Most people are not adventurous when it comes to food and prefer to stick to the common meals which they know. To them, it is safer and better than tasting the unknown. If you are in this group of people described above, I ask you to peep out of the window of your shortlisted Nigerian soups like egusi, okro and ogbonna and stretch to the seas of other lovely soups in Nigeria such as Afang soup.
And if you are a lover of Afang soup, it might just be that you do not know the nutritional value of the soup you eat on a regular basis. Join me, as we take a look at 5 nutritional value of Afang soup.
Afang soup is associated with the South-South people of Nigeria mostly Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. It is prepared with Afang leaves aka Okazi (Gnetum Africanum) and water leaves (thallium triangulare) as the main ingredients. Other ingredients includes meat such as assorted parts from a cow, beef, goat meat, stock fish, periwinkles, pomo, dried fish, crayfish, onions, pepper, salt, maggi.
The Afang leaves naturally has a hard texture which requires one to pound or grind same before adding it to the soup, of course this is after washing same. It is usually sliced into shreds at the market. The grinding or pounding will further break it. The preparation time for the soup is over 45 minutes. If you choose to use the shelled periwinkles, wash properly to remove the mud and chop off the edge with a knife or pincer. Wash the meat including pomo and stock fish season to taste and boil till tender, then add the dried fish, add pepper and palm oil and leave to boil till the stock thickens, then add some crayfish and the periwinkles in the stock and leave to cook for about 5 minutes, then add the afang leaves and leave to cook for about 5 minutes then add the water leaves and leave to cook for about 5 minutes then the soup is ready to eat. Keep in mind that the water leaves produce water, so the stock must be thick else the soup becomes watery. It can be served with eba, pounded yam, semovita, wheat or any other swallow of your choice.
As tasty as the soup is, it has nutritional value:
Let’s start with the meat and the fish which is protein but we can argue that it does not count as every pot of soup should normally contain a responsible portion of meat and fish. Ok, then let us check out the Afang leave.
The Afang leave contains fat, unsaturated fat helps maintain one’s cholesterol level and fat helps the absorption of important nutrients in our body. Also dietary fat provides energy.
Secondly, the Afang leave contains a large portion of calories as it would take 20 minutes of rigorous exercise to burn off the calories in a cup of shredded Afang leaves.
Thirdly, the Afang leaves contains minerals and vitamins and it aids the relieve of constipation because it contains high level of laxatives.
Fourthly, the Afang leaves contains carbohydrates 3grams is from dietary fibre and 2 grams is from sugar. The Afang soup is very filling when eaten because the dietary fibre assists the feeling of satiety. It also assists in regulating the level of blood sugar in the body and assists in the digestive system.
And lastly, Afang contains protein, protein provides the body with amino acids which builds and repair muscle and other dynamic tissues in the body.