Eating Egusi Soup is one of the major reasons so many people visit the southeastern part of Nigeria because that is where you can see the best egusi soup. Egusi soup is seen as the king of soup in this area and every woman tries to cook this soup so well because it must be required of her someday.
The egusi is made from the melon seed, which is largely grown for consumption. It has a lot of benefits for children, young and old, men and women.
Before use, melon seeds are usually sun-dried and ground plain or roasted/fried before ground and can be used for assorted soups or stew.
Uses of Egusi
All parts of the melon seed can be used for one thing or the other, ranging from the seed, oil, and chaff.
Seed: this is the parent to all other forms of use, it can be eaten when fried or roasted.
Oil: melon oil is so nutritious that health professionals recommend it for some patients. Due to their high oil content, egusi seeds can be used for making margarine, butter and animal feed.
Chaff: the chaff left out after the oil extraction can be used to make a snack called fried cake.
Research has shown that egusi is a rich source of proteins, omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and more. surprisingly, egusi has more protein than groundnuts (peanuts) and does not contain bad cholesterol. 100gram of egusi contains the following nutritional value;
- Calories: 593calories
- Magnesium: 359 mg
- Phosphorus: 827mg
- Potassium: 601mg
- Iron: 6mg
- Calcium: 75mg
- Zinc: 4mg
- Fibre: 3g
- Protein: 31g
- Fats: 52g
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Vitamin E: 1 mg
- Vitamin A: <66.1 IU
Benefits of Eating Egusi Soup
Below are some of the benefits you can get by eating either product of melon seed;
Good for the Eye
Both the oil and all other parts of egusi contain a reasonable amount of vitamin A that improves good vision.
Prevents Bacterial Infections
Extracts from melon seeds prevent bacterial infections. Egusi contains active chemicals that kill common bacteria like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhimurium.
Egusi seed extracts are as effective as the antibiotic drug, novobiocin in treating patients with staphylococcal infections.
Melon seed is an anti-inflammatory food that helps to prevent swelling in the body and reduce any cause of inflammation, especially that which is linked to depression.
Also, methanol extract from egusi seed is used traditionally as an anti-inflammatory medicine for swellings and also for analgesics.
This is possible because the extracts help to regulate serotonin which is released by the blood platelets to the inflamed vessels in the body that affects the immune cells which are resident in the area of inflammation thereby promoting the accumulation of neutrophils which helps fight infections that can cause inflammation.
Furthermore, Thromboxane a type of prostaglandins hormones also promotes anti-inflammatory properties and reduces inflammation and bloating which could lead to the ulcer of the GIT thereby reducing inflammation in all areas.
Good for the Heart
We all know that unsaturated fatty acids are the type of fatty acids that is good for the heart. Egusi contains this type of fatty acid, and this helps in reducing the chances of heart disease by constantly reducing the blood cholesterols which are known to be bad for the heart.
Eating egusi soup or products will reduce your chances of osteoporosis because egusi is rich in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium -which are minerals that promote bone growth, improve muscle function, and prevent demineralization of bone cells.
Melon seeds provide your body with a rich supply of essential fatty acids that support the body in producing prostaglandins. These prostaglandins are lipid hormone-like substances that help blood clotting, regulate infections, and encourage the body to fight infections.
Thus, incorporating egusi into your diet will ensure that your body is provided with all it
Stimulates Hair Growth
Egusi contains essential minerals for hair growth, which are protein, magnesium, and copper. The protein boosts hair growth, magnesium prevents split ends and breakage, and copper boosts melanin production.
Good for the Skin
The oil from egusi is so beneficial to the skin. The contains antioxidants like vitamin E that help to moisturize the skin, reduce dullness, and fight signs of early aging. You can apply the oil directly to your skin or add it to your diet.