Efo riro is a popular vegetable soup that is widely consumed among the Yoruba people of western Nigeria. The vegetables most commonly used to prepare the soup are Celosia argentea, also known as soko yòkòtò (Yoruba) or farar áláyyafó (Hausa), and Amaranthus hybridus, also know as ẹ̀fọ́ tẹ̀tẹ̀ (Yoruba).
The soup is also prepared with palm oil, bell peppers, scotch bonnets, locust beans (iru), prawns, and assorted meat (shaki, Kpomo, cow leg, smoked turkey or beef).
Because of the rich ingredients used in preparing efo riro, it is considered one of the healthiest soups in Nigeria. However, what exactly are the health benefits of efo riro? Find out in this article.
5 Health Benefits Of Efo Riro
Here are some of the health benefits of Efo Riro.
1. Highly nutritious
Efo riro soup is packed with various nutrients that are essential for the proper functioning of the body.
Spinach leaves, which are the main ingredient in efo riro soup, are a great source of vitamins A, C, K, and folate.
Palm oil, another crucial ingredient in efo riro soup, is a rich source of vitamin E.
Bell peppers and scotch bonnets, which are used as flavoring agents, are rich in vitamin C.
Locust beans, also known as iru, is a rich source of protein and essential amino acids.
Prawns and assorted meat, which are added for protein, are rich in zinc and iron.
2. Boosts immunity
Efo riro is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for boosting the immune system.
Vitamin C helps to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases.
The spinach leaves in the soup is rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A helps to keep the immune system functioning properly and also supports healthy skin, vision, and organ function.
3. Promotes healthy bones
The leafy greens used in preparing the soup is a good source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
Calcium is also required for muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. In addition to calcium, spinach also contains vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in bone health.
Vitamin K helps to regulate calcium absorption and prevents the breakdown of bone tissue.
4. Improves digestion
Efo riro is rich in fiber, which helps to promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. It also contains antioxidants and other compounds that help to reduce inflammation in the digestive system and protect against digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease.
5. Promotes healthy eyesight
Spinach leaves, which the major ingredient of the soup, is a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that are important for maintaining healthy eyesight.
These antioxidants can help to protect the eyes from damage caused by harmful UV rays, reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, and improve overall eye health.
How To Prepare Efo Riro
Efo Riro isn’t an expensive soup to make. It is one of the most cost-effective healthy soups in western Nigeria. You can get all the ingredients in the local market at good prices.
Below are the ingredients you need to make Efo Riro:
- Green leaf or African spinach
- locust beans
- Palm Oil
- Red bell pepper
- Seasoning to taste
Steps to Prepare Efo Riro Soup
Step 1: Prepare the Meat
The first step is to prepare the meat by washing it and pre-boiling it. Add seasoning and salt to taste and wait for 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 2: Prepare the Vegetable
Prepare the vegetable (Africam Spinach) by rinsing and slicing it. Boil the vegetable for 3 to 4 mins to soften the vegetable.
Step 3: Add the Pepper and Seasoning
Slice the onions, blend the Red bell pepper, and add the seasoning (Maggi)
Step 4: Place the Pot on Medium Heat
Add palm oil to the pot and place on medium heat. Leave it to heat for four minutes. Do not allows the palm oil to bleach. Pour the onions into the oil to fry, followed by locust beans. Allow the mixture to fry for 2 minutes.
Add the blended Red bell pepper to the pot and stir. Leave to cook for 4 minutes on low heat.
Step 5: Add Meat and Seasoning
Add the pre-boiled meat and season the soup by adding salt. Leave to cook for 8 minutes.
Step 6: Add the Green Leaf Vegetable
Squeeze out water from the boiled Green leaf. After that, add the vegetable and stir carefully. Allow to cook on medium heat.
Boom! Your vegetable soup is ready, and you can serve it with any swallow of your choice. It can be Amala, Eba, Fufu, Pounded Yam, or Plantain Fufu.