Health & Well Being

WORLD HEALTH DAY - Focus on Depression

The World Health organisation has been leading a one year global campaign focusing on depression & are again highlighting this issue today on World Health Day (07 April 2017)

A couple of years ago, Samoan musician and artist Johnny Angel appeared in the Like Mine campaign (video above) which was aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination faced by people with experience of mental illness.

He also shares his journey with Mike King – the heartbreaks and triumphs of living with mental health issues – and overcoming them ....

Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide and a lack of support for peope with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

Our friends at Le Va Pasika have some great resources for our Pacific Island communities around recognising the signs of depression, causes of depression, how to get help, and tips on getting well and keeping well.

Click here to access the Pacific Island resources for Depression.


Health & Well Being

Health Benefits of Taro Leaves

We all know Pacific Islanders love cooking & eating both taro and taro leaves but are you aware of all the amazing health benefits for the body?  Both taro's root and leaves have many health benefits because it is rich in nutrients.

You can check out all the health benefits of the root here and we've listed the health benefits of the taro leaf for you below ...

From its nutrient contents, the Top 10 taro leaves benefits are as follows:

  1. Acts as an antioxidant to prevent cancer.

Taro leaves are rich in vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant. This helps prevent many diseases and fight against free radicals that cause cancer.

  1. Boosts your immune system.

Vitamin C in 1 cup of taro leaves gives you at least 86% of the daily value that your body needs. You can boost your immune system effectively with eating taro leaves.

  1. Keeps your eyes healthy.

Besides Vitamin C, taro leaves are rich in vitamin A. It reaches an amazing daily value of 123%.…more

Health & Well Being


Turmeric + Ginger & Coconut Milk = Golden Latte

Tumeric is fast being touted as the wonder drink of the Pacific, and the 'Golden Latte' hot drink is taking the health conscious world by storm.  
Etu Tusitala who makes the 'Samoa Wild Tumeric Juice' is the master of making this coco-concoction which he describes as 'the ultimate local health tonic'
This recipe has a calming and soothing effect on the body and it is simultaneously packed with a myriad of healthy substances.
Etu's turmeric latte at Amoa Hotel in Savai'i
Turmeric is one of it's main ingredients and has valuable properties that cover almost all health issues that a person might have and is also one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory natural agents.…more

Health & Well Being


We all have Pacific Sisters, Mothers, Aunties and wider aiga that have been the ones to find 'that lump'

Here are some words from two young Poly women who survived to tell their tale and why we need to value and have joy in our lives ...
Shot & Edited by Haimona Ngata 
Made with the support of NZ on Air


Health & Well Being

Samoans getting Zumba Fit but Obesity still on the Rise

On a muggy day at Samoa's Maninoa Beach, tired competitors in an ocean canoeing regatta take a break to let the kids expend some energy.

Barefoot and shrieking with laughter, they run races along the sand, pushing rods of wood with wheels made from empty corned beef cans.

When full, these cans of processed meat fill shelf after shelf in Samoan supermarkets, and are often blamed for rendering 80 per cent of adults overweight or obese.

But the active weekend scene playing out on Maninoa Beach is increasingly common in the small island nation, where physical activity rates have climbed drastically.

Samoa fitness watersports

Sleek versions of the traditional outrigger canoe are increasingly used for sport in Samoa.

Between 2002 and 2014, the average amount of time Samoan adults spent doing physical activity — whether for recreation, work or transport — rose from 35 minutes per day to more than two hours. The vast majority of Samoans are now meeting World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations in this regard.…more

Health & Well Being

Wild Samoan Turmeric

Within Samoa's volcanic soil and lush rainforest lies a natural treasure that is a kick start to good health

The turmeric root or ago which grows abundantly in Samoa has been used as a natural Smaoan remedy for centuries with its healing benifits being handed down through the generations.

