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  • Writer's pictureFranck Banza

The Maasai people: one of the healthiest communities in the world

Why are the Maasai people of Kenya in Eastern Africa one of the healthiest communities in the world despite being of a limited diet?

A balanced diet is one of the key aspects of a healthy lifestyle, and eating fruits and vegetables, and limiting fatty foods are the sort of recommendations that you get everywhere. At Super Bio Boost, we go further by inviting you to discover the healthy habits of traditional communities and their hidden secrets for a healthy life, and we share with you some useful tips, and discuss them with you on our socials.

In this article we would like to explore the lifestyle of the Maasai people and what makes them healthier compared to many other communities in the world.

A 2010 study revealed that the results of the blood tests of Maasai people showed that there is a high content of healthy omega-3 fatty acids in their erythrocyte membranes, the cell walls of the red blood cells (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena - 2010, May 18). Omega 3 fats are a group of unsaturated fats that are essential for a human body to stay healthy, and consuming foods high in Omega 3s could help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The question is where do the Maasai people get the Omega 3 fats from?

Let’s have a look at their daily diet.

The Maasai have sweetened milk tea with porridge in the morning, and for lunch they eat milk and "Ugali," a kind of polenta made from cornmeal and water. For dinner they eat something similar to lunch.

As it can be seen, it is very clear that meat doesn't feature on the Maasai normal daily diet. Meat is usually consumed during special occasions. However, the vast majority of their diet consists of vegetarian food.

According to the Maasai food system and food and nutrition security, milk is shown to be an important food for the Maasai. The following milk products are consumed any time of the day by all age groups:

  • Fresh milk – obtained from the cow and ingested without being boiled. Everyone drinks milk whenever it is available.

  • Sour milk (kule naisamis) – made by fermenting the fresh milk for a day (mostly overnight) at room temperature. Young boys, not yet at the circumcision age, are common consumers.

  • Yoghurt (kule naoto) – milk is fermented for about four days and stored in airtight containers. It resembled the conventional yoghurt. All age groups take this milk.

  • Cow colostrum (isikitok) – when still thick and yellow in colour, this is considered nutritious and mostly given to young children, particularly boys. Adults do not take colostrum unless it is mixed with herbs.

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