13 Healthy Nigerian Food To Help You Reduce Weight Fast


13 Healthy Nigerian Food To Help You Reduce Weight Fast

Welcome To Nigeria…

…A land of diverse culture and proud heritage. It is a country richly endowed with hospitable people and irresistible cuisines (you bet!). Let’s not also forget her abundance of natural resources.

For the purpose of this article, however, we’re more concerned about typical Nigerian dishes and their health benefits for you. Specifically, we’ll be looking at some Nigerian meals that are great to help you keep in shape.

Read on:

Most Nigerian foods are characteristically heavy on calories and fatty oil, so people who are trying to lose weight tend to completely avoid them altogether. But all too often, the question remains; if you don’t want to eat what’s on the offer, then what are you going to eat? Your choice appears limited.

But not quite.

Without further ado, here’s a rich list of some delicious local Nigerian meals that you can still enjoy, even if you’re trying to watch your weight:


 13 Healthy Nigerian Food To Help You Reduce Weight Fast


1. Inyan (Pounded Yam)


Let’s start with this popular swallow. Inyan is a flavor-rich Nigerian side dish made with fresh yams.

Yams are highly nutritious tuber crops that are rich in iron, vitamin A and selenium.

Pounded yam is a popular food across Nigeria, and is typically consumed with a variety of local soups, depending on the preference of the people.

Studies have shown that yams contain lower glycemic index than many other starch-based foods like carrots and peas.

This can be helpful in reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood sugar.


2. Wheat and Wholesome Grains

People who want to enjoy their typical Nigerian soups and stew, and watch their weight at the same time, are pointed in the direction of wheat.

Rather than the regular staple food like eba or amala, wheat is the preferred option for people concerned about their weight.

Low in cholesterol and rich in dietary fiber, wheat is sure to help you tone down and reduce your blood sugar level progressively.

It is also great for people who are obese or already have issues with diabetes.

Wheat-based meals – corn bread, oat meal, pap, etc. – are also ideal for weight loss, as they don’t pose any risk to your blood sugar or insulin levels.


3. Unripe Plantain

Okay, now folks from the riverine Niger-Delta area of Nigeria would be nodding their heads to this.

Unripe plantain is quite rich in iron, fiber and other essential nutrients that are beneficial to the body.

The south-south people of Nigeria know this, so they don’t joke with it.

It is a food served for all occasions, and it’s a great weight loss meal.

Whichever form you chose to eat it –boiled, fried or in a broth, you’re sure to find unripe plantain highly beneficial for your health.


4. Garlic


If you are the type that won’t mind the strong odor, garlic is also a very good choice for weight loss.

It is a very strong anti-oxidant and it helps purge your intestine and body toxins.

Eating few cloves of raw garlic everyday will greatly help you get a flat tummy.

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Alternatively, you could use it in your cooking but if you can’t stand the smell, you should go for some raw garlic supplements.

Those are odorless.


5. Ofada Rice

Ofada rice is an unpolished, natural rice.

It is much healthier than white or foreign rice and also an effective Nigerian meal for weight loss. Why?

First of all it contains more dietary fiber than any other rice. Fibers helps digestion and boost your metabolism.

You can’t go on weight loss diet without consuming carbohydrates.

That’s why brown rice is the perfect carbohydrate to include in your weight loss diet.


6. Boiled Potatoes

Potatoes is another perfect food for weight loss.

It contains so many nutrients, especially potassium which many people lack.

Potatoes where also found to have the highest satiety index.

This simply means is that when you eat white, boiled potatoes, you will naturally feel full and eat less of other foods instead, isn’t that great!.


7. Vegetables, Lots Of Them!

A diet rich in vegetable is typically good for weight loss.

Only ensure that you don’t use too much palm oil, and you eat only moderately per serving.

Ultimately, the problem may not be with the soup, but with how much and how often you eat it.

Eating vegetables is good for enhancing digestion and increasing your body’s metabolism.

