Kunu is one natural drink in Nigeria that almost everyone loves. It is a non-alcoholic beverage made in the northern parts of Nigeria and sold across the country by northerners.
What most people do not know is that there are different types of kunu, and they all not only taste differently but come in different textures and even color.
Kunu can be prepared with different grains. The most used grains include rice, millet, maize, sorghum, and tiger nuts. The kunu beverage that is made from sorghum is quite rare in other parts of Nigeria, it is very delicious and light brown.
While the popular ones which are made from maize and millet are usually white in appearance. The different types of kunu drink go by different names.
Below is a list of kunu types and names:
- Kunu aya (tiger nut milk)
- Kunu gyada ( groundnut milk)
- Kunu akamu
- Kunu tsamiya
- Kunu baule
- Kunu jiko
- Kunu amshau
- Kunu gayamba
- Kunu zaki (millet milk). This is also the most consumed variety
Kunu isn’t just any drink; it is an entirely natural one that comes with numerous health benefits. It is a good option for people with lactose intolerance, and a great addition to a vegetarian diet.
The nutritional content of kunu
Kunu zaki is high in dietary fiber because it’s base ingredient is millet. Millet contains all the vital vitamins A, B, C, and K. Of all the kunu varieties, kunu Zaki contains the most polyunsaturated fats ( Omega 3 and omega 6).
The calories in kunu vary according to the ingredient with which it is made. The major minerals in kunu Zaki are magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Let us take a quick look at some of the health benefits of kunu zaki (millet milk)
Health benefits of kunu Zaki
As prior mentioned, the kunu Zaki is a variety of the kunu beverage that is made from either maize or millet. Kunu is a gluten-free local drink that is best enjoyed cold.
Lowers blood pressure and promotes heart health
Millet is the primary ingredient in kunu Zaki, and it contains very high amounts of potassium and magnesium which play a very vital role in our overall health, including cardiovascular health.
Firstly, potassium and magnesium have been proven to be very effective at keeping the heart rate in check, lowering blood pressure, minimizing the risk of stroke and heart attacks. The millet in kunu reduces low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and increases high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) in the body.
Also, you may find it interesting to know that kunu can be very beneficial to people dealing with diabetes because it stimulates insulin efficiency and combats insulin resistance which is known to up a person’s insulin levels
Kunu contains very high amounts of fiber because of the primary ingredients they are made from. Dietary fibers are very vital for the maintenance of a healthy digestive system.
Multiple scientific studies have revealed that dietary fiber can help with the reduction of gastrointestinal irritation, minimize gastric contractions, stimulate liver and bile production, etc.
Also, the fiber content of kunu helps to prevent constipation and promote smooth bowel movement. Kunu is a low-fat diet, which means it can be helpful with reducing the risk of colon cancer, and colorectal adenoma recurrence.
Promotes a healthy pregnancy and an adequate flow of breastmilk
Kunu has a uniquely sweet and sharp taste because of the addition of sugar and ginger during the production process.
Ginger is one ingredient that comes with numerous benefits for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Firstly, ginger is known to promote blood circulation both in pregnant women and their babies, while helping to reduce bloating and any digestion-related issues.
Also, another common symptom experienced by pregnant women in their first trimester is nausea, and kunu is known to be able to control these symptoms very quickly.
For breastfeeding mothers, kunu is known to stimulate the production of breast milk, which is why it is widely recommended to new mothers in northern Nigeria.
Kunu boosts sperm count
Who says men cannot benefit from the goodness of the kunu drink? Low sperm count is one of the most common sexual issues that men of different ages face.
The major problem of this sexual issue is that it makes conceiving a child challenging. There are several causes of low sperm count, they include but are not restricted to the following: obesity, drinking, smoking, low hormone levels, the inadequate air supply to the testicles, etc.
You may wonder the reason for kunu’s effectiveness in increasing sperm count. It is because of its high vitamin C content, and vitamin C is a potent anti-oxidant which promotes blood flow in the body and promotes penile erection.
The tiger nut milk variety of kunu has also been discovered to boost fertility in both sexes.
Promotes weight loss
Adequate intake of the kunu beverage may be able to promote weight loss. The millet used in making kunu drink very high protein content which makes it suitable for people trying to burn fat into muscles.
Therefore, by drinking kunu regularly, you will find it easy to get your daily requirement of protein without having to overfeed or take supplements. Also, millet contains the right amount of tryptophan and soluble dietary fiber which can help with weight loss and control of appetite.
If you are looking to shed some weight but cannot gain access to kunu, you can do well to incorporate millet into your diet, as it will help you eat less by staying full for