Nutritional Health Benefits of Eating Omena:- Omena (Silver cyprinid), is a nutritious and affordable source of food in Kenya, and other parts of Africa where it goes by different names such as Dagaa (Tanzania), Mukene (Uganda) or Kapenta (Zimbabwe). But, is it healthy? In this article, we explore whether or not eating Omena has dietary rewards.
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- What are the nutritional health benefits of eating omena?
- 1. Omena is high in protein and other important nutrients
- 2. Could lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks
- 3. Regulating blood sugar levels
- 4. Low in Carbohydrate
- 5. Bones and Teeth
- 6. Immune System
- 7. May help prevent and treat depression
- 8. Energy
- Conclusion :
- Other Useful Resources
What are the nutritional health benefits of eating omena?
Omena's popularity as a food source has increased over the years. Does eating it come with any benefits for the body? Let us now review the nutritional health benefits of eating omena.
1. Omena is high in protein and other important nutrients
Omena is high in high-quality protein, as well as several important vitamins and minerals such as iodine, vitamin D (a fat-soluble nutrient that most people lack), and omega 3 fatty-acids, which helps to promote brain and heart health. It is also rich in selenium, which is an antioxidant that helps the cells to prevent damage. A recent study has shown that selenium may reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer.
2. Could lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks
A recent study on fish intake has shown that consuming fish such as omena, has an inverse relationship with cardiovascular mortality, especially heart failure. Omena has omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to heart health by reducing triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. These also help slow down the build-up of plaque (a compound comprising calcium, fat, and cholesterol, which tends to harden and block the arteries), and thereby assist in slightly lowering blood pressure. Read more about omega 3 and how it affects the heart here. It is also rich in vitamin D. Another study found evidence that vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of heart disease.
3. Regulating blood sugar levels
Omena is a good source of protein which is key in maintaining regular blood sugar levels. Protein is a micronutrient that is an important component of hair, bones, nails, skin, cartilage, and blood. The body depends on protein to produce hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals. It also supports the body by aiding in muscle growth and healing injuries. Protein also helps curb hunger by keeping us feeling fuller for longer after eating, which can help prevent overeating and weight gain.
4. Low in Carbohydrate
Omena has little if any carbohydrates. This makes it a good source of protein for those on the keto, or on a low-carb diet. A low-carb diet has been shown to be helpful for those trying to manage Type 2 diabetes.
5. Bones and Teeth
Omena is also rich in calcium, known to promote the growth of bones and teeth. However, for one to enjoy the full benefits of calcium from omena, it is important to eat the whole fish (including the head). Another study titled “Mineral decline due to modernisation of food habits”, observed the modernization in the way dried anchovies and sardines are consumed. According to the study, small fish such as dried anchovies are richer in nutrients such as calcium and zinc, when the head is kept intact.
6. Immune System
Omena is also high in zinc, a mineral essential for the body's normal functions and systems such as the immune system, thyroid functioning, blood clotting, wound healing, as well as the senses of smell and taste.
Zinc is a mineral that is essential for many of the body's normal functions and systems, including the immune system, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function, and the senses of taste and smell. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.
7. May help prevent and treat depression
Depression is a mental illness characterized by sadness, low energy, and a feeling of helplessness, among many other symptoms. Studies have shown that people who eat fish such as omena regularly, are less likely to become depressed due to the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. Read more about omega 3 and depression here.
Omena is a wonderful source of B-vitamins such as niacin (vitamin B3), folate, and cobalamin (B12). The B-group vitamins are needed to help the body to use the energy-yielding nutrients (such as carbohydrates, fat, and protein) for fuel. Some B-group vitamins help the body by assisting cells multiply by making new DNA, an important function in the body.
Omena (dagaa) is a nutritious and healthy source of protein, and useful vitamins and minerals, that you can incorporate into your diet.
- Use it in recipes, such as this Fried Omena Stew recipe.
- Beyond the conventional method of enjoying omena, pan-fry it and eat it as a snack, similar to nuts.
- Top it up on your bread when making sandwiches:
- Use it as a topping for your pizza.
- Cook it with some homemade marinara sauce and serve it with pasta.