Hence, it is good for weight loss. Thankfully, Nigerians are not shy of eating their veggies. Indeed, several notable.

Nigerian dishes are always prepared with vegetables. Consider the following:


  • Eat Your Salad


Of course, I’m sure this came to your mind. We’re talking veggies here, so cannot leave out salad.

Even though it’s not original Nigerian food, salad has found a place among choice Nigeria cuisines.

It is served in many important occasions like wedding and luncheon parties, hence deserves a mention here.

Salad is primary all-vegetables – cabbage, lettuces, onions, carrots, cucumber.

So yes, making it a staple diet will help you lose weight.

Go green; eat some salad, especially if your friends have been calling you fat lately.


  • Bitter Leaf Soup

Don’t let the name fool you. Bitter leaf soup is far from being bitter (unless the leaves are not properly washed).

It is a great delicacy known by several names and enjoyed by the people of Nigeria, particularly in the south-eastern region.

This rich soup is not only delicious, but it is very good in keeping your blood sugar low.

Most people having problems with diabetes and high blood sugar are often placed on bitter leaf juice therapy.

Drinking a cup of bitter leaf juice (water squeezed from bitter leaf) would drop down your blood sugar level faster than you could imagine.

When made into a soup and served along with eba, semo or fufu, the health benefit is still the same.

Bitter leaf contains essential properties that can help you avoid sugar and guide against weight gain, and other diseases like cancer and kidney infections.



  • Edikang Ikong

Traditional a delicacy from the efik-ibibio tribe of Nigeria, this nutrient-rich vegetable soup has come to be cherished by people all over the country, and beyond as well.

If you’ve ever tasted this soup, good for you.

If you’ve not, oh, how much you’re missing! Edikang Ikong is primarily prepared using fresh vegetables in good measure, along with several other assorted condiments like prawns, crayfish, meat, stock fish, etc.

I know some of you are salivating already.

But hold on; aside from its great taste, you might want to wonder if edikang ikong can help you lose weight.

This thought is valid, considering the fact that a lot of women from the parts of the country where this food originates tend to be quite big around the waist and hips.

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Don’t let that fool you, though.

Because, among other things, edikang ikong is rich in vitamins and fibers, due to the vegetables it is cooked with. This makes it good for your digestive system, enhancing your metabolic process.


  • Ewedu Soup

Among the Yoruba people from south-western Nigeria, ewedu is quite a delight.

Thick, green and slimy, it makes eating such meals like amala and fufu quite interesting.

If you’re a novice, you might want to take it slow, so you don’t have soup stains on your shirt.

Ewedu (along with a solid of choice) is arguably the most consumed soup in the western part of Nigeria.

It is primarily made up of jute and saluyot leaves.

Just like most vegetable soup, ewedu is a good source of dietary fibers; hence it’s great for weight loss. Furthermore, it is very low caloric content, also a plus for your heart and blood sugar level.


8. Incorporate More Legumes

Legumes such as soy, beans and cowpea are high in protein and fiber, which h is very helpful for losing weight and keeping in shape.

They contain zero fat, which make them great for your heart.


9. Abatcha

my brothers from eastern Nigeria would be more familiar with this local salad. Abatcha is one of the Nigerian foods with low calories and it’s easily digestible, you should consider eating Abatcha regularly.

it also a good Nigerian diet for a flat stomach.


10. Sea foods

Sea foods are also great for losing weight. This includes fish, crayfish and crabs.

They contain omega-3 fatty oil, protein and iodine. The protein and oil found in sea foods are quite healthy and good for weight loss.


11. Nuts

If you like snacking on nuts, you’re in good company.

Eating nuts is quite good for weight loss, contrary to what some people think.

Nuts such as groundnuts and walnuts contain mono-saturated fats and fiber that can help you lose weight over time.


12. Okra And Ogbono

I call this two the tag-team partner; they often go together, like brothers of different mother.

