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Title: Mushroom Nutrition as Preventative Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa
Authors: Fernandes, Tito
Garrine, Carmen
Ferrão, Jorge
Bell, Victoria 
Varzakas, Theodoros
Keywords: food insecurity; mushroom nutrition; poverty; health promotion; health foods
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: MDPI
Serial title, monograph or event: Applied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume: 11
Issue: 9
Abstract: The defining characteristics of the traditional Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) cuisine have been the richness in indigenous foods and ingredients, herbs and spices, fermented foods and beverages, and healthy and whole ingredients used. It is crucial to safeguard the recognized benefits of mainstream traditional foods and ingredients, which gradually eroded in the last decades. Notwithstanding poverty, chronic hunger, malnutrition, and undernourishment in the region, traditional eating habits have been related to positive health outcomes and sustainability. The research prevailed dealing with food availability and access rather than the health, nutrition, and diet quality dimensions of food security based on what people consume per country and on the missing data related to nutrient composition of indigenous foods. As countries become more economically developed, they shift to “modern” occidental foods rich in saturated fats, salt, sugar, fizzy beverages, and sweeteners. As a result, there are increased incidences of previously unreported ailments due to an unbalanced diet. Protein-rich foods in dietary guidelines enhance only those of animal or plant sources, while rich protein sources such as mushrooms have been absent in these charts, even in developed countries. This article considers the valorization of traditional African foodstuffs and ingredients, enhancing the importance of establishing food-based dietary guidelines per country. The crux of this review highlights the potential of mushrooms, namely some underutilized in the SSA, which is the continent’s little exploited gold mine as one of the greatest untapped resources for feeding and providing income for Africa’s growing population, which could play a role in shielding Sub-Saharan Africans against the side effects of an unhealthy stylish diet.
ISSN: 2076-3417
DOI: 10.3390/app11094221
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FFUC- Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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