in #sixweekheath6 years ago (edited)

Hello steemians,

I am Madina, a medical student from Nigeria. I love cooking and trying out new recipes. I have many original recipes which I am yet to try out. This is my first post on steemit. I saw a post about the six week health challenge by @healthsquared and I felt it’s a good idea to join.


I stay in Ibadan, the largest city in West Africa. Eating healthy is not the topmost priority of the people here. Since the regular meals are not always available, most people tend to eat whatever is available which are mostly carbohydrates (because it is cheap). Among the educated, having a very busy lifestyle makes it very difficult for them to focus on their diets. Junks are consumed in large quantity as it saves their time and money needed to cook a healthy food.

Due to such situations, very few people are able to eat healthy even though it may not be consistent. Issues of malnutrition and obesity tend to set in rapidly in the society, this started to draw more attention to the reasons why people are looking overly fat or malnourished. Health practitioners and dieticians try to create awareness on the benefits of healthy eating by doing public outreaches. Even though most people tend not to attend because their change in appearance seems harmless as they ‘’feel healthy”.


I cooked boiled yellow sweet potatoes with spinach soup for the six week health challenge, it is an original recipe of mine. I try to use the cheapest materials that are readily available in the local market to make a healthy food. This will make it easier for anyone with either low or high income to be able to afford it. All the ingredient used are organic and fresh.

For the soup;
Red peppers and Onions
Locust beans
Fresh Titus fish (frozen)
Smoked stock fish (locally known as Kpanla in Nigeria)
Red palm oil
Salt and seasoning.

Then the yellow sweet potatoes.

Before going into the cooking aspect, I will like to talk about the health benefits of the used ingredients.

SPINACH; being leafy, everyone will take it as just roughage that will be useful for bowel movement only. Well, the leaf has a lot more benefit than that. Just like other dark green leafy vegetables, it is important for skin, hair and bone. It also provides iron, vitamins (vitamin K, A, C and thiamine), anti-oxidant (alpha-lipiocacid, needed for diabetes management ), chlorophyll, beta-carotene, folate and minerals(calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium , potassium). You can read more from (

MACKEREL (TITUS) FISH ; this fish has numerous benefits and are readily available in the market. Even though it is not as cheap as other fishes (like sardine). It can be prepared as smoked, boiled, fried(not as healthy as others) or grilled. It contains; Omega-3 which is heart friendly as it reduces the risk for cardiovascular diseases, has positive effect depression, anxiety & cognition if consumed in large amount. It also contain potassium which is useful in controlling blood pressure, the protein portion is used for immunity development and other protein containing compounds in the body.

LOCUST BEANS; ( scientific name : Parkia biglobosa) It is also known as ‘ iru’, ‘ogiri', or ‘daddawa’ locally):it is usually used as a local seasoning or condiment in soups. It contains lipid (29%), protein (35%), carbohydrate(16%), and is a good source of calcium .

RED PALM OIL: although bleached palm oil are being sold, the red palm oil is being found more popular in the local market. Even though it has high level of high density fat, it is used in small quantity to cook soup. Beta-carotene is one of the prime components of palm oil, it is very essential for improving vision. They also protect the body from free radicals due to the presence of tocopherols, a form of vitamin E. Vitamin A, D and E are also available in considerable quantity , which are needed for daily consumption in our diet.

YELLOW SWEET POTATOES: sweet potatoes comes in red, orange and yellow colors. The yellow sweet potatoes are the commonest type in my locality. It is really cheap. They are great source of vitamin B6 which is used at breaking down homocysteine, a substance that contributes to hardening of blood vessels and arteries. As sweet as they are, they have low glycemic index(which means they release sugar slowly into the blood stream)which means they are good for diabetic individuals and for weight management. It contains magnesium , which is useful in stress management .the other most important component is the dietary fiber present in it which is very essential in bowel movement.

Wow that was a lot of stuff to digest. So back to the fun, i.e the cooking aspect.
It will take only 40 minutes to prepare and cook the dish.

You can start by heating the palm oil on low heat in a saucepan, add your diced onions and pepper and stir fry. Add the locust beans and keep stirring. Add the half a glss of water into the same sauce pan. Allow mixture to boil, add the smoked fish, salt and seasoning. Leave the soup mixture to boil for some minutes before adding the Titus fish to cook gently. When almost done, add the spinach, close the saucepan to let the spinach simmer. Don’t let the spinach to overcook as some part of its nutrient can be lost.
As for the potatoes, peel and diced them. Place them in a pot, add salt and a little water just to cover the potatoes in the pot. Allow to boil for 15mins, drain and plate.

I hope you've learnt to make a healthy meal of balanced diet from reading this post and known the health benefits of each ingredient used. Thanks @coachben for this opportunity. Remember, you are what you eat.
All pictures used are produced by me.


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Oh my! Wish I have this in front of me.


Awwn. Thank you.

Hmm I'm licking my tongue and my mouth is dripping

Lol. Don't let the mouth over drip. You can try it at home. It's very easy.
I have followed you back .

@ehisoria following please feel free to follow back

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