Corn pap also known as akamu, ogi, koko, or eko is a Nigerian fermented cereal pudding made from maize. This super-light food has been around for decades now and a lot of people in Nigeria are eating it. A study in 2018 on the Nutritional composition of pap found that pap is rich in essential properties, including carbohydrate, Vitamins [A, B5, B3, B1, riboflavin, C), folic acid, potassium, chromium, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. It also contained high contents of amino acids such as tryptophan, phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, and valine. The calories in one serving of pap are 152.
Now, I know that daily a lot of people still take this meal called Pap. I will tell you in this article what pap does to your Body each Time you do. Read carefully now to see what pap is doing to your health:
- Regulates Blood Pressure. Pap is an excellent source of potassium and contains zero sodium content, making it a good diet for people with high blood pressure and those who want to maintain stable blood pressure or prevent hypertension production. Another benefit of taking potassium-rich foods such as pap is that it helps to lessen the effects to sodium in your body while also relieving discomfort in your blood vessel walls, thereby protecting you from myriads of health problems that might have to sprout.
- Lowers LDL Cholesterol-There are two primary forms of cholesterol in the body, low-density lipoprotein [LDL] and high-density lipoprotein [HDL], respectively. The former, LDL, is also considered to be ‘poor’ cholesterol since having excess cholesterol in your body will cause plaque to grow in your artery walls, making circulation a problem. It may also result in undue heart strain, and can even lead to high blood pressure, stroke, or heart attack.
On the positive side, pap contains a decent deal of chromium, zinc, magnesium, and some other active properties that help minimize the body’s cholesterol levels of ‘poor’ LDLs. In pap, chromium is found to be involved in lowering LDL cholesterol levels as well as inhibiting atherosclerotic plaque formation in the body. This same mineral is also linked to improved levels of blood sugar, reduced risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, reduced depression, increased levels of energy, increased regenerative capacity, to mention but a few. Again, pap’s zinc and magnesium content are also considered great for lowering the body’s LDL cholesterols, as they possess potent properties that are useful for this. Having said that, some of the best ways to help raise your ‘healthy’ HDL cholesterols and lower your ‘poor’ LDL cholesterols include – moderate caloric intake, daily physical activity [exercise], reduced smoking, reduced sugar intake, and trans fats, to name just a few. Eating Nigerian foods with low cholesterol, too, will be perfect.
- Highly beneficial for nursing mothers-Have you ever wondered why pap is one of the most popular nursing mom foods? Pap contains a high amount of water and some other components which facilitate the adequate flow of breast milk for mothers who are lactating. It also helps to recover strength after having suffered from one disease or another, not forgetting that it is again an easy-to-digest food – a friend of the digestive system.
- Good source of energy-Pap is an excellent source of carbohydrate, one of the nutrients on which your body strongly relies on adequate energy. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as pap not only provide the body with energy but also encourage mental sharpness and improve fat for energy metabolism.
- Easy to digest-Pap is one of the easy to digest foods that we have around us. This helps the body to get rid of unnecessary contaminants and chemicals quickly by simply increasing the pace you urinate at. Another advantage of eating easily digestible food is that it puts less stress on the digestive system and is good for people recovering from illness. In addition to the above, people with digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS), irritable bowel disease (IBD), or a sensitive stomach, may enjoy consuming easily digestible foods such as pap as they function on the digestive system quite carefully and seldom trigger issues.
- Boosts the kidney’s health-The kidneys are among the body’s most important organs, so any disruption that can cause adverse effects in the human system in this area. Many of the things that can destroy this vital organ are uric acid, urea, toxins, waste, and other hazardous substances. The great news, however, is that drinking pap can get rid of these substances because it helps remove harmful contaminants in the body by urine. If you’re drinking pap you appear to urinate more.
- Promotes healthy pregnancy and lowers the risk of neural tube defects-One of the main products pregnant women need to have a successful pregnancy is folic acid. This acid deficiency may contribute to the birth of underweight children, or may even cause neural tube defects in newborn babies. Pap is high in folic acid on the plus side making it a perfect and safe food for expectant mothers. Apart from that, you’ll be surprised to learn that the same paper also encourages breast milk development after childbirth-what a healthy meal!
- Akamu is good for babies and toddlers-Pap is one of the safe foods for children in Nigeria. In Nigeria, it’s a common weaning meal introduced to infants. While being highly economical, simple to prepare and easy to digest, it is also very nutritious to growing children. Brown pap is the best form of baby pap. Brown pap consists of carbohydrate, millet, and guinea corn which provides some proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are very important to the growth and overall development of babies.
Pap isn’t like some people believe it to be a ‘normal’ food. But it is filled with many health benefits, including reduced risk of hypertension, improved digestion, sufficient breast milk flow, improved health of the kidneys, to name but a few.