About Ogbono Seeds- A Well Balanced Nigerian Ingredient

Ogbono, known for its easy, thick, and delicious soup. One of the traditional Nigerian foods popular in West Africa. But what is ogbono? What is the ogbono fruit and why is it important enough to read about? For one, it is included in African protein foods that one can add to their vegetarian or vegan dishes to give them a nutrition boost. As you read further, you’ll find more information on the history and nutrition of ogbono seeds.

Sold in bulk. African protein foods lends surprising details about ogbono fruit. Traditional Nigerian foods prove to be sensible, affordable, and yum!
Ogbono seeds sold in bulk- Photo Credit: Jane Omibiyi

What is Ogbono?: The history of this African fruit

According to research, the ogbono fruit originates from Western Africa. Specifically Nigeria. It grows on the Ogbono tree with many variations, and with the local name Irvingia gabonensis. A more common name for it is Wild or Bush mango. This tree can be found growing in the humid forests of West African countries such as Angola, Congo, and Uganda. The ogbono fruit can be eaten as is or made into jam, juice, or even wine. On the other hand, the ogbono seeds provide African protein foods. Some traditional Nigerian foods they are popularly used in are soups and stews. 

What is ogbono adding to traditional Nigerian foods?

As stated before, the ogbono fruit provides seeds that can be used as thickeners in soups and stews. Many traditional Nigerian foods are not complete without either a soup or a stew. In case you might want to know the difference, stews are thicker. 

Ogbono seeds also add a dark color and can be cooked with various meats, plant based meat alternatives, and vegetables. The dish can then be eaten with fufu, rice, or any other starch one would usually have stews with. 

Nutritionally, ogbono turns normal African dishes to African protein foods. According to research, 100 grams of ogbono seeds contain 697 calories. With one tablespoon of seeds holding approximately 9 grams. The table below presents the nutritional value in these seeds.

Protein8.5 g
Carbohydrates15 g
Fat 67 g
Water4 g
Calcium120 mg
Iron 2.4 mg

Further research estimates that the seeds are made up of 1.4% crude fiber, and 38.9% dietary fiber. Fiber assists our bodies with digestion and prevents constipation. Apart from the fiber, the protein is good for cell growth and health, and is a necessary component in a healthy diet. Lack of it is often a worry for those following a plant based diet. However, adding ingredients such as ogbono seeds can supplement for protein. 

African protein foods are easy to make. 

With education and the right ingredients, fulfilling African dishes can be easily made. Humble Vege aims to educate its readers on what they are putting in their bodies, and on the many other possible ingredients they can be using. Subscribe for more articles like this and for recipes from all over Africa. Curious about a no-meat food lifestyle? Check out our Instagram page for real-life inspirations 😊.

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