This write-up discusses several nutritional and Health Benefits of Akamu that are derived fully from the cereals and the process involved.
Akamu is a fermented superlight cereal pudding that is very common in Nigeria, it is usually made from maize, sorghum, or millet.
By tradition, the grains are soaked in water for up to three days, before wet milling and sieving to remove the husks. It is often taken at breakfast or dinner.
Health Benefits of Akamu: Akamu Meaning
Akamu is a very popular breakfast porridge in many African countries. The English name is Pap.
What name you call this creamy, corn porridge, hinges on where you live in Africa.
In Nigeria – West Africa, Corn Pap is called Ogi by the Yorubas, Akamu by the Igbos, and the Hausas call it Kira Masara. In South Africa, and Ghana it is camouflaged as porridge, Millie pap, or Koko.
This local-made ogi, akamu, or pap has a sour taste and can make a complete combo with Moi-moi, fried plant, pancakes, Akamu and Akara, fried yam, okpa di oku, bread, puff puff, and beans.
Any of this combination with Akamu makes for a great breakfast meal.
Health Benefits of Akamu: Nutritional Content of Akamu
Raw Pap is very powerful and effective. High source of carbohydrates, B vitamins (pantothenic acid – B5, niacin – B3, riboflavin and thiamine – B1), folic acid, vitamin A and C, potassium, selenium, chromium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, and many more.
Please Read >>> Corn Pap: Health Benefits and Easy Preparation Methods
The nutritional composition also includes a high content of amino acids for instance tryptophan, phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, and valine.
The calories per serving of pap are 152.
Akamu Benefits: The Health Benefits of Pap
- Reduces risk of blood pressure
Pap is very good for people with high blood pressure due to its high potassium and zero sodium content. This helps lower blood pressure.
- Good source of energy
It is a good source of carbohydrates and a perfect meal for athletes.
- Replaces lost body fluid
It is a food substitute for lost fluids due to its high water content.
- High Fiber diet
Akamu is made from grains which are rich sources of fiber. High-fiber foods reduce the risk of developing obesity, heart disease, and cancer
It is also useful in stopping stooling in both infants, toddlers, and adults. It works like Magic.
- Firstly, dilute the raw pap with cold water as if you want to prepare it. It should not be too thick or too watery either.
- After that, drink it raw like that.
- Akamu Water
The fermented water from soaked milled corn is very nutritious and has a lot of use locally. In the Yoruba language, they call it omidun which literarily means “sweet water”.
- Easy to digest
It helps to pass unwanted substances in the body through urine. Note that whenever you take akamu, you tend to urinate a lot. Its texture makes it very easy to digest and perfect food for convalescing individuals. It does not stress the digestive system.
- 100% natural
It is a meal that retains many of its nutrients after processing. This is because it does not have to go through lengthy production processes and no additives are available in it.
- Increase breast milk for nursing mothers
Pap helps nursing mothers to increase their breast milk flow, which is why people recommend it for nursing mothers. You can take it alone or together with other foods like bean cake (Akara), bean pudding (moi-moi), and bean porridge.
- Akamu and weight Loss
Though 100g of akamu offers only 50 calories, the added sugar and occasionally milk significantly increases the calorie content of akamu which can harm your weight loss goals.
- Akamu and Ulcer
Foods like porridge or akamu are mild in the stomach because they have less fat, acidity, and spiciness.
On the other hand, adding a heavily spiced Akara or fried fish to your akamu can worsen the ulcer because fried and spicy foods activate stomach acid and irritate open sores.
- Helps to Maintain a Good Sleep
Getting proper sleep is essential to good health. The presence of Tryptophan in the cereals used to make akamu increases the level of serotonin in the body which helps to manage stress.
- Akamu is good for babies and toddlers
Pap is one of the healthiest Nigerian foods for babies. It is a popular weaning meal that you can a Nigerian child. Aside from the fact that it is very economical, it is easy to make and digest, and very nutritious for a growing child.
Related >>> How to Make Perfect Ogi, Akamu. Or Pap
Akamu Recipe: How to Make Akamu
- Firstly, put some lumps of akamu/ogi/pap into a sizeable bowl.
- Secondly, use a tablespoon to crush the lumps of ogi into very small pieces.
- Thirdly, add cool water in small quantities and mix till you have a medium consistency with no lumps.
- After that, allow a kettle of water to boil.
- Immediately the water starts boiling pour the hot water into the bowl containing the mixture until it congeals
- Lastly, add sugar, milk, or honey to taste and enjoy
Side Effects of Akamu
- Akamu is safe if consumed in moderate amounts. Nevertheless, extreme consumption can lead to serious side effects as the grain contains substances that interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland.
- Millets based akamu can cause hindered digestion because of their slow digestion as they are high in fiber.
- Those who do not tolerate cereals should also avoid akamu.