Bitter leaf soup, also known as “Ofe Onugbu“, is a soup particular to the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. It is one of their native dishes, made majorly with bitter leaf and cocoyam, and other soup condiments.
The name as it reads is not the taste of this soup. It is one soup everyone wants to have especially during ceremonies because of its delicious taste and appetizing look.
To learn how to make this soup, watch the video below.
All You Should Know Before Skipping Breakfast
Skipping breakfast is a common practice, with up to 25% of adults regularly skipping the meal. While it is often believed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, there is increasing evidence to suggest that skipping breakfast may actually have some health benefits.
These health benefits are numerous and should be taken seriously if you want them effective for you. This is not to say that you should starve yourself or deprive yourself of healthy morning food. It just means that skipping breakfast sometimes can be beneficial for your health.
What are the benefits of skipping breakfast?
1. Weight loss:
Skipping breakfast can help you reduce your calorie intake for the day, which can lead to weight loss. A study found that people who skipped breakfast lost more weight over a 16-week period than those who ate breakfast. So, if you are among those trying to loose weight or burn down calories, you should consider skipping breakfast sometimes.
2. Improved blood sugar control:
Skipping breakfast can help to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. It has been discovered that people with type 2 diabetes who skipped breakfast had lower blood sugar levels throughout the day than those who ate breakfast.
3. Increased growth hormone levels:
Growth hormone is a hormone that helps to build and repair muscle tissue. Skipping breakfast can lead to an increase in growth hormone levels, which may be beneficial for people who are trying to build muscle mass or lose weight.
You wonder how this is possible when you think you need food to build the body and body tissues, right? Growth hormones do not necessarily need food especially when they can get whatever nutrients they need from the body reservoir.
4. Improved cognitive function:
Skipping breakfast can improve cognitive function, such as memory and attention. Sometimes eating in the morning makes you very dull through the day especially when it is a heavy meal. So when you skip breakfast, your body becomes more aware of what is happening and coordinates better.
5. More time to sleep:
This is for the leisure and relaxation folks. You find that the time you would use in making breakfast can buy you sleep if you skip that breakfast. Thank me later. Skipping breakfast can give you more time to sleep in the morning. If you are short on time, it may be a good way to get a few extra minutes of sleep or whatever.
We have talked about what not eating breakfast sometimes can do to us positively. What about what it does to us when we indulge too much or excessively? While we should skip breakfast sometimes, it is highly advised that it should not come off as a habit because it has its side effects.
What are the side effects of not eating breakfast regularly?
Do you skip breakfast for any of the reasons stated above? We all have our reasons for forgoing breakfast in the morning. However, keep in mind the things you are about to read below just as a guide to not overdo it.
1. Deficiency of vital nutrients:
Skipping breakfast means missing out on essential nutrients like fibre and vitamins that are crucial for sustaining your energy throughout the day. Consistently skipping breakfast can lead to inadequate intake of these nutrients, potentially leading to long-term health issues.
2. Adverse effects on energy levels and mood:
If you’ve been making a habit of skipping breakfast daily and have noticed increased irritability and decreased energy levels, your breakfast-skipping habit could be to blame. In other words, the side effects of breakfast omission can manifest as reduced energy levels and mood swings. So, the next time you find yourself feeling fatigued and irritable without an obvious cause, consider whether you’ve had breakfast.
3. Impacts on cognitive functioning:
Regular breakfast consumption has a positive influence on cognitive functioning. While it is true that skipping breakfast could help you perform better cognitively because it makes you more aware, scientific research has shown that individuals who skip breakfast on a regular basis exhibit worse cognitive performance compared to those who just skip sometimes.
4. Slowing down of metabolism:
Can you function without food indefinitely? Certainly not. Food provides the energy necessary to sustain us throughout the day. Consequently, if you neglect to nourish your body with breakfast, the first meal of the day, your body’s functioning may be compromised.
5. Encourages unhealthy cravings:
Skipping breakfast means your body hasn’t received any energy or nutrients since your last meal, which could have been 12 to 14 hours ago. Worse still, this can lead to poor dietary choices later in the day. Who can resist the allure of doughnuts when hunger strikes? Even if you’re not particularly fond of breakfast, your organs require it to function effectively. Breakfast, whether it’s a quick bowl of oatmeal or a hard-boiled egg, provides essential nutrients early in the day and helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. So with this, do not skip breakfast on a regular basis.
