Saturday, July 13, 2024

Calcium Sources: Nigerian Dishes for Stronger Bones

Last Updated on November 18, 2023


Calcium Sources Nigerian Dishes: Calcium is crucial for strong bones. Nigerian cuisine provides abundant calcium sources.

This blog post aims to highlight them.

Importance of Calcium for Stronger Bones:

  1. Calcium is the backbone of bone health, vital for skeletal strength and overall well-being.

  2. Adequate calcium intake ensures proper muscle function, blood clotting, and nerve transmission.

Nigerian Cuisine: A Treasure Trove of Calcium:

  1. Explore the rich tapestry of Nigerian cuisine, abundant with calcium-laden delicacies.

  2. Incorporate these flavorful options into your diet for robust bones and a healthier you.

Purpose of the Blog Post:

Unveil the nutritional gems within Nigerian dishes, as this blog post aims to:

  1. Showcase the diverse calcium sources found in traditional Nigerian meals.

  2. Empower readers to embrace a calcium-rich diet, fortifying their bones for a healthier, more vibrant life.

Overview of calcium

  1. Calcium plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones and teeth.

  2. It is essential for bone development and growth throughout all stages of life.

  3. Calcium also helps in muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting.

The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults

  1. For adults aged 19-50 years, the recommended daily intake of calcium is around 1000 milligrams.

  2. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require higher amounts, around 1200-1500 milligrams per day.

  3. Older adults, aged 51 and above, need approximately 1200 milligrams of calcium daily.

Consequences of calcium deficiency

  1. Insufficient calcium intake can lead to various health problems, particularly weak bones.

  2. Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by brittle bones and increased risk of fractures, is a common consequence of calcium deficiency.

  3. Calcium deficiency can also cause muscle cramps, tingling in the fingers, and even irregular heartbeats.

Nigerian dishes rich in calcium

1. Okra Soup

  1. Okra is a good source of calcium, and it is used in various Nigerian dishes like okra soup.

  2. This soup is not only delicious but provides a significant amount of calcium to support bone health.

2. Egusi Soup

  1. Egusi is made from ground melon seeds and is a popular dish in Nigeria.

  2. It contains a decent amount of calcium, making it a nutritious choice for maintaining strong bones.

3. Moin Moin

  1. Moin Moin is a steamed bean pudding that is rich in calcium and other essential nutrients.

  2. It is a traditional Nigerian dish made from ground beans and spices.

4. Ogbono Soup

  1. Ogbono soup, made from ground ogbono (bush mango) seeds, is a flavorful Nigerian dish.

  2. It is not only a good source of calcium but also contains other nutrients like iron and magnesium.

5. Spinach Stew

  1. Nigerian spinach stew is a delicious and nutritious dish made with spinach and various other vegetables.

  2. Spinach is naturally rich in calcium and can be a great addition to your diet for stronger bones.

6. Fish Peppersoup

  1. Fish, a staple in Nigerian cuisine, is an excellent source of calcium.

  2. Nigerian fish peppersoup is a flavorful and spicy soup that combines the goodness of fish and various spices.

7. Moi Moi

  1. Moi Moi, made from steamed black-eyed beans, is a popular Nigerian dish.

  2. It contains a good amount of calcium and can be enjoyed as a snack or side dish.

8. Vegetable Soup

  1. Nigerian vegetable soup is a nutritious dish that combines various vegetables, including ugu (pumpkin leaves) and waterleaf.

  2. These vegetables are rich in calcium and provide essential nutrients for maintaining strong bones.

9. Pap (Ogi)

  1. Pap, also known as ogi, is a traditional Nigerian breakfast cereal made from fermented corn or maize.

  2. It is a good source of calcium and can be enjoyed with various toppings like milk, honey, or fruits.

10. Egusi Stew

  1. Egusi stew is a hearty Nigerian dish made from egusi (ground melon) seeds, vegetables, and meat.

  2. It is not only delicious but also provides a good amount of calcium for optimal bone health.

Incorporating these calcium-rich Nigerian dishes into your diet can help ensure you meet your daily calcium requirements for stronger bones and overall well-being.

Read: Zinc-Rich Nigerian Foods: Boosting Immunity Naturally

Traditional Nigerian Dishes High in Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

In Nigerian cuisine, there are several traditional dishes that are not only delicious but also rich in calcium.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these dishes:

1. Egusi Soup

Egusi soup is a popular Nigerian dish made with ground melon seeds. It is often cooked with spinach and other vegetables, which are excellent sources of calcium.

Calcium-Rich Ingredients

  1. Ground melon seeds

  2. Spinach

  3. Other calcium-rich vegetables

2. Bitter Leaf Soup

Bitter leaf soup is a traditional Nigerian soup made with bitter leaves, which are packed with calcium and other essential nutrients. It is usually cooked with assorted meat and fish.

Calcium-Rich Ingredients

  1. Bitter leaves

  2. Assorted meat and fish

3. Oha Soup

Oha soup is a delicious Nigerian soup that is prepared with Oha leaves.

