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15 Health Benefits Of Eating Okazi Leaves

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Okazi Leaves And Its 15 Health Benefits | Fab.ng

Okazi Leaves (Afang leaves), scientifically known as Gnetum Africanum, is a leafy green vegetable that people in various African countries, like Nigeria, Congo, Gabon, and the Central African Republic, have been enjoying for hundreds of years.

It is a special leaf because it’s packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium. People love it not just for its unique flavour but also for the good things it does for our health.

This leaf is full of good stuff like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. People in Africa have been using it in their cooking for a very long time.

Okazi leaves have a list of long benefits to the body and we shall explore 15 of these benefits below:

1. Helps your tummy work better:

Ukazi leaf is like a friend to your stomach. It helps with digestion, reduces problems like diarrhoea, and can stop tummy cramps and nausea.

2. Keeps your eyes healthy:

Eating Okazi leaf is like giving your eyes a treat. It has something called carotenoids that are like superhero helpers for your eyes. They keep your eyes strong and can prevent problems with your vision.

3. Makes your cholesterol levels happy:

Afang Soup: See 14 Amazing Health Benefits Of Okazi [Eru] Leaf

When you eat too much of the wrong foods, it can make your cholesterol levels go up, which is bad for your heart. But Okazi leaf can help by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body takes in and keeping your arteries clean and clear.

4. Protects your body from harm:

Okazileaf is like a shield for your body. It’s loaded with vitamins that protect you from damage, especially from things called free radicals. It also helps your heart by keeping your blood vessels healthy.

5. Manages your blood sugar:

For people who need to watch their blood sugar levels, Okazi leaf can be a great help. It makes your body more sensitive to insulin, which helps control your blood sugar. It also slows down how fast sugar gets into your bloodstream.

6. Treats anaemia:

Anaemia is when you don’t have enough iron in your body, and it can make you feel tired and weak. Okazi leaf is rich in iron, so eating it can help your body make more red blood cells and make you feel more energetic.

7. Adds years to your life:

Okazi leaf is like a magic potion of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. It helps keep your body strong and may even help you live longer. We all know that eating healthy foods helps to elongate life.

8. Helps with weight loss:

If you want to lose weight, Okazi leaf can be your friend. It’s low in fat but high in fibre and nutrients. This means it keeps you full for longer and gives you lots of energy.

9. Supports a healthy heart:

Okazi leaf is like a heart protector. It contains nutrients that make your blood flow better, reduce your blood pressure, and keep your arteries clean.

10. Keeps your skin healthy:

Dry Afang (Okazi) – Roki Foods

This wonder leaf is not just good for the inside of your body; it’s also great for your skin. It nourishes your skin and can help prevent skin problems like acne and eczema.

11. Boosts your immune system:

 

Your immune system is like your body’s defence team against illnesses. Okazi leaf is like giving them superpowers because it’s packed with nutrients that make your immune system strong.

12. Strengthens your bones and teeth:

Okazi leaf has lots of calcium, which is like a superhero for your bones and teeth. It makes them strong and helps prevent problems like osteoporosis.

13. Supports healthy pregnancy:

If you’re pregnant, this leaf is like a secret weapon. It has something called folate which is important for pregnant women and their babies. It can help prevent complications and make sure you have a healthy pregnancy journey.

14. Fights inflammation:

Inflammation can cause a lot of health problems, but the Okazi leaf is like an anti-inflammatory leaf. It has compounds that can reduce inflammation and help prevent diseases like arthritis and heart disease.

15. Keeps your brain sharp:

Okazi leaf has a lot of B vitamins, and your brain loves them. They help your brain work well and improve your memory and concentration. They also reduce the risk of brain problems as you get older.

By now, we know that the leaf is not just a tasty addition to your meals; it’s a powerful ally in your journey to better health.

You can enjoy all these benefits by including the leaf in your daily diet. It’s a simple and delicious way to take care of your well-being.

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FOOD

See The 4 Healthiest Beans You Can Eat

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See The 4 Healthiest Beans You Can Eat | Fab.ng

The secret to a long and healthy life might be right under your nose—or rather, on your plate! Considering adding some of the healthiest beans available to your regular meals? You might be pleasantly surprised by the benefits they offer.

These versatile little legumes, technically seeds from various plants and classified as vegetables, are true nutritional powerhouses and some of the healthiest foods you can incorporate into your diet.

For compelling evidence, take a look at the world’s famous “Blue Zones.” These special regions boast a remarkable number of people who celebrate their 100th birthday and often thrive well beyond that.

What’s more, these communities experience significantly lower rates of chronic diseases compared to the rest of the world.

It’s interesting to note that there is a common food item that is a part of the diets of populations that live long and healthy lives, and that food is beans! For instance, black beans are a staple for people in Nicoya, Costa Rica. Soybeans are a favorite in Okinawa, Japan, while white beans and chickpeas are commonly consumed in Ikaria, Greece.

Beans have been linked to a multitude of health benefits. Research suggests they can contribute to a healthier heart, improve weight management, reduce chronic inflammation, and even offer protection against certain diseases.

