10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Amala

Health Benefits of Àmàlà

Amala is a popular staple food in Nigeria, that originated from the Yoruba people. who come from the western part of Nigeria. It is a delicious Nigerian swallow that can be served with a variety of soups, such as ilá, efo riro, ogbono, ẹfọ, gbegiri or ewédú soup.

There are three different types types of Àmàlà, based on the different sources which they are made from. They include:

  • Àmàlà Isu (Yam flour)
  • Àmàlà ogede( plantain flour)
  • Àmàlà láfún (cassava flour). [1]

In this article, you will learn about the nutritional content and health benefits of amala. 

Health Benefits of Àmàlà

Àmàlà Isu (Yam flour)

This is one of the most common types of Amala. Yam tubers are sliced, peeled, parboiled, dried, and milled to powder form. It’s prepared with boiling water to form a thick paste and is served with any desired dish.

Health benefits of Amala isu:

1. Improves the digestive system

Yam flour contains high starch content and the starch present is known as resistant starch. Resistant starch helps to increase the “good bacteria” that is found in the large intestine. This bacteria helps to reduce constipation, prevent diarrhea, stimulate the immune system thereby increasing resistance to infection and preventing other geriatric diseases. [2]

It also helps in decreasing cholesterol levels and reducing the chances of developing colon cancer.

2. Regulates blood glucose level

As earlier mentioned, yam flour contains resistant starch. Resistant starch is not broken down into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine. Resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine instead it’s fermented in the large intestine so it doesn’t raise glucose level. [3]

Yam flour is a healthy choice for people with diabetes.

3. Reduces cholesterol level

If you’re trying to control your cholesterol intake then yam flour is a good recommendation. It’s healthy for your gut and it acts on the bad cholesterol in your gut and this reduces the risk of obesity and developing cardiovascular diseases. [4]

Àmàlà ogede (plantain flour)

This type of amala is made from dried unripe plantain. The plantain is harvested, peeled, sliced, dried, and milled to a powdered form.

It’s prepared by mixing with boiling water until it forms a thick paste and it’s served with any desired dish of choice.

Amala Health Benefits

Health benefits of Amala ogede:

4. Improves digestion

Unripe plantain flour is a source of fiber. Fiber facilitates bowel movement, softens stool, and prevents constipation.

Also, regular consumption of fiber may reduce the risk of hemorrhoids, increase the feeling of fullness, slows digestion, and regulates cholesterol levels. 

5. Source of antioxidants

Antioxidants are chemicals that hinder oxidation; a reaction that produces radicals that destroy cells in an organism. Unripe plantain powder is a good source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that helps protect the body against any damages caused by radicals and even protects the body from some types of cancers.

6. Heart-healthy food

Unripe plantain powder has potassium which is needed in regulating fluid balance and heart rate and rhythm.

Low levels of potassium is linked to muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, and increase chances of developing a stroke. Unripe plantain powder is rich in potassium that helps to prevent heart attack, hypertension, and cerebrovascular accident by regulating heart rate and blood pressure. You can find out more on the health benefits of unripe plantains 

7. Best swallow for diabetic patients

Unripe plantain flour contains a high amount of resistant starch. This helps to regulate glucose and cholesterol levels within the body and such is beneficial for people diagnosed with diabetes.

8. Weight management

If you’re trying to lose weight then unripe plantain powder is a good choice. It contains little amount of carbohydrates and it contains carbs and fiber which take more time to digest. This gives a fuller feeling and makes satisfaction after a meal last longer, this makes you avoid snacking on unhealthy foods. It is one of the healthy Nigerian foods for weight loss, and should be eaten with protein.

Àmàlà láfún

Àmàlà láfún is the type of àmàlà that is made from dried cassava flour. Cassava flour can when dried, fermented and flaky, can also be eaten as Garri, which is used in preparing Eba, another common dish in Nigeria.

Health benefits of Amala lafun:

9. Gluten-free food

Many Nigerians don’t know that Àmàlà lafun from cassava flour is gluten-free. People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease have to avoid foods that contain gluten. Thus, Àmàlà lafun is one of the healthy Nigerian foods that are gluten-free.

10. Great energy-giving food

Cassava is one of the most important sources of food carbohydrate in Nigeria. In fact, Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava. Cassava flour contains a high amount of carbohydrates and calories which supplies the body with energy. [5]


Bottom Line

Amala is so versatile and can be enjoyed with any soup of choice and it’s a very healthy choice to include in your meal plan. It is great for lunch or dinner. Also, plantain flour contains the lowest calories, followed by yam flour, and finally cassava flour.




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