By Kadiri Abdulrahman
Nutrition and health experts have underscored the importance of nutrition in boosting immune systems to fight infectious diseases and viruses like the COVID-19.
The experts said this on Wednesday at a webinar on the maiden Dairy Day organised by CHI CHI Limited, producers of Hollandia dairy products with the theme “Dairy Nourishment to Support Healthy Living,”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was initiated to raise awareness about the nutritious value of dairy products and how daily consumption can help in achieving optimum health.
Cynthia Onyekwere, Senior Dietitian at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), explained that dairy had been categorised as a major food group, and recommended daily portions for each individual.
Onyekwere stated that the intake of dairy in Nigeria, which she highlighted as 10 to 20 litres per capita consumption, was relatively low.
She noted that dairy products provided good sources of macro and micro nutrients such as calcium; protein, phosphorous and vitamins D and A.
“One cup of yoghurt meets about a quarter of our daily protein needs, nearly half of our daily requirement of calcium and two-third of our daily need of phosphorous.
“A cup of milk meets a third of our daily requirement of vitamin D and one-sixth of our daily needs of vitamin A,” she explained.
According to Amaka Nwaora, a Nutrition Consultant and Public Health Expert, milk contains many nutrients and only relatively few calories.
“Regular consumption of milk and dairy products is recommended for all age groups as they are indispensable in every phase of our lives.
“Children need vital nutrients in milk to grow up in good health, while milk helps adults get the vital nutrients they need. Older people need milk calcium for strong bones and teeth,” she said.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Israel Dan’Auta, the Head of Legal/Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, CHI Limited, noted the low dairy consumption figures in Nigeria and stressed the need for daily dairy consumption.
Dan’Auta explained that the theme for the event, “Dairy Nourishment to Support Healthy Living” was informed by the need to highlight the role dairy consumption plays in everyday nourishment.
He expressed confidence that the “ Dairy Day” conference would be an effective forum for discussing the way forward in dairy nutrition, setting priorities and connecting with consumers at a deeper and more meaningful level.”
He said that the event was organised in partnership with health, nutrition and communication experts who were carefully selected.
“We hope to empower consumers to consider the consumption of dairy products in their diets every day.
”Hollandia Dairy Day will also draw attention to the Hollandia corporate social responsibility activities through its Hollandia Nuture’A’Child Initiative, an initiative aimed at eliminating malnutrition amongst children,” he said. (NAN)