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How healthy, nutritious is yam?

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Yams make up over 600 varieties of tubers known botanically as ‘Dioscorea’, and they originate in Africa and Asia. They are now commonly found in the Caribbean and Latin America as well. However, 95 per cent of these species are grown in Africa.

Yam provides around 110 calories per 100 grams of product. Yam is high in vitamins C and B6, potassium, manganese and dietary fibre while being low in saturated fat and sodium. A product that is high in potassium and low in sodium is likely to produce a good potassium-sodium balance in the human body, and so protects against osteoporosis and heart disease. Yam helps to boost oestrogen, which explains why it is a good immune booster, energy booster as well as a fertility enhancer.

One big advantage of yam is that it has a good shelf life. You can store yam for up to six months. Some can stay for up to eight months. While many people today are worried about the menace of contamination and pollution of food through preservatives, no such fears are entertained with yams. In fact, yam is one of the very few food items you can buy in the market today without fear of contamination or chemicalisation.

I was at a conference sometime last year when I heard a ‘nutrition expert’ addressing a large crowd of medical personnel about the dangers of eating Yam. He told them that yam is the major cause of diabetes in the society and must be avoided by all people with diabates and those who want to avoid it. In other words, if you have diabetes, then you will never eat yam, and your favourite pounded yam again. The ‘nutrition expert’, advised his listeners to replace yam with grains such as wheat, millet and semolina.

The truth, however, is that yam is healthier than wheat, rice and millet, and people with diabetes need not avoid yam if they follow the correct instruction on how to cook yam below. Think about it, how is it that food that has served our forefathers very well for centuries and is a part of our culture suddenly become dangerous and toxic? And how come the only alternative being recommended are food from other cultures that have to be imported? Surely, there is a foul play somewhere.

Yam has a lower glycaemic index, about 54 per cent of glucose per 150-gram serving, much lower than the potato, rice and even millet. The glycaemic index (GI) is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers–the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. A low GI food will cause a small rise while a high GI food will trigger a dramatic spike.

The glycaemic index rates carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100, according to their impact on blood sugar levels. This measure doesn’t take into account a carbohydrate’s digestible content. Foods with a high glycaemic index increase blood glucose more than foods with a lower glycaemic index. The speed at which a carbohydrate is broken down into glucose determines whether it is “fast” or “slow.” Fast carbohydrates break down quickly and have a glycaemic index above 70 and a glycaemic load above 20.

Studies by different experts have yielded conflicting results, some demonstrating that these African foods could cause diabetes and obesity while some prove the exact opposite, namely, that these African foods protect against diabetes. In one study published in the December 2006 issue of ‘Fundamentals of Clinical Pharmacology’, none of the 1,381 subjects had diabetes, even though yam and cassava accounted for a full 84 per cent of their caloric intake. A second study, published in the October 1992 issue of “Diabetes Care,” noted that Tanzanians who ate yam and cassava regularly had a lower incidence of diabetes than those who rarely ate it.

My observation is that the matter may be more easily resolved if more attention is paid not only to the food in its raw state but to the actual finished products and how it is consumed. For over ten years, I have been recommending that people with diabetes eat yam. The problem is not eating yam; the problem is the way you cook your yam and how you eat it.

Always cook your yam with the peels. Never peel your yam before cooking. For those old enough to remember, you will recall that this was how our father and mothers used to cook their yam and even plantain. They never peel the skin until after cooking.

 

If you peel yam before cooking, then the yam is likely to raise your sugar level because of its high carbohydrate and starch content. But if you cook your yam with the peels, and peel it after cooking, what you have is already a balanced diet.

 

Yam peels are the most nutrient-rich part of yam. Do you think it is an accident that goats prefer to eat yam peels to eating the yam? Try it at home. Keep yam peels on one side and yam on the other side; the goat will always rush to eat the peels. They instinctively know that the peels are richer in micronutrients.

 

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Showdown in Kiev: Ronaldo, Salah draw attention

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  • Firminho, Mane pose threats to Madrid

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah will be the main focus in today’s Champions League final in Kiev and both players are tipped to play a decisive part in who wins the trophy. While Salah will be aiming to stake a claim as the new poster boy of European football, Ronaldo will be keen to push for the remarkable success he has enjoyed in the past years to edge his eternal rival Lionel Messi as to who is the best player of the current generation.

