Tapalapa: The Gambian bread that may control weight loss (2)

Sarita, E(2016) study found that as pertains to most cereals, millet is a starchy grain — meaning that it’s rich in carbs. Additionally, millet is loaded with several vitamins and minerals.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, one cup (174 grams) of cooked millet packs has the following :

• Calories: 207

• Carbs: 41 grams

• Fiber: 2.2 grams

• Protein: 6 grams

• Fat: 1.7 grams

• Phosphorus: 25% of the Daily Value (DV)

• Magnesium: 19% of the DV

• Folate: 8% of the DV

• Iron: 6% of the DV

Also, three studies (Singh, 2,016; Dias-Martins et al.2018; Wu, 2009) found that millet gives more essential amino acids as compared to other ce­reals and they are the building blocks of protein.

Millet, Science

Antioxidants Loaded

Six studies (Devi et al. 2016; Ku­mari et al. 2017; Pizino et al. 2017; Xiang et al. 2019; Chandrasekara and Shahidi, 2010) confirmed that millet is loaded with phenolic compounds, specifically ferulic acid and catechins. They work as antioxidants to guard the body against harmful oxidative stress.

Other studies in mice( Zduńska et al. 2017 Liu et al. 2017) correlate ferulic acid to fast wound healing, skin protection, and anti-inflamma­tory properties. It has been estab­lished that these catechins bind to heavy metals, and avert poisoning our bloodstream ( Chandrasekara and Shahidi, 2010; Bernatoniene and Kopustinskiene, 2018).

Control blood sugar levels

Two studies (Devi et al. 2016; Kam et al.2016) found that millet is loaded with fiber and non-starchy poly­saccharides, two types of undigest­ible carbs that are likely to control blood sugar levels.

Another newsworthy is that two studies for instance (Dias-Martins et al. 2018; Narayanan et al. 2016) found that millet is capable of controlling blood sugar due to its low glycemic index (GI), which means that when you eat a millet diet, there is no worry of blood sugar rising. Hence, diabetics can eat a millet- diet once the other combined ingredients are diabetes friendly.

Lower cholesterol

Devi et al.(2016) study found that millet is loaded with soluble fiber, and this in turn produces a sticky material in the gut. This helps bind fats and lowered cho­lesterol levels. This was confirmed in one rat study by Lee et al.(2010) which states that rats fed foxtail and proso millet triglyceride levels decreased drastically juxtaposed with the control group.

Also, millet protein could lower cholesterol. This was also demonstrated in one mice study by Nishizawa et al.(2009) with type 2 diabetes. The mice were fed a high-fat diet with millet protein concentrate. Their result found a decrease in triglyceride levels and a drastic improvement in adiponec­tin and HDL (good) cholesterol levels, juxtaposed with the control group.

Millet, gluten-free diet

Three studies (Dias-Martins et al. 2018; Devi et al. 2014; Niro et al. 2019) confirmed that millet is a gluten-free grain, hence, it is a good option for those with celiac disease or those following a glu­ten-free diet.

Gurja et al. (2012) found that gluten is a protein that is found naturally in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. However, those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity must stay away as it causes harmful digestive symp­toms, such as diarrhea and nutri­ent malabsorption. Hence, it is advisable that in purchasing millet read the product label and search for those certified gluten-free.

Maize in Tapalapa

One large ear (about 118 grams) of boiled sweet yellow corn contains roughly:

• 127 calories

• 29.6 grams carbohydrates

• 3.9 grams protein

• 1.5 grams fat

• 3.3 grams fiber

• 0.3 milligrams thiamine (17 percent Daily Value (DV)

• 54.3 micrograms folate (14 percent DV)

• 7.3 milligrams vitamin C (12 percent DV)

• 1.9 milligrams niacin (10 percent DV)

• 1 milligram pantothenic acid (10 percent DV)

• 88.5 milligrams phospho­rus (9 percent DV)

• 0.2 milligrams manga­nese (9 percent DV)

• 30.7 milligrams magne­sium (8 percent DV)

• 250 milligrams potassium (7 percent DV)

• 310 international units vitamin A (6 percent DV)

• 0.1 milligrams riboflavin (5 percent DV)

• 0.7 milligrams zinc (5 percent DV)

• 0.1 milligrams vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)

• 0.5 milligrams iron (3 percent DV)

• 0.1 milligrams copper (3 percent DV)

Also, one large contains some vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, calcium, selenium, omega-3, and omega-6.

Corn-related diets Linked to Longevity and Overall Health

You could be prolonging your longevity by eating tapalapa. Today, levels of obesity, hyper­tension, and insulin resistance are high among Africans. Finding solutions to the raising causes of hypertension and diabetes appears to be in our kitchen. For instance, one study by Kwon et al.( 2007) found that changes in dietary patterns of these populations toward consuming more high-cal­orie foods, sugar, refined grain flour, and sweetened beverages have resulted in far more health risks than their previous diet based primarily on corn, legumes, rice, and vegetables. This means that to avert the rising cases of hypertension and others, we have to shift from the reliance on the western diet and adopt our traditional diet made from corn related. The researchers believe that a return to traditional dietary patterns can help reduce these disease problems because of a better balance of calories and beneficial nutrients. They note that staple crops like corn and legumes have antidiabetic, antioxidant, and anti-hypertension potential. These foods also provide certain pro­tective phenolic phytochemicals that are beneficial for heart health, reversing hypertension as a natural remedy for high blood pressure, and controlling blood sugar levels.

Eye Health

Three studies ( Abdel-Aal et al. 2013; Moeller et al. 2000; Carpentier et al. 2009) found that dietary consumption of antioxi­dants, especially carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein, could boost eye health.

Three studies( Kean et al. 2008; Hu et al. 2011; Maiani et al. 2009) found that Lutein and zeaxanthin are the major carotenoids in corn, which are linked up to about 70% of the total carotenoid content. Though, their levels are low in white corn. The colored corn is ideal for those with eye problems and looking for eye-health foods.

Corn, weight

Levy, J (2019) article explained that based on what we see from populations who eat a lot of un­processed corn, it shouldn’t. corn is low in calories and provides nu­trients. A large ear only has about 127 calories, making it a reason­able addition to a healthy meal. She added: “In fact, this is less than most grains and is roughly equivalent to eating a nutritious banana, except the corn has much less sugar and more protein and fiber.

Corn, diabetes

One study by Tay et al (2015) found that low-carb diets are more effective at managing diabe­tes. The study used 115 adults with obesity and type 2 diabetes and found that eating a diet with only 14% of calories coming from carbs resulted in more stable blood sugars and a reduced medication need compared to getting 53% of the daily calories from carbs. Levy, J(2019) asserts that eating fewer other corn products, especially high-fructose corn syrup, may help prevent di­abetes. For instance, one study by Goran et al.(2013) found that the prevalence of diabetes was 20% higher in countries with easier access to high-fructose corn syr­up, compared to areas where the syrup was not readily available.

Take Home

It is interesting to see the numerous benefits from eating locally produced foods as Afri­cans. I think it is time Gambians promote their locally made rec­ipes to generate foreign exchange.

NB: The writer has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups. My articles are for educa­tional purposes and do not serve as Medical advice for Treatment. I aim to educate the public about evidence-based scientific Naturo­pathic Therapies.

The writer is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare, a Medical Journalist, and a science writer. President, Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NU­CHMT)/African Naturopathic Foundation, Ashaiman, Gha­na. Currently BL Candidate at the Gambia Law School, Banjul. E. mail: professor40na­turopathy@gmail.com.


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