Pap, popularly known as “ogi” in the Southwestern part of Nigeria, “akamu” in the South-East and “Koko” in the North is a meal made from fermented maize.
There are three basic types based on the species of corn and other ingredients used in making it.
There is the yellow pap made from yellow corn, the white pap made from white corn and the brown pap made from guinea corn.
This super light food has been around for decades now, and it has been a great aid to nursing mothers as it is often used as an infant meal in this part of the world.
Pap, which has become an important part of our traditional meal in this part of the world, has a lot of health benefits such as regulation of blood pressure, replacement of lost body fluid, a good source of energy, and increasing breast milk in lactating mothers.
Other nutritional benefits of pap are discussed in this article.
1. It is a good source of energy
Pap is an excellent source of carbohydrates, one of the vital nutrients which the human body relies on for the supply of energy. Pap not only provides the body with energy but also encourages mental sharpness and improves fat for energy metabolism.
2. It helps regulate blood pressure
Pap is rich in potassium and has zero sodium content thus making it a good diet for individuals living with high blood pressure and those who want to maintain regulated blood pressure.
The high potassium level in pap reduces blood viscosity and pressure. Also, pap helps to lessen the effects of sodium in our body while also relieving discomfort in our blood vessel walls, thereby protecting us from myriads of health problems. Therefore, people having high blood pressure are advised to include pap in their diet.
3. It replaces lost body fluid
Loss of body fluid can increase the workload on the kidneys.
Taking pap helps to keep the body hydrated, replacing the fluid lost because of its high water content.
4. It digests easily
Pap is definitely one of the fastest foods that get digested easily.
The ease and speed at which pap digests help to pass out unwanted elements in the body through urine.
We will have noticed that whenever we take pap, we tend to urinate a lot.
Its ease of digestion also reduces the workload on our digestive system and it is a perfect food for convalescing individuals as it does not stress the digestive system.
5. It promotes healthy pregnancy and lowers the risk of neural tube defects
One of the main vitamins pregnant women need to have a successful pregnancy is folic acid.
This acid deficiency may contribute to the birth of underweight children, or may even cause neural tube defects in newborn babies. Pap is high in folic acid, making it a perfect and safe meal for expectant mothers.
6. It is highly beneficial to nursing mothers
Pap contains a high amount of water and some other components which facilitate the adequate flow of breast milk for lactating mothers.
Pap is a highly recommended meal for nursing mothers because it assists them to increase the flow of their breast milk.
7. It is healthy for babies and toddlers
Pap is one of the best meal options for babies, especially those just weaned.
Pap is very nutritious for growing babies.
In Nigeria, the West especially, brown pap is recognised and used as the best form of pap for babies.
This is because brown pap contains carbohydrates, millet, and guinea corn which provides proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are very important to the growth and overall development of babies.
Pap is an evergreen meal in Nigerian society, particularly for the loads of benefits it offers.
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