Nkwobi is a popular Nigerian delicacy served in bars, exclusive restaurants, and many food joints. This cow foot soup is trendy among the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. Though it’s mostly an eat out meal, that doesn’t mean Nkwobi is exclusive to chefs. You can prepare it right in your own kitchen for the entire household to enjoy.
Nkwobi is made of cow foot and other ingredients such as crayfish, Ehuru seeds, Utazi leaves, edible potash, onion, Ugba (oil bean seed), and palm oil.
The core ingredient is cow foot, while the choice of spices might vary depending on the recipe and individual preferences.
How Nkwobi is Made
The chunked cow feet are precooked (or boiled) until soft. After it’s cooked to taste, other spices and palm oil are added. Finally, the soup is garnished with Utazi leaves and chopped onions.
But there is more to Nkwobi—ever wondered how this delicacy impacts your health? You should know what you consume and its effects on your health. Therefore, this article provides a ton about the nutritional content of this delicacy.
What are the Health Benefits of Nkwobi?
Nkwobi is packed with nutritional value due to its constituent ingredients. Let’s begin by reviewing some of the core ingredients and their health impacts:
Ugba is not only a flavoring agent but an ingredient that is rich in protein. Protein is required in large amounts by the body to build up cells and muscles. It also plays a significant role in repairing worn-out tissues.
As you probably know, palm oil is quite beneficial to human health. Minimal intake may help decrease cholesterol levels, oxidative stress, and improves the health of the brain. Besides, vitamin A that helps maintain healthy vision, boost the immune system aside from other benefits is found in palm oil.
ALSO READ: Are Nigerian Meat Pies Healthy?
Crayfish packs lots of minerals such as Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, and also rich in B vitamins. It also contains a trace amount of fat, which makes it a useful ingredient for weight loss. Health experts even recommend cooked crayfish for pregnant women. This is because crayfish contains ample omega-3 fatty acids.
The primary constituent of Nkwobi is cow foot, which has bones. The bones in cow foot are rich in essential nutrients such as gelatin, glycerin, and collagen, which all help in fighting inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
More so, cow bones are rich in essential vitamins and proteins that promote good health. When cow foot is boiled and allowed to simmer with other flavors, it becomes a broth.
Bone broth is highly nutritious as it contains tons of vitamins and nutrients essential for the bones and the body in general. Below, we’ll discuss some of these benefits.
Source of Collagen
Collagen occurs naturally in the bones and skin. Collagen production, however, decreases with age. This causes the formation of wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, and other aging lines. As a result of reduced collagen supply, the bones also become frails.
One of the best dietary sources of collagen is bone broth. Incorporating Nkwobi into your diet will help you get more collagen.
May Help Reduce Inflammation
One research found an amino acid called glutamine to be promising in fighting inflammation. In the study, glutamine supplementation helps in the healing of intestinal barriers in both animal and human tests. This means glutamine helps prevent conditions that can irritate the intestines.
Experts recommend drinking bone broth every day to get useful amino acids, including glutamine. Including this delicacy into your diet makes for one way to boost your immune system.
ALSO READ: 10 Popular Nigerian Foods and their Health Impacts
May Help with Weight Loss
Eating excessive calorie foods makes your body store more calories than it is needed, which in turn makes you fat. The protein found in a broth soup such as Nkwobi provides satiety, helping you quell your appetite for junk foods that are usually jam packed with calories.
Good for Pregnancy
Pregnant women need an ample supply of certain minerals and nutrients that makes the baby build strong bones.
Also, proteins contribute to the growth of the fetal brain, tissues, and helps the baby grow healthy. That’s why health professionals recommend a 75 to 100 grams of protein intake for pregnant women.
These nutrients that are found in broth are equally nourishing and essential for the mother. For example, they help with blood flow and breast tissue development.
When the cow foot simmers with other ingredients and flavors, tons of minerals and vitamins are released into the Nkwobi stew. This makes for an excellent and easy way to get ample nutrients needed by both the baby and mother.
What Do You Eat Nkwobi with?
For most people, Nkwobi is not complete without a drink. The delicacy can be paired with Nigerian palm wine, cold beers, or any other type of liquor.
If, for instance, you are residing in Nigeria, chances are you might have taken the palm wine. It tastes milky and sweet, thereby making an excellent addition to Nkwobi.
One thing that makes Nkwobi pair with most beverages is because of its spicy nature. And at times, some cooks can be generous with the pepper.
To cancel out burning sensation in the mouth, the cold palm wine or other chilled drinks pair well with Nkwobi.
Nkwobi, however, may not pair well with swallows such as pounded yam, Eba, Fufu, or Amala due to its thick and chunky nature. But with a cold drink, you can never go wrong.
ALSO READ: Delicious Nigerian Desserts Recipes to Try at Home
Important Note for Preparing Nkwobi
If you are preparing Nkwobi at home, make sure to chop the cow foot into small chunks. As cow foot is mostly bones, cutting into smaller pieces will let you enjoy the delicacy much better.
Also, ensure the bone is well precooked. The goal is to boil the bones as soft as possible. Using a pressure cooker will speed up the cooking time. If you don’t have a fast cooker, you can use a stove. But this could mean a longer cooking time.
Though Nkwobi is an eat out dish, it doesn’t require any special cooking skills or ingredients. Most of these ingredients are traditional flavors, and anyone can prepare the stew.
More importantly, the health benefits offered by Nkwobi make it a superfood and excellent delicacy to include in your diet.