Kunu Drink is a popular beverage in the Northern part of Nigeria. Kunu or Kunu Zaki is made from grains or tiger nuts and it contains a large number of nutrients which offer many health benefits to the body.
The ingredient used in preparing kunu could either be maize, millet, sorghum, or tiger nuts. Whichever one you go for, you’ll still end up with a nutritious drink.
However, the main ingredients used when making kunu are usually millet, maize or tiger nuts. Using any one of these ingredients will give the kunu its whitish color which is the most popular type of kunu.
If you use sorghum, you’ll end up with a brownish kunu.
Health Benefits of Kunu Drink
There are many health benefits you can get from consuming kunu. The drink is packed with nutrients gotten from the ingredients used in making it. Most people make their kunu with the following ingredients
- Millet, maize, sorghum or tiger nuts
- Sweet potato
- Sugar (optional)
These ingredients have lots of beneficial nutrients and when they are used to make kunu, the kunu becomes nutrient-dense and one of the healthy beneficial drinks in Nigeria.
Below are the health benefits of kunu drink
Ginger Offers the Following Benefits
Ginger is an ingredient used in making kunu. It is known to have a lot of medicinal properties and nutrients that offer numerous health benefits to the body.
Ginger contains a bioactive compound Gingerol, that has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. Its antioxidant properties help prevent damage to the cells of the body while its anti-inflammatory properties could reduce muscle pain, joint pain, stiffness, and soreness.
Ginger is also packed with anti-diabetic properties that could lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of you getting a heart disease.
Another compound, 6-gingerol possess anti-cancer properties that may help prevent and treat some forms of cancer.
Kunu could also aid in settling the stomach and reducing the risk of developing cancer. It helps in digestion by reducing the problems associated with it. It is also recommended for pregnant women as it helps them feel better and reduces some of the early symptoms of pregnancy.
Kunu is able to aid in digestion due to the presence of fibre in the drink. This fibre also boosts gut health by absorbing water and softening your stools. Fibre-rich diets have been linked to many other benefits including lowering the risk of colon cancer and promoting regular bowel movements.
Sweet Potatoes Are Packed with Beneficial Nutrients
Sweet potatoes are another ingredient used in making kunu, Sweet potatoes are known to contain a lot of nutrients needed for the proper functioning of the body. The ingredients it contains include
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic acid: 18% of the DV
Apart from these nutrients, Sweet potatoes are packed with other compounds that serve as antioxidants. One of those compounds is Anthocyanins which slow the growth of several forms of cancer.
Sweet potatoes contain vitamin and antioxidant known beta-carotene. This antioxidant is converted to vitamin A in the body which is important for eye health.
Vitamin A can prevent many kinds of eye diseases linked to vitamin A deficiency.
Nutrients like potassium would have a potential impact on blood pressure. It could help to regulate heart rhythm, reduce strain on the heart, lower blood pressure and regulate muscle contractions.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce your risk of chronic diseases. The vitamin C gotten from sweet potatoes can boost your immune system and give you a fighting chance against many infections and diseases.
Cloves Also Have Multiple Health Benefits
Cloves are added so as to boost the flavor of the drink. While you might consider this ingredient only as a natural sweetener, cloves contain many important nutrients that help in many body functions.
You should be able to get the following ingredients from consuming cloves
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
Cloves are rich in antioxidants and many other compounds that protect the body. It may also reduce the risk of developing cancer. They are also rich in manganese, a mineral that aids in the formation of bones and needed for bone health.
While consuming cloves is beneficial, it is important you only consume the recommended amount of it. Usually consuming cloves through food is safe and does not pose any health risks.
Other Benefits of Kunu Drink
There are many more benefits, you can get from drinking kunu, however, these benefits will depend on the ingredients used in making the drink. If you’re using tiger nuts you’re more likely to get more or fewer benefits compared to when you use millet or maize
Fortunately, you will still get a lot of benefits regardless of the type of ingredient you use to make your kunu.
How to Make Kunu Drink
- 3 cups Millet (de-hulled)
- 1 medium-sized Sweet potato, peeled- Optional
- 2 medium-sized Ginger, peeled
- 1 tablespoon of Cloves
- Sugar (optional)
- Soak the seeds in water for about 2 days (48 hours) to allow them to ferment. Ensure you change the water every 7 hours for the best results.
- After soaking, wash with water and place them in a blender. Add the other ingredients and blend till you have a smooth paste. Add a generous amount of water before blending to enable it to blend smoothly.
- Empty the paste into a large bowl and pour cool water over it. The cool water makes it easier to sieve the paste. After sieving, discard the chaff.
- When done, leave the liquid in a bowl for about 7 hours. By then, the clear liquid would have formed above the thick paste. Sieve out the liquid till you are left with the thick paste.
- When done, divide the paste into two bowls. Pour boiling hot water into one of the bowls and stir. Pour the paste from the other bowl into the first bowl and continue stirring. You can add more water depending on how thick or watery you want the kunu to be.
- At this stage, you can add sugar to boost the taste to the drink.
- Store the kunu in the fridge and serve when cool.