Bean cakes, popularly known as akara in Nigeria is one of the street foods that everyone can’t get enough of.
Akara is a meal common in Nigeria and West Africa, and also features in Brazilian and Carribean cuisines. It is a fritter made from black eyed peas – a low fat, low cholesterol legume. Akara is a traditional Nigerian dinner that helps reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and it also helps to prevent cancer.
To make it, beans is washed and peeled, then blended into a batter and seasoned with tomatoes, pepper and many other ingredients (depending on your choice), cut and rolled into balls, then deep fried with preferred oil. It is usually eaten as a snack, appetizer or as a breakfast dish, served with Pap, bread, custard or oatmeal.
Akara is also sold by vendors on the street, marketplaces, and at bus stations.
Here are some of the health benefits associated with eating this delicious snack.
• It Is Rich in Nutrients
Aside protein, complex carbs and fiber, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. Menstruating women, who are at risk of iron deficiency, can also benefit from eating Akara. It is also an ideal food for pregnant women to help produce a healthy baby.
• It Balances the Blood Sugar
Beans contain a beautiful blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. Because of this, beans are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability.
• Low In Fat
Most beans are about 2 to 3 percent fat and contain no cholesterol unless they’re processed or prepared with other ingredients.
• Good For The Heart
Beans contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Ditch canned ground beans to avoid the sodium used to preserve it.
• It Reduces The Risk of Cancer
They are filled with great antioxidants and fiber which promote overall health and prevent serious diseases like cancer.