10 Best Nigerian Foods for Weight Gain

Nigerian Swallow
Image Source: @chef_amakaa

When it comes to living healthy, many people talk about losing weight. However, for some, gaining weight would mean that they are healthy. There are many people who are struggling to gain weight; well, one major factor that can affect your weight is what you eat.

Have you ever wondered which foods can help you gain weight? Maybe you intend on gaining more weight but all the suggestions you keep getting one foreign food or the other, But did you know that certain Nigerian foods can help you gain weight fast? Would you like to discover some of these foods?

Then this article is for you!

This article contains various Nigerian foods you can consume to gain more weight at a very fast pace, and you can find them below. However, before you find that out let’s see some reasons why you may be underweight.

Do you really need to gain more weight?

Most people that want to gain more weight are usually underweight. Underweight medically means that you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) that is below 18.5.

You should realize that some people very skinny naturally and not underweight, it that does not mean that they are not healthy. Females are more likely to be underweight than males on average.

Reasons why you might be underweight

There are a few reasons why you might be underweight, some include:

  • Genetic or hereditary factors
  • Poor Metabolism
  • Eating disorders like anorexia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Gastrointestinal or liver problems
  • Celiac disease
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Malnutrition
  • Depression and mental problems.

10 Best Nigerian Foods for Weight Gain 

Here are 10 of the best foods in Nigeria for gaining weight:

1. Rice


Rice is one of the most popular Nigerian foods, and it is consumed virtually every day in typical Nigerian homes.

Aside from being a popular and nutritious food, rice is a good choice for you if you intend gaining more weight with Nigerian foods because it is an excellent source of carbohydrates, which plays an important role in weight gain.

A cup of cooked rice contains between 190 and 200 calories, 43 grams of carbs, and a meager amount of fat, which means you will get a significant amount of carbs and calories per serving. This will, in turn, help deal with quick fullness and also intensify your crave for food.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can incorporate rice to your meal; you can add it to other protein sources and pre-made meals, eat it with other meals containing proteins and vegetables, combine it with some proteins and healthy fats, to mention but a few.

However, it is worthy to note that excess intake of rice is not ideal as they are believed to have arsenic and phytic acid content which may result in toxicity and reduction in the absorption of zinc and iron respectively.

2. Whole Eggs


Eggs are one of the most beneficial foods across the world, some of which includes weight gain and muscle building.

They also provide the human body with a greater amount of proteins and healthy fats, which are essential for healthy living, special thanks to the yolk.

As someone who intends gaining more weight, egg is one of the foods you should never ignore because of its powerful nutrients, and the good news is that they are not that expensive – an egg is sold within the range of 30 – 100 naira in Nigeria (depending on your current area/state of residence).

If you’ve not been eating eggs before, then it is high time you incorporate them into your meal!

3. Yams and Tubers


Yam is yet another regularly-consumed Nigerian food, and one thing about this great food is that it is an ideal, healthy choice for people willing to gain weight with Nigerian foods.

What makes yam a great food for weight gain is because it contains a significant amount of carbohydrate and dietary fibre, which plays a crucial role in the weight gain process.

In addition to the above, the dietary fibre in yams also helps in decreasing “Bad” Low-Density Lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol while regulating your blood sugar levels.
Got some tubers of yam at home? Eat it regularly and gain more weight!

4. Beans

Beans and Bread


Unlike the popular belief that most people have about this food; beans contain larger amount of carbohydrates than protein [although they are also rich in protein than many other foods].

This is why Beans is a very great choice for those willing to gain more weight with Nigerian foods. Of course, Beans is a healthy Nigerian food for weight loss, but it also helps you put on a few pounds

With the substantial amount of carbohydrate and protein in beans, you will gain additional weight as well as a stronger muscle.

Aside weight and muscle gain, beans is also beneficial to the body such that it can help fight the effects of free radicals, lower “Bad” cholesterol in the body, stabilize blood glucose levels, prevent diabetes, reduce the risks of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular health problems, etc.

These and more are why you should eat more beans henceforth and fortunately, and you can combine beans with many other Nigerian foods, including bread, egg, rice, etc.

5. Dairy products


Numerous people have successfully used Milk in gaining more weight and building muscle since time immemorial, and it is still very effective.

Milk contains a sizable amount of proteins, carbs and fats, calcium, vitamins, and minerals, which is the reason behind its high effectiveness.

Perhaps you don’t want to gain only more weight but muscle as well consuming more milk is a great way to start. It provides casein and whey proteins, which plays a crucial role in muscle building.

Similarly, some studies reveal that combining milk intake with weight lifting can help you add more muscle.

Milk is also considered an excellent source of protein than other protein sources out there because of its ability to generate a greater mass gain.

Some healthy milks you can get are the local fura da nunu, which is popular in Northern Nigeria, this Fura contains healthy, natural fat directly gotten the cow.

Pasteurized whole milk, full-fat yoghurt, and cheese are also great for gaining weight, but you should avoid skimmed milk too. If you are lactose intolerant, you can drink tiger nut milk, and it’s a healthy alternative to animal dairy product.

Therefore, if you want to add more weight or build your muscle, then make sure you add milk to your diet and consume it regularly. You can as well take one or two glasses for your pre-workout or post-workout.

6. Nigerian Swallows

Nigerian Swallow
Image Source: @chef_amakaa

Nigerian staple foods are known as swallows, and they are used to eat healthy Nigerian soups.

Swallows like akpu or fufu, amala, eba, semolina are Nigerian foods that can help you gain weight. Another healthy swallow is pounded yam.

Pounded yam is very high in carbohydrates, and it contains lots of calories, which are essential for weight gain.

Therefore, instead of eating ordinary yam day in day out, you may decide to pound it and combine with a delicious egusi soup alongside assorted meat and an attention-grabbing chicken. Repeat this and see your weight improve in no time!

7. Avocados

Nigerian foods for weight gain

Avocados are excellent sources of healthy fats, and unlike other whole fruits, they are somewhat calorie-dense, which makes them a great food for weight gain.

On average, a big avocado fruit contains more than 300 calories, 29 grams of fat as well as 17 grams of fiber. They also contain significant amount of vitamins, minerals, and several other beneficial plant compounds.

To use avocado for weight gain, you can add the fruit to your meals or combine them with other dishes.

8. Meat

Red meat

Eating more meat is strongly believed to cause weight gain, and rightly so. Meat is a great source of protein and carbohydrates. You need to eat enough protein to gain weight the healthy way.

They are various kinds of healthy meat you can eat to gain weight; some are chicken, lean beef, lamb meat, turkey, suya, and even red meat.

Add more meat to your diet, along with vegetables too, and cook it properly to make it healthy.

9. Snacks

Health Benefits of Akara

Eating snacks regularly is crucial if you want to put on weight. Consuming snacks often will increase your caloric intake. However, you should snack on healthy snacks, not just anything you feel like eating.

Some healthy Nigerian snacks that can help you gain weight include Okpa, Sausage rolls, bean cake (Akara), chin chin, meat pie, egg rolls, plantain chips, buns, peanut butter (ose Oji), and fish rolls.

10. Other Nigerian Foods You Can Eat for Weight Gain

The following Nigerian foods are also proven to be very effective in boosting weight gain:

  • Nuts – Groundnuts (Peanuts), Cashew Nuts,.
  • Fruits – Bananas, mangoes, dates, pineapples, apples.
  • Savory and Pastries Foods – Cake, Chocolate, and bread.
  • Others – potatoes, squash, oats, winter root vegetables, etc.


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