There are many cultures that incorporate some of their traditional cuisines in their daily meal plans. This is often done with the intent to maintain their cultural heritage and also for wellness reasons. In Africa, many foods have been traditionally believed and nutritionally proven to be good for mental health and improve cognitive function.
Grab a pen and paper as we take a ride!
African Bean Cake
African bean cake, which can either be fried or steamed is a popular dish in West Africa. It is made from beans just as the name connotes. The dish is high in fiber and protein, which are essential for mental health. African bean cake is also rich in vitamins and minerals, which can help to improve cognitive function.
Green beans are popular in many African cultures and are often eaten as a side dish. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, and fiber. Green beans also contain chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
The humble kale soup or Efo riro as the Yorubas call their special one is a powerhouse of nutrients that can do wonders for your mental health. Kale soup is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium. It also contains a good amount of antioxidants and phytochemicals that help protect the brain from damage.
Although, the pumpkin leaf (Ugwu) defies confinement to a particular tribe as it is used by nearly every tribe and region. Pumpkin soup is locally referred to as Miyan Taushe in northern Nigeria. Pumpkin is a good source of vitamins A and C, which are important for maintaining healthy skin and eyesight. It also contains potassium, which can help to regulate blood pressure. Pumpkin soup is also high in fiber, which can promote digestive health and prevent constipation.
Spicy Vegetable Stew
Peculiar to north Africa, the stew is typically made with a variety of vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, carrots, and green peppers. The stew can also be spiced up with chili peppers or other spices to give it a bit of a kick. This stew is not only delicious but it is also packed with nutrients that are essential for good mental health. For example, the vitamins and minerals in vegetables can help to improve cognitive function and memory. The soup can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
In a world where mental wellness is taking a downward slope on a daily basis, good diet stands as one of the ways to keep ourselves mentally fit. African foods, in particular, are packed with nutrients that can boost our mood and cognitive function. If you’re looking for ways to improve your mental health, consider adding some of these African foods to your diet. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on this post in the comment section, ciao for now!
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