It is a common thing in Nigeria to say that our staple foods are carbohydrates which are eventually converted to sugar but do you know that we have a lot of local Nigerian foods with high protein? Do you even know the benefits of eating high protein foods in Nigeria? For those trying to watch their weights or trying to lose weight, it is usually a big deal trying to find foods that are low in starch and of course rich in protein. Animal proteins are mostly expensive in Nigeria, however, there are other alternatives to them as listed below.

Many people out there with a pot belly is a result of bad food choices.  Most of our Nigerian food is carbohydrate & fat heavy and due to this, the majority of us struggle to:

  • Lose weight
  • Burn belly fat
  • And build lean muscle, among others.

Proteins are very good for your body due to the following reason;

It helps make you get fuller for longer. Have you ever noticed that once you eat any form of protein, there is a tendency for you to drink plenty of water? This is because it contains a lot of fiber which makes you feel full right away.

It is good for weight loss. Because of the fullness derived from eating protein, there is tendency to eat fewer calories in a day and the fewer calories you eat; the more you will lose weight. Plus, it also helps regulates your weight.

It helps to burn belly fat. Various studies have shown that those who eat more protein tend to lose more belly fat than those who feed heavily on carbohydrate meals.

It helps build Lean muscles – You will notice that I mention protein a lot and that is because protein is the primary food category that helps grow muscle. It helps for muscle repair and development of new cells and tissue thereby creating muscle increase and growth in children.

In this article, I hope to share with you the various types of proteins available in Nigeria (even if they are not grown in Nigeria as what matters is that they are available and are healthy for consumption), the reasons you should eat them more often and of course the various ways you can eat them. Below are 30 categories or types of proteins that are readily available to you in Nigeria.

18 Different Sources of Proteins In Nigeria

  1. Fishes
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Fish is a very good source of protein and it includes all kinds of edible fishes. In Nigeria, the common fishes we have available are croaker, scumbia, titus (markerel), kote, panla, sardines, cat fish. Dried fish is extremely high in protein, up to 93% of calories. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and large amounts of some vitamins and minerals. Fishes can be consumed cooked, fried, dried and canned.

2. Shrimps/ Prawns

Shrimps and prawns provide key nutrients to your body. Aside from proteins, shrimps provide a pretty impressive array of nutrients. Four ounces steamed contains over 100% of the daily value for selenium, over 75% for vitamin B12, over 50% for phosphorous, and over 30% for choline, copper, and iodine. Shrimps can be eaten fresh or dried in the form of crayfish which is used to enhance the taste and flavor of many Nigerian delicacies.

3. Beef

Beef, otherwise known as cow meat is one of the abundant categories of meats in Nigeria which is also very high in protein. It is less expensive when compared to other types of proteins. This is of course very different from the cow’s other body parts like tozo, roundabout, shaki, towel. Cow meat is also high in fat, to reduce the fat content, just dry it.

4. Goat meat, Ram Meat

This is another category of protein that I personally love. This is because it adds to your soups a very nice aroma and it contains lesser fat when compared to beef or cow meat.

5. Bush Meat, Rabbit Meat

Bush-meat and that of rabbit is another rich source of protein. You can get bush-meat that is already dried, which is very healthy.

6. Chicken. Turkey

Chicken and turkey are usually mostly recommended as a healthier option to beef. This is because the meat is healthier and it is easier to remove the fat from other the skin as well as the skin for healthier choices.

7. Cheese (Wara)

Many Nigerians do not know that the milk extracted from cows and prepared locally, sometimes cooked and eaten that way and sometimes fried is called cheese in English. As much as our processing methods differ from those abroad, we should not take it for granted as they contain many nutrients which includes protein, calcium and also high in Vitamin B12.

8. Eggs

Eggs are one of the cheapest sources of protein in Nigeria. A single egg contains about 7g of protein. Eggs can be eaten whole, fried, raw and even added to meals. Its yolk contains more cholesterol which can be gotten rid of when on a weight loss journey.

