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OKPA. Why I Eat Okpa Everyday!

Dr Ignatius O. Onah.

REAL NAIJA NATURAL FOODS

   Excerpts from " OKPA AS A RICH PROTEIN SOURCE", By Dr Ignatius O. Onah.

 Formal Name: Bambara Groundnut.

  Now, read on:

   "... According to Directorate of plant production (2011), ..."there are seven varieties of bambara groundnut, and these include;

 * • Black: Early maturing, usually small to medium sized kernels, mainly one seeded.

 * • Red: Late maturing, kernels are large. A good yielder, however it is prone to rotting onsite.

 * • Cream/black eye: A large kernel and a good yielder.

 * • Cream/brown eye: A large moderate kernel and a good yielder.

• Cream/no eye: very small pods and kernels. It mainly produces one seed and yields are lower.

 * • Speckled/flecked/spotted: purple colour predominates. Kernels are small, and pods are mainly one-seeded.

 * • Brown: contains variation between light and dark brown. Kernels are of medium to large size.

       NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF BAMBARA GROUNDNUT

    .."Bambara groundnut can be used and does play an important role as a protein source. The seeds make a complete food as it contains sufficient quantities of protein, carbohydrates and fats. On the average, the seeds contain

    * 54.5-69.3% carbohydrates,

    * 17-24% protein and

    * 5.3-7.8% fat,.....

    * gives 367-414 calories per 100kg.

 # Richer in Energy than Other Legumes.

   .."The gross energy value of bambara groundnut seed is greater than that of other common pusles such as cowpea, lentil and pigeon pea (FAO, 1982)., even Soybeans,....

 # Richer than Groundnuts(Peanuts)

.."Bambara nuts is rricher than groundnut in essential amino acids such as isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine and valine.

# Contains Plenty of Minerals, Fibre.

 "... This bean is an important source of food security, because it is highly nutritious, and is a good source of fibre, Calcium and Iron.....

  # Relished by All!

"... Okpa is relished by adolescents and adults. It is hawked by women and children, who prepared it to secondary schools’ refectories, where it is used as part of breakfast (Enwere and Hung, 1996).

  # Okpa is Richer than Moi moi!

According to Ominawo et al., (2007), Okpa is a better diet for the diabetics than moin-moin,(made from cowpea) as they were found to have lower values of glycemic index and blood glucose response when Okpa was administered and this may be attributed to the higher crude fiber content of bambara nut than cowpea (moin-moin) (Onimawo, 1998).

   PROCESSING AND UTILIZATION OF BAMBARA GROUNDNUT.

   How to Cook Okpa.

 ".... The flour ... mixed with palm oil, salt and pepper to obtain slurry, and other ingredients like crayfish, onions, uziza seeds may be added if desired, until consistency is achieved. The mixture is then wrapped in banana or plantain leaves, transparent polyethene pack or containers, steamed for 50minutes to 1hour (Enwere, 1998). The end product is “Okpa” (bambara groundnut paste).

       About Dr Onah.

 Dr(Pharm.) IGNATIUS O. ONAH,68, is a Pharmacist , Nutritionist, and Naturopathic Doctor.

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