Etu Tusitala is the creator of the Wild Samoan Turmeric Drink to maximise the goodness of these tumeric roots into a health tonic that has several known benefits to for good health.  Turmeric is also traditionally applied topically for cuts and bruises.
With strong anti inflamatory and anti oxidant properties, Turmeric is hot property as a popular health booster along with other natural Pacific products like Coconut Oil and Nonu Juice. 
Etu hopes that his organic natural product from Samoa will take off in the same way that our Virgin Samoan Coconut Oil and Koko beans have in NZ.…more

Health & Well Being

Minnesota Research Shows Potency of Kava Against Lung Cancer

Sometimes the most simple and elegant solution to a problem has actually been known for a very long time. We saw an example of this last year in the University of Minnesota’s pancreatic cancer drug, derived from the traditional Chinese tea ingredient known as the Thunder God Vine. This year, University of Minnesota researchers explore another ancient plant’s capacity to solve modern-day problems.

Source: Biotech Calendar

The plant in question is formally named Piper methysticum, though many know it as kava. Kava roots are a common ingredient in traditional beverages on the islands of the South Pacific like Vanuatu, Fiji, and Western Samoa. Kava has been linked previously to the prevention and treatment of lung cancer, and with good reason: although smoking rates in the South Pacific islands are comparable to those of the United States, lung cancer rates are 90 to 95 percent lower in the islands.

ground kava root

(Ground kava root, ready to be mixed with water to create a traditional South Pacific beverage.…more

Health & Well Being

The Top 10 Health Benefits of Guava

Despite being a tropical fruit with distinctive flavor and fragrance, the guava is also known for the various health-improving properties. What isn't common knowledge is that the bark and leaves are also useful to improving our health.

Source: Health Adore

The guava fruit is one of the least chemically treated and sprayed fruits, and is now easily available around the world. It's packed with vitamins and minerals - 4 times the Vitamin C of an oranges and 10 times more Vitamin A than a lemon. And that is not all; it also contains Vitamins B2, E and K, Calcium, Folate, Fiber, Copper, Iron, Potassium, Manganese and Phosphorus.

All around the world, it is used in cooking both sweet and savory dishes. Guava juice is also a refreshing beverage, and is also used in sauces, candies, jams and jellies.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of guava and guava leaves.

  1. Maintains Oral Health

With dental plaque being the principal factor in many oral health problems, guava comes as the solution.…more

Health & Well Being

The benefits of Breadfruit, long time Poly super food!

Is this the new wonder food? Breadfruit is high in protein and has the potential to feed the world, experts say

  • Breadfruit has lumpy green flesh and a potato-like texture
  • It is widely eaten in the Pacific Islands and scientists are encouraging the planting of trees in countries with poor food security
  • One breadfruit, which weighs around 7 lbs (3kg) provides the carbohydrate portion of a meal for a family of five
  • It can be can be ground into flour and used to make pancakes
  • The fruit is rich in vitamins and is a source of carbohydrate and protein 
  • The protein in the fruit has a higher proportion of aminio acids than soy

It may not be a fruit that you automatically reach for in the supermarket, but the large and exotic breadfruit is being touted as a wonder food.

Known by its Latin name, artocarpus altilis, the fruit has lumpy green flesh and a potato-like texture so that it can be served as part of a main meal or turned into sweets.…more

Health & Well Being


The health benefits of taro include its ability to improve digestion, lower your blood sugar levels, prevent certain types of cancers, protect the skin, boost vision health, increase circulation, decrease blood pressure, aid the immune system and prevent heart disease, while also supporting muscle and nerve health.

Taro root, which is the thick, tuber stalk of the taro plant is an extremely important part of global cuisines and diets, as it has been for thousands of years.

In fact, taro is considered one of the first cultivated plants in human history. Its scientific name is Colocasia esculenta and it has a truly fascinating history.

It is believed to be native to Southeast Asia and southern India, but it is cultivated and used in many places all around the world. Fascinatingly, it seems as though every culture uses taro in a slightly different way, depending on how it is prepared and the variety of the crop that is grown.…more