Did you know that we celebrate Food Conservation Month in January; Heart Month and National Arts Month in February; Fire Prevention Month, National Women’s Month, and Tax Consciousness Month in March; Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa and National Lung Month in August; National Science Club Month in September; National Children’s Month and Consumer Welfare Month in October; and Filipino Values Month in November? Did I forget a month? Oh, yes! So, what are we celebrating this month? Oh my gulay, it’s Nutrition Month!
By virtue of Presidential Decree 491 (aka Nutrition Act of the Philippines), the National Nutrition Council is spearheading this nationwide celebration, now in its 38th year, that carries this very meaty theme: Pagkain ng gulay ugaliin, araw-araw itong ihain. The 38th Nutrition Month celebration underscores the importance of vegetables to increase vegetable consumption as part of a healthy diet to address micronutrient deficiencies and non-communicable diseases, promote vegetable gardening as a source of additional food and income, and increase demand for vegetables to help local vegetable farmers. Nutrition Month focuses on vegetables for several reasons: Filipinos are eating less and less vegetables. From 145 grams per day in 1978, consumption has decreased to 110 grams per day in 2008. In terms of age groups, children six months to five years old consumed only a little amount of vegetables. Studies show that among the reasons for low vegetable consumption are: influence of family members who do not eat vegetables, dislike for vegetables because of taste and texture, cultural beliefs about vegetables, cost, preparation time, and fear of chemicals. In eating such vegetables, we can get nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, E as well as potassium, folic acid, iron, and calcium. In eating vegetables, we can get health benefits unlike other foods; and the following are the benefits that we can get. Vegetables as part of a healthy diet can help prevent major...
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