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Credit: Kenny's Kitchen

Enjoying Nsukka delicacies is an indispensable action for every intending, visiting or residing individuals from any state, city or country. The Igbo people have their delicacies cooked in many social gatherings in the country as well as overseas. Some of these foods originated from Nsukka area of Enugu state, mouth-watering and appetizing.

However, you may want to know the contents of foods you take so as to take cognizance of your nutritional health.

Five of these foods high in cholesterol/calories are:

  1. Achicha. Achicha or Echicha, a local delicacy of the Igbos especially Nsukka, is made of smashed dried cocoyam and pigeon peas. The cocoyam is called Ede and the peas are called Agbugbu or fiofio. Cocoyam is an outstanding source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. According to, 100 grams of cooked cocoyam provides 142 kcal, 34.6 grammes of carbohydrate, 5.1 grams of dietary fibre, 0.11 grams of fat, protein etc. Our focus is not on other nutrients but on cholesterol. What makes up a larger part of the food is palm oil. Without palm oil, there’s no echicha. Palm oil contains a type of fat that can increase cholesterol levels, so people should avoid eating it in excess. warns that regulating eating meals containing palm oil can increase levels of low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol, which may be a problem for people who have already high cholesterol. So, while taking your sumptuous echicha meal throughout your stay in Nsukka, be mindful not to eat it in excess.

2. Ayaraya oka. Ayaraya oka or otipiri is a Nsukka term for mixed dry cooked corn. It is usually mixed with sprinkles of veggie leaves, agbugbu beans (pigeon peas), and seasoned palm oil stew. It is made from a rough blend of maize, pigeon peas, fermented oil bean seed (ugba), palm oil, vegetables and salt.  According to, a homemade ayaraya oka recipe is a delicious dish when properly cooked, though demanding and time-consuming. Asides from other content of the food, our focus shall be on the non-refined palm oil used to gel the food. A finding from found in a research carried out on some selected school children that maize+corn had the highest fat of 15.76%, which is on the high side.

3. Ukwa. It contains moderate levels of essential vitamins and minerals. The Guardian obtained that it contains 38.3% of carbonhydrate, 15.9% fat, 17.7% of crude protein but adequate levels of protein. Ukwa is known as breadfruit in the English parlance. Like other tropical fruits, it contains high amounts of calories. The appropriate dose of breadfruit depends on factors such one’s age, health and several other conditions. This is because obtained that it may lead to increased risk if one has bleeding disorders, cause allergy to people sensitive to bananas and might lower blood pressure (hypotension). Therefore, it is advised to have moderate intake of this food.

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4. Okpa. Okpa is a delicacy prepared by Nsukka people and other people in Nigeria, but commonly associated with Enugu’s delicacy. It is made up of a special type of bean known as Bambara nuts. This delicacy is a popular traditional product generally prepared from mashed bambara nuts. Though very rich in calcium, fibre, iron, potassium, methionine, and other nutrients, the effect of taking excess okpa is that it contains higher levels of fatty acids in comparison to groundnut.  The Bambara nuts paste is mixed with sufficient palm oil, pepper, salt and spices (optional). The quantity of okpa and its stated ingredients usually determine its calorie content. The excess palm oil in okpa could lead to drastic weight loss. Studies have found that 100 grams of Bambara nuts are equivalent to 395 calories; 60 from carbohydrates, 80 from protein and 54 from fat.

credit: Lyndishes Kitchen

5. Igbangwu oka:The food which is made of finely blended corn, mixed with vegetables, salt, palm oil, sizeable beans, pepper and other ingredients, is adequately rich in fibre, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals etc. in a research result carried out by.. it revealed that igbangwu has a very high moisture content, crude protein and fat content. Carbohydrate content ranges from 11.6 -19.4 grams compared to okpa. All the foods mentioned here have good nutritional values more than their disadvantages. It is only advised that these delicacies should be taken in moderation, as it excessive intake could lead to serious health issues.

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