Edikang Ikong soup or as it is frequently called edikaikong soup is a native soup of the people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River; commonly eaten in many countries due to its delicious taste and high nutritional content.
There are two main vegetables used in the preparation of edikaikong soup; pumpkin leaves (Ugu) and waterleaf (“Efo gure” and “Mgbolondi” in Yoruba and Igbo languages respectively). In addition to the leaves, other orishirishi (varieties) such as beef, crayfish, dried fish kanda, and shaki (cow intestines) are added to make the soup even more delicious and enticing.
Edikang Ikong soup is recognized as one of the healthiest soups in the country because of its rich nutritional contents some of which include; Protein, Vitamin B1, B2 and E, Fiber, Folic acid, Carbohydrate, Calcium, Iron, Phosphor, Selenium, Potassium. The soup is normally eaten with swallows such as Garri (Eba), Semolina Fufu, Amala, Cassava Fufu or Pounded Yam.
Since the soup contains a variety of nutrients, I bet you want to know its many health benefits and why we should eat more Edikang Ikong soup.
Health benefits of Edikang Ikong
Waterleaf improves blood circulation round the body, boosts immunity and aids in weight loss.
Pumpkin leaves are very rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancer, boost blood circulation and promote fertility. The leaves contain anti-diabetic agents that can regulate blood glucose level.
In addition to the health benefits of the vegetables, other ingredients in the soup serve as major contributors to the well-being of the body such as;
The inclusion of beef which is rich in protein produces high energy that gives the body strength and also increases endurance.
Muscle Building and Tissue Repair
Again, produce from animals and fish added to the soup are good for muscle building and tissue repair.
Healthy Bone Composition
The rich calcium content in the meat content of Edikang Ikong soup contributes to the maintenance of bone density. Thus, diseases such as osteoporosis are prevented.
Anemia is prevalent in most developing countries as such consumption of highly nutritional soups such as Edikang Ikong is important in curbing such a disease. It facilitates the production of red blood cells.
Counteracts Free Radicals
Free radicals in the body are markers for the presence of cancer cells. Selenium is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and as already listed above, it is present in Edikaikong soup.
Nervous System Maintenance
The nervous system controls the body’s responses to its external environment and Vitamin B12 is a major regulator of the body’s nerve and blood cells. Its consumption in this delicious delicacy helps protect the nervous system from health problems.
Research has shown that fiber promotes digestion in the body. It facilitates the intestinal absorption of food nutrients. Pumpkin leaves contain a tremendous amount of fiber hence; absorption of nutrients is quickly and easily carried in the body.
Maintenance of Respiratory Health
As already stated above, Edikaikong soup contains antioxidants that regulate the proper functioning of the immune system. Asthma is a respiratory disease often triggered by allergens such as dust, smoke, grass, chemical fumes. The presence of antioxidants in the body fights the symptoms of asthma that appear.
Maintenance of Mental Health
The consumption of amino acids/proteins aids the effective functioning of the brain and mental health. Amino acids are very useful fighters of mood disorders, stress and even depression. As such, why not combat such conditions with such a tasty meal!
Maintenance of Healthy Skin
What you need to keep that skin glowing is contained in Edikaikong soup. Rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc, you sure know that you would be admired and asked what the secret to your health skin is.
So, there you go! Delicious delicacy with the right benefits to keep you strong, healthy and moving. The next time you want to eat any swallow, do go for Edikang Ikong soup. Thank me later.