6. Skipping breakfast can trigger migraines:
One of the potential consequences of forgoing breakfast regularly is an increased susceptibility to migraines, particularly if you are already prone to them, probably because you have gotten used to not eating in the morning. Skipping your morning meal regularly can lead to low blood sugar levels, which may elevate blood pressure and raise the likelihood of experiencing a migraine attack. This is why it is advised to skip breakfast sometimes, not regularly.
7. Weakened immune system:
When you skip breakfast on a daily basis, your immune system can be compromised. This is because breakfast omission can adversely affect your immune cells. The body relies on consistent nutrition to maintain a healthy supply of immune cells capable of combating illnesses and enhancing the function of T-cells.
Having gone through the benefits and side effects of skipping breakfast, you should consider what to eat on the days you decide to eat breakfast. This will help your balance the equation.
What should I eat for breakfast?
The list of healthy foods to be eaten as breakfast goes on and on as it is endless, but let us see a few of them below:
- Greek yoghurt
- Oat meal
- Protein shakes
Any of these foods eaten as breakfast is good for your health, but be mindful not to overeat or indulge all the time.
It is also needful to listen to your body and eat breakfast if you are hungry. But, if you are not hungry in the morning, there is no need to force yourself to eat.
To be sure that you are on the right track when skipping a breakfast, check out these tips below:
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep the night prior.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Eat healthy snacks throughout the day, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
- Avoid sugary drinks and processed foods.
- If you are taking any medications, please and please again, do not skip breakfast. If you must, talk to your physician first.
What are your final thoughts?
The bottom line is that eating a healthy breakfast is essential to living a healthy life. Skipping breakfast sometimes is very good to the body, but… Not when you do it regularly or on a daily basis. If you do it daily, the side effects will put you at the risk of many health concerns.
So, go for a breakfast that is full of nutrients and DON’T SKIP IT REGULARLY!
After the knowledge you just got, you definitely want to check out more of our articles on health. Check here.
7 Health Benefits Of Eating Garden Egg
Garden egg, also known as African eggplant or garden eggplant, is a popular vegetable in many regions of the world. It is widely available in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Garden egg is oval-shaped and can also come in colours purple, white and green.
Aside from being nutritious and delicious in dishes, garden egg offers numerous health benefits. Whether you consume it raw or add it to stews and soups, there are some functions of garden egg in the body that you should know about. Read below.
1. Its Nutritional Value:
Garden egg is low in calories but high in fibre and essential nutrients. It contains vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and minerals like potassium and folate. These nutrients help support a healthy immune system, improve energy levels, and maintain overall well-being.
2. Richness in Antioxidants:
Garden egg is rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins and flavonoids. These compounds help protect the body against free radical damage, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Regular consumption of garden eggs can contribute to improved cardiovascular health and a stronger defence against cellular damage.
3. For Healthy Digestion:
With its high fibre content, a garden egg is beneficial for maintaining a healthy digestive system. It aids in preventing constipation, promotes regular bowel movements, and supports a balanced gut microbiome. The fibre content also assists in regulating blood sugar levels, making garden eggs a suitable vegetable for individuals with diabetes or those aiming to manage their blood sugar.
4. For Weight Management:
The low-calorie content, coupled with its high fibre content, makes garden eggs an excellent addition to a weight-loss or weight-management diet. The fibre keeps you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the chances of overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods.
Including garden eggs in your meals helps promote satiety while providing essential nutrients your body needs.
5. For Healthy Heart:
The presence of potassium in garden eggs contributes to heart health by helping to regulate blood pressure. Potassium works as a vasodilator, which relaxes the tension in blood vessels and arteries, reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system. This, in turn, lowers the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other related heart conditions.
6. For Healthy Bones:
Garden egg is a good source of vitamin K, which plays a vital role in calcium absorption and bone health. Vitamin K ensures the proper deposition of calcium in bones and helps reduce the risk of conditions like osteoporosis.