Like many typical Nigerians, I enjoy eating my draw soup.

Whether okra or ogbono (also known as African mango), it makes little difference. A plate of draw soup will do.

And it’s quite a healthy weight-loss meal.

Okra and ogbono are plentiful in nutrients like vitamins, fiber, potassium and calcium.

They also contain low carbs, healthy fatty acids and protein. 2. Lemon (Zap some of it in water to drink daily)


13. Moin Moin

Moin Moin or bean puddle is a healthy Nigerian meal that can also serve as a food or appetizer.

bean puddle is great for weight loss.

It is made up of beans and other assorted spices like eggs, or fish which are all great weight loss foods.

It is highly proteinous and can easily fill up your stomach.



More Weight Loss Tips

Aside from eating any of the meals mentioned above, maintaining a healthy weight is majorly about observing a particular lifestyle.

Mostly, people put on more weight because of sheer indiscipline.

You may eat healthy and still put on weight, if you neglect the basics.

So what are the basics?


  • Exercise

Exercise is super important if you want to see results.

To lost weight, you must make use of the energy that you consume, so it isn’t stored up in the body as fat.

Try to take a walk every day if you don’t like rigorous exercises.


  • Eat spicy foods

Pepper helps your food to digest faster, and it also helps you eat slowly.

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  • Avoid red meat

That’s right. Limit your consumption of red meat. Poultry is much better.


  • Drink water

If you’re serious about losing weight, then you should completely stay away from soft drinks. Water should always be your drink of choice.


  • Reduce Your Food Serving

Firstly, to guard against weight gain, people are advised to cut down on their food servings per time.

Eat less. Sometimes, less is more. The less food you eat per meal, the more your health is being improved.

We’re not talking about starving yourself here.

Just eat right; eat a reasonable portion without necessarily stuffing yourself.

But in any case, I’m sure that you already know that it makes no sense to eat every food in sight if you’re serious about losing weight.


  • Less Calories And Carbs

Most Nigerian meals appear to be high in carbs, calories and other ingredients that enhance weight gain.

From pounded yam, amala and semovita to fufu, tuwo and eba, it’s all high carbs.

And typically, most local Nigerian stews and soups are prepared with palm oil; that’s more calories there.

So the more food you eat, especially if you like eating at the local restaurants and parties, the more fat tissue your body will amass.

The aroma can be inviting, but be disciplined and turn the other way.

Nigerian meals tend to contain a lot of carbs.

Excess carbohydrate is stored in the body as fat which leads to weight gain.

If you cut down the rate at which you consume meals such as eba, yam, semovita, rice and bread, your body will be forced to make use of the fat that has been stored and you will lose weight.

Instead of eating heavy carbs every day, you can have them once a week.


  • Limit Consumption Of Junk Foods

This is utterly important.

Eating at fast food restaurant on a healthy basis will only load your body with unwholesome ingredients.

Most fried foods and snacks you get at restaurants are high in calories and cause you to gain weight.


  • Reduce your oil intake

Instead of deep frying your meat, chicken or plantain, you should grill them. It will still be delicious, and it’s a healthier option.


  • More Fruits And Veggies

This is a much healthier choice for losing weight.

Fruits like mango, watermelon and papaya are common in Nigeria and are a significant part of the local menu.

Adding this to your diet will provide your body with many of the essential vitamins and minerals it needs.

These fruits are also good sources of fiber, which will regulate your digestive system.


  • Make Healthy Choices

Nigerian foods such as beans, cowpeas and moi-moi are good choices for weight loss.

They contain high amounts of protein and are made entirely from unprocessed ingredients.

Other good choices include vegetables such as ugwu, egusi, ewedu, elubo, utazi leaves and ogbono.



Whether you’re a Nigerian just curious about the health importance of the foods you’ve known all your life, or you’re a tourist visiting the most populous black nation on the planet, this information is sure to come in handy.

What other Nigerian food do you eat to reduce weight?


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