This impressive array of benefits stems from the unique nutritional profile of beans. They are powerhouses of fiber, protein, essential vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which play crucial roles in maintaining optimal health.

By including these nutritious legumes in your diet, you could potentially unlock the key to a healthier and longer life.

But with hundreds of varieties, each boasting its own unique set of nutrients and advantages, choosing which ones to incorporate into your diet can feel overwhelming.

To make this a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of 4 of the healthiest beans you can find. This list is based on their nutritional content and the latest research.

1. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans with rosemary and garlic | Tesco Real Food

Don’t underestimate the humble white bean, also known as cannellini or white kidney bean. Cannellini beans offer a diverse range of health benefits, making them a valuable addition to any diet. Compared to other legumes, white beans boast a higher protein content, providing a satisfying and filling option for those seeking plant-based protein sources. This makes them ideal for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet. White beans are also champions when it comes to potassium. They offer a significant amount, contributing between 35-46% of your daily value. This crucial nutrient plays a vital role in regulating blood pressure, preventing kidney stones, and promoting strong, healthy bones.

White beans also provide a significant boost of magnesium, offering around 12–16% of your daily recommended intake. Maintaining adequate magnesium levels plays a crucial role in preventing various health concerns, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and osteoporosis.

2. Black beans

Instant Pot Black Beans (No Soak Foolproof) | Amy + Jacky

Aha, the mighty black bean! This is one of the healthiest beans you can find. They’re not just delicious; they’re packed with nutrients. Each bite bursts with fiber and protein, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. But the benefits go beyond just feeling satisfied. Black beans are loaded with essential B vitamins, iron, and magnesium, all crucial for keeping your body functioning optimally. Research published in “Nutrients” even suggests that incorporating black beans into a typical Western diet can be a game-changer for individuals with metabolic syndrome.

But the benefits don’t stop there! Another “Nutrients” report reveals that darker-colored beans, like our black bean friends, are antioxidant champions. They pack a punch of polyphenol plant compounds compared to their lighter-colored counterparts.

One study also found that combining black beans and chickpeas with white rice can improve your body’s glycemic response. This translates to preventing those unwanted blood sugar spikes, making black beans a true diabetic-friendly superstar.

3. Chickpeas

Air Fryer Chickpeas - Skinnytaste

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a nutritional powerhouse packed with benefits beyond their delicious taste.

First and foremost, chickpeas are a fantastic source of both protein and fiber. Just a half-cup serving boasts 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, making them incredibly filling. This translates to better appetite control, aiding in weight management, and promoting healthy digestion. Research published in the journal Nutrients reveals an even more extensive list of health benefits associated with chickpeas. Regular chickpea consumption is linked to increased intake of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins E, A, and C, folate, magnesium, iron, and healthy fats. Incorporating chickpeas into your diet can positively impact weight management, and blood sugar regulation, and even potentially reduce risk factors associated with heart disease.

4. Soybeans

Research shows country of origin of soybeans is significant - All About Feed

You might be surprised to learn that you’ve likely consumed soybeans without even realizing it! Popular foods like tofu, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, and even soy milk all have soybeans as their hidden heroes. Soybeans are not only a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, but also boast essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, iron, and selenium.

They’re a complete protein. This means they contain all nine essential amino acids, which your body needs but cannot produce itself. So, by incorporating soybeans into your diet, you’re ensuring your body gets the building blocks it needs to thrive.

Soybeans are a valuable solution for plant-based diets, providing essential, complete protein.

Beyond offering complete protein, research published in Nutrients even suggests that soy consumption might help lessen the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. They not only contribute essential, complete protein but might also offer additional health advantages.

In simpler terms, these are some of the healthiest beans you can enjoy. Incorporating these types of beans into your plant-based diet doesn’t just ensure you get enough complete protein; it will also contribute to overall health and wellness by potentially reducing the risk of various diseases.

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FOOD

How To Make Kuli Kuli At Home

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How To Make Kuli Kuli At Home | Fab.ng

Calling all snack lovers! Do you love snacks? Do you like just munging on something crunchy? Here’s your chance to try a delicious North Nigerian treat: Kuli Kuli.

Also known as Adunlee in some regions, Kuli Kuli is a popular snack enjoyed throughout the day. It has a delightful combination of crunch and sweet-savoury flavour.

Whether you’re a beginner cook looking to explore traditional snacks or just searching for a new recipe to add to your collection, this Kulikuli recipe is a perfect place to start. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of cornmeal (either fine or medium grind)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (adjust to your taste preference)
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, with extra for frying
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of water (for boiling)

A step-by-step guide to making delicious kuli kuli:

How To Make Kuli Kuli At Home | Fab.ng

Now that you have your ingredients, let’s get cooking!
  1. Gather your ingredients: Before you start, make sure all your ingredients are ready and within reach. This will help the cooking process flow smoothly.

  2. Boil the water: In a medium pot, bring 1 cup of water to a rolling boil. This water will be used to mix with the cornmeal and create the perfect dough consistency.

