In Nigeria, Swallow is a term used to describe starchy foods that are made into a paste and swallowed along with Nigerian soups. These swallows are usually made from grains, cereals, starchy roots and vegetables. They are mainly in the form of pastes or dumplings and are gotten from staples such as yam, plantain, cocoyam, millet, sorghum cassava and maize. It is called swallow because of the way it is eaten.
Nigerian swallows are really nutritious and delicious and are made to accompany the soup into your stomach. But just like many Nigerian celebrities, Nigerian swallow has been in a lot of controversy. A lot of people feel that such swallows are not healthy since they obviously contain too many carbohydrates and calories, but is that really true? Don’t miss reading 8 Tested and proven foods that revitalize the kidney
Are Nigerian swallows really healthy and nutritious?
It is very easy to conclude that Nigeria swallows are unhealthy and that they will only make you put on a lot of weight since they contain carbohydrates. This is not entirely so, and I have two reasons why. First, although these foods are made up of mainly carbohydrates, they go through some processes that add various nutritious values to them.
In like manner, some of these staple foods undergo fermentation and oiling that make them healthy. Don’t miss reading these amazing health benefits of scent leaves to your over-all welbeing.
To make them really healthy and nutritious, these swallows are not eaten alone, they are eaten with a lot of very healthy Nigerian soups, and these soups on the other hand have their own nutrients.
Below are top 7 healthy Nigerian swallows and their nutritional benefits:
1. Pounded yam
Pounded yam is a Nigerian staple food made with yam. It is prepared by boiling the yam and pounding it in a mortar until it, softens and stretches like dough. Pounded yam is highly nutritious and can be consumed with any soup.
It you are looking to put on some weight, pounded yam is the right Nigerian food for you.
2. Plantain fufu
Plantain fufu is made from plantain, and it is a bit similar to plantain amala. It is prepared by pureeing fresh or unripe plantain into a paste or dough form. Then after allowing it to cool, you can eat with any soup.
Plantain fufu is great for the heart since it is rich potassium content. It also has a low glycolic index, which makes it great for diabetic patients. But it is high in calories and should be eaten moderately.
Eba is a very popular Nigerian swallow; it is cheap and can be easily prepared. It is made from cassava tubers, and when prepared with boiled water, it is called eba. I said a lot about the health benefits of garri in one of a recent post. Although is high in calories, it is also very rich in fiber and great food for boosting energy. Eba made with yellow garri is more nutritious than white garri because it is fried with palm oil.
4. Cassava fufu
Fufu is another common Nigerian swallows that is very healthy and nutritious. Also known as akpu, or cassava fufu, this Nigerian staple food is high in calories and very low in cholesterol. It is rich in potassium and other minerals. Although fufu is very difficult to prepare, it is worth the effort.
Àmàlà is another nutritious Nigerian food made with cassava and/or yam flour. When the yam is peeled, sliced and dried, it changes its colour to brown, and that makes àmàlà look brown.
There are three types of àmàlà, yam flour àmàlà (àmàlà isu), cassava flour àmàlà (àmàlà láfún) and Plantain flour (Amala ogede or elubo ogede). The yam flour àmàlà is much healthier than the other two because it has fewer calories and more protein.
Amala is high in carbohydrates and has a lot of calories. These 6 Nigerian foods are recommended for diabetic patients
6. Wheat meal
Wheat meal is a swallow prepared from wheat flour. It is widely consumed among the Nigerian populace. Wheat flour is very healthy; it contains all the essential vitamin B complex substances and is very high in potassium in phosphorus. How foes eating wheat meal benefit you? For one, it is moderate in calorie content, so you can consume it if you are looking to maintain weight. It is also a good food that enhances digestive function.
7. Tuwo shinkafa
Another common swallow in northern Nigeria is tuwo shinkafa. Whenever you hear tuwo shinkafa, you should expect to also hear miyan kuka too, they go very well together. Tuwo shinkafa is a staple food prepared from rice flour and made into a thick pudding. It is very rich in nutrients and minerals.