Nothing like a great meal that makes you feel good and complete. After all, food is essential to life. Healthy foods help with the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins your body needs to function correctly. Highly nutritious food can keep you away from visiting the doctor regularly.
Your food choice can help prevent and fight diseases, reducing your time visiting hospitals. Nigeria has a long list of foods consumed as a staple and many healthy Nigerian foods that can help you stay in great shape.
Here is a list of foods to add to your daily meal plans
Yams are a favourite because they are versatile. You can fry and boil a tuber and also eat it with eggs or pepper sauce. But do you know the health benefits of yam? Well, yams are rich in fiber, manganese and antioxidants. They can help manage inflammation, control your blood sugar, and boost brain health. Yams are also rich in copper, which aids the absorption of iron and the production of red blood cells.
If you are looking towards eating healthy foods, fish is your go-to. There are hundreds of fish species in Nigeria, including catfish, mackerel, or tilapia. And the great thing is that you can roast, grill, and boil your fish. Now to the best part, fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can help lower your blood pressure and decrease your heart rate. Fish can also improve cardiovascular risks. Other great nutrients in fish are vitamins D and B2, calcium and phosphorus, and minerals such as magnesium, iron, iodine, zinc, and magnesium.
Melon seeds are the main component of the popular ‘egusi soup’. They are packed with vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy life. Melon seeds are fortified with vitamins B1 and B2 that aids metabolism, thereby improving your appetite. Vitamin E in the food crop and alpha-tocopherol work to improve the skin. Not to forget that melon seeds have antioxidant properties that protect the body cells.
To get your needed dose of protein, beans should be your go-to. After all, protein helps repair the body and ensure things are running smoothly there. Beans also contain folate, an essential nutrient for producing red blood cells. Moreover, they are rich in polyphenols, antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals that destroy chemical production during metabolism. Another essential benefit of beans is that it can control blood sugar levels, which reduces your risk of diabetes.
A set of healthy Nigerian foods is vegetables. The most common ones are waterleaf, pumpkin leaf, and spinach. They contain folate, a kind of vitamin B that helps produce new red blood cells. Vegetables are also rich in copper, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. Why not add veggies to your plate of white rice and a pot of soup.
Sweet potatoes are rich in alpha and beta carotene. The body converts the compounds into active vitamin A, which keeps the bones, eyes, and immune system healthy. They also act as antioxidants, clearing out disease-promoting free radicals. One medium sweet potato provides nearly four times the recommended daily value of potassium, vitamin A, C, and B6, and manganese.
Unripe plantain is a good source of potassium, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, iron, magnesium, vitamins A and B6, and calcium. All these aids digestion, boost the immune system and rewards the body with energy while controlling blood sugar. You can roast unripe plantain or make plantain porridge.
Although we take food to prevent hunger, it is important to have foods rich in minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Healthy foods can help fight diseases and reduce help keep the doctor at bay. For additional benefits, remember to have fruits such as mangoes, apples, and oranges.