For most people, perhaps including you, will not be familiar with the name of this leaf. Different from when you see other leaves such as cengkir mango. Moreover, there are many other names for these leaves aside from chromolaena odorata. This plant is actually one …
Turkey Berries (Solanum torvum) a sought-after commodity can be found in Ghana, China, Thailand, The Caribbean, South America, Indonesia, Florida, Alabama, Brazil, Mexico, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico and other places in the world. In Ghana, we usually refer to it as Abedru. It …
Fonio is native to African regions and comes in multiple varieties, most commonly, white and black. It has a long history of use and an even longer list of health benefits. There are two major groups that stand to benefit from incorporating this grain into their diets. Fonio has more nutritional value than most other grains and it is rich in calcium, magnesium and zinc and vitamin B.
10 AMAZING BENEFITS OF FONIO:
NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE: Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are on the rise in many parts of the world and the only way of treating it, is to not eat foods that contain gluten. Fonio is gluten free and it doesn’t contain any of the proteins that are found in gluten, so it is perfectly safe to eat if you do have celiac disease.
HEALTHY HEART: Whole Grains are considered to be essential for the health of the heart and the cardiovascular system, and Fonio is no exception to that. If fact, Fonio contains even more of the heart friendly vitamins and minerals than other grains do and including Fonio in your diet will help to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Controls diabetes: Fonio has a very low glycemic index, so it is absorbed into the body slowly and doesn’t cause spikes in the blood sugar levels that other refined grains do. It also contains sulphur, chromium and amino acids that help to control diabetes and studies have indicated that eating Fonio might be a way to control blood sugar levels in diabetics.
AIDS DIGESTION: Fonio is very easy to digest and, given its such high fibre content, it also passes easily through the body and will ease constipation and improve the digestive process.
AIDS WEIGHT LOSS: Because of its low glycemic index and its high fibre content, Fonio can also be a very useful food to eat when you are trying to lose some weight. It will fill you up fast and keep you feeling full for some time. Its steady release of energy will also help to avoid food cravings after a meal as well.
HELPS TO PREVENT ANAEMIA: Fonio has a high concentration of iron, so it helps against anaemia and it also contains folic acid and other amino acids that are beneficial for women during pregnancy.
DETOX DIET: The essential amino acids that Fonio contains, especially cystine and methionine, help to detoxify the liver and the body. They help the liver to function properly and remove unwanted toxins from the bloodstream. Early studies have suggested that eating Fonio may help to prevent liver diseases.
PROVIDES ENERGY: Fonio is a great source of energy. Unlike foods that give you a spike in energy and leave you feeling tired a bit later, Fonio is easily digested and then provides you with a slow release of energy that will last till your next meal. That, along with its great taste, is why it is starting to become popular on the Western culture tables.
STRENGTHENS NAILS AND HAIR: Fonio contains an amino acid called methionine, which is known to be important for the body’s production of cartilage and it can also help to strengthen the hair and nails. As well as strengthening the hair, which will help stop breakage, it is also believed to be able to help stop hair loss too.
STRONG BONES AND TEETH: Fonio is also a good source of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, all of which help to build strong bones and teeth. That makes it an ideal food for growing children and a food that will help stop bone diseases like osteoporosis in old age too.
Baobab fruit is a genuine ‘super-fruit’ chock full of antioxidants and vitamins. The benefits of Africa’s ‘upside-down’ tree are widespread on the continent, passed on from generation to generation. Baobab fruits take some time to grow, ripening only in the dry season. Once harvested and …
PREKESE or TETRAPLEURA TETRAPTERA: is a native of west tropical Africa and belongs to the pea family. The fruits of the plant have a pungent aromatic odor due to which it also possesses insect repellent properties. It is primarily used as spices. The fruit in …
Honestly, most of the best seasonings in Ghana have a strong smell from garlic, onions, chili powder, powdered shrimp, powdered fish, salted fish to Dawa Dawa among others;
The Locust bean, when boiled and fermented, is known as Dawadawa in the Hausa language, and Kolgo in the Frafra Gurune language in Ghana. A black strong-smelling tasty seasoning, rich in lipid 29 percent, protein 35 percent, carbohydrate 16 percent, a good source of protein, fat, and calcium for rural dwellers. African locust bean popularly used in seasoning traditional soups has shown promise in boosting cellular immunity in immune-compromised persons, as well as, in the management of diarrhea, diabetes, and heart attack. It could also serve as an antidote to snake bites.
They are used for local seasoning of soups, from dried powdered okra soup, Alefu soup, bitter-leaf soup (Onugbu in Ibo) to palm nut soup. They come with sometimes offensive odours but make delicious meals. Indeed, the fermented seeds of Parkia biglobosa and Parkia bicolor are used in mostly all parts of northern Ghana and the West Coast of Africa for seasoning traditional soups. They belong to the plant family Mimosaceae of the order Leguminosae.
