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21 Zambian Foods

‘You are what you eat’ is a phrase that was first used in 1826 by French author,Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Since its first use, it has become a very popular because of its factual context. Many people eat food carelessly without considering what the food will do to their body. It is no wonder that people have exposed themselves to diseases that may otherwise have been avoided. There has been an increase in cases of people having coagulate darteries, diabetis, bad skin, poor reproductive system, only to mention a few.

There is a vast amount of information and research and large sums of money that has been put  into understanding the value of food because nutritionists realized the importance of eating well early enough. Despite, sensitization about minding the food we eat, some people continue to eat food that is harmful to their health, such as junk foods, all because of the taste. Food nutritionists accept that the best food for a healthy body is organic food.

This brings me to my country Zambia which has an insurmountable number of local healthy dishes to choose from. These foods include bondwe, chikanda, cabbage, tobwa, ubowa, ifipushi, dry fish, ifishimu and so many more. They are natural Zambian dishes that are usually cultivated organically. However, due to western culture influence, people are fast starting to grow them using chemical substances. But that is a topic for another day. My many area of focus today is 21 local Zambian dishes and their benefits to the body.


Starting off at number one is cabbage. It is funny to learn that very few people like cabbage but did you know it is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat? It is full of nutrients like potassium, calcium and carotenoids. This makes it good for the stomach and eyes. According to Dr Pamplona Rodger, in the book’The Power of Foods,’ he articulates that the carotenoids in cabbage protects the retina of eye from degenerating, hence preventing blindness. They say, ‘ eyes are the windows to the soul,’ so why not protect them so that people can see what a beautiful soul you are?This dish can be prepared by mixing it with groundnuts and eaten with Nshima. If you hate it like most people, you better change your mind set because its nutrition rewards are great.

Groundnuts (Imbalala)

Imbalala is a local delicacy that can be cooked or roasted. It is may be mixed with vegetables to add some flavor and nutritional value to the relish. When roasted and pounded, it is made into peanut or icimpondwa which is a Zambian delicacy. Icimpondwa can be added on bread, mixed with sweet potatoes (ifyumbu) or can be eaten without mixing it with anything. The good thing is that it does not go bad easily. A long time ago, in Eastern province, people used to carry icimpondwa if they did not have enough food and were going on days long journeys. It is what they used to sustain them as well as give them good nutrition. In North-Western province they used to make a paste from it by mixing it with pounded cassava. This method was very effective because the food never went bad. If you care a lot about your skin groundnuts are very good for it because of their rich oils which make the skin smooth and supple.

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