Kilishi: Nutritional Value, Health Benefits and Side Effects

Health Benefits of Kilishi

There are a lot of controversies surrounding the consumption of Kilishi. The processes surrounding its production, the risks that its consumption may pose to the human body, and the possibility of buying fake kilishi are enough to spark a lot of worries. 

However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the health benefits of Kilishi. The health benefits of kilishi span through its high proteinous content, and low carb proportion, making it a great snack for diabetic patients and bodybuilders. This includes its rich supply of sodium with a total calorie of 297 kcal.

This article will help you understand the unique health benefits of Kilishi and all you need to know about this snack.

What is Kilishi?

Kilishi is the “Nigerian beef jerky.” Closely related to Suya, kilishi is roasted and dried meat, preferably from goat, cow, sheep, or sometimes camel, donkeys, or even horses.

The slicing, salting, and drying process of Kilishi makes them stay for a long time without spoiling. Kilishi gets its delicious taste from the Labu “paste” that is used in coating the Kilishi. This is a combination of peanuts, groundnut, and other local spices. This gives Kilishi the spicy, yummy taste that it has.

The history of Kilishi dates back to ancient times in Northern Nigeria. There are contradictory stories about how Kilishi came to be, but it all boils down to the need to preserve meat for a long period. 

Nonetheless, let’s find out the nutritional value and health benefits of kilishi.

Nutritional Value of Kilishi

2020 study was done to determine the nutritional and chemical content of kilishi (beef jerky meat).

The study found that kilishi was high in protein, and low in fat. The significant vitamins found in kilishi were Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Sodium. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and niacin.

The calories in 100 grams of kilishi is around 395 calories.

7 Health Benefits of Kilishi

Health Benefits of Kilishi

Here are some of the potential health benefits that can be derived from consuming kilishi.

1. Aids growth and boosts your immune system

Kilishi is a rich source of protein, and we all know how important it is to feed on protein. The Kilishi snack provides up to 49g of protein value. 

This is a rich amount of protein to boost growth, tissue repair and boosts your immune system. Kilishi’s supply of animal protein aids body maintenance and operations.

2. Good for the cardiovascular system

Kilishi provides a substantial supply of essential minerals that is necessary to keep your heart, blood, and fluids in healthy circulation. 

These minerals stabilize your blood pressure and blood vessels. One of the main ingredients used in preparing kilishi is garlic. Garlic is very good for the heart since it contains an antioxidant called allicin, which helps to lower cholesterol levels. 

3. Low in fat and cholesterol

Kilishi meat is one of the meats that you can eat as much as you can without worrying too much about getting fat. 

Kilishi is a snack which is low in gat because fat is removed during the preparation, and the fat that is left mostly drips off during drying. 

It contains little fat and no cholesterol. This makes up for wholesome eating and nutritious snacking.

4. Boosts body metabolism

Eating a high-protein food such as kilishi can boost your metabolism. With a high metabolism, you are able to burn more calories around the clock, including during sleep.

5. Might help with weight loss

The absence of fat in Kilishi makes it a good choice for individuals on a weight loss program. You no longer need to starve yourself to death or work your bones sore. 

Kilishi supplies the required calories you need without increasing your insulin or fat levels. This does not mean that you should create an exclusive kilishi diet. Supplementing kilishi in between your meals can help you lose weight.

6. Provides energy to the body

Although kilishi is low in calories and fat, it is also a good source of protein and high in many vitamins and minerals, including zinc, iron, and vitamin B12, which provides the body with energy to carry out its functions.

7. Keto-friendly food

Kilishi is one of the Nigerian keto-friendly foods. It is a low-carb snack that provides more calories and increased protein. Kilishi is usually sugar-free, except you request that the seller adds some for you. This is good for diabetic patients or individuals on a low-carb diet.

Side Effects Of Kilishi

Though Kilishi is a popular snack, it should be consumed in moderation due to several potential health concerns. The preparation environment for Kilishi can be unhygienic, possibly leading to health risks.

It is also very high in sodium, with significant intake potentially contributing to an increased risk of heart health issues, high blood pressure, and stroke risk. Such high sodium content makes Kilishi unsuitable for diets that restrict sodium intake.

Moreover, Kilishi is a highly processed food, and there is evidence linking diets high in processed and cured meats to a higher risk of certain types of cancer, such as gastrointestinal cancers.

Additionally, dried and cured meats like Kilishi may be contaminated with mycotoxins, toxic substances produced by fungi, which have been associated with cancer risks

So basically, while Kilishi can be a tasty snack, it’s best consumed in moderation as part of a diet that primarily consists of whole, unprocessed foods.


Kilishi is not just a popular and delicious Nigerian snack, it is also nutritious and has some health benefits. The meat also has a long shelf life, and is portable, which makes it a great on-the-go option.

However, kilishi should be consumed moderately because of the high sodium content.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here