Let me repeat that one more time. Black people must stop old habits, to develop new habits, that used to be old habits. Now, some people may be wondering what point I am trying to make or what am I trying to say. Okay, I think that it’s common knowledge that Black people whom were spread throughout the diaspora via the Transatlantic Slave Trade suffer from the worst health conditions. Here in America, the descendants of slaves lead in cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, and etc. But how did we reach this point?
Now we know that issues such as lack of access to adequate healthcare, living in food deserts, and poor socioeconomic conditions play a role. But there is something else that I feel is bigger than all of those.Whenever we discuss health in the Black community, we always discuss genetics, and we pass traits down that make us more susceptible to developing these diseases. That might be true to a certain extent, but this is not about bad genetics being passing down. It’s actually bad habits that we are passing down.We have to be honest with ourselves. Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle is not something that has been passed down through our generations. Now, for a number of reasons we understand why that is for previous generations. But in 2019 there is no excuse. We still operate from the position that eating fatty, greasy “Soul Food” is being Black, and eating healthy is for White people. That’s the same ignorant behavior as kids that are doing horribly in school, picking on the kids that read and do well in class. But we must figure out how we reached this point.
Our Diet In West Africa
If you are unaware, those of us whom were the victims of the Transatlantic Holocaust came from West Africa. In West Africa, our diet consisted heavily of plant-based foods, no dairy products, and little to no meat. If they did have meat, it was a trace amount cooked in a stew, and was usually fish. Even to this day West Africa still eats a mainly plant-based diet. When we were still in West Africa, we had no concept of what high blood pressure, cancer, or any of these other diseases were. Today, many of these conditions are still not prevalent in Africa and South Central Asia. One of the main reasons for that is because to this day, West Africans still primarily eat a plant-based diet.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Africa and South Central Asia have the lowest cancer incidence rates in the entire world! On average there are only 106 new cancer infections per year, per 100,000 people. What does that mean? Cancer rates are FAR LOWER for Africans than African Americans. Breast cancer is 82 times lower in Kenyan women than African American women. Heart disease is totally non-existent in Papua New Guinea. So, let’s now look at how we have reached the point that we are in.
Transatlantic Slave Trade
To the descendants of slaves in America, when Sir John Hawkins picked up his first cargo of slaves in a boat called Jesus in 1555, the course of history changed forever. We must remember that in slavery we were stripped of our history, culture, language, folkways and mores, religion, God, and DIET. On the Middle Passage, our ancestors were forced to eat a slop that had pork scraps and lard as the base. Our ancestors knew that the swine flesh was an abomination and were willing to die from starvation than break the laws of The Most High. The devils that had our ancestor captive wanted to keep the slaves from dying from starvation. So the devils would use tools called speculum orums to force feed the swine’s flesh to our ancestors. The images below are examples of speculum orums.
I think we all know the story from that point. During slavery we were given the scraps and forced to make delicious meals from those scraps. From this we donned what came to be known as “Soul Food”. Soul food was recognized as the principal food that was eaten in communion, feeding our forefathers through the hardships they faced during slavery. However, the soul food diet is extremely high in starch, fat, calories, and carbohydrates. It contributed to malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies such as scurvy and rickets during our captivity. Most of our ancestors were able to work this bad eating off. But in 2019, we are not working hard enough to work off that type of horrible diet.
Unfortunately, we are still eating a European, Western diet that still has us eating like slaves. It might be upgraded, but it’s a slave diet nevertheless. These diets put us at risk for heart disease, cancer, neurological disorders, colon-related illnesses, and many other diseases. The poor dietary habits is not only the number one cause of premature death in the Black community, but also in the U.S. according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. According to their numbers, unhealthy diet habits lead to 678,000 deaths a year.
In 2019 the most revolutionary, gangsta, disciplined thing that you can do is change the way that you eat. To be Black and plant-based is not only a revolutionary act, but it also returns us to the way that our ancestors ate. We no longer have to eat this dangerous diet. Though the shackles have been removed from our hands and feet, we still hold on to certain aspects of our captivity such as our diet. The University of Pittsburgh performed a study where they switched the diets of 20 African Americans and 20 South Africans. The Africans ate a western diet that consisted of meat and cheese. The African Americans ate a traditional plant-based diet that was high in fiber and low in fat. Afterwards, the researchers performed colonoscopies on both groups. The African Americans that ate the plant-based diet had an increase of butyrate. Butyrate is a fatty acid that is proven to protect against colon cancer. The Africans that ate the american diet developed changes in their gut that scientists say precede the development of cancerous cells in only two weeks.
According to the American Society for Clinical Oncology, obesity will soon surpass tobacco as the leading cause of cancer. Since the 1970’s rates of obesity have tripled, and caused nearly 1 in 5 cancer deaths. This is $50 billion in healthcare spending according to the CDC. Risk factors of poor habits are exacerbated in African Americans. The CDC has designated heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes among the top 10 leading causes of death for African Americans. We are 1.8 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and 1.4 times more likely to be obese than their Latino and white counterparts.
At the end of this post, please watch the above documentary titled, The Post Traumatic Slave Diet. It is a fabulous and very well done documentary.
With all of this, there is great news. There is a diet called the Melanin Plant Based diet. It’s not really a diet. It’s a plant-based way of eating designed for the needs of Black people, and has the ability to reverse infection in the body, increase, energy, strength, and mental clarity. These are foods that reflect our culture previous to the Transatlantic slave trade. Here is a list.
Melanin Rich Vegetables
Sea lettuce and Kelp
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Chili pepper, dried
Wild Raw Honey