Parkia biglobosa, popularly known as the African locust bean tree, is known in Yoruba as Igba, or Irugba, in Kasem as Choo, and in lbo as Ogili.“The bark is used as a mouthwash, vapour inhalant for toothache, or for ear complaints. It is macerated in baths for leprosy and used for bronchitis, pneumonia, skin infections, sores, ulcers, washes for fever, malaria, diarrhoea, and sterility. Roots are used in a lotion for sore eyes.”According to The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa by H. M. Burkill, “the pulverised bark of P. bicolor is employed in wound healing. P. biglobosa is known to provide an ingredient that is used in treating leprosy, and for treating hypertension.
“In Gambia, the leaves and roots are used in preparing a lotion for sore eyes. A decoction of the bark of P. biglobosa is also used as a bath for fever, as a hot mouthwash to steam and relieve toothache.
The pulped bark is used along with lemon for wounds and ulcers. Ghana is blessed as a nation to have Dawa Dawa trees growing wildly. With these numerous benefits, good governments and individual food processors begin to invest in its cultivation and use it for herbal medicines, and most of our food seasonings.
Meanwhile, the Locust bean, commonly referred to as iru by Yorubas, ‘ogiri’, ‘Dawa Dawa’ by Igbos, is a local seasoning or condiment used in soups and stews. A very popular soup ingredient, globally, it is referred to as African locust bean with the botanical name as Parkia biglobosa. It can be found in a wide range of environments in Africa and is primarily grown for its pods that contain both a sweet pulp and valuable seeds.
The yellow pulp, which contains the seeds, is naturally sweet “and is processed into a valuable carbohydrate food known as sikomu and daddawa among the Yoruba and Hausa people respectively.
The most valuable parts of the locust bean are high in lipid (29%), protein (35%), carbohydrate (16%), and is a good source of fat and calcium for rural dwellers.
The seed is first cooked to remove the seed coat and then fermented to produce the desired result. When it is fermented, the Yoruba have a way of getting two types from it, the mashed type and the loose or free type, and they are used for different types of soups, but for the same purpose.
- The fermented locust bean seed is used in controlling diabetes and cholesterol level.
- It helps to promote good sight and aids digestion.
- It is used for treating stroke and hypertension.
- The water and alcoholic extracts of fermented locust beans are used to reduce blood sugar.
- It is used in the management of bacterial infections.
- The locust bean contains tannins, which is often recommended for the treatment of diarrhoea.
- It is a potential benefit for enhancing weight loss. The crushed bark of the locust bean tree has also been revealed to help in wound healing and serves as one of the ingredients used in treating leprosy. The decoction of the bark is also used as a bath for fever and as a hot mouth wash to steam and relieve toothache in Cote d’Ivoire.
An oil rich in fats that is derived from the karite tree (also known as the shea tree) is your solution for many skin, health, and hair health issues. Fairly recently, this butter has gained huge popularity in the western world due to its widespread …
Red Rice is a special variety of rice that gets its colour red from its anthocyanins content.
Gone are those days when we only used to look up brown rice as a healthy alternative to rice. Here we have another variety that will add taste and colour to your diet chart during the weight loss days – make way for Red Rice. Red Rice is a special variety of rice that gets its colour red from its anthocyanins content. Anthocyanins are coloured water-soluble pigments, which are responsible for the colours – red, purple and blue in fruits, grains and vegetables. This rice is unhulled or partially hulled, and has a red husk, unlike the more common brown rice. Nutty in flavour, red rice has high nutritional values, compared to the polished rice varieties.
Red Rice Benefits For Weight Loss: Red rice is the recent buzz in the world of diet as it is said to promote weight loss. The fat content in red rice is zero, hence its consumption can never add every extra pound to your body. It is loaded with both soluble and insoluble fiber as the outer layer of the rice is kept intact, where all the fiber comes from. Nowadays, it is even prescribed by the doctors as an alternative to medicine to get rid of mild symptoms of high-cholesterol.
Red Rice Benefits For Skin: Red Rice is rich in iron and vitamin, which together help in the production of RBC (red blood corpuscles) in our body, which is considered as an essential element for good skin health. The antioxidants in the rice may help in fighting free radicals, which protect our skin from premature ageing.
Red Rice Benefits For Diabetes: Red Rice is rich in manganese and antioxidants, and hence, is highly recommended for patients with diabetes.
Red Rice Nutrition:
Red rice has 10 times more antioxidants than brown rice. Red rice is also very rich in essential nutrients, iron, vitamin, phosphorus and fiber.