Corn pap, often regarded as Akamu, ogi ,Koko, or elao, is a Nigerian fermented cereal pudding made from maize. This super light food has been around for decades now and it is eaten by many people in Nigeria both adult and children. Apart from its easy preparation, the health benefits of pap (Akamu) makes it a favorite breakfast choice for many, and even supper.
Nutritional Content of Pap (Akamu)
According to a 2018 study on the nutritional composition of pap, researchers have found that pap is rich in many essential nutrients. These health beneficial nutrients are what makes pap a healthy food choice for everyone.
The nutritional content of pap include:
- Vitamins A.
- Vitamin B5.
- Vitamins B3.
- Vitamin B1.
- Riboflavin C
- Folic acid.
Pap (Akamu) also contains high amounts of amino acids such as tryptophan, phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine and valine. The calories in one serving of pap is 152.
Health Benefits of Pap ( Akamu)
Now, let’s take a look at some of the health benefits you can derive from consuming pap (Akamu). These benefits should help you make up your mind in adding pap to your breakfast meal planning for yourself and family.
Here are 6 important health benefits derivable from pap (Akamu):
Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
One of the effects of sodium in the body is that it increases blood pressure. Potassium rich foods like pap (Akamu) helps in lessening the effects of sodium in the body. Pap is an excellent source of potassium and contains zero amount of sodium. This makes it a perfect food for people with high blood pressure and those who want to maintain healthy blood pressure or avoid developing hypertension.
Food Choice For Lactating Mothers
Breast milk is very essential to the general growth and development of babies. Nursing mothers, especially those still exclusively breastfeeding, have to maintain a healthy diet that promotes breast milk flow. Thankfully, Pap (Akamu) contains a high amount of water and some other components that promote easy and adequate flow of breast milk for lactating mothers. This makes it a healthy food choice for breastfeeding mums.
Easy To Digest
Pap (Akamu) is a friend to the digestive system. When you are looking for a food choice that is easily digestible for both children and adult, think no further that pap (Akamu). This is one of the best food choices for weaning babies from breast milk. It is also one of the best choice food for people recovering from illnesses or surgery. Pap helps in regaining strength after suffering form one illness or the other because it is easy to digest food.
Good Source of Energy
Pap (Akamu) is an excellent source of carbohydrate, one of the nutrients your body relies heavily on for energy. Carbohydrate rich foods like pap do not only help your body with energy, but also promotes mental sharpness and accelerate the metabolism of fat for energy.
Healthy for Babies and Toddlers
Pap (Akamu) is one of the healthy Nigerian food for toddlers. As earlier stated, it is a popular weaning meal introduced to babies in Nigeria. This is because it is easy to prepare and easy to digest. But generally, pap is very nutritional to the growing child. Brown pap is made up of carbohydrate, millet and Guinea corn. It also provides some proteins, vitamins and minerals that are very critical for your baby’s growth and over all development.
Good For Clearing Unwanted Substances in the Body
Pap (Akamu) is one of the easily digestible foods we have around. It allows your body to easily get rid of unwanted elements and substances by increasing the rate at which you urinate. It also places less stress on the digestive system which makes it ideal for convalescence individuals who are recovering from illness.
Quick Steps on How to Make Pap (Akamu) at Home
Pap (Akamu) is not just a regular food like some people believe it to be. It is packed with a lot of health benefits, including reduced risk of hypertension, improved digestion, and many others as stated above. Depending on how you plan your weekly breakfast meal, it is good to always start your day with a pap diet.
In case you do not know how to prepare this meal, preparing pap (Akamu) is actually very simple. Here are some very simple steps you can follow to prepare your own pap meal at home:
- Put some lumps of pap into a sizeable bowl. Pap rises during preparation so you should use a bowl big enough to contain the meal in its risen state.
- Use a tablespoon to crush the lumps of pap into very small piece.
- Add cool water in small quantities and mix till you have medium consistency with no lumps.
- Put a kettle of water to boil.
- Stir the mix very well because some of the pap may have settled at the bottom of the bowl.
- Once the water boils, pour it slowly but steadily in a circular motion into the bowl of pap and stir at the same time.
- Once you see the mixture setting, stop stirring and reduce the flow of water you are pouring till the pap has completely set.
- Stir the pap very well. If it is too thick for you, you can add more hot water. But be careful else it will become watery.
- Add some milk if you so wish and some sugar to taste and stir everything to the way you will like it.