  3. Mix the dry ingredients: While the water heats up, grab a large mixing bowl and combine the cornmeal, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix them well to ensure the sugar and salt are evenly distributed throughout the cornmeal.

  4. Combine with hot water: Once the water boils, slowly add it to the dry ingredients while stirring continuously. Be careful with the hot water to avoid burns. The goal is to slowly incorporate the water to prevent lumps and achieve a smooth, consistent dough.

  5. Add oil: After the dough forms and is still warm, add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the mixture. Using your hands or a spoon, knead the dough until the oil is fully integrated. You want the dough to be pliable but not sticky. The oil helps bind the ingredients and adds a subtle richness to the Kuli kuli.

  6. Shape the Kulikuli: Take small portions of the dough and shape them into your desired forms. Traditionally, Kulikuli is shaped into small balls or cylindrical rolls, but feel free to get creative! Just try to make them as uniform as possible for even cooking.

  7. Fry the Kulikuli: Heat a generous amount of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the shaped dough pieces. Fry them until they are golden brown and crispy, turning them occasionally for even browning. This should take about 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of your Kulikuli.

  8. Cool and serve: Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried Kulikuli from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain any excess oil. Let them cool down a bit before serving. Enjoy your Kulikuli on its own or as a delightful addition to various dishes!

How To Make Kuli Kuli At Home | Fab.ng

Here are some extra tips to help you make perfect kuli kuli:

  • Pay attention to the dough: The dough shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. It should be easy to mould and hold its shape.
  • Control the heat: Keep the oil at medium heat throughout frying. This prevents the Kulikuli from burning on the outside while staying raw on the inside.
  • Store it right: You can store Kulikuli in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, making it a handy snack to enjoy anytime.
  • Get creative: Have fun making and tasting this traditional snack! Feel free to experiment with the recipe by adding your own unique touch, like spices or herbs, to create different flavours. Happy cooking!

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FOOD

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash | Fab.ng

This recipe is for spaghetti squash with vegetables, feta cheese, and olives. It’s a great option for a side dish or even a vegetarian main course. The spaghetti squash is roasted, and its flesh comes out in long, strand-like pieces, similar to spaghetti noodles.

Feel free to use different vegetables in this recipe, but try to choose ones with different colours to make the dish visually appealing.

You’ll find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions in the recipe below, but let’s go over the basics:

Spaghetti Squash Ingredients

Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients you’ll need for this spaghetti squash recipe:

  • Main Star: One spaghetti squash is the key ingredient, so make sure to choose a good one!
  • Healthy Fat: Olive oil—we’ll use this to cook the vegetables and add some healthy fats to the dish.
  • Veggie Medley:
    • Onion, chopped to add flavour and texture.
    • Tomatoes, chopped to bring sweetness and acidity.
    • Black olives, sliced for a salty and briny taste.
  • Flavour Boosters:
    • Fresh basil, chopped to add a fresh and fragrant touch.
    • Garlic is minced to add a savoury and aromatic flavour.
  • Creamy Topping: Feta cheese, crumbled on top for a creamy and salty finish.

How to Make Spaghetti Squash

Here are the simple steps involved in making this spaghetti squash recipe:

  1. Roast the Squash: First, we’ll cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then, we’ll brush it with oil and roast it in the oven until it’s tender and cooked through.
  2. Sauté the Veggies: While the squash is roasting, we’ll cook the chopped onion in a pan with some olive oil. Once the onion is softened, we’ll add the minced garlic and chopped tomatoes and cook them together for a few minutes.
  3. Combine and Enjoy: Once the squash is cooked and the vegetables are ready, we’ll scoop out the spaghetti-like strands and add them to the pan with the tomato mixture. We’ll toss everything together to combine the flavours, and then it’s ready to enjoy!

How Long to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) to cook the spaghetti squash. Once the oven is hot, bake the squash halves for about 30 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork.

Directions

    1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Put a small amount of grease on a baking sheet.
    2. Put the spaghetti squash with the cut sides facing down on the greased baking sheet. Bake in the heated oven until a knife can be inserted with a little resistance, which takes around 30 minutes. Take the squash out of the oven and let it cool until it’s easy to handle.
      Overhead of a spaghetti squash cut in half and placed cut side down on a baking sheet.
    3. At the same time, warm up some oil in a pan on medium heat. Stir and cook the onion in the oil until it becomes soft. Then, add the garlic and continue to cook and stir until it smells nice, for about 2 to 3 minutes. After that, put in the tomatoes and cook them until they are heated through.

      Overehead of tomatoes, onions, and garlic cooking in a skillet.
    4. Take a big spoon and remove the stringy pulp from the squash. Put the stringy pulp in a medium-sized bowl.

      Overhead of two spaghetti squash halves being scooped out with a spoon on a baking sheet.
    5. Mix the cooked onion-tomato mixture, feta cheese, olives, and basil by tossing them gently until they are well combined.

      Overhead of spaghetti squash pulp being tossed with a tomato mixture, feta cheese, olives, and basil in a bowl.
    6. Serve the dish while it is still warm and enjoy its delicious flavours.

      high angle looking at a bowl with spaghetti squash, tomatoes and black olives

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