African Heritage & Health Week Challenge

African Heritage & Health Week Challenge

As this week kicks off Black History Month, today is also the first day of African Heritage & Health Week (AHHW). AHHW challenges everyone to try at least one dish, homemade or from a restaurant, that is inspired by traditional African cuisine from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and the American South. Enjoy a family-style meal at an Ethiopian restaurant, season your way through a traditional, home-cooked West African stew, or enjoy farm to table delicacies of African ancestors.

We at Dherbs will provide some recipes of these traditional dishes to inspire you. We continually try to inspire people to eat healthier, plant-based foods that stem from the cuisine of our ancestors. A world of processed foods, junk foods, fried foods, and meat-based diets can cause serious health problems.

The leading causes of death to African-Americans include cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, and cancer. Nearly all of these killers are diet-related and can be remedied naturally. This is why it is important to always care for the body. Eating fresh fruits & vegetables, nuts & seeds, legumes, and whole grains is the best way to start fighting these diseases. Don’t wait for problem to occur to start taking care of your health.

Cardiovascular Disease

This is the number one killer of all Americans, but research indicates that African-Americans are at a greater risk of coronary disease, hypertension, or stroke. This can be attributed to poor diets, lack of exercise, cigarette smoking, and genetics. The easiest ways to prevent these ailments include eating right and exercising.


Eat More Of These

Meat, poultry, pork, & processed meatsGreen leafy vegetables (spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, and cabbage)
Dairy products (cheese, yogurt, & milk)Avocados
Processed foodsAlfalfa sprouts
Fried foodsLegumes & whole grains


Roughly 13.2% of all African-Americans, who are over age 20, are diagnosed with diabetes. Unless you develop type 1 diabetes early on in life, type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with poor diets and obesity. Daily exercise, along with a modified diet, will do you a world of good in helping to prevent diabetes.

Do More Of

Do Less Of

Exercise 40 minutes a day (walking, jogging, yoga, or pilates)Eating fried or processed foods
Eat magnesium-rich veggiesManmade or synthetic sugar consumption
Eat fenugreek, biliberry extract & aloe veraAvoid sugary fruits (mangoes & cherries)


Out of all African-Americans who are over age 20, two-thirds are either obese or overweight. A BMI that is over 30 indicates that a person is obese. Obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and stroke. Here are some helpful tips:


Cancer is one of the top 3 killers of African-Americans. African-American men are 2.4 times more likely to die from prostate cancer and 52% more likely to die from colon cancer, while African-American women are 42% more likely to die from breast cancer.

What You Can Do To Change These Statistics

  • Eat plant-based foods that are high in antioxidants to help counteract DNA damage and free radicals. These foods include blueberries, Brazil nuts, kiwi, onions, and broccoli, among others
  • Boost your immune system by getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night, soaking up the sun to get vitamin D, lowering stress levels, laughing a lot, and consuming immune-boosting herbs like Echinacea and astragalus
  • Consider getting colonics or performing at-home enemas because a toxin-filled colon makes one more prone to developing colon or prostate cancer
  • Eliminate processed foods, soy products, dairy products, meats, junk foods, and added sugars
  • Meditate and exercise daily to bring stress levels down and develop a more positive outlook on life


Your mental health can greatly influence how the rest of your body functions. African-Americans have a high depression rate that can sometimes lead to suicide. Rather than getting hooked on anti-depressants, try the following things to naturally remedy the condition.

The Dos

The Don’ts

Set daily goals (start small and build)Don’t set unattainable goals
Eat more magnesium foods (avocados, almonds, bananas, spinach, & Brazil nuts)Eat fewer junk foods, processed foods, and dairy products
Meditation, guided meditation, or breathing exercisesDon’t hold in your feelings
Try acupuncture for better body energyDon’t avoid people who care about you

To start you off on your African Heritage and Health Week challenge, try making this tasty coconut curried soup. Make the time in the kitchen enjoyable by sharing stories with relatives or listening to music by legends like Nina Simone, Buddy Guy, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and modern artists like Lauryn Hill, Kamasi Washington, and Beyoncé, of course. Try expanding your musical horizons by listening to traditional African or Caribbean artists. Go beyond Bob Marley and try Gregory Isaacs or Brenda Fassie.

More recipes will come throughout the week, so keep your eyes peeled for these delectable dishes.

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