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We all enjoy a good meal. However, it would be naive of us not acknowledge how the foods we eat influence our health. Once you realize that 5 people have heart attacks in South Africa every hour and that 1.8 million South Africans have diabetes, you may start to think that it’s time to reexamine our food habits, and you would be absolutely right.

Eating Healthy For Your Longevity

You are what you eat. The pandemic has provided us with the opportunity to reevaluate every part of our lifestyle and what better place to start than our dinner plates? The good news is that some companies are doing their part to improve your diet as well as protect your health.

Real Foods offers healthy eating


In a series called The Business of Health, produced by the Nielsen Network, Longevity Live spoke to Dean Kowarski, the CEO of Real Foods, Kauai’s parent company. We discussed the importance of healthy eating. We also delved into his mission to challenge South Africans to rethink their health and wellness, especially in the midst of a pandemic.

Rising to the health challenge

It’s been a very productive and creative time for many of us through COVID-19 with obviously a lot of challenges. However, at the same time, it has also been a period for us to reflect, innovate and think ahead of what changes need to be made to get there.” Kowarski says. This thinking led to a partnership between Kauai and mobile communications company Vodacom.

Healthy rewards

Partnering with Vodacom, Kauai set out to provide the mobile network’s customers with free smoothies and other healthy rewards as part of the VodaBucks rewards programme. 

Kauai Super Smoothies

We were very fortunate to partner with them as they have such an incredible reach and coverage…Their willingness to embrace health as a pillar of their business been phenomenal.”

Kowarski adds that he appreciates how Vodacom is committed to making healthy food accessible. Their actions perfectly align with Real Foods’ philosophy in getting healthy food into a broader consumer base’s hands.

They have given 23 to 24 million people the ability to have a free smoothie every single day”

Health during a pandemic

COVID-19 has been such an unprecedented significant event in everyone’s lives across age groups across demographics and hopefully, it’s got people thinking,” says Kowarski.

Health is the new normal

“Things pre-COVID weren’t normal so do we really want to go back to that normal which was abnormal?” asks Kowarski, who points out the many lingering issues that were rampant before the pandemic hit, such as inequality, global warming, and corruption.

There are going to be conversations that are much broader than unhealthy eating. People are hopefully going to put up their hand and say, ‘I don’t want to go back to abnormal and for me, this is abnormal’

Alexandra Anschiz/Shutterstock

The legacy of eating healthy in South Africa

People are realigning their values, no matter how tight things are financially and economically. There is such a new understanding of how important healthy foods are.

The bottom line

“There is no getting away from it. What you eat has a direct impact on your lifestyle. It affects your ability to achieve your goals, to enjoy a family, and your family life. Every single touchpoint is affected by your wellness and that is directly affected by nutrition.”

Watch The Video

The video interview contains the full dialogue of this interview, and you can watch it below.


Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.