With garden eggs in your diet, it can help maintain strong and healthy bones as you age.
7. For Healthy Eyes:
The presence of vitamin C, along with other antioxidants, in garden eggs contributes to maintaining healthy eyes. Vitamin C is essential in protecting the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts, two common age-related eye conditions.
The antioxidants found in garden eggs also help reduce oxidative stress in the eyes, promoting better vision and overall eye health.
Garden eggs are nutritious vegetables that offer numerous health benefits. Its low-calorie, high-fibre, and antioxidant content make it an ideal addition to any diet, promoting overall body health. So, why not add this delicious and nutritious vegetable to your meals and enjoy all its wonderful benefits?
For everything you need to know about healthy living, get in here.
Try Out This Yummy Ogbono Soup Recipe By Zeelicious Foods
Hello foodies! Do you know that there is a dish you can make almost at no cost and it will last you for days? Join me in this read as I show you the wonders of this special delicacy.
Ogbono soup is a popular Nigerian soup made with ground ogbono seeds (the local name for Irvingia gabonensis). The seeds originated from West Africa and were first cooked in South-Eastern Nigeria, but now are mostly planted in Enugu State of the country. They have a creamy, nutty flavour. Ogbono soup is often thickened with these seeds, giving it a unique texture that is both smooth and slightly slimy.
The ingredients for making ogbono soup vary depending on the country region but it typically includes:
- Ogbono seeds
- Palm oil
- Meat or fish
- Vegetables (such as fluted pumpkin leaf, spinach, okra, and or bitter leaf)
- Spices (such as chilli peppers, onions, garlic, etc.)
- Seasoning cubes and salt
Fluted pumpkin leaf is the most common leaf used in cooking ogbono soup. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, vitamins A, C, and K, zinc, and potassium. This is probably why most people prefer to use the leaf. But while many people believe that fluted pumpkin leaf is the best leaf for the soup, some others prefer to use bitter leaf and other leaves instead.
The ogbono seeds used in cooking the ogbono soup are known by many names such as wild mango, African mango, bush mango, ugiri, ogbono, etc. The names are given based on what they are known as in different regions.
There are several methods for making ogbono soup, but the one that could be considered the easiest and fastest method as affirmed by several individuals is numbered below:
- Grind the ogbono seeds into a fine powder.
- Heat the palm oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the meat or fish and cook until browned.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilli pepper and cook until fragrant.
- Add the stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the meat or fish is cooked through.
- Add and stir in the ogbono powder and cook until the soup has thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with fufu, pounded yam, eba or with any other swallow.
Note that your vegetables can be cooked longer depending on how soft or fresh you want them to remain in the soup.
Ogbono soup can be served as a special occasion meal, but it can also be enjoyed regularly with friends and family. It is specially served with fufu, a starchy dough made from cassava, and can also be served with other types of swallow, such as pounded yam, eba, or amala.
There are so many nutritional benefits of ogbono soup. They include the list below:
- Ogbono soup is a good source of protein and vitamins.
- The ogbono seeds are a good source of dietary fibre, which can help to regulate digestion and promote heart health.
- They are also a good source of vitamins A and C, which are important for vision and immune function.
- The meat or fish that is added to ogbono soup is also a good source of protein and other nutrients.
- The vegetables that are added to the soup can also provide additional nutrients, such as vitamins K and A.
Aside from the nutritional benefits of the delectable ogbono soup, there are also health benefits which include:
- Boosting the immune system
- Regulating digestion
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving heart health
- Promoting weight loss
Some people do not like ogbono soup. This could simply be because of its slimy texture and the raw state it may give off. Well, check the tips below, it will help you swallow every dip you make in the soup:
- To avoid the soup becoming too slimy, add the ogbono powder slowly and stir constantly.
- You can add more stock or water if the soup is too thick.
- If the soup is too thin, you can add more ogbono powder.
- You can adjust the amount of chilli pepper to your taste.
- Garnish the soup with chopped green onions or parsley.
- Use more natural spices.
Eating ogbono soup is a great way to get a boost of protein and fibre in one meal. You can never forget your first taste of it.
For the updated version of how to make this yummy soup, watch the video by Zeelicious Foods below.
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