Some of our local foods don’t get the beautiful credit that they deserve. We look down on them, and sometimes associate these wonders with poverty, brokeness, or for a certain class of people. Then we go ahead and ‘enjoy’ what we think is the more befitting stuff for our status. If you keep reading, this blog post will throw more light on a few foods which are especially great for the gut. The ‘Oyibos’ call them probiotics, but on the #JesusGirlsFitness blog, I am calling them LOCAL CHAMPIONS, that is CHAMPIONS that are LOCAL to us.
P R O B I O T I C S
If you are even a little familiar with ‘fitfam’ especially the Western version, this is a term you probably have heard about before. Maybe you paid it no mind, or you thought it was for the more ‘boogie/ajebo’ people.
Allow me to break it down because it is a term you should be familiar with, both mentally and personally for your gut health, aka digestion, especially as we go older (ouch).
WebMD defines probiotics as live bacteria that are good for you, especially your digestive system. Basically they keep things moving good and smooth, from ingestion, to expulsion, that is from eating the food, to passing it out as poop. The term ‘Probiotics’ literally translates to ‘For Life’.
Food or drugs, they are live microorganisms that have immense health benefits on consumption, or in some cases, application, the microorganism in them are very similar to those in our bodies naturally. They usually undergo a fermentation process in which carbohydrate is converted to alcohol or organic acids using microorganisms like yeast or bacteria, under anaerobic conditions.
They are the ‘good guy bacteria’ that keeps our bodies, especially the digestive system, healthy and working well, because they fight off the ‘bad boy bacteria’ and make you feel better.
If you have ever dealt with digestive disorders, finding it hard to pass stool, and all its attendant discomforts, sometimes affecting the quality of your life, then you want to be very familiar with this term, and most importantly, how you can enjoy it in your regular diet, BECAUSE you can.
While in the West, there are many fancy probiotic foods and drugs, and some of us even take the pains and pay great price to import or buy them, we are ignorant of, or overlook the fact that we have such beautiful LOCAL foods and drinks that we should have been taking in healthy portions and frequencies.
You are MOST welcome though (don’t mention☺), as you are about to get wiser and healthier, thanks to info and lists that follow.
The best part about my list is that it is all food and no drugs, because the FDA actually regulates probiotics as FOOD not DRUGS, and honestly, we should be careful of drugs on a regular basis, when food can help correct a ‘situation’.
While in the West, the more popular pro-B’s are fermented products like yogurt, cheese. Tempeh, kombucha, and more (sorry if I lost you, decided to lose you so I can find you again haha), they have their match and more in some of our local fermented products.
Yes, I agree I have kept you long enough away from my list, so here we go. My LOCAL CHAMPION list of PROBIOTICS available in Nigeria.
Corn Pap aka Akamu: This is a fermented Nigerian cereal pudding made from maize. This superlight food has been around for decades now, and it is eaten by many people in Nigeria.
Local Garri like your Ijebu Garri: is a powdery granular flour with a slightly fermented flavor and a slightly sour taste made from fermented, gelatinized fresh cassava tubers. Garri is widely known and consumed in Nigeria and other West African countries.
Palm wine: Palm wine is a sweet, milky, effervescent, and alcoholic beverage produced from the fermentation of the sap of different palm species such as Palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms.
It is one of the most popular drink in the world especially in West African and Asia. Since it is alcoholic, you want to either try other options or consume in moderation.
Iru commonly called Locust beans: are seeds(fermented) obtained from the pods of the African locust tree; Parkia biglobosa. It is a common traditional condiment in Nigeria, and other West African countries.
Kenke aka fermented white corn: Kenkey is a popular staple food of Ghanaians. It is made from fermented and cooked maize dough wrapped in leaves and usually eaten with fresh pepper and fried fish. I had to put this for my Ghana family reading, (Chaleeeee)
Fufu/Akpu is a popular doughlike West African dish of boiled and grounded plantain, and cassava individually or mixed together then made into balls to go with soups or stews.
Lafun: is a fine flour obtained from the traditional fermentation of cassava. It is usually prepared as a stiff porridge using boiling water, prior to being consumed with soup. It is very popular among the Yoruba indigenes of Nigeria
Ugba: Ugba is the Igbo name for the fermented African Oilbean seeds (Pentaclethra macrophylla, Benth). It is called Ukana by the Efiks in Southern Nigeria. It is consumed by an estimated 15 million people in Eastern Nigeria, majority of whom are Igbos.
Nunu: Nunu is fermented yogurt-like milk product consumed in West Africa popular amongs t the Hausa tribe. Nunu can be produced from either pasteurized or unpasteurized cow’s milk by spontaneous fermentation.
Abacha: is a delicious west African delicacy that is native to the Igbos.(Eastern part of Nigeria). It is prepared from boiled fermented cassava tubers.
I mean, imagine Garri being one of the better probiotics in the world, yet we despise it.
Even Fufu? We think it is not for high class people like you and I.
Then we eat Semovita, Packaged Poundo Yam powder and co, which are nothing compared to these ‘swallow’ options above.
Iru smells, so we leave it out (I did a post that features Iru as one of the natural condiments we can use to super charge our diet here)
We think it’s poor people and market women who can’t afford more, who give their kids pap from 6months (or earlier) while we ‘ajebos’ feed them store-bought premium crap.
Well, even the Bible says that in the past, ignorance can be overlooked, but now we know better, we have to do better’.
“In the past God tolerated our ignorance of these things, but now the time of deception has passed away. He commands us all to repent and turn to God.”Acts 17:30 TPT
So if you have struggled with digestive issues, or are on drugs like anti-biotics (Probiotics can also help restore the gut bacteria after antibiotics) a lot, please consider adding these on a regular into your diet.
And even though they are carbohydrate meals, the right portion and frequency means you can still lose weight if that is a goal for you.
Remember, you can always reach out to us to help create a professional SOLUTION using foods for any health challenges you may be dealing with that can be corrected by a change in diet, which is almost 90%. Food is drug, after all.
Details of all our SOLUTIONS are here too
I am excited to see you WIN with our LOCAL CHAMPION foods, so that we can be STRONG enough to win at everything God has assigned us on earth to do.
Cheers to winning, in food, fitness and life.
To your medals
For preggo mums looking to stay disciplined and fit and nursing mums trying to bounce back even better, we got you covered too
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