Cameroon is a country blessed with great vegetation. There are a variety of healthy tropical fruits and vegetables that grow in the country. Even though Farmers face many challenges and use rudimentary tools and agricultural systems to go about their business, it is amazing to see the list of fruits and vegetables cultivated in Cameroon. There is a variety of food which if fully exploited could lead to Cameroon beings one of the most potent agricultural countries in Africa. Additionally, this goes ahead to cement the name “Africa in Miniature” which has been used several times to describe Cameroon. There is a list of the most cultivated Fruits and Vegetables in Cameroon:
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are highly popular in Cameroon. Fruits like oranges, tangerines, grapes, lemons and limes commonly found in Markets and roadside. Citrus fruits are very rich in vitamin C, protect against heart diseases and reduces cholesterol. There grow on a large scale in the West and Littoral regions. Especially in Njombe-Penga and Baffousam.
2. Paw Paw
My Dad’s favourite fruit by a country-mile, Paw Paw grows all over the national territory. Furthermore, It is common to hear distinctions like “Papaye solo” referring to a particular kind of Pawpaw. Personally, I love crunchy pawpaw!!!! Some homes even use Paw Paw to make Juices and fruits salads. Paw Paw is rich in vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium and Calcium. Pawpaw improves general health.
When I think of cabbage I think of “poulet DG”. A Christmas treat at home when going up. Cabbage is another vegetable which is popular in Cameroon. Cabbage has a lot of health benefit which come with it like reducing the risk of developing cancer. Also, it lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, it helps the digestive systems. But beware, excessive consumption of cabbage could cause gutter.
Pear is a very versatile fruit as it could be used to make a variety of meals and eaten with a variety of things. In Cameroon, it is usually available during the rainy season. Especially, during the months of May, June, July and August. It does really well and you can usually find it become a core part of what most families eat for breakfast with bread or sometimes with rice, in a salad or even with garri(exquisite). Pear is rich in fibres, it improves heart health and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Banana is consumed throughout the year and almost in all regions of the country. It is important to Cameroon’s economy as it is one of the major income bringers in terms of exportation. Cameroon is one of the largest exporters of banana in Africa and ranks 18th in worldwide exportation of Banana. More than 355,000 hectares of land is used by banana plantations. You can see impressive banana plantations on the Tiko-Douala road. Banana is packed with a lot of nutrients and health benefits.
Bitterleaf is probably the most consumed vegetable in Cameroon. Almost every region or tribe has a popular meal wit bitter leaf being a key component. Meals like Ndole, sese plantain and turning cocoyam. One of the major reasons for the high consumption of bitter leaf is its high availability. Additionally, Bitterleaf prevents diabetes by reducing blood sugar in the body, it helps to cleanse the intestine and heals the level. It is usually prepared with egusi or peanut (groundnut). Drinking the liquid from boiled bitter leaf has prescribed for by various traditional doctors to solve some health issues and illnesses.
Eru is considered by a lot of blogs and people as the best meal in Cameroon (especially when prepared with waterleaf and palm oil). Not only is Eru delicious, but it is also great for cleansing the stomach and intestine. Though Eru is primarily the traditional meal of the Bayangis from the Southwest region of Cameroon, it is consumed and enjoyed by almost every Cameroon. Therefore, it is prepared all over the national territory.
Nationally called “Green” in Cameroon, this vegetable is delicious and healthy. It is usually consumed in with egusi. Green improves the heart’s health. It is usually consumed alongside plantains, Yam or cocoyam.
Tomatoes are prepared in many forms and are part of many meals prepared in Cameroon. Tomatoes are excellent for men as they help to Prevent prostrate cancer. They also help in regulating blood pressure and promoting pancreas health.
In the West and North West regions of Cameroon, Carrots do excellently and it is usually one of the main foodstuffs people buy when coming from these regions. Carrots are generally good for the eyes as they are rich in antioxidants lutein and beta carotene which protect the eyes.
My aunts make an excellent onion sauce which goes excellently with chicken and fried plantain. Onions help in the treatment of diabetes. They also contain components which prevent all forms of cancer and lower blood cholesterol.
Okra is usually eaten with rice, garri or fufu. It is rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid and calcium, all of which promote good health.
On a cold night, nothing is as warming as my grandmom’s ginger tea ( I might just ask her for her recipe and upload sometime soon). Ginger helps in fighting against the common cold and has a lot of health benefits.it may also possess cholesterol-lowering properties. This conclusion was arrived at in a research conducted on rats.
Early civilizations recognized its attribute in fighting infections, helps lower blood sugar and are high in sulfur-containing compounds which are thought to be the principal source of its immune-boosting properties. Garlic has been used since ancient civilizations. Back then it was used to fight off demons and protect against evil ( Vampires…LOL). It has now become part of almost every meal we eat. Garlic is excellent for the immune system, it’s a high amount of sulfur is the principal reason why it is so good for the immune system.
The Ministry of Agriculture are having various schemes and programs to help elevate agriculture in Cameroon but the problems still persist. Even though Farming systems in Cameroon are still backward, it is important to note that Cameroon is blessed with fertile soil except in the northern region of the country. Cameroon produces tons of foodstuff which can feed not only itself but it’s neighbouring countries.
So, it is quite disturbing to see that some orphans in Cameroon having inadequate feeding. That is why Green farmlands came up with the adopt a garden Initiative to help orphanages be able to do some little gardening in their area. This will provide some fruits and vegetable to orphanages which will give the children the nutrients needed to grow up healthy.
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