Pepper soup is one of the peppery soup recipes enjoyed in most African countries. A typical Nigerian version of the soup is prepared by bringing meat or fish to boil. The broth is then seasoned with beautiful spices such as onions, garlic, hot pepper, and ginger. However, the choice of ingredients can vary depending on individual preferences.
How healthy is pepper soup?
Nigerian pepper soup contains many essential nutrients, including capsaicin, that may help combat fever and cold. No matter the variation of the recipe, meat and fish are often present. And both constituents are excellent sources of protein and other nutrients, making pepper soup both nutritious and healthy.
Now let’s go further into more benefits of the delicacy with regards to its nutritional and health values. But before that, let’s take a look at how the soup is prepared and served.
The Healthy Way to Prepare Nigerian Pepper Soup
We have used the basic ingredients in this recipe so you can easily prepare this at home. Do not worry as your soup will still taste good.
- 1/2 kilogram Meat of your choice
- Habanero pepper. Use measurement based on your heat tolerance.
- 1 Tbsp Pepper soup spice
- 2Ttsp Crayfish
- 1 Tsp Ginger powder
- 1 Tsp Red Chilli flakes
- 1 small Onion. Slice half and grate the other half
- 1 Seasoning cube
- Salt to taste
- Cut your meat into small chunks. This will speed up the cooking time.
- Rinse the meat thoroughly in clean water and transfer them into a clean pot.
- Add habanero peppers, salt, seasoning cubes, sliced onion into the mix.
- Add 4 cups of water and set the pot on heat.
- After cooking for 30 minutes, add the red chili flakes, pepper soup recipe, Ginger powder, grated onion, and crayfish. Cook everything for more than 10 minutes.
- Your soup is ready to serve.
You can eat pepper soup as is or serve it with Rice, or Yam. In restaurants and food joints, the treat is not complete without a beer on the table. If you prefer beverages, then you can equally use that to “wash” the soup down your throat.
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Health Benefits of Pepper Soup
A typical pepper soup contains ingredients such as fish, meat, onions, garlic, hot pepper, and ginger that packs many essential nutrients.
Crayfish used in the above recipe is an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin E, phosphorus, and other essential minerals and vitamins.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient your body needs but cannot produce on its own and relies on supplements and dietary sources. By including crayfish in your pepper soup preparation, you’ll get more vitamin B12.
Daily values of the nutrient recommended by experts range from 0.4 mcg to 22.4 mcg depending on the age, sex, and the life stages of an individual.
Excellent Source of Protein
Apart from crayfish, assorted meat in the preparation is an excellent protein provider. Your body requires protein to build tissues and repair worn-out ones. The nutrient is also needed to make hormones and enzymes. It is also useful for the development of bones, muscles, and many other body organs.
Health experts recommend kids to get an ample supply of protein, especially during their early stages of development. A growing kid who gets enough protein tends not to face health conditions such as slowed growth, lack of concentration, fatigue, lower immunity, and more.
Also, older adults who lack sufficient protein might find it hard to support their bone and muscle mass. Due to advancing age and declining health, older adults may find it hard to process protein efficiently as they used to when they are much younger. Getting more protein will help them not only for healthy bones but also for other essential physiological functions.
Overall, taking Nigerian pepper soup is an excellent way to increase your protein intake so you can crush your daily protein requirements.
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Here are more benefits of pepper soup from a medicinal perspective.
Medicinal Benefits of Pepper Soup
Habanero pepper used in most peppery soup recipe contain an ingredient called capsaicin. Capsaicin has analgesic properties, which is an effective pain reliever.
More so, spicy foods can help ease nasal congestion. When taking hot, pepper soup can help clear out the blockages in the nasal passages so that you can feel and breathe better.
Aside from helping with nasal congestion, capsaicin in habaneros may help patients with high blood pressure manage the situation.
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Is Pepper Soup Good for Pregnant Women?
This appears to be one of the frequently asked questions about pepper soup. Due to the somewhat excess pepper in this dish, people fear it might be connected with miscarriage. Like most foods, moderation is the key when it comes to pepper intake. When carrying a baby in your womb, ensure to include pepper in your diet in moderation.
While it is safe when you take pepper soup in the right proportions, certain pepper types could trigger irritation. For instance, red chilies and green chilies could cause a burning sensation, indigestion, and acidity.
Apart from pepper, the potash used by some persons to soften meat may cause miscarriage. Potash is also used in preparing other peppery soup-like dishes such as Nkwobi and Isiewu. While you may avoid using some of these harmful substances, you can’t be sure about the foods you buy from your restaurants. So, it is best to prepare your meals at home throughout the pregnancy period.
But keep in that pepper spice on its own will not cause miscarriage as there is no scientific data about that. However, eating in moderation is advised.
If you have ever heard pepper soup can cause miscarriage, you want to consider it a myth.
The choice of ingredients used plays a role when it comes to how healthy your pepper soup will be. You can make the recipe more nutritious by using quality meats and flavors.
When pregnant, you are more likely to be okay with a moderate intake of pepper soup. However, do well to avoid the soup if your doctor or health care practitioner strongly advises you not to eat.