Banga soup, also known as palm nut soup, is made from palm fruit (Elaeis guineensis) and is popular among Africans. It is originally from the Urhobo tribe of Delta State, Nigeria. Banga soup has become a popular soup throughout the landmass, and it has different names and methods of preparing it.
To prepare banga soup, palm nut is extracted from palm oil, which is the main ingredient. Leafy vegetables and animal proteins such as meat, fish, chicken are also used to prepare this delicious meal to make it proteinous.
Since the major ingredient used in preparing banga soup is palm nut, the health benefits of banga soup are based on the nutritional profile of palm nut fruit and palm oil.
Palm oil is high in fat; the breakdown is 50% saturated fatty acids, 40% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 10% polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is rich in vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols). It also contains high amounts of palmitic and oleic acid.
Furthermore, palm oil contains phenolic acids and flavonoids. It has antioxidants known as carotenoids, including beta-carotene, that your body can convert into vitamin A. The carotenoids are responsible for palm oil’s reddish-orange pigment.
Health Benefits Of Banga Soup
1. Increases vitamin A levels in the body
Banga soup is rich in carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for good vision and eye health. It may slow down retinal function in people who have retinitis pigmentosa. Consuming banga soup can also prevent vitamin A deficiency. In fact, according to studies, palm oil has also been shown to boost vitamin A levels in adults and children.
2. Good for the heart
Banga soup might also be useful in preventing heart disease and improving heart health. According to some medical studies, consuming foods rich in palm oil can help in reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol and increasing “good” HDL cholesterol.
3. Improves brain health
Palm oil in banga soup contains tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E that has strong antioxidant properties that may improve brain health.
There is medical evidence that suggests that the tocotrienols in palm oil can help protect the polyunsaturated fats in the brain. This, in turn, can help improve brain health by slowing dementia progression, reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, stroke and preventing the growth of brain lesions.
4. Promotes healthy skin
Since banga soup is loaded with vitamin E, it may be helpful in promoting healthy skin. Some studies have stated that foods rich in vitamin E might be helpful for those with certain skin disorders, such as eczema. However, there is little or no concrete medical evidence to support this.
5. Prevents cancer
The vitamin E in palm oil (tocopherols and tocotrienols) has been extensively researched for its antioxidant activities and anticancer effects. It has potent antioxidant properties and can fight against skin, breast, and other cancers. Furthermore, vitamin E in palm oil may offer protection against atherosclerosis.
Is It Safe For Pregnant Women to Eat Banga Soup?
Yes, it’s safe to eat banga soup while pregnant because it doesn’t affect the fetus or the mother.
Additionally, doctors believe women should add Banga soup to their diet because of its benefits.
Does Banga Soup Contain Cholesterol?
Banga soup contains zero amount of cholesterol. So you don’t have to be worried about fat deposits in your blood vessels.
This native soup is common among different tribes and can be prepared easily. Banga Soup is prepared chiefly using fresh catfish (fresh fish Banga soup) or smoked fish or meat. You can eat this soup with Starch (Usi), fufu, eba, or wheat. Be rest assured that you’d be doing your body a huge favor if you included banga soup in your diet.