These leaves contain high amounts of calcium and are often cooked with palm fruit extract and other ingredients.

Calcium-Rich Ingredients

  1. Oha leaves

  2. Palm fruit extract

  3. Other calcium-rich ingredients

4. Ukwa (Breadfruit) Porridge

Ukwa, also known as breadfruit, is a nutritious Nigerian food that is often cooked into a delicious porridge.

It is rich in calcium, fiber, and other essential minerals.

Calcium-Rich Ingredients

  1. Ukwa (breadfruit)

  2. Other calcium-rich ingredients

5. Moin Moin

Moin Moin is a traditional Nigerian dish made from beans, which are an excellent source of calcium.

It is usually steamed and can be enjoyed as a main course or snack.

Calcium-Rich Ingredients

  1. Beans

  2. Other calcium-rich ingredients

6. Ogbono Soup

Ogbono soup is a popular Nigerian soup made from ground Ogbono seeds.

It is often cooked with assorted meat and vegetables, which provide calcium and other nutrients.

Calcium-Rich Ingredients

  1. Ground Ogbono seeds

  2. Assorted meat and vegetables

These are just a few examples of traditional Nigerian dishes that are high in calcium.

Incorporating them into your diet can help you meet your daily calcium requirements and ensure stronger bones.

So, why not try some of these delicious and nutritious dishes today?

Read: Unlocking Iron: Best Nigerian Foods for Haemoglobin Boost

Calcium Sources: Nigerian Dishes for Stronger Bones

Egusi Soup

Calcium is a vital mineral for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

While many people rely on dairy products as their main source of calcium, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious options available, especially in Nigerian cuisine.

In this blog section, we will explore one popular Nigerian dish, Egusi Soup, and how it can be a great calcium-rich addition to your diet.

Ground melon seeds form the base of Egusi Soup, a cherished Nigerian dish loved for its rich flavor and creamy texture by locals and foreigners alike.

What makes Egusi Soup even more exceptional is the inclusion of dark leafy greens such as spinach or bitter leaf, which are excellent sources of calcium.

Blend or crush the seeds, then combine with palm oil, onions, garlic, and chili pepper.

Cook until the oil separates, creating a thick, fragrant base.

To incorporate calcium-rich ingredients into the Egusi Soup, it is advisable to add a generous amount of dark leafy greens.

Spinach, for example, is not only an excellent source of calcium but also provides a wide range of other essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K.

Bitter leaf, on the other hand, is known for its medicinal properties and is also rich in calcium.

Here is a simple recipe for Egusi Soup that incorporates calcium-rich ingredients:


  1. 2 cups ground melon seeds (egusi)

  2. 1 cup spinach or bitter leaf, washed and chopped

  3. 1/2 cup palm oil

  4. 1 onion, chopped

  5. 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  6. 1 chili pepper, chopped (optional)

  7. 2 cups meat or fish stock

  8. Salt, to taste


  1. Heat the palm oil in a large pot over medium heat.

  2. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, and sauté until golden and fragrant.

  3. Add the ground melon seeds (egusi) and stir well to combine with the onion and garlic mixture.

  4. Pour in the meat or fish stock and stir until the mixture is well incorporated.

  5. Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Add the chopped spinach or bitter leaf to the pot and stir gently.

  7. Cover the pot and let the soup cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the greens are tender.

  8. Season with salt to taste and serve hot with your choice of swallow or rice.

By including an abundance of calcium-rich ingredients like spinach or bitter leaf in your Egusi Soup, you can enjoy a flavorful Nigerian dish while also providing your body with the essential bone-strengthening mineral.

Don’t hesitate to try this recipe and explore other Nigerian dishes that can contribute to your calcium intake!

Read: From Ugu to Ogbono: Nigerian Foods High in Magnesium

Okro Soup

Okro soup is a popular Nigerian dish made with okra and often combined with other vegetables and proteins.

It is a healthy and delicious option for those looking to increase their calcium intake.

Okra, the main ingredient in this soup, is rich in many nutrients, including calcium.

Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as supporting proper nerve function and muscle contraction.

Here is a recipe for Okro Soup that incorporates calcium-rich additions:


  1. 500g fresh okra

  2. 1 onion, chopped

  3. 2-3 tomatoes, diced

  4. 2 cups vegetable broth

  5. 200g spinach, chopped

  6. 250g shrimp or fish

  7. 1 tablespoon palm oil

  8. 1 teaspoon ground crayfish

  9. Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash the okra and cut off the ends. Chop the okra into small pieces.

  2. In a pot, heat the palm oil over medium heat.

  3. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent.

  4. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until softened.

  5. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.

  6. Add the chopped okra and simmer for about 10 minutes, until it becomes tender.

  7. Stir in the spinach, shrimp or fish, and ground crayfish.

  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the shrimp or fish is cooked through.

