With over 1.3 billion population, India has witnessed tremendous economic growth. Not just this, but Indian Government also set a target of producing a record 285.2 million tonnes of food grains for 2018-19. Despite these efficacious figures, India is still engulfed in a hunger crisis. It’s not about India alone, but a report states that estimated 124 million people in 51 countries are currently facing a food crisis. Thus, to battle this situation, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) – a specialised agency of United Nations celebrates World Food Day on 16th October every year.
In fact, World Food Day 2018 will celebrate the 73rd anniversary of FAO’s foundation. And since then, FAO has organised various events in over 150 countries. Through this medium, FAO vows to create awareness, ensure food security along with nutritious diets and assures that people get access to high-quality food to lead a healthy life. Being the most celebrated days of the UN calendar, FAO aims to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 by adopting different themes every year. And this year, the theme is – ‘our actions are our future’, which urges nations, continents, sectors and professions to come together to meet Zero Hunger. Also, this year the focus will be to transform the rural economy because 70% of the world’s poor live in rural areas.
Alarming food crisis in India
Despite tremendous economic growth in India, FAO report states that 195.9 million people stay undernourished which means India is home to almost 24% of the world’s hungry population. The report furthermore highlights the plight of women of reproductive age who are suffering from anaemia. In fact, the statistics illustrate the dominance of anaemia which has gone up from 30.3% in 2012 to 32.8% in 2016. Also, India FoodBanking Network emphasises that 38.4% of the children aged under five suffer from stunting (short height) and 21% from wasting (low weight). Sadly, malnourished children are prone to illnesses such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, and malaria which can lead to death. Also, in the 2018 Global Hunger Index, India ranks 103 out of 119 qualifying countries and has a score of 31.1 which shows that the level of hunger in India is extremely serious.
Blame it on inefficient supply chain management, 40% of the fruits and vegetables, and 30 per cent of cereals produced are lost and do not reach to the markets and eventually to the consumers. Apart from this, industrial agriculture, climate change, financial crisis, poverty are also some of the culprits behind food crisis. However, Government of India has now become vigilant and are practising various programmes and initiatives for Nutrition And Food Security like National Nutrition Month, National Food Security Mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojana, etc.
How dry fruits can help for nutrition?
Permeated with nutrients, dry fruits are a great shield against the fight of hunger crisis for mother as well as for the child.
1. Prevents Anaemia
Anaemia is a deficiency that haunts several malnourished children and mothers due to less intake of iron. However, dry fruits like raisins, dates and apricots are a saviour while battling with anaemia. They are rich in iron, fibre and vitamins which help in boosting haemoglobin levels. A handful of raisins complemented with one or two dates can become a nutritious snack. Moreover, they will act as a great energy booster too!
2. Overall Growth
According to UNICEF, undernutrition is prominent among Indian children wherein 43% of them. But with dry fruits, increase in height and weight is possible as they are rich in proteins, minerals, calories and fats. Almonds, cashews, raisins, pistachios, walnuts are some of the dry fruits that help in healthy weight gain. Furthermore, almonds and walnuts not only help in bone formation but also ensures brain development as they are a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. If cashews add to healthy bones than raisins give energy and suppress hunger pangs. Moreover, a home-made powder made of all dry fruits is a great snack for the little tots!
3. Hale And Hearty Mothers
A study has inferred that 42% of Indian mothers are underweight and this furthermore affects the health of the child. Unfortunately, India has the highest number of low birth weight babies per year i.e. an estimated 7.4 million. Blame it on lack of education, underage, short birth intervals, these women lack necessary nutrients like fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium, etc. But dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, dried dates, apricots, pistachios, dried apricots, cashew and raisins are a boon to overcome these problems. They help in easy digestion, prevents the low birth weight of the baby, curtails anaemia, helps in brain development and give energy. Most importantly, dry fruits are the best food for nursing mothers.
4. Boosts Immunity System
People caught in the vicious circle of malnutrition are prone to poor immune function. Their bodies are unable to fight it out with infections because they lack essential vitamins and minerals. However, dry fruits like walnuts, dates, almonds, have these nutrients along with vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin. Being an antioxidant, Vitamin E helps in keeping the cells healthy, protects from bacteria and viruses, thus making the system immune.
These alarming figures have highlighted the pitiful state of India. However, there is a possibility to control the food crisis with the remedial measures from the bigwigs of the food industry and the Government. Moreover, as a vigilant citizen, you can also put an end to food wastage by contributing to improve the life of someone in need. And to do so, Ambrosia Nuts extends support by supplying top-notch quality dry fruits that will aid you in this food revolution! To avail yourself of wholesome nutrition, visit: https://bit.ly/2zRfXSo