Advancing indigenous fruits consumption to promote self-management in ill-health: a critical narrative review

Patricia Tonbra Osunu, Ezekiel Uba Nwose


Most African communities consume various edible fruits, which are important to their well-being. Some of these edible fruits are indigenous and were well-known to the rural communities. These indigenous fruits can be collected from the wild or planted in home gardens and also as intercrops with staple crops. Some indigenous fruits, wild collection is still practiced, especially in parts of eastern, western and southern Africa. However, some fruits are still imported. A casual verbal survey indicated that many people in the general population do not know that actual differences in nutritional values between these fruits. Therefore, this study was a critical review of some fruits using the USDA database. Results show, for instance, that guava has over 250% vitamin C relative to orange. Avocado yields more calories than banana and this is very likely due to the fat/fibre ratio difference. Further, the imported cucumber and watermelon do not seem to have any advantage over the indigenous products. It concluded that the hidden potential of these indigenous fruits needs to be advanced and exploited to improve their consumption as they play a pivotal role in health economics of healthy dietary habit and self-management of ill-health.


Nutrition values, Nigerian indigenous fruits, Medicinal uses

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