Ekpang Nkukwo is one of the most delicious delicacies that is mainly eaten among the Efik and Ibibio people of Nigeria. It is prepared with freshly grated cocoyam, wrapped in lush greens, and slowly simmered/garnished with various types of meat, fish, snails, periwinkles, crayfish, palm oil, and other spices until cooked to perfection, depending on the cook’s desire. The leafy greens used in preparing Ekwang Nkukwo are cocoyam tender leaves, pumpkin leaves, or scent leaves.
Ekpang Nkukwo is a beloved dish because it is incredibly delicious. However, this healthy Nigerian soup is not just delicious, but also nourishes the body in tremendous ways. It would be fascinating to know the health benefits of Ekpang Nkukwo.
7 Health Benefits of Ekpang Nkukwo
The health benefits of Ekpang Nkukwo are based on it’s major ingredients, which are cocoyam, water yam, and leafy greens. Most times, the soup is eaten with seafoods such as periwinkles and snails.
1. Reduces cholesterol
Since the soup is made of cocoyam, it increases HDL (good) cholesterol, unlike other types of fiber. It improves HDL function in the body by increasing its transport rate to tissues, where it is then used by cells for energy production and carried back into the bloodstream again after use. It also reduces LDL-cholesterol levels by improving cell membrane fluidity.
2. Helps control blood sugar levels
Cocoyam has a moderate glycemic index, which means it won’t cause a rapid rise in blood sugar or insulin levels. And because it’s made up of carbohydrates that are slowly digested and absorbed, your body gets steady energy. The glycemic index of boiled cocoyam is 81, which means it should be combined with low glycaemic index food for it to be suitable for diabetic subjects.
3. Improves heart health
Cocoyam has a moderate glycemic index and it’s high in potassium, a mineral that helps keep blood pressure stable. That’s why people with hypertension or heart disease can benefit from this vegetable. It is equally loaded with vitamin B6, which makes it good for controlling high blood pressure and protects the heart.
4. Reduces inflammation
Cocoyam is very nutritious, so it’s good for those suffering from arthritis and rheumatism. Its manganese content is an antioxidant and prevents oxidative damage that can lead to inflammation of joints and muscles.
5. Great source of carbohydrate
Ekpang Nkukwo is a good source of carbohydrate, which is essential to the body. Carbohydrates are the body’s major source of energy. They serve as fuel your brain, intestines, kidneys, heart, muscles, and brain. The soup is rich in fiber, and fiber is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full, and regulates blood cholesterol levels.
6. Promotes good digestion
Ekpang Nkukuwo contains cocoyam, this makes it also helps the body’s natural secretion of digestive enzymes. This makes cocoyam very useful for those who may have digestive ailments. Cocoyam is also rich in digestible starch. The leafy greens used in preparing the soup also makes it’s good for the digestive system.
7. Contains potassium and calcium
The potassium and calcium content of cocoyam helps prevent osteoporosis and other bone diseases related to hypcalcemia or low calcium levels in the body.
Although you can make this food anywhere if you know its recipes, it’s mostly common and found in the South-South parts of Nigeria. When next you take a trip there, make sure to not leave until you have a taste of this sweet, mouth watery, and healthy delicacy.