6 Reasons Eating Potato Is Good For You

Potatoes are cheap and sweet as well, not only that, they can be used to cook a variety of recipes and are packed with nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6 and phosphorus which will help your body function properly. Below are other reasons you should include potatoes in your meals;

1. Boost antioxidants

Antioxidants prevent or delay cell damage by getting rid of potentially damaging agents from the body, meanwhile potatoes baked or boiled with the skin contains about 700 grams of antioxidants or more depending on the type of potato. Although frying potatoes kill this benefit, also boiling potatoes with the skin retain all the nutrients.

2. Helps maintain blood pressure

Potatoes contain potassium which helps control our blood pressure, while banana also contain potassium it only has 9% of your daily needs but potato contains 20% while sweet potato contains 12%. But do not remove the back or you’ll reduce the potassium content drastically, boil or bake with the skin on.

3. Hamper cancer cell growth

Sweet potato is orange coloured because it contains beta-carotene, what beta-carotene does is to encourage the cells to communicate, yet studies have shown that encouraging cells to communicate allows normal cells to send growth-reducing signals to abnormal ones. Thereby reducing the growth of cancer cells, other foods containing beta-carotene include carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli.

4. Lower blood pressure

Potatoes can help lower blood pressure as it contains potassium, a mineral that help lower blood pressure through its actions as a vasodilator (blood vessel widener). research has also shown that potatoes contain kukoamines, a chemical that can help lower blood pressure.

5. Restores bone health

To have strong bones, a varety of nutrients such as calcium are needed but a Spanish study has found that manganese which potatoes contain helped prevent bone loss in rat. Again, method of cooking matter, frying or cutting off the skin reduces it’s nutrients.

6. Control blood sugar

Sweet potatoes are sweet but surprisingly, they help control your blood sugar level by 30% thanks to their high soluble fibre content. So if you’re worried that it may make your blood sugar skyrocket, go for sweet potato.

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What Can We Do To End Child Labor in Nigeria?

UNICEF defines Child labor is work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children and deprives them of opportunities for schooling and development. According to the International Labour Organization, the number of working children under the age of 14 in Nigeria is estimated at 15 million. These jobs include being street vendors, beggars, car washers or watchers and shoe shiners. Others work as apprentice mechanics, hairdressers and bus conductors while a large number work as domestic servants and farm hands.

Major causes of child labor are widespread poverty, rapid urbanization, breakdown in extended family affiliations, secondary school drop out rates, and lack of enforcement of legal instruments meant to protect children.

Although the main cause of child labor is Poverty, illiteracy also plays a role in Child labor. There are a lot of mothers on Lagos road that are seen begging with their children that are supposed to be in school. In the northern part there are a lot of cases of underage children being given up for marriage.

While some find themselves working because they become the breadwinner in their family either due to the death of their parents or illnesses beyond their control.  In Nigeria the people that are most affected by child labor are girls.

Just last month  16 children were rescued in the state from the various places where they were being used as laborers instead of their being in school in Ekiti State. Recently a 16-year old orphan nearly lost her life following a heavy bleeding consequent upon an incomplete abortion sponsored by her benefactor  where she was working as his house maid.

Just last month also a pregnant mother of two reportedly beat her eight year old house help until the girl died. You would wonder what can an eight year old child that probably can’t even take care of herself do in terms of housework? There are so many more stories that we have not even heard of.

The devastating part to child labor is the fact that it has long lasting effects on the children. Most of this children because they did not get to have adequate education end up as illiterates and drop outs doing odd jobs with no stable income. While most of the girls end up as prostitutes or teenage mothers due to the exposure that they experience everyday, the boys end up as street urchins terrorizing and causing havoc all over the place.

The effect of child labor does not only affect the child, it affects the society in general.  It is already hard enough in the country for people who had access to education not to talk of those without adequate education.

It would shock you to know that in Nigeria there are already laws laid down to protect children called the Child Rights Act that states that:

Buying, selling, hiring or otherwise dealing in children for purpose of begging, hawking, prostitution or for unlawful immoral purposes are made punishable by long terms of imprisonment. Other offences considered grave include sexual abuse, general exploitation which is prejudicial to the welfare of the child, recruitment into the armed forces and the importation /exposure of children to harmful publications. It further preserves the continued application of all criminal law provisions securing the protection of the child whether born or unborn.

The Act mandates parents, guardians, institutions and authorities in whose care children are placed, to provide the necessary guidance, education and training to enable the children live up to these responsibilities.

The Child Right Act (CRA) considers a child as a person below the age of 18 years (SECTION 21 of the CRA). It also states that a child’s best interest should be of utmost priority in any case involving a child (section 1 of the CRA 2003).

Even with the law already laid down it is a wonder that child labor is still very rampant in Nigeria infact you can’t step out of your house in the morning without seeing a child begging or hawking on the road while their counterparts are in school. The question we then have to ask ourselves as a community is what can we do to help and how can we stop child labor in Nigeria?

The first step to putting an end to Child Labor is for us to realize that it is not just up to one person, we are all responsible for putting an end to it. Although we have laws prohibiting child labor in Nigeria, child labor is still on the increase because there is no enforcement and defaulters are not made to face the wrath of the law.


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