  10. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Enjoy this nutritious and calcium-rich Okro Soup as part of your regular diet to support stronger bones and overall health

It can be served with your choice of swallow (e.g., pounded yam, eba, or fufu) or rice.

Remember, incorporating calcium-rich foods like okra into your meals is an important step towards maintaining optimal bone health.

So, give this delicious Okro Soup a try and reap the benefits it offers!

Read: The Importance of Minerals in Traditional Nigerian Dishes

Moin Moin

Moin Moin is a popular Nigerian dish made from ground beans and various spices.

It is not only delicious but also a great source of calcium, making it an excellent choice for promoting stronger bones.

To prepare Moin Moin, you will need the following ingredients:

  1. 2 cups of black-eyed beans

  2. 1 onion, chopped

  3. 2 red bell peppers, chopped

  4. 2 tablespoons of crayfish powder

  5. 1 tablespoon of palm oil

  6. 1 teaspoon of ground pepper

  7. 1 teaspoon of salt

  8. 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Step-by-step recipe to make delicious Moin Moin

  1. Soak the black-eyed beans in water overnight to soften them.

  2. After soaking, peel off the beans’ skin by rubbing them together gently.

  3. Rinse the peeled beans thoroughly to remove any remaining skin.

  4. Place the peeled beans in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

  5. In a separate bowl, combine the blended beans, chopped onions, red bell peppers, crayfish powder, palm oil, ground pepper, salt, and baking powder.

  6. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.

  7. Grease small aluminum foil cups or ramekins with palm oil to prevent sticking.

  8. Pour the mixture into the greased cups, filling them about three-quarters full.

  9. Steam the Moin Moin cups on medium heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until firm and cooked through.

  10. Allow the Moin Moin to cool before removing them from the cups.

  11. Serve the Moin Moin warm or at room temperature as a nutritious side dish or snack.

By incorporating calcium-rich ingredients like beans into Moin Moin, you can ensure that you are providing your body with the necessary nutrients to maintain strong and healthy bones. Enjoy!

Nigerian Vegetable Stew

In Nigerian cuisine, vegetable stews are a popular and nutritious option for a calcium-rich meal.

The variety of vegetables used in Nigerian vegetable stew ensures a diverse range of nutrients in each serving.

Vegetables in Nigerian Vegetable Stew

Nigerian vegetable stew incorporates a combination of vegetables, each contributing unique flavors and health benefits.

Some commonly used vegetables include:

  1. Pumpkin Leaves: These dark green leaves are rich in calcium and provide a good amount of iron and vitamins.

  2. Waterleaf: Waterleaf is full of essential minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

  3. Uziza Leaves: Uziza leaves not only add a distinct flavor but also contain calcium, iron, and antioxidants.

  4. Other vegetables such as spinach, kale, and bitter leaf can also be added to enhance the nutritional profile.

Calcium Content in Nigerian Vegetable Stew

One of the main advantages of Nigerian vegetable stew is its high calcium content, primarily derived from the inclusion of calcium-rich vegetables.

Let’s look at the calcium content of some commonly used vegetables:

  1. Pumpkin Leaves: A 100g serving of pumpkin leaves provides approximately 105mg of calcium.

  2. Waterleaf: 100g of waterleaf contains about 86mg of calcium.

  3. Uziza Leaves: Uziza leaves offer around 91mg of calcium per 100g serving.

  4. By incorporating a mix of these vegetables, you can significantly boost your calcium intake and promote stronger bones.

Recipe: Nigerian Vegetable Stew for Stronger Bones

To maximize your calcium intake, here’s a simple and delicious recipe for Nigerian Vegetable Stew:


  1. 2 cups pumpkin leaves, washed and chopped

  2. 1 cup waterleaf, washed and chopped

  3. 1 cup uziza leaves, washed and finely chopped

  4. 1 large onion, chopped

  5. 3 medium-sized tomatoes, blended

  6. 2 tablespoons palm oil

  7. 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

  8. Seasonings: salt, pepper, bouillon cube (to taste)


  1. Heat the palm oil in a large pot over medium heat.

  2. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.

  3. Pour in the blended tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add the vegetable or chicken broth to the pot and bring to a simmer.

  5. Add the pumpkin leaves, waterleaf, and uziza leaves to the pot.

  6. Season with salt, pepper, and bouillon cube according to your taste.

  7. Cover the pot and let the stew cook for about 15-20 minutes on low heat.

  8. Once the vegetables are tender, remove from heat.

  9. Serve the Nigerian Vegetable Stew hot with your choice of staple food like rice, yam, or plantain.

Enjoy this delicious and nutritious Nigerian Vegetable Stew, packed with calcium and other vital nutrients to support stronger bones.


In summary, calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones.

Nigerian cuisine offers a wide variety of calcium-rich dishes that can help improve bone health.

By including these dishes in their diet, readers can ensure they are getting enough calcium to support their bones.

So, why not try out some delicious Nigerian meals and take a step towards healthier bones?

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