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Leafy greens may include spinach, collards, mustard, kale, and cabbage.

Traditionally, many elders eat a large noon meal on Sunday after church.

Okra is the principal ingredient in gumbo, a Creole stew, and is believed to have spiritual and healthful properties.

Many of these foods found their way from the south to the north via the Mississippi River.

Older African Americans may be suspicious of clinicians, believing their health is personal and up to God’s will.

Because they may be reluctant to share personal or family issues, building a trusting relationship is key.

Before the advent of health ministries, African American churches had mission volunteers who attended services and administered to parishioners.

The term African American generally refers to people descended from Africans who did not come to the US voluntarily—descendants of the four million slaves brought to the US between 16.Soul food may refer to meals made with fried chicken, pork chops, chitterlings, grits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and hushpuppies.Dishes such as hoppin’ John (rice, black-eyed peas, and salt pork), gumbos, jambalyas, fried porgies, and potlikker may all be considered soul food.Many are affiliated with Christian denominations—notably Baptist and Church of God in Christ. Maintaining good health is associated with good religious practice.Many churches maintain a health ministry, through which congregations and parish nurses support good health with flu shots, blood pressure checks, and health education.

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