We spend time and money planning for many big
events in life: college tuition, weddings, retirement, travel — the list could
go on, but one big expense that many people overlook is the possibility of
needing long-term care. These costs can really add up, so it’s important to
start planning as early as possible to avoid being caught off guard later on.
Kind of Care Will You Need?
Whether you’re planning for yourself or a
loved one, there are a few risk factors to consider, starting with your family.
Do you have a family history of illnesses or conditions that would require
assistance or medical care? According to Forbes, having a family history of dementia and other
neurological problems increases the odds that you will need long-term care.
Besides these genetic factors, it’s also
important to look at your lifestyle and changes you could make to reduce the
risk of injury or illness. In some instances, applying a more holistic approach
can make a huge improvement and lessen your risk of problems down the road.
Diet – Are you eating a healthy, balanced diet? What you eat can affect your
chances of developing heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Make sure to
eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Avoid
too much dairy as well as processed foods, and be sure to drink plenty of
water. Remember, you are what you eat!
Exercise – Are you keeping your heart and
lungs healthy with exercise? Exercise can also strengthen your
bones and increase flexibility, reducing your risk of injury. Low-impact
exercise can help you make serious strides in your health. Look to activities
like walking, yoga and hiking.
Meditation – Stress can be a huge contributor
to poor health. By finding ways to cope with and curb stress, you can make
serious inroads in your physical and mental health. If meditation is new to
you, look to guided apps to help you get started.
Unhealthy habits – Unhealthy habits like
smoking and excessive drinking can lead to serious illnesses. Make a point to
look into smoking cessation, and limit your alcohol intake. As mentioned above,
it’s also a good idea to cut out processed foods. By cutting back on sodas,
fast food and convenience meals you’re adding to your longevity.
While modern medicine has helped eliminate diseases and has contributed to longer lifespans, there is no substitute for the health and wellness tools nature has already provided. Whether it’s healing herbs and spices, sunshine, or food, we have everything we need to keep our bodies in top shape no matter our age. If you are a senior looking for ways to improve your health, keep reading. In the following few paragraphs, we’ll cover some of the most effective ways to keep yourself healthy — no drugs required.
ANA / Maxwell Hall of the World Economic Forum interviews Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja, founder and CEO of Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied Services at WEF Africa 2017 in Durban.
Meet The New Way To Farm!
This young Nigerian, a winner of the World Economic Forum’s Top Women Innovators Award, has turned adversity and a modern city’s hunger for imported vegetables into a thriving business.
In this age of Eat Local campaigns, one might be a little alarmed to encounter vegetables called rucola, petite-this and mange-that, on a plate in the Nigerian capital, but fear not, Oluwayimika Angel Adelaja told a briefing at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Africa meetings on Friday, these micro greens are not just grown near Abuja, they are grown within the teeming metropolis.
This young Nigerian, a winner of the World Economic Forum’s Top Women Innovators Award, has turned adversity and a modern city’s hunger for imported vegetables into a thriving business. Her business is growing micro greens in shipping containers in town, allowing her to add “hyper local” to the tag.
The founder and chief executive of Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied Services in Nigeria said her business started with a regular farm, but making a success of that proved so challenging that she was forced to innovate.
How did it all Start?
The business started with 10 greenhouses on a leased 300 hectare farm. The green houses took up only a small part of the land, with the rest covered with trees. Beside the cost of clearing, which would have been exorbitant, Angel said, she had a problem with the idea of displacing forest.
An additional problem was that the farm was three hours from market
As any farmer will confirm, this business is not for the faint-hearted. Angel told the briefing on the last day of the WEF Africa meetings in Durban that small farmers like herself could expect to lose up to 50 percent of their crop before harvest. Lack of funds compounds problems around a shortage of information and lack of inputs and tools.
Access to finance would be a game changer for farmers, but bank loans are usually available only to landowners in Nigeria.
“First I need to be rich before I can get a loan,” Angel said.
Transporting often-delicate, perishable goods along bad roads and a lack of storage facilities added to problems which meant that, she added, another 25 percent of produce could be lost from farm to market.
Another challenge that forced a rethink of the business was when the fuel price increased from 87 Naira a litre to above 200 Naira in a short period of time.
It was these and other challenges that forced Fresh Direct to innovate and “pivot”, as she described it, and develop their genius plan to grow vegetables in town. The business now grows micro greens in containers stacked five high at two sites in Abuja.
Each 20-foot shipping container would fit a car – instead they take 4 000 plants per cycle, with a cycle lasting from seven days to a month.
The vegetables are produced using a hydroponic method where plants are grown in nutrient-filled water, rather than soil. The business is moving into aquaponics too, where fish are added to the system to enhance the cycle.
This is a long way away from fast food, but the vegetables can be delivered to customers 15 minutes after they are harvested and washed.
Fresh Direct’s customers are restaurants, hotels and grocery stores. “The nice thing with corporate customers is that they are consistent,” Angel said.
An outlet in Lagos will soon be added to the two already operating in Abuja. In Lagos, Angel said she expects to tap into an ever bigger demand for micro greens, niche foods that are a favourite of modern chefs, foodies and other hipster types.
Fresh Direct currently employs 10 people full-time and another 59 part-time, many of whom would find it hard to secure good jobs elsewhere. Angel told the WEF briefing that not one of her staff had gone to secondary school and just one has previous agricultural experience.
She said her staff call themselves “tech farmers” in a country where farming is sometimes looked down on as a less-than-dignified career.
Angel clearly doesn’t look down on traditional farming. In fact, she seemed pleased and relieved to say that doing the fancy vegetables, rather than staple foods, meant she was not competing with traditional rural farmers, rather they are providing vegetables that are otherwise imported.