Patrick Kamadi is a staunch proponent of nutrition for a healthy nation.
He is passionate about balanced diets and the consumption of fruits, tubers and dark leafy vegetables to keep diseases at bay, something that resonates with the saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away'.
The 60-year-old self-taught nutritionist is popular in Kakamega town and beyond.
When he is not in his grocery store, he can be found crisscrossing the town, selling dietary vegetables and educating people on the values of a healthy lifestyle.
“I opened a grocery in 1982. I used to sell vegetables and fruits and my biggest clients were Asians,” Kamadi says.
At the time, he had ventured into the grocery business unaware of its potential.
“In 2002, I developed severe arthritis. Visits to several hospitals did not help. Some of my Asian friends noticed the difficulty I had moving around and inquired about my health. When I told them I had arthritis, they laughed and wondered how I could let that happen yet the cure was right before me”.
His Asian friends advised him to take a cocktail of beetroot, radish, cucumbers, garlic and ginger.
“After four days of taking the combination, the swelling in my knees subsided. It was from there that I started looking at my business from a different perspective,” Kamadi says.
“I took it upon myself to read widely on the relationship between nutrition and staying healthy. So far, I have read over 90 books on nutrition and medicine,” Kamadi says as he leafs through some of the books.
One of them is titled; Amazing medicine drug companies don’t want you to know by University Medical Research publishers.
Kamadi started his primary schooling at Changamwe Primary school in Mombasa and did his O-Level studies at H H Aga Khan in Mombasa before moving to St Mary’s Kitale for his A-level education.
Thereafter, he enrolled at the University of Nairobi in extramural classes in Kakamega to study accounting but was unable to complete the course due to financial constraints.
A deeper understanding of nutrition paid dividends, Kamadi says.
“My wife had suffered from diabetes and brain tumour for many years. Hospitals did not help. When I started her off with controlled nutrition, her health markedly improved for 18 years. Unfortunately, I lost her in 2020," he painfully says.
Kamadi believes most doctors are in business; that there is an unholy alliance between unscrupulous doctors and the national health insurer to make money.
“Doctors are not interested in causes of diseases, theirs is curative therapy because that is where the money is,” he says.
“People line up in pharmacies to buy vitamin supplements for their ailments yet they can get natural supplements from eating unprocessed fruits and vegetables that give us vitamin A, C and E,” he says.
John Musera, a 61-year Veterinary officer attests to the veracity of nutrition in controlling diseases.
“I developed arthritis and for five years I depended on drugs that only relieved pain. I met Kamadi on one of his rounds. He convinced and started me off on a mixture of carrots, radishes, beetroot and cucumber. As you can see, I now walk easily and can bend my left knee that for years had remained stiff,” he says.
Patrick Musoga endured the discomfort of ulcers and constipation for five years.
“Hospital medication did not help but after Kamadi’s dietary treatment, I am fine. The cost is negligible and there are no side effects,” he says.
Givan Wandili shares the same view. For him, it was four years of struggle with excess gas in the stomach.
“It was uncomfortable and embarrassing around people. Hospital visits had little impact but after I started using Kamadi’s prescription, I am doing fine. The excess gas is almost gone,” he says.
“Beetroot is a blood booster. It has iron that is good for cancer, diabetes and arthritis management. It is also rich in folic acid which is good for expectant mothers. A combination of radish and beetroot promote the production of bile. Bile is effective in breaking down fats that are largely responsible for clots, blood pressure and cause obesity. It aids in digestion and reduces the accumulation of gas and acidity in the stomach,” Kamadi says.
He adds; “Zinc, found in watermelons seeds, mushrooms, chillies, onions, garlic and spinach is an immunity tonic. Prostate cancer is a result of a lack of zinc in the body. Wounds and ulcers heal faster when patients get zinc supplements because zinc repairs body cells”.
“Vitamin A is essential to the development of the mucous membrane, vitamin E protects the lungs from diseases and vitamin C enhances the bodies’ capacity to destroy bacteria. All these are found in fruits and vegetables. We must eat more of them to stay healthy and beat respiratory diseases like Coronavirus,” Kamadi says.
According to the World Health Organisation, a healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, legumes (lentils and beans), nuts and whole grains (unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice) and at least 400 g of fruit and vegetables per day.
The 2021 ‘Global Nutrition Report, State of the World’s Nutrition’ says, “Diets worldwide are far from being healthy.