SAMS supports MNIB’s healthy ‘Snacking’ initiative

The state-owned Marketing and National Importing Board has partnered with local health care providers to promote healthy eating for the nation.

Fruit Cooler displayed at the St. Augustine’s Medical Services Lobby

MNIB has taken a pro-active step of providing mini-coolers for the storage and sales of fresh fruit with strategically chosen partners around the island.

A natural synergy between them and health care providers such as St. Augustine’s Medical Services, has resulted.

Cognisant of the fact that eating fresh fruits provides a boost to one’s overall health and well-being, the MNIB initiative also takes into account that in today’s economy obtaining fresh fruits can be expensive.

The idea was formulated to offer a prepacked portion of selected and sliced fresh fruit at a very affordable cost for consumers.

Resident Physician at St. Augustine’s Medical Services (SAMS), Dr. Lutz Amechi, who continues to encourage a healthy eating nation, was happy to partner with MNIB and have the mini-cooler installed in the reception area of the facility at St.Paul’s.

“Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall diet are more likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. They provide nutrients which are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies”, he said.

MNIB delivers the fresh fruits on a daily basis allowing SAMS to give patients, visitors and staff an opportunity to take advantage of the many benefits of this healthy snack, right on the premises.

According to Administrative Director at SAMS, Allyson Amechi, the cooler is surprisingly completely sold out almost every day.

“We are happy to have partnered with MNIB and even more happy

that having the cooler onsite is supporting persons in making positive healthy eating choices”, she remarked.

As a reminder for the nation SAMS highlights just a few benefits of including fresh fruit in our diet:

· Fruits are a source of many essential nutrients that are under-consumed, inclusive of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).

· Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.

· Dietary fiber from fruits helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and is said to lower the risk of heart disease.

· Fiber is also important for proper bowel function, it helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis.

· Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.

· Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.

With the onset of the season, SAMS also take the opportunity to encourage all to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, to keep up their stamina and enjoy good health and a fun-filled carnival.

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