This is a popular pumpkin soup common in the southern part of Nigeria. The name Edikang Ikong originates from the Ibibios. The Igbos call it Ugwu, while the Yorubas call it Ewe Aworoko. It is considered the most consumed meal in Nigeria. Tales of this meal have traveled far and wide. Everyone who strays into the southern part of Nigeria never leaves without having a taste of the soup. It is often made with lots of tantalizing condiments that would keep you asking for more at the risk of developing a tummy sag. Fish, meat, vegetables, periwinkle, shaky, etc! The taste, the feel in your mouth, the sweat that hits you as you rush at each munch. It’s utterly indescribable the power of Edikang Ikong!
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Researchers in recent times have found that many of the meals we consume add to or incite the numerous health issues we develop. Either too much carbs or cholesterol that affect the heart or the normal functioning of our systems in the long run. Therefore it is imperative to identify the meals that will keep you healthy as your health is your responsibility. If Edikang Ikong is your thing, then you are on track with your health, if not then you need to sign up. Find below some health benefits of this meal as outlined by Naira Health that I’m sure you never knew;
It is a rich source of dietary fiber.
Pumpkin rich in fiber contains Vitamin A and C as well as minerals such as Calcium and Iron. Vitamin A is effective in clearing visions and protects and keeps the skin fresh. Vitamin C helps to heal scars and wounds, while Calcium and Iron strengthens teeth and bones and muscles.
It increases blood volume and boosts the immune system.
Pumpkin is effective in boosting the human immune system and increases blood volume. It is often prescribed by doctors for patients who are prone to lose blood with the intent to raise the blood levels.
It is used as a health treatment for some ailments.
When prepared as herbs, pumpkin is used to treat such ailments as sudden attack of convulsion, malaria and anemia. It also plays a vital role in protecting against cardiovascular diseases.
How to Eat Edikang Ikong Healthily
Though Edikang Ikong has been confirmed as a healthy meal, the condiments we use in cooking or what we eat it with may trigger health issues that could have been prevented. Hence when preparing or eating Edikang Ikong;
Avoid cooking with too much palm oil. Stick to a small portion of oil, probably one cooking spoon full. This is to reduce the build-up of cholesterol (Of which palm oil is rich in) in your system.
Eat it with healthier alternatives. Avoid eating it with meals rich in carbs; garri, rice etc. Rather settle for healthy alternatives such as plantain flour, oatmeal flour etc.
Cook it with healthy vegetables.
Edikang Ikong is cooked along-side other vegetables. Varying tribes have varying means they use to cook this meal and what vegetables most suits their needs. However it is advisable to use Waterleaf which has been proven to be effective in enhancing cognitive ability, delays the onset of heart diseases and stroke and contains anti-inflammatory, fungal and bacterial properties.