonna eat ALL of these now!” To reap the benefits, we should eat several servings of fruits and vegetables DAILY and be especially sure to add a lot of leafy greens (both raw and cooked).
Since it was our last class, I made the students and our class assistant my famous oat-date-sweetened SOS-free (sugar, oil, salt free) chocolate cake with coconut icing! (Pages 37–39 of my book). They LOVED it and couldn’t believe that it was made without sugar and without white flour! We sat in the dining room, chatted, laughed, and ate the fruit salad and cake.
I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to teach this class to youth in my neighborhood! They were engaged and learned that healthy plant foods ARE part of our heritage AND can taste good. My hopes are that they continue to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their diets, share this information with their families to help improve the dire health outcomes in our community, and to maintain an active lifestyle.