Health Benefits of Kunun Zaki (Kunu Drink)

Kunun zaki (kunu drink) is a local non-alcoholic beverage produced from millet and spices. The spices used in preparing kunun zaki include sweet potatoes, ginger, cloves, red and black pepper.  Other main ingredients apart from millet like tiger nut, groundnut, rice, sorghum, e.t.c. can also be used to make kunu drink. For instance, when tiger nuts are used, it is called “kunun aya” and when groundnut plus rice is being used, it is called “kunun gyada.” Kunun Zaki is termed so because of its sweetness from the sweet potatoes used and it is very popular in Nigeria, especially among those in the northern part of the country. Its popularity is also gaining grounds even in various African countries refreshing its lovers with a wide array of health benefits.

This article reviews some of the very essential nutritional content of kunun zaki and the wonderful health benefits you stand to enjoy by adding this drink to your diet. For those who already love kunun zaki, you will find this article very enlightening as it will help you plan your diet better with this wonder drink to derive the best of its benefits. If however,you are a tourist passing through Nigeria or other African countries and have never heard about kunun zaki, make sure you don’t miss  a taste of this delicious and extremely nutritious non-alcoholic drink. Ask around and you are very much likely to be directed to where you can buy some or you are also likely to come across someone hawking it or a shop that sells kunun zaki.

Essential Nutritional content of Kunun Zaki (kunu drink)

Many families save themselves a lot of money by opting for kunun zaki because it is inexpensive to prepare a substantial quantity of kunu drink for your home use.  Preparation of kunun zaki however, can take up to 2 days because the millet will have to be soaked in water for a long period to trigger the process of fermentation.

Kunu drink is rich in fibre because of the millet used in its preparation. The nutritional content of kunun zaki ranges from :

  • Moisture – 87% to 91%
  • Crude protein – 3.19% to 7.86%
  • Fats – 0.37% to 0.75%
  • Ash – 0.93% to 1.20%
  • Carbohydrates – 2.69% to 5.84%

Other healthful nutrients supplied by kunu drink include :

Some Wonderful Health Benefits of Kunun Zaki (kunu Drink)


Kunun zaki is recommended for all kinds of people. It holds various health benefits for women, men, children, pregnant women and  nursing mothers. The magic ingredients like millet, sweet potatoes  and ginger used in making this drink are responsible for most of its beneficial effects in the body. Let us consider some of these wonderful health benefits of kunun zaki, perhaps you would be convinced to start including kunu drink to your daily diet.

Promotes Healthy Pregnancy

Ginger has great effects on improving blood circulation in the body. This is much needed during pregnancy to ensure that blood supply to the fetus is enhanced. So if you are pregnant or someone close to you is, adding kunun zaki to your diet will do your unnborn baby a lot of good by ensuring that the baby gets good supply of nutrients from mother to child through improved blood circulation.

In addition, ginger also helps in reducing nausea, which is a very common complain among pregnant women especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. This is another bonus benefit for pregnant women who add kunun zaki to their diet.

Improve Male Fertility

Low sperm count is a major reason for male infertility making it a challenge for men  to impregnate their partner.  Kunun zaki contains sweet potatoes which is filled with very high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant that helps destroy free radicals in the body which are responsible for many health diseases. A particular study has shown that the effects of vitamin C as an antioxidant extends to neutralizing certain free radicals that destroy sperms and hence, help improve sperm count and male fertility.

Aids Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be a big challenge for some nursing mothers especially when the breast milk is not flowing properly as it should for the baby to suck. Kunun zaki has been proved over time to have great effect in stimulating the breast to produce milk. Although the explanation for this is still vague, there is no argument about the real results nursing mothers have. Kunun zaki is widely recommended in Northern Nigeria for nursing mothers to aid breast milk production.

Helps Digestion

Millet used in preparing kunun zaki contains high fibre. Fibre helps in improving digestion and protect against digestive conditions like constipation. There is much for you to gain in your digestive system  by using kunu drink to wash down the meals you eat.

Protect Heart Health

Millet also contains magnesium and potassium which are helpful in reducing blood pressure.  Also, the vitamin B3 contained in millet has been proposed by some doctors as relevant in the production of good cholesterol.

Prevents Dehydration

Kunu drink is very refreshing especially in hot weather or after exercising. The high moisture content of kunu zaki helps to replace water lost through sweat when you exercise or in hot weather thereby reducing the your chance of becoming dehydrated. Additionally, kunu drink supplies a subtantial amount of energy which goes a long way to help you with your daily activities. There are many people who take kunu drink and snack for their meal and get energized to carry on with their activities.

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