5 Different Types of Nigerian Snacks and their Health Benefits

Snacks are called snacks for a reason. They are light meals or food items taken between full meals to refresh the mouth and soul. Most snacks are delicious and pack essential nutrients that provide nourishment.

Nigerian snacks are no exception. Many of them are both tasty and nutritious. As there are tons of good ones out there, it’s even hard to rank these Nigerian delicacies.

Chin Chin, popcorn and groundnut, roasted plantain, buns, and coconut candy are examples of Nigerian dishes and snacks.

If you want to learn more about the above snacks or wondering about their nutritional and health benefits, you’re on the right page.

Sit tight as we consider the above delicacies and their health benefits.

Chin Chin

Nigerian Desserts

Image: Wikipedia

Chin chin is served as either a snack or dessert.

This snack is made from flour, eggs, butter, salt, sugar, pepper, and baking powder, mixed into a dough and deep-fried in vegetable oil.

Chin Chin can be hard or soft, but the super hard ones are less crunchy. For its best recipe, check this post out.

Health Benefits of Chin Chin

All-purpose or refined flour is one and the core ingredients of chin chin. Flour is an excellent source of carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and other nutrients required by the body.

To make your chin chin more nutritious, you can add eggs. The protein found in the egg is essential for growth and development, fluid balance, and many important activities.

Keep in mind, however, that taking more of a food item like chin chin without a balanced diet may increase your calories which in turn could lead to adding more and unnecessary weight.

But with moderate intake and healthy preparation, chin chin is refreshing and nutritious.

Guguru and Epa (Popcorn)

Nigerian Snacks

Image: Pinterest

This yummy snack is also called popcorn and groundnut, in case you are wondering what Guguru and Epa (or Guguru ati Epa) means.

The popcorn is made from the kernel of corn introduced to heat in a saucepan or popcorn machine. The groundnut is salt to taste and roasted in a frying pan or an oven.

Both pair well as a combo, and when served together, they don’t often last long on the table.

In Nigeria, both delicacies are street food. You can buy them from road sellers or food kiosks. What more? You can easily and quickly prepare the two at home.

Benefits of Popcorn and Groundnut

Popcorn is rich in fiber, a nutrient useful for your digestive system.

Sometimes referred to as bulk or roughage, fiber is a type of carbohydrates that goes into the stomach without getting digested. It provides many nutritional benefits, including making you feel full for long.

Popcorn also packs vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making the delicacy healthy.

While popcorn is safe, we recommend moderate consumption and avoiding the use of additive flavors.

As for the groundnuts, they are a storehouse of plant-based protein, fiber, and many other essential nutrients. However, too much groundnut may lead to the development of one acne symptom called pimples, which you don’t want.

When enjoyed in moderation, popcorn and roasted groundnut are both healthy and nutritious.

ALSO READ: How Healthy is Nigerian Fried Yam?

Roasted Plantain (Boli)

Nigerian Snacks

Image: Pinterest

As the name suggests, roasted plantain is prepared by roasting ripe or unripe on a charcoal grill. This snack is popularly called Boli by the Yoruba speaking communities in Nigeria.

Roasted plantain is best paired with roasted groundnut. The unique taste of the combo is only describable by the lover of this snack. Also, Boli is street food loved by artisans, commercial drivers, and traders.

Health Benefits of Roasted Plantain

According to experts, green plantains pack more nutrients than the ripe ones. Though ripe plantain tastes a lot better when roasted, the unripe recipe will provide more nourishment.

Just as with many food items, moderate intake is important. Because plantain is rich in carbohydrates, excess intake can lead to weight gain.

But when enjoyed in moderation, roasted plantain is one of the healthy Nigerian dishes and snacks.

ALSO READ: Is it Good to Fry Ripe Plantain?

Nigerian Buns

Nigerian Buns - Nigerian Snacks

Image: Flickr.com

Made from refined (or all-purpose) flour, Nigerian buns are a tasty snack treat that you are going to love.

This recipe is prepared from all-purpose flour, egg, milk, and butter.

One might even confuse buns with Puff Puff (another yummy snack). This is because both of them look alike. It’s just that puff puff has a chewy interior while, on the inside, buns have pillowy-soft flesh with a crunchy outside.

Benefits of Nigerian Buns

Although most nutrients are lost during processing from wheat grain, all-purpose flour is enriched with minerals and vitamins. As a result, the flour used in making buns has health values.

The addition of ingredients such as milk and eggs raises the nutritional profile of the delicacy.

By staying clear of additives, using healthy oil for frying, and moderate intake, Nigerian buns are safe.

ALSO READ: How Do You Cook the Best Beans Porridge?

Nigerian Coconut Candy

Nigerian Coconut Candy

Image: Pinterest

Coconut candy is made from coconut meat, coconut flesh, coconut juice, sugar, and water.

The coconut meat is chopped into small pieces and cooked in the juice extracted from the coconut.

Apart from the effort that goes into grating the coconut, preparing coconut candy is very easy. 

Health Benefits Nigerian Coconut Candy

Coconut meat packs manganese, an essential nutrient for bone health and protein metabolism.

People suffering from manganese deficiency could experience symptoms such as skeletal defects, and abnormal metabolism of fat and carbohydrates or bone growth. Taking coconut candy, therefore, is one way to get enough of manganese.

Also, studies have shown that manganese may help with heart health, digestion, and weight loss. 

However, because of its high saturated fat content, make sure to take coconut candy in moderation.

Conclusion

Many Nigerian dishes and snacks are both delicious and nutritious. For kids, most of these snacks wouldn’t even sit for long on the table. Chin chin, for example, is every kid’s choice.

When you don’t feel like taking afternoon meals, some of the snacks are excellent replacements. Suppose you need something to refresh your mouth, these delicacies perform too.

When consumed in moderation, chin chin, popcorn and groundnut, toasted buns, and Nigerian coconut candy are all nutritious and have health benefits.

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