Nigerian foods are diverse and exciting. They are often unrefined natural foods, rich in dietary fibers, low GI carbohydrates and a wide range of highly nutritious and vitamin rich combination.
When people talk about foods eaten in Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular, they tend to forget that items highly sought after in Western countries like cassava, yams, plantain, palm oil, coconut and coconut oils, Nigerian brown beans, and rice do not grow in the West.
Most of these items come in from Africa, Asia and South America, yet they make up the bulk of Nigerian and African foods. What about those tropical fruits like oranges, tangerines, mangoes, pawpaw, African bread fruit, banana, African bush mango, carrots, to name but a few, these are everyday food items that make up the Nigerian food dish.
The list of foods eaten in Nigeria is literally inexhaustible. Being the most populous country in Africa, with about 160,000,000 inhabitants (population of 160 million) and over 500 totally different ethnic groups and languages (according to Wikipedia), all reflecting different cultures, cutting across different natural geographic zones including the Sahara desert, the Green Savanna, the thick Tropical Rain Forest, with different soil tendencies and properties, it is easy to see how diverse the staple food across the vast region called Nigeria could be.
A list of common Nigerian foods that cuts across most of the above lines, covering the major ethnic groups in nigeria, including Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Urhobo, Efik, Ibibios, Itsekiris, Binis, Ishans, Idomas, and many others, include:
The above list is not exhaustive as mentioned earlier. If you have a Nigerian food recipe item you are looking for or you want to show up here, you can submit it using the discussion box below.
For Nigerians in Nigeria, it is obvious that they will continue to enjoy the delicacies of their inheritance, with it's attendant health benefits. They need to be confident that well prepared African food, be it Nigerian or Ghanaian, or Zimbabwean, is rich in nutrients and constitutes a very balanced source of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, minerals, and essential vitamins.
For the Nigerian in diaspora, and even more so for their offspring born abroad and living in the West, it is important that they do not relegate their Nigerian food dishes to the background, in favour of Western diets. This is strictly for health and nutritional reasons. Medical evidence abounds that the unrefined African food is superior in helping to maintain good health.
Below are evidence based scientific reasons why you should regularly include Nigerian food items in your menu if you can. We shall discuss a few of the African food items that make up a typical Nigerian food dish.
Time and space will fail us if we were to list other components of Nigerian food items like Ogbono that is shown to be very good weight loss agent, as well as a good aphrodisiac (sexual enhancing agent). Palm oil, that is now recognized to offer protect from heart attacks, Nigerian honey beans, yam, cocoyam that are now finding place in many western diets.
Nigerian honey beans for example is a uniquely sweet beans, that if you taste it once, you will never touch baked beans again or any type of beans.
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