Acha grain is a very popular food across West Africa. It is ancient healthy food that is still very popular in our days. Health benefit of acha makes it known even outside Africa. It is time to find out more details about this product.
Acha Nigerian food
Acha has received an increasing interest by scientists in resent time. Acha grain is considered as a rich source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, protein, carbohydrate, amino acids, it contains cysteine and methionine. Health benefit of acha is obvious because it is rich in energy, aids digestion, iron and it is good for cardiovascular function, diabetics, an excellent meal for weight loss and so on.
Acha is also known as fonio the oldest African and mainly Nigerian cereal. Acha had been cultivated across savannas for thousands of years. All these times it was almost major food for these people.
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Acha still remains significant product in areas of West Africa. In certain regions of Nigeria, Mali, Guinea and Burkina, acha is a major part of regular diet.
Nutritional value of acha grain
Acha is rich in carbohydrate as other cereals, that is why it is very energetic food. Protein, fat profile and carbohydrate, of acha, can be closely compared to sorghum. It contains a huge amount of Vitamin B and minerals.
Compared to other cereals, acha grain is rich in sulfur, cysteine, and methionine. Acha does not contain gliadin proteins or any glutenin.
Health benefit of acha
Acha grain belongs to millet family, it has the smallest seeds of all millet species. The health benefits and nutrition of acha have been known to people for a long time.
- Acha as energy food
It is a good idea of staple food which can satisfy daily energy requirement. It gives around 3.6 calories per gram of grain and it does not increase blood sugar level. Today it is becoming more popular even in Europe as a good nutritious breakfast.
- Acha is Gluten free
Today many people suffer from Celiac disease. The intolerance of their body causes this disease to gluten. So, these people should avoid gluten-containing food. Acha can be a good option for such people.
- Acha aids digestion
It is easy to digest, so acha is recommended even for children and old people. An ample amount of fibers helps to keep digestive tract smooth. Acha helps to prevent constipation, and stimulate appetite.
- Acha and cardiovascular function
According to some researches, the consuming of whole seeds can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disorders including heart diseases and heart attack.
- Acha and diabetes
Acha was used as diabetic food for a long time. It is absorbed slowly and thus sugar effects blood gradually. People believe that acha has insulin-secreting properties and can help in controlling blood sugar level. Low GI containing is also beneficial for those who have diabetes.
- Acha benefits for women
Because of folic acid, amino acids, and iron the acha can play an important role in iron metabolism. Because of that, acha is recommended for pregnant and lactating women.
- Acha benefits for skin and hair
Methionine that is contained in acha helps to strengthen nails and hair, it can prevent hair loss. It is also known as detoxification means that is why it is good for skin.
How to prepare acha?
Acha is becoming more popular around the world because of its delicate flavor, taste and health benefits. Acha grain can be used in making bread, beer, desserts or even spaghetti or pasta.
You can find numerous recipes with acha. For example “Gwote” one of the traditional foods of Plateau State, Nigeria. For this recipe, you just need to boil gwote, biscuit bone and dried fish with acha. The recipe is very simple so just try it. As you see this simple product is universal and useful for all of humanity.
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