It will be an intriguing battle between an established legend of the game and another who is just establishing himself on the world stage. For Ronaldo, who returns to the ground where he captained Portugal to their glorious football achievement nearly two years ago, it will be the chance to build further on his achievements and mean he has claimed the trophy five times, four with Madrid and once with Manchester United, the same number as clubs like Barcelona and Liverpool have managed in all their history.

“I feel fine, I think my teammates are good and it will be fantastic to win, I love this competition,” Ronaldo said this week. Ronaldo, again this season, has planned his matches so as to arrive in tip top condition for the final and continues to break records having become the first player to score in all the rounds of the Champions League. Salah, aged 25, is from another generation, and has doubled his previous average for a season with 44 from 50 games and 10 of those have come in the Champions League.

He is only 175cms but has considerable pace, ability to cross the ball and a tremendous shot. It is no surprise that Liverpool have priced him at 200 million euros, which is up there with the world’s best, and the question is whether he can deliver now on the big stage.

“For me each game is just one match and I try to win them but I do not want to put myself under pressure to deliver,” said Salah. “I know this is a big game for everyone, a massive match.” Salah will be in the pole position to clinch the Ballon d’Or if Liverpool win this tie but former Liverpool star, Steve McManaman, has warned the Reds winger that Ronaldo will be out to “show who’s the king” when two of the biggest talents on the planet go head to head. “Cristiano will be thinking about that.

Mo has outscored him overall this season,” McManaman , who also played for Real Madrid told the ECHO. “Mo took Egypt to the World Cup and has had an incredible year. Everyone wants to speak to him. Cristiano will know all that but it won’t bother him. “He scores in finals – that’s what he does.

He will be relishing this opportunity to show who’s the king when he goes up against Mo. “He’s had personal battles with Lionel Messi every year and welcomes them. It’s a great battle between Cristiano and Mo.”

“Mo could have the Ballon d’Or off him this year but I think a lot will ride on the outcome of this final. It’s about stepping up and doing the business. What is certain is that two of the best forwards at present will go head-to-head in the Ukrainian capital.

In addition, There could also be the Roberto Firminho and Sadio Mane factor for the English side with both forwards already forming a deadly combination that has seen them score a record-combined 28 goals for the Reds.

Bookmakers are of the view that if the SFM (Salah- Firmihno-Mane) combined to a great effect they would outshine the BBC (Bale-Benzema-Cristiano) force and give the Merseyside team their sixth European title and if not then Madrid will continue with their great adventure in the greatest club competition in the world.

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Killer Spouses: Let’s halt the madness

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The alarming rate of spousal murder in our world calls for collective attention and action. The gruesome phenomenon is fast assuming frenetic dimension in our family life. One begins to wonder how and why lovers who voluntarily came together as husband and wife suddenly engage in extreme hostility with each other. Attending wedding ceremonies these days often agitate my mind as scary tales of abuse and violence that emanate from some of the new homes shortly after the fanfare are on the increase.

I have written articles to address some knotty marital issues that do result in the untimely and painful death of the spouses. Initially, only women were usually the victims of domestic violence. Somewhat, the hunter has now become the hunted as wives now do hack their husbands to death in the course of fighting or as reprisals. Our media is daily being inundated with sour news of one form of spousal death or the other.

Since the June 24, 2011 case of Akolade Arowolo who stabbed his banker wife, Titilayo, to death, over a score of such dastardly spousal murder cases had been reported in the media.

This is aside the unknown or covered-up cases especially in the remote places. An autopsy report revealed Titilayo was stabbed 76 times. However, the culprit did not escape the full weight of the law. He was sentenced to death February 21, 2014.

The new lethal fad these days seems to be spousal killings perpetrated by the wives. The Nigerian Police recently confirmed the arrest of Maryam Sanda for stabbing her husband Bilyaminu Haliru Bello to death. Reports claimed she killed her husband by stabbing him multiple times after seeing text messages in his phone which suggested that he was engaged in an extra-marital affair. Also, there’s the recent case of a lawyer, Mrs. Udeme Odibi, who, after stabbing her husband to death in his sleep, cut his genitals and placed them in his right hand while his stomach ripped open with the intestines spilling out.

These are just a tip of the soaring cases of spousal murder dotting our marital landscape these days. I keep wondering what usually go wrong in loving, sweet, and honey-like affairs that now end in tragedies.

