Omena, also known as African kilishi or sun-dried fish, is a traditional delicacy in many parts of Africa. It is a small, freshwater fish that is widely available in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Omena is typically sun-dried and then smoked or grilled, which gives it a unique flavor and texture. But what is the nutritional value of omena and is it a healthy food choice?
One of the main benefits of omena is its high protein content. A 100-gram serving of omena provides around 20 grams of protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body. Protein is also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, as well as supporting muscle growth and repair.
Omena is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining heart health. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. They may also be beneficial for reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to protein and omega-3s, omena is also a good source of other nutrients such as vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus. Vitamin B12 is important for the production of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Selenium is an essential trace element that plays a role in the immune system, as well as helping to protect against oxidative stress. Phosphorus is a mineral that helps to build strong bones and teeth, and is also important for the proper functioning of cells and tissues in the body.
Omena is also low in calories and fat, making it a good choice for those who are trying to maintain a healthy weight. A 100-gram serving of omena contains around 90 calories and just 2 grams of fat.
Despite its many nutritional benefits, it’s important to note that omena can be high in sodium. A 100-gram serving of omena contains around 400 milligrams of sodium, which is roughly 17% of the recommended daily intake. High sodium intake can increase the risk of high blood pressure and other health problems. However, this can be mitigated by consuming omena in moderation and choosing low-sodium options when available.
Overall, omena is a healthy food choice that is high in protein and omega-3s, and low in calories and fat. Its high sodium content should be taken into consideration, but by consuming omena in moderation and choosing low-sodium options, it can be a nutritious and delicious addition to a healthy diet.