Science-backed nutritional value and health benefits of Banga soup. Health benefits of ofe Akwu.
If you have paid a visit to a traditional Urhobo family, you must have enjoyed banga soup, garnished with a lot of fish, prawns and periwinkle warmed in a special native pot called ” Ewere” served smoking hot with starch or garri.. Hmmm. are you salivating already? Hahaha.. Don’t mind me joor, I love banga soup.
The Banga soup is an African delicacy that is eaten in the Nigeria and Ghana region. It is called Ame Edi (Ame means water and Edi means palm fruit) by the Urhobos and Izuo Ame Edi by the Isokos in the Niger Delta and mainly eaten with Starch, Garri and just about any kind of swallow, it all depends on you. As an urhobo girl, I always prefer it with starch though…Hahaha. In the South-Eastern parts of Nigeria, Banga Soup is referred to as Ofe Akwu where Ofe means Soup / Stew and of Akwu means palm fruit and is used mainly with white rice.
The palm fruit oil extract used in cooking Banga Soup / Stew is very different from that of Palm Oil used in other cooking recipes. Palm Oil is the pure oil extracted from the palm fruit pulp at high temperatures while the palm fruit oil extract used for the Banga Soup is squeezed out of the cooked palm fruit at a very low temperature and is a mixture of oil and water. Palm fruit oil extracted for Banga Soup contains less saturated fat than palm oil.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND HEALTH BENEFITS BANGA SOUP (OFE AKWU)
Numerous health benefits are linked to Palm oil has been linked to several health benefits, including protecting brain function, reducing heart disease risk factors and improving vitamin A status. What are the health benefits of eating Banga Soup? 👇
1. BRAIN HEALTH
Palm fruit extract contains a variant of vitamin E with antioxidant properties that are good for brain health.The tocotrienols protect brain fats and slow down the effects of dementia. In a 2 year study, palm oil derived tocotrienols reduced growth of brain lesions.
2. HEART HEALTH
Palm oil for heart health; good or bad? Healthy heart or bad for heart? There are mixed feelings towards palm oil and its effect on heart disease. But on the average, palm oil helps protect the heart by lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol.
A 1995 study also proposes that palm oil helps to maintain the health of people living with heart disease.
3. VITAMIN A
Vitamin A is another plus for palm fruit as well as other palm products. Even palm wine is believed to be a good source of vitamin A.
A recent study showed an increase in Vitamin A levels in palm oil consuming people. Vitamin A that is essential for healthy vision and may slow down retinal function in people with retinitis pigmentosa.
Vitamin A also ensure healthy growth of the bone; the state of health of the reproduction and immune systems.
It also helps the skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively.
4. VITAMIN K
Palm oil in banga soup is very rich in vitamin K that plays important role in blood clot. It is essential for building strong bones and prevents heart disease. The vitamin K, which contains antioxidant prevents cancer. Vitamin K properties contributes to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin K improves insulin sensitivity.
Magnesium content in palm kernel juice play important role in over 300 enzymatic reactions with the body including the metabolism of food and synthesis of fatty acids and proteins. Magnesium is involved in neuromuscular transmission and the activity of muscle relaxation. No wonder after consuming a plate of banga soup there is general body relaxation.
Researches showed that consumption of palm kernel juice in soup such as banga contains magnesium with combination vitamin B6 appears to be efficacious to reduce the effect of premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as insomnia, weight gain, bloating, leg swelling and breast tenderness.
6. VITAMIN E
It also contains vitamin E which is a powerful natural anti-oxidants that help in protection against cancer and guarantees to give your skin a fresher look and lowers your cholesterol level, thus protecting against heart diseases.
This vitamin also prevent cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
7. IN THE ELDERLY
Intake of banga soup made with palm kernel juice helps to prevent the prevalent of insulin resistance (diabetes), coronary heart disease( heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm), metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis
OKOGBENI JOANNA EJOVWOKE
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