Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that can cause digestive issues and other health problems for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. For these individuals, following a gluten-free diet is essential for maintaining good health. If you’re living in Nigeria and following a gluten-free diet, here are 12 delicious and nutritious gluten-free foods that you can enjoy.
Top 7 Gluten-Free Foods in Nigeria
This ancient West African grain is naturally gluten-free and has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. It can be cooked in a similar way to rice or used as a base for porridges and dishes like couscous.
Plantains are a staple in many parts of Nigeria and are a great gluten-free option for adding some variety to your diet. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including frying, grilling, and boiling.
Cassava is a root vegetable that is widely grown in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. It is naturally gluten-free and can be used in a variety of dishes, including fufu, a popular Nigerian side dish made from cassava flour.
Garri is another popular Nigerian food made from cassava. It is typically made by fermenting, drying, and grinding cassava into a fine powder, which is then formed into balls or cakes and eaten with soup or stew.
Yams are a staple food in Nigeria and are naturally gluten-free. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, frying, and grilling, and are often eaten as a side dish or used as a base for dishes like pounded yam.
6. Brown rice
Brown rice is a nutritious and tasty gluten-free grain that can be used in a variety of dishes, including rice and beans, stir-fries, and pilafs.
Maize, or corn, is a staple food in many parts of Nigeria and is naturally gluten-free. It can be eaten on its own or used in dishes like eba, a popular Nigerian side dish made from ground cornmeal.
8. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious gluten-free option that can be eaten in a variety of ways, including baked, mashed, or fried.
Beans are a great source of protein and are naturally gluten-free. They can be eaten on their own or used in dishes like bean and plantain stew or rice and beans.
10. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats and protein, and most types are naturally gluten-free. Some popular options include peanuts, almonds, and sesame seeds.
11. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free and are an important part of a healthy diet. Some popular options in Nigeria include plantains, cassava, yams, sweet potatoes, beans, and a wide variety of leafy greens.
12. Gluten-free flours
If you want to bake or cook with flour, there are several gluten-free options available. Some popular choices include cassava flour, sorghum flour, and rice flour.
By including these gluten-free foods in your diet, you can enjoy a wide variety of delicious and nutritious meals while still following a gluten-free diet.
Nigerian Foods That Contain Gluten
Here are some common Nigerian foods that contain gluten:
- Wheat flour: Wheat flour is commonly used in Nigerian cooking to make dishes like puff puff, chin chin, and many types of bread.
- Bread: Many types of bread, including sandwich bread, rolls, and buns, are made with wheat flour and therefore contain gluten.
- Pounded yam: Pounded yam is a popular Nigerian dish made from yams that have been boiled and pounded into a smooth dough. It is often served with a variety of stews and sauces, and it can contain gluten if it is made with wheat flour.
- Eba: Eba is a popular Nigerian side dish made from ground cornmeal, but it can also contain wheat flour, which means it contains gluten.
- Jollof rice: Jollof rice is a popular Nigerian dish made with rice, vegetables, and a flavorful tomato-based sauce. It can contain gluten if it is made with wheat flour or other ingredients that contain gluten.
- Spaghetti: Spaghetti is a popular Nigerian food made with wheat-based noodles, so it contains gluten.
- Semovita: Semovita is a type of Nigerian food made from wheat flour, so it contains gluten.
- Akara: Akara is a popular Nigerian snack made from black-eyed peas that have been ground into a paste and deep-fried. It can contain gluten if it is made with wheat flour or other ingredients that contain gluten.
It’s important for people following a gluten-free diet to be aware of these foods and to carefully read labels when purchasing packaged goods to ensure that they do not contain gluten.