Nigerians are known for their creativity and variety. This creativity and variety is also found in their drinks. Different ethnic groups have special local brews and drinks. Today you will be finding out the some of the top Nigerian drinks, and because we care about your health, you will also see their health benefits.
These Nigerian drinks are purely indigenous and popular among the people. Most of them are gotten from local Nigerian fruits and some herbs. This makes them useful to your body and health. Let’s find them out.
Kunu is a popular local drink consumed mainly in the Northern part of Nigeria. The drink is made from grains, like millet or sorghum and maize. Kunu that is made with millet is usually light brown and is called Kunu zyaki. While Kunu that is made with maize is usually white and is called Kunu gyada.
Kunu is made by soaking the maize or millet seeds in water for about 12 hours and then the soaked seeds are blended along with sweet potatoes and ginger to form a smooth paste.
The paste is divided into two, one part is added with boiling water and stirred, then when it cools you then add the other paste. The mixture is then sieved, refrigerated and served. Enough of the cooking lessons, what are the health benefits of Kunu drink.
Nutritional and health benefits of Kunu
The nutritional value and health benefits of this drink are based on its contents, and ingredients.
• Millet, contained is responsible for most of it’s benefits. Millet has a large quantity of phosphorus and magnesium. Phosphorus repairs damaged body tissue. It also contains a substance called lignan, that prevents cancer growth.
• Drinking kunu can be beneficial to the heart, because of the millet.
• Kunu is very good for nursing mothers, because it helps in milk let down.
• It helps in the prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
• The sweet potatoes are rich in magnesium and potassium that helps to regulate blood sugar level and heart function.
Please note that most Kunu are prepared in poor hygienic conditions, so be wary of the drink you are taking.
2. Palm wine
Palm Wine is arguably the popular local drink in Nigeria because it is consumed by almost all the ethnic groups. Palm wines also known as emu , nkwu, oguro in Nigeria. It is taken in many West African countries too.
Palm wine is gotten from sap, in palm trees, The sap is extracted and collected by a tapper. The sap collected is left to ferment and hence becomes alcoholic ( about 4%) and sweet.
Health benefits of palm wine
Palm wine has the following health benefits.
• Palm wine contains vitamin C and vitamin B12 that improve vision and prevents cancer growth respectively.
• It stimulates the production of breast milk, in nursing mothers who have insufficient milk.
• It is a great source of iron which maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails.
• It is also rich in amino acids which help in body growth and tissue repair.
• Palm wine is also beneficial to the reproductive system.
Excessive intake of fermented palm wine has bad effects on the liver and kidney.
Zobo is a very popular drink that is drank by all the people of Nigeria. It is also called zoborodo, and is prepared from Roselle plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa).
Health Benefits of zobo drink
• Zobo has antihypertensive properties, Hibiscus is an antioxidant, it prevents formation of substances that may cause highblood pressure.
• It can be used for weight loss. It does this by inhibiting the production of an enzyme, amylase that digests carbohydrates. This inhibition will poor absorption of carbohydrates and weight loss.
• Zobo drink is known to have anti- inflammatory and mild anti-bacterial properties.
• It can be used as a herbal treatment for cough and colds, due to the presence of ascorbic acid.
• It is beneficial to the kidneys.
Note: Zobo is not recommended for pregnant women in their first trimester or those who are undergoing fertility treatments. This is because it can lower oestrogen level in the body and cause menstruation which could hence lead to a miscarriage.
So there you have it, the top 3 local Nigerian drinks and their benefits. I implore you to keep on knowing the health benefits what you are consuming, because you are what you eat!
Note: This list is no particular order.