Most times, eating lunch is neglected among the struggling populations in Nigeria and other developing countries due to lack of resources to feed three times in a day. Little do they know that taking lunch is almost as important as breakfast, which brings us to the list of perfect foods for lunch in Nigeria.
Lunch should be taken four to five hours after breakfast, (i.e if you took breakfast by 7, lunch should come between 11-12 noon). In a situation, you are not able to eat within the expected periods, plan a snack in between the both meals to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle and keep your metabolism running at best level.
Heavy Meals for Lunch
Taking heavy meals for lunch is not bad, though your heaviest meals should be during breakfast as it has the most benefits and efficiency. But if you are deciding between dinner and lunch, bigger lunch gas more positive effects on the body and lessens fatigue.
Foods for Lunch in Nigeria
Beans and Plantain
Eating beans and plantain is one of our best choice for lunch. This food keeps you full even till the next day, with a lot of nutritional value coming from beans and irons from plantain. Beans and plantain is healthy for all age groups.
To prepare this meal, softly cooked beans and roasted plantain are smashed, then mixed with sweet red oil sauce or stew. Unripe plantain can also be used which has more iron content, that helps men induce, sustain and maintain erection.
Rice seems to be the most popular food in Nigeria, this makes it a common option as one of the foods for lunch in Nigeria by so many. Eating rice has a lot of benefits which includes;
- Easy to digest
- Rich in energy
- Strengthens the immune system
- A good source of manganese
- Improves your mood
- Contains niacin and selenium
- Rice can be prepared in so many ways with different recipes, ranging from jellof, fried-rice, white rice with stew/sauce, roasted rice, etc
White Yam and oil/sauce/stew
Yam is one of the major source of carbohydrates in African countries and also very much easy to prepare. It can be roasted, boiled or fried, then enjoyed with sweet red oil, stew or egg-sauce.
Yams are packed with nutrients and are in many colours such as white, yellow, purple, or pink depending on the specie of the yam. They are rich in fibres, vitamins, minerals. Manganese and potassium are also present, which supports bone health, growth, metabolism, and heart function
Another perfect food for lunch is spaghetti, which is rich in fiber, protein, and minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. It is a good source of energy and low in cholesterol.
Spaghetti can be prepared with a lot of beneficial ingredients such as tomatoes, fish, onions, cabbages and other vegetables etc. It can also be enjoyed together with beans.
Fufu or swallow, are starchy foods—such as cassava, yams, or plantains that have been boiled, pounded, and rounded into balls. They are swallowed or eaten with soup, stew or sauce. Fufu is a traditional food that can be swallowed with different native soups. I don’t think there’s any week that will pass in a traditional Nigerian home without fufu appear in their food list. That’s how popular it is among Nigerian homes.
Fufu has so many benefits to the body when eaten. There includes;
- Supplies energy to the body
- Rich in fibre
- A good source of potassium
- Low in cholesterol and fat
Boiled potatoes and eggs sauce
Boiled potatoes and eggs sauce is a perfect combo for lunch with great taste. The benefits are so numerous, first, potatoes are good for your well-being because they promot gut health, improves eyesight, enhance brain function and improves the immune system.
On the other hand, egg is a great source of protein which can be made into sauce and eaten with boiled potatoes. Other sauce such as vegetables, tomato sauce or garden egg sauce can also be enjoyed with boiled potatoes.
Amala and Ewedu
Another great choice for lunch in Nigeria is Amala and Ewedu, made from from yam and/or cassava flour, or unripe plantain flour.
This food combo keeps you full for a very long time and contains nutrients like calcium, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, carbohydrate, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and fibre.
Why Lunch is important
The importance of eating lunch can not be over emphasized, not just eating anything but eating a nutritious, well balanced, lunch could be just what your body needs and craves. Some of the following reasons should help you eat lunch everyday unless otherwise instructed by your dietitian;
- Lunch raises your blood sugar levels in the say which helps you concentrate or focus in the day
- Lunch is important for weight management
- For kids, lunch is important as they get their vitamins and nutrients requirements for the day from it
- Lunch boost metabolism.