Friday, 24 June 2016

Book Review: DIET GUIDES...Tips to Healthy Living

Title of Book:             DIET GUIDE... Tips For Healthy Living
Author:                      Okechukwu Onuegbu
Publisher:                   Valid Publishing Company, Awka/Abuja/Lagos
Year of Publication: 2015
Number of Pages:     36
Reviewer:                   Henry Chigozie Duru

The book, DIET GUIDE... TIPS FOR HEALTHY LIVING, could not have come at a better time than now when diverse health challenges – familiar and strange – have brought about stringent call for all to return to nature. Yes, RETURN TO NATURE! has become the familiar cry as the modern human now comes under remorseless affliction of bad health in the form of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity and the like. Many experts have tended to blame this wave of ill-health besieging the modern humanity on the typical lifestyle of today’s man and woman characterised by sedentary routine and increasing preponderance of synthetic foods in their diet regime.   
Hence, Mr. Okechukwu Onuegbu, in this recent book, lends his voice to the call for all of us to return to the ways of nature where we came from; embracing undefiled and undiluted her inexhaustible gifts of plants and animal bodies, for that nutrition cum medication our bodies have been calling for towards good health and longevity. The book’s foreword is supplied by the famous champion of natural nutrition and medicine, and the founder/CEO Centre for Herbal Studies & Centre for Psychic & Healing Administration (CPHA), Chief Dr. (Mrs) Flora I. N. Ilonzo; wherein she posits that “No medication can do as much for our health as the healthful foods we eat every day.  By the same token, no medication is capable of completely compensating for the harmful effects of the unhealthful foods we eat in an unbalanced diet” (p.ix).
Structured in six chapters, the book takes the reader through some interesting pieces of knowledge regarding human body, common illnesses and healthful dietary culture required to live well. Chapter one is on why everyone must go for balanced diet. The author, with copious references to relevant authorities, gives the unpleasant picture of wrong dietary habit of today’s man, woman and child, its health risks, and argues to the effect that our native natural foods have in ample quantity all of those nutrients that make for balance dieting.  In chapter two, the writer refreshes the reader’s mind on what balanced diet means, but this time going further than our conventional textbook approach by giving details of those natural foods from which one would get the six classes of food that make up balanced diet. In chapter three, he offers us tips for healthy living, dwelling on familiar issues like sedentary lifestyle, exercise and rest.
It is perhaps chapter four that contains the crux of the author’s message – at least as evident in its topic: “Diet Guides”. Here the author begins by offering an apparently very vital piece of advice in the direction of forming of healthy dietary habit. He advises mothers to “inculcate into their children and wards the good habit of cooking, especially the processes involved in preparing and eating of African indigenous foods, meals, fruits and vegetables as that can contribute immensely towards monitoring our health including weight gain and others” (p.19).  And for the authorities, the writer has the following admonition: “On the other hand, government at all levels, as well as other relevant agencies, should come up with effective methods of dissemination of basic nutrition information and education about the foods we cultivate, purchase and eat. They should also emphasise social, economic and political factors influencing food patterns and choice by population groups” (pp.19 – 21). The writer then goes into the nitty-gritty of do-it-yourself nature-based dieting for healthy living. He mentions those healthy foods which the reader should go for in building his/her nature-based diet regime and those unhealthy ones which must be minimised or completely avoided.  
In chapter five, the book turns to the common serious diseases afflicting today’s humans including diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, arthritis, infertility and fibroid, showing with reference to  a number of authorities that these illnesses, among other causes, also have dietary root.
Chapter six is the shortest of them all as well as the ultimate segment of the book, and its heading is “Expert Recommendations”. According to the writer, experts have recommended that people should eat fresh fruits daily in empty stomach as these help in detoxifying human system and supplying one with a high amount of energy for healthy living and longevity, as well as aids in weight loss. Referring to the Christian Scriptures, he tells the reader; “It is now left for you to explore what prompted the biblical Daniel and his Hebrew brothers (in Daniel 1 v 1 – 21) to choose vegetables and water to the surprise of (sic) King Nebuchadnezzar’s mouthwatering palace dishes” (p.34).
Perhaps, done with his string of instructions, the author chooses to end by encapsulating his whole position in the following pronouncement: “Hence, there is urgent need for nutritionists and herbal experts to expedite actions towards educating the listening ears on how to eat, what to eat, when to eat, where to eat and why to eat to live a healthy life as nutrition has been discovered to be most effective remedy and sometimes, most preferable to medicines” (p.35).
On the evidence of the above dissection, DIET GUIDE... TIPS FOR HEALTHY LIVING is a valuable addition to the pool of literature at the disposal of today’s individuals and communities in their quest to hold strong against the ceaseless threats from ailments of various shades. It is thus with no hesitation that this reviewer recommends it for individual homes, school libraries and health resource centres as a handy reference material for personal practice, instruction and research.
The book’s title is suitable for the subject treated and the cover design is equally apt and informative. However, the reader would certainly expect the author, while presenting the second edition, to effect some improvement on text impressions (as a few of the pages have blurry portions), improve the legibility of labels on picture illustrations and correct the very few errors of syntax and typos.
Overall, however, the author has done a commendable work. Kudos.

The author of DIET GUIDES, Comrade Okechukwu Onuegbu has written other books which include two anthologies of poems, SONGS FROM A SOLEMN MIND, MIRROR OF THE MINDS, covering politics, love relationship, life and charity; movie, ROMEO WITHOUT JULIET, and others.

He was born on 12 December, 1987 to the family of Mr Matthew Chukwujekwu and Mrs Lucy Nmachukwunyelugo Onuegbu of Umuaba village, Ebenebe, Awka North Local Government Area of Nigeria.



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