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    Food Exploration

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | January 7th, 2024

    Food Exploration

    I went to a winter farmer’s market this past weekend and bumped into a friend. She asked me about my Instagram fruit challenge, and I told her I ended on Day # 100, which happened to be on Thanksgiving Day. The challenge was to eat a different fruit for 365 days. I told her I had learned a lot, but then I confessed eating a different vegetable each day would be the real challenge. I LOVE FRUITS; I am not a big fan of vegetables. She smiled and immediately escorted me to the Microgreen Stand.

    Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs. The nutrients in microgreens are more concentrated than in their fully-grown counterparts. They were selling – broccoli, arugula, purple radish, kale, peas, and red acre cabbage. I used this opportunity to inform my friend that peas were not vegetables; they were technically fruits. After my fruit challenge, I am genuinely well-versed in anything related to fruits. I also used this opportunity to tell my friend all about kale. There are four significant varieties of kale – coarse, American, Russian, and Italian. When the seller heard me, he told us that this was the Russian variety, which tends to be sweeter than the others. 

    Sadly, only one in ten Americans get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. We know a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower the risk of eye and digestive problems, and positively affect blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. 

    Let us use this New Year to challenge ourselves to explore new things. If you are a vegetable person, add fruit to your diet. If you are a fruit person, then try new vegetables. If you are neither, then you have a lot to learn.

    I cannot wait to hear what new fruits and vegetables you try this year. I am on Instagram @ngozi.osuagwu, sharing my vegetables.

    Note: You have to be careful where you get your microgreens. Some have been associated with salmonella outbreak.

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    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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