By Faith Ijeh
Igbo people are predominantly from South East and parts of South South Nigeria.
They are one of the three major tribes in the country.
Igbo people have one of the highest number of traditional soups with nutritional and health benefits in the country.
Here is a list of five Igbo soups with health benefits
1. Ofe Ogbono
This is the seed from the African wild mango tree, with the botanical name Irvingia gabonensis.
Ogbono soup or Ofe Ogbono as it is called by the Igbos in Nigeria is a delicious soup that is similar to Okro soup because of its viscosity.
This soup is made with either spinach, ugu or bitter leaf.
Some of the health benefits include control of blood sugar and reduction in body cholesterol.
2. Ofe Onugbu
Ofe Onugbu also known as bitter leaf soup is a popular Nigerian soup peculiar to the Igbo tribe.
Some non-Igbos shy away from bitter leaf soup because of the believe that true to it’s name, it is a very bitter soup.
Some health benefits of the soup include reduction in blood pressure, acts as effective antioxidants and enhances fertility.
3. Ofe Akwu
Ofe Akwu is one of the most popular soups in the South East. It is a very rich soup made from palm nut extract/juice.
Ofe Akwu is of two types, the one in South East is mostly served with boiled rice while the South South version is mainly served with starch or other swallows.
The soup is good for building strong bones and prevents heart disease. The vitamin K , which contains antioxidant present in palm kernel juice prevents cancer.
4. Ofe Oha
Oha Soup, popularly referred to as Ofe Oha by the South East people is an absolutely delicious traditional soup.
It isn’t exactly a go-to kind of soup because the main ingredient, Oha leaves, is a seasonal one.
Traditionally, the leaves are shredded by hand and not with a knife or any other sharp object because rumour has it that if the leaves are chopped with a knife, the soup might end up bitter.
Oha soup aids digestion while dietary fiber found in it helps to improve the digestive system.
5. Ofe Nsala
Also known as white soup is a mouth watering delicacy peculiar to the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, especially the people from Anambra State.
It is a very rich fresh fish soup, traditionally made with catfish.
Ofe Nsala is called white soup because palm oil is not required in its preparation, unlike other traditional soups.
The presence of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the soup helps in fighting depression and anxiety.
Its also improves vision and brain function, promotes heart function and nourishes the skin.
Ofe Nsala soup is also rich in carbohydrate, protein, fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, essential vitamins and minerals.