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9. Soya Milk

Soya milk is highly recommended for vegetarians. It is a plant-based protein which contains all the amino acids and protein components. A glass of soya milk contains about 6 to 10 grams of protein. It contains only healthy fat and is a very healthy option to help lower body fat.

10. Cow Milk

A cup of cow milk contains about 8 grams of protein. Drinking cow milk will help in muscle growth. Milk is rich in calcium, a mineral essential for healthy bones and teeth. Cow’s milk is also fortified with vitamin D which helps to prevent osteoporosis. A local form of cow’s milk is called ‘nunu’ in the northern part of Nigeria

11. Yoghurt

Yogurt is a very common source of protein available in Nigeria. Yogurts can be high in proteincalciumvitamins, and live culture, or probiotics, which can enhance the gut microbiota. These can offer protection for bones and teeth and help prevent digestive problems. Lowfat yogurt can be a useful source of protein on a weight-loss diet.

12. Melon Seeds (Egusi) or Pumpkin seeds

Egusi or melon seed is high in nutritional value. It is rich in protein, fat and vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. It is made up of 30 – 40 % protein, and about the same proportion of oil. In terms of vitamins, it contains alpha-tocopherol, a component of vitamin E.

13. Nuts

The amount of protein in nuts is huge, 100g of walnut contains about 20grams of protein. It is recommended to add to your diet to maximize your protein intake. Nuts contain other health benefits such as folate, melatonin, omega-3 fats, vitamin E and antioxidants. Peanuts (groundnuts), walnuts, cashew nuts, almond nuts, tiger nuts are all varieties of nuts and can be taken raw, fried and in the form of milk and butter.

14. Mushroom

Mushroom is also a good source of protein in Nigeria. It is delicious and nutritious in many different ways. Mushroon contains protein, fiber, B vitamins especially niacin, vitamin c, calcium and selenium and mineral for healthy skin. 100g of mushroom contains 2g of protein.

15. Beans

Beans is another good source of protein in Nigeria which is plant based. It is high in protein and there are various type of beans as well as various ways to prepare or cook them. Lentils, brown beans, white beans, Bambara beans, red beans, locust beans are all different types of beans we have in Nigeria. A lot of people have issues eating beans but combining the beans with other foods takes all that stress away. You can check out my blog post on

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16. Quaker Oats

Quaker oats is a breakfast meal rich in protein of about 11grams. It also contains a lot of fiber and keeps you full for much longer. Oats are nutritious, rich in antioxidants, low in cholesterol, contains a powerful soluble fiber called Beta-Glucan, very filling which eventually helps with weight loss.

17. Wheat

When trying to lose weight, wheat is a sure way to go. It contains protein, fiber and other vitamins and minerals for good health. They’re High in Nutrients and Fiber, lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and help support healthy digestion.

18. Guinea Corn (Joro)

Guinea corn is also known as sorghum has a whopping amount of 22grams of protein per 192g serving. It is common in Nigeria and can be used for pap, kunu or even made into a swallow meal.

19. Sausage Rolls

Sausages are a great source of protein you want to try. You mostly get it in supermarkets and stalls. Sausages are made from various types of meats. The most common types of sausages are beef, chicken, and pork and they come in various sizes which can be used individually or cut into sizes of your choice.

20. Intestines

In Nigeria, many people believe that animal intestines are healthier than regular red meat or cow’s meat. These intestines come in the form of shaki, roundabout, towel, liver, kidney, and the likes. As much as I am not really a fan of intestines, except for liver and the towel part, they are parked with many nutrients and in protein. You may give it a shot but be sure to wash and cook properly as some may contain harmful bacteria, avoiding areas with plenty of fats.

Have you eaten all of the forms of proteins listed above? If yes, you deserve a handshake and if not, which of the proteins would you love to give a try? Do drop your

comments below, I would love to read from you…

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