In this article, we will talk a little bit about some of the health benefits you can derive from eating agidi (cornmeal) and how to prepare agidi. Agidi or Eko is a popular Nigeria food made with cornflour. The English name for agidi is cornmeal. You can eat agidi with almost every soup, from pepper soup to Efo Riro. People also eat it with moi moi, agidi jollof or okpa.
Nutritional Content of Agidi (Cornmeal)
Agidi is mainly made up of corn, and like all cereal grains, corn is primarily composed of carbohydrate. It also contains a fair amount of fiber and protein. The main vitamins and minerals contained in Agidi include:
There are two main antioxidants present in corn which are Lutein and Zeaxanthin. The amount of calories found in one serving of Agidi is about 211 calories.
5 Important Health Benefits of Agidi (Cornmeal)
Agidi is sold in many local market in Nigeria and is also very affordable and easy to prepare. It is very similar to ogi, but it has a slight difference in terms of preparation. Interestingly, Agidi is not common to any particular Nigeria group as it is eaten by almost all ethnic groups.
Here are some of the amazing health benefits you can derive by adding Agidi to your regular family diet.
Improve digestive health
Foods that are high in fiber are known to be good for the digestive system. Agidi is full of fiber, and hence it can improve the digestive system. It is also easy to digest. Foods rich in fiber are helpful in resolving constipation.
Healthy food for toddlers
Doctors advise that new born babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Mothers can then gradually start weaning their baby by introducing water and other soft and easily digestible foods. As your baby grows to become a toddler, Agidi is an incredible food you can use when introducing your toddlers to solid food. It contains a lot of vital vitamins and nutrients, and also has a good amount of carbs, which supplies energy. Another reason why agidi is great to toddlers is because it is very affordable, easy to digest and readily available.
Good for eye health
Diet has a role to play in maintaining good vision and preventing vision loss. Agidi is one of such foods that has some benefits for your eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants present in corn may help prevent cataracts and age related macular degeneration (AMD). These are two common ocular problems people face. The reason could probably be because both Lutein and zeaxanthin consist of a large part of the macular region of your eyes.
Good for weight loss
Excess weight can predispose you to many health risks including diabetes and heart diseases. Regular exercise is one way to pursue your weight loss journey, but it is advisable to also follow a diet that is good for weight loss. Despite comprising of mainly carbohydrate, agidi is a great weight loss food. It has a moderate amount of calories and a decent amount of fiber, which makes it a great food to add to your weight loss diet.
Healthy for pregnant women
Pregnancy can bring about several changes in a woman, including her diet. During your antenatal visits, your doctor will talk to you about the best nutrition for pregnant women. Agidi is a good source of vitamins and minerals, one of which is very useful for pregnant women. Folic acid is a must in your diet if you are pregnant. This is because it ensure the efficient use of protein and prevents the risks of birth defects such as Spina bifida.
How to Prepare Agidi Meal At Home
Below is a simple step by step guide to prepare a wonderful agidi meal at home. But before then, the ingredients you may use in preparing agidi are:
- Broad leaves to wrap it, either Uma leaves or plantain leaves.
- Sliced / minced meat.
- Akamu/corn starch.
- Seasoning cube.
- Vegetable oil.
- Fresh tomatoes.
- Salt to taste.
If you have all your ingredients ready, this is the simple procedure you can follow.
- First of all, wash the tomatoes than blend it with the pepper and onions. The number depends on size you intend cooking.
- Follow the normal procedure you use for preparing your stew, then add the diced meat.
- Next, dissolve the pap/Akamu/corn starch in cold water to make paste.
- Add the stew to paste or the reverse and stir till you get desired color.
- Now use your Uma/plantain leaves, scoop the mixture into washed leaves, wrap it up and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- After cooling, your agidi is ready to be eaten.