Does it mean that sweet words and ecstatic moments of romance are superficial? Despite costly wedding ceremonies, how come this sad end? I hereby offer a four-prong suggestions as a way to stem this mournful scourge:

i. The parental roles must be reactivated right from the platonic (nonsexual) friendship level as parents must care to know who their children are moving with. In the ages past, parents often determine which families their children would marry from. Customarily, they will investigate the would-be in-laws’ lineage to know if there’s any illness, mental case, premature death, poverty, bareness, marital failure, spiritual issue or social stigma that was common in the family.

More often than not, children rarely reject the choices of their parents because they knew parental decisions were in their best interest. Virtually all the marriages midwifed by parental arrangements in that era endured.

Despite challenges, the marriages survived the odds because the parents were the ‘sureties’ and arbiters at every point of need or crisis. Respect for parents, desired to be responsible couples, fear of stigma in case of divorce, protection of children and family names or reputation were pivotal to the success of marriages at that time.

Regrettably though, Titilayo’s father, Mr. Oyakhire, confessed that the Arowolos’ marriage had been characterised by violence and abuse but he never envisaged it will end in the death of his daughter. Keeping people together in hostile relationships or marriages will ultimately end in regret. Parents must get involved henceforth!

ii. The Church or religious leaders must find a solution to these murderous tendencies in the society. I want to suggest that fathers of faith should replicate what the Apostles did in Jerusalem (Acts 15) when they met to resolve the doctrinal issues bothering on circumcision.

As Holy Spiritfilled oracles of God, decisions should be reached as to how long warring or violent partners should stay together to avoid untimely deaths. Pretending not to allow separation in the name of being sanctimonious is an act of cowardice.

Couples that die during assaults or physical combats might not make heaven because they die in bitterness and wrong frame of mind. iii. The society should stop stigmatizing separated or single parents.

This wrong perception do ‘force’ couples to remain in abusive or acrimonious relationships. Neighbours and people around disputing couples should please wade in quickly to avoid stories that touch the heart.

For instance, before lawyer Odibi stabbed her husband to death, her neighbours confirmed that Mr. Odibi had earlier alerted his friends and his mother that his wife threatened to kill him which eventually happened. Police should have been invited immediately Odibi raised the alarm. Perhaps the story would have been different today.

Please let’s be our brothers and sisters’ keepers. iv. Disputing couples should seek help from relationship counsellors. Family and friends should encourage them to do so in order to salvage the families in crises.

 

Send your responses/private issues to: mikeawe@yahoo.co.uk or 08035304268 (SMS/WhatsApp)

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Uprising in APC, who is surprised?

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“Blind party loyalty will be our downfall. We must follow the truth wherever it leads.” – DaShanne Stokes

What the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been displaying to the country in the last three weeks ahead of its long overdue National Convention merely gives credence to the assertion of a British statesman Benjamin Disraeli that “There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.”

But in the case of APC only persons handicapped in political punditry will express shock and surprise at the ongoing “war” in the ruling party. The squabble has yet again popularized the word parallel. The same way “inconclusive” was popularized by the Independent National Commission (INEC), under this regime.

When clouds gather the weather man tells us, the next thing is for the rain to pour and they dispatch advisories alerting us to travel dry. APC cloud have been gathering for the past three years and it’s just about to pour. All efforts by experienced hands in their system to proffer what to do to avoid the rain, fell on deaf ears as the system got hijacked by some cabals whose understanding and scope of national politics is pigeon holed in their narrow ethno-religious view point. Suddenly here we are the chicken is home to roost and the party is now right inside the rain already. In fact, it has been drizzling all the while ahead of 2019.

The inability of the ruling party to hold serious National Executive Council (NEC) meeting for over two years derives from this reality that the foundation of the house wrongly laid was cracking.

The early declaration of second term intention by President Muhammadu Buhari was intended to avert it, but from all indications it has failed to achieve the desired result. Aware that it must pour some “rain makers” wearing the garb of 20 APC state governors were brought in to prevent its pouring by proposing tenure elongation for National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun and his team a way of shifting the evils day, but the other higher forces led by President Buhari and former Lagos State Governor Ahmed Tinubu routing for former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiohmole for the national chairmanship refused, saying they won’t mind it pouring. Buhari and Tinubu had their way and a congress was ordered and here and now the party is soaked in their own blooper.

