In a world bustling with choices, there’s one decision that resonates powerfully across every aspect of our lives – what we put on our plates. Beyond being a routine, healthy eating embodies a transformative journey, a symphony of flavors intertwining with the rhythm of vibrant well-being.
In the vast landscape of personal finance, an often overlooked yet potent tool emerges – our daily sustenance. Beyond mere consumption, the choices we make at the table hold the key to not just our health but also to unlocking financial abundance.
They say “Health is Wealth” and Dr. Jesupelumi Adenihun is set to bring us to that reality through her book ‘Eat to Wealth’ launched on the 18th of November.
In this interview with CrispNG, she shares some crucial and fascinating details about the book, the importance of eating healthy and the need to create the right consciousness to avoid coming down with preventable ailments that drain our wealth.
CrispNG: Tell us about your book, ‘Eat to Wealth’ and what inspired it.
When people hear ‘wealth’ they immediately start thinking about money, while that is good, there is a very big connection between your eating and feeding and productivity; you’re able to save money that would have been spent treating diseases. The popular ‘Health is Wealth’ phrase is synonymous to ‘Eat to Wealth’.
During my undergraduate years as a medical student, I observed that a lot of the diseases that people came down with were preventable, and from my research, reading and even going through a nutrition certification course I saw that people lacked the information and when they do, they don’t have access to the right information on how to eat healthy in a sustainable manner. I’m emphasizing the word, sustainable manner because it has to be something that you can do repeatedly, as it should be long-term or habitual.
The book is all about reorienting people, and educating them on how to eat, what to eat and when to eat.
CrispNG: Tell us the impact you want to see after the release of this book
Creating a consciousness in the minds of people on their eating habits is something I hope to achieve. 7 out of 10 people are dying as a result of diseases that can be prevented and a good number of them are tied to the foods that we eat. So, if we are becoming more conscious, especially for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s we will go a long way. When we talk of eating right, it’s not about eating foods that you don’t enjoy.
I want to create a community that has a sense of eating healthy, thereby contributing to a longer lifespan that is void of diseases to a large extent. Even if they already have those diseases the food they consume together with the medication can go a long way in creating a better outcome.
So, in a decade from now. We want to be able to see a reduction in the number of people who are dying from these diseases, even if we achieve a 4 over 10 we can say that it is a step in the right direction.
Right now, beyond Nigeria, in Africa, we are spreading that influence, helping people to adopt better eating practices, with the aim of achieving a universal goal of seeing healthier people and fewer people dying due to nutrition-related diseases.
CrispNG: Healthy lifestyle is not something many Nigerians prioritise, as a doctor, what do you think is responsible for this?
Interestingly, you can find that Nigerians prioritise other things above health. Running a health start-up, I’ve seen people who’ll pay for a party before remembering to pay for their annual checkup. It’s still boils down to information and educating people.
The more you inform people, the more they become aware and take action. Today, so many people don’t do checks, so many people do not know what their health statuses are, and that’s where I come in as a medical professional, I educate the people and we have amazing foods so let’s embrace them.
CrispNG: As the co-founder of CHEKKER, how is your organisation addressing the issue of eating healthy?
What we do at CHEKKER is an at-home diagnosis, we go from full end to end. So, right from when patients are getting to see a doctor. So we provide health checks and consultation, thereby detecting problems and finding solutions linked to healthy eating, etc. We do this for individuals and organisations.
CrispNG: You talked about educating people, how can the government and individuals improve this?
I am a contributing member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and earlier this year we did something on workforce nutrition. A good number of us spend most of our time in our workspaces, so addressing people’s nutritional needs is an approach taken at the national level to ensure that workforce nutrition is enforced in organisations and different criteria are now looked at as to how people eat.
Also, education can not be overemphasized even right to secondary schools to know the kind of meals being consumed, so these are one of the practices that are enforced. Individuals, families, corporate organisations and even healthcare institutions are not left behind.
CrispNG: How well are policies implemented in Nigeria?
We are doing well in terms of policies, but we go into the strategy of how it is distributed from top to bottom, and monitoring of the implementation process. So far, I wouldn’t say we are 100% there yet, but good progress has been made. However, the government at all levels and individuals have a role to play in terms of policy implementation.
CrispNG: How do we address the issue of poverty and a healthy lifestyle?
For some people, the real scenario is that they really cannot afford to feed themselves, but things like home gardens. Producing also helps in boosting the economy. When it comes to eating healthy you have the issue of time, access, quality and cost. Some people might have time and have the issue of cost, so a home garden is a good option. Eating healthy is not a state of perfection, it’s something that you keep getting better at.
CrispNG: You’re launching a book soon, apart from that, do you have other projects in the pipeline?
It revolves around Education, coaching and provision of meal plans. For corporate organisations we offer full-service provision, health education, health checks and health interventions, sometimes it could be group coaching or training. There’s a project of redefining workspaces so that employers get the right meals they can provide even to people that come into those spaces, that will be completed soon and will be announced.