11 Yummy And Healthy Swallows in Nigeria

Starch Usi healthy swallows in Nigeria
Image: Dobby's Signature

In Nigeria, the term “swallow” refers to starchy foods that are prepared into a paste and consumed with Nigerian soups. These swallows are typically made from grains, cereals, starchy roots, and vegetables, and come in the form of pastes or dumplings.

Common ingredients used to make swallows include yam, plantain, cocoyam, millet, sorghum, cassava, and maize. The name “swallow” originates from the way it is consumed.

Numerous healthy Nigerian swallows can be combined with a variety of delicacies.

However, not everyone regards swallows as wholly healthy, as they are frequently linked to weight gain and a lack of nutrients. This assumption, however, is untrue. Nigerian swallows are incredibly wholesome and nourishing.

Nevertheless, if you love swallows and want to eat healthily or follow a weight loss diet, you may wonder which Nigerian swallow is the healthiest. Below is a list of healthy Nigerian swallows you can consider. 

1. Eba (Garri)  

Health Benefits of Eba

Garri is a traditional staple food in Nigeria, made from processed cassava tubers. Eba is made when garri and hot water are combined skillfully.

This swallow is typically unseasoned and easy to make. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is the perfect starchy companion to Nigerian soups and stews due to its somewhat sweet and sour flavor and malleable, sticky texture. 

Eba has many benefits for your health: it’s rich in carbohydrates and fiber. It easily aids digestion, prevents constipation, and helps keep you full longer. 

2. Fufu (Akpu)

Health Benefits of Akpu

Fufu, also known as akpu in some parts of Nigeria, is one of the most popular swallows in Nigeria.

It is a starchy staple food commonly eaten in West and Central Africa. It is made by boiling starchy root vegetables like cassava or cocoyams, and then pounding or kneading the cooked roots into a smooth, dough-like consistency.

Fufu is a good source of energy as it is rich in carbohydrates. It is also low in cholesterol and fat, while being high in fibre.

3. Wheat Meal

Wheat swallow is a pale brown swallow made from whole wheat grains. A wheat meal is prepared in the form of a swallow. It’s usually served alongside a delicious Nigerian soup as a full meal.

It contains a lot of natural fiber, which helps control blood sugar levels and aids in weight loss by keeping you full for a long period.

Wheat swallow is well-known for its low-calorie content and low Glycemic Index, making it an excellent choice for weight loss and blood sugar control. Wheat is, in fact, the preferred food for diabetics. Wheat swallow is a tasty and nutritious food that also looks great, especially when paired with a beautifully prepared soup.

4. Tuwo Shinkafa 

Health Benefits of Tuwo shinkafa

Tuwo Shinkafa is a Nigerian food that is commonly eaten in the northern regions of the country. It is a type of swallow made from rice flour and is a staple food in many northern Nigerian households.

It is known for its soft and fluffy texture, which makes it a satisfying accompaniment to soups and stews. Tuwo Shinkafa is often eaten with traditional northern Nigerian soups such as Miyan Kuka, Miyan Taushe, and Miyan Geda.

Tuwo Shinkafa is also considered a healthier alternative to other types of swallow, as it is gluten-free and low in calories.

5. Pounded Yam

Health Benefits of Pounded yam

Pounded yam, which can also be referred to as Poundo, is made from yam. The traditional way of making this swallow can be a bit tedious as the yam is boiled and mashed with a mortar and pestle.

Poundo is a swallow high in antioxidants and important minerals like potassium, iron, and vitamin C. 

These nutrients support the body’s immune system and aid in the elimination of harmful cells that produce free radicals. Pounded yam is also regarded to be an excellent food for people suffering from arthritis or asthma. 

6. Semolina

Health Benefits of Semolina

Semolina is a coarsely ground product made from the purified middlings of durum wheat, the same wheat used for producing pasta and macaroni. In Nigeria, it is a popular swallow with a pleasant taste.

Rich in calories and carbohydrates, a 100g serving of semolina provides approximately 47mg of magnesium, 136mg of phosphorus, and 186mg of potassium. These values reflect the high nutritional value and health benefits of this food. Additionally, semolina can aid in weight gain.

7. Tuwo Masara 

Tuwo Masara healthy swallows in Nigeria

Tuwo masara is a popular food in the northern region of Nigeria that is made from corn flour.

This nutritious dish is commonly served with flavorful soups like miyar Taushe (vegetable soup), Miyar Kuka (baobab soup), and Miyar Kubewa (okra soup).

Among its many health benefits, this delicious swallow aids digestion, lowers stomach acidity, and prevents constipation.

8. Amala

Health Benefits of Àmàlà

Amala is a popular food in Nigeria, particularly among the Yorubas. Amala is frequently paired with Ewedu (jute) and stew (made from pepper, tomato, palm oil, and water). There are three types of Àmàlà made from different sources: Yam flour (Àmàlà Isu), Plantain flour (Àmàlà ogede), and Cassava flour (Àmàlà láfún).

Few people are aware of the numerous nutritional health benefits of amala. Amala and Ewedu, in particular, provide numerous health benefits as a potent and appealing combination.

The nutrients and antioxidants found in this pair can aid in lowering cancer risk and improve metabolism and eyesight. Also, Because amala has a low glycemic index, this meal is ideal.

9. Tuwon Dawa

Tuwon Dawa healthy swallows in Nigeria

Tuwon Dawa is a type of swallow made from pounded guinea-corn that is thickened and solidified. It is traditionally served alongside soups such as Miyan Kuka and okra.

This healthy swallow is healthy because it is primarily made from guinea corn, which is rich in a range of nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, copper, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and B vitamins.

10. Oatmeal Swallow

Health Benefits of Oatmeal Swallow

Oatmeal swallow is produced from blended oats. It is regarded as the healthiest swallow in Nigeria.

Oatmeal swallow provides a lot of nutrients that the body needs regularly. Oatmeal is high in magnesium, iron, copper, carbohydrate, protein, fiber, and other nutrients that can help with digestion and lower blood sugar and cholesterol.

In addition to these benefits, oatmeal swallow is low in fat, cholesterol-free, and gluten-free. This makes it a perfect choice for any dieter looking for an easy way to lose weight or someone who wants to maintain their current weight loss goals without feeling hungry all day long.


Swallows are delicious and healthy, especially when paired with an amazing soup. They can be addictive as well. Eat healthily and moderately, and avoid overeating these swallows, as this can be counterproductive.

11. Starch (Usi)

Starch Usi healthy swallows in Nigeria
Image: Dobby’s Signature

Starch is one of the most popular swallows in Delta and Edo State in Nigeria.

Usi, the local name for starch, has a yellow color and a texture that is thick, stretchy, and gelatinous. Cassava is the primary ingredient used in making starch, and its raw form has a consistency similar to that of raw corn starch (also known as akamu, ogi, or pap).

When paired with Banga or Owho soup, starch makes an ideal accompaniment.




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