It is pouring in torrents, the grounds are all wet, fear of slipping off the ground now grips everybody, the movement is now gingerly to avoid the great fall. The arrogance is now giving way to reason, the rebellious new PDP in their fold hitherto written off before as inconsequential is now getting a hearing, reality is now downing. Will APC survive this their new disease called “parallel congress” will it be able to reduce its 72 state chairmen emerging from its parallel congresses into 36 states as required by the constitution of the party?

How would it be able to contain the anger of some of its henchmen being inconvenienced by these developments?

We have seen from APC congresses that even the rich are also crying and that master riggers can also be rigged out.

In Imo State, Governor Rochas Okorocha who was at the forefront of the anti-tenure elongation group because he wanted the state executive not loyal to him removed so that he can replace them found himself not at the commanding position where he yells orders but at the lamentation table crying for whoever desires to listen. What it takes for the best village dancer to lose his crown in the village square is just for somebody to study his dancing steps and add one or two more calisthenics and you are an edge ahead.

 

Governor Okorocha the Generalissimo of Imo politics suddenly is running helter-skelter in search of platform. His inordinate desire to enthrone his son in-law as his successor and the daughter as the successor to the wife in the First Lady position appears seriously threatened. The Owelle who had crowned himself the face of APC in Igboland is now a crying baby.

In the neighbouring Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi’s unhidden agenda to inflame the state all in desperation to stop Governor Nyesom Wike appears hooked in internal squabbles as he is dagger drawn with his own strongest ally Senator Magnus Abe. The gun movie in Port Harcourt a forth night ago by Amaechi’s supporters to shot down law court remains yet another sour point of this administration in its relationship with the judiciary.

Not even the almighty Jagaban himself, the Asuwaju of APC is having easy ride as the party’s National Legal Adviser Muiz Banire insisted on creating parallel structure in Lagos.

The fragile romance between Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, established in 2015 to enable the minister scale through Senate screening has crumbled and they have all returned to their trenches as shown in the parallel congress from Kwara State.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara who has had poor relationship with his state Governor Mohammad Abubakar was hit below the belt as not even his ward was he able to influence despite the yeoman job he is reported to be doing in his constituency.

In Enugu the hitherto apolitical Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, literally suspended his diplomatic gentleness and went about with thugs in yet another parallel congress.

Nothing less was expected from Kaduna State because of the high level of animosity already between the diminutive state governor, Nasir el rufai, and the irrepressible senators from the state led by the “deodorant and insecticide” Senator Shehu Sani.

The crisis rocking the ruling APC as validated by the ward, local government and state congresses, and most likely to be seen at its National Convention is pervasive and reflects the status of the party at the moment.

Since June 9, 2015 when it could not agree as a party on who should head the legislative arm controlled by it, APC has been jumping from one problem to the other.

Even right inside the Presidency, the much-expected cohesion and harmony have not been seen.

When early in the administration the President was accused of filling the whole position around him with his ethnic and religious allies refusing to recognize the nationality of his positions, he reacted angrily by saying he was appointing those he knows and who can do the work for him. But despite that this Presidency has been the most divided since 1999.

Few samples will suffice here; we have all witnessed the infighting among two security bodies, the EFCC and DSS all reporting to the President. Nigerians saw how the President submitted for confirmation twice Ibrahim Magu and twice DSS wrote a report that he was not eligible for the job. We all saw the show of shame when the operatives of the two agencies came on the streets of Abuja before camera with weapons flexing muscles.

Therefore, if we are not expecting biologically that a goat gives birth to a sheep why are Nigerians surprised that a party that produced such elementary performance in governance amidst apparent confusion would turn overnight to have a smooth and transparent political congresses?

It’s perhaps against this backdrop that the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political watchers are crying from the roof top, to the international community and all lovers of democracy that this administration is incapable of conducting a free, fair and credible general election.

The party is relying on some empirical points already on display lately to even warn that democracy is seriously under threat and the prevailing circumstances are not providing an enticing signs.

What has come very glaring from the APC impasse is that the great conspiracy of 2014 to grab power at all cost that gave birth to APC has crumbled? It was intended to metamorphose into a political party to change our society for the better, but all the manifestations have been showing otherwise. No wonder great players in the conspiracy like former President Olusegun Obasanjo are chickening out and the pack appears to be fragmenting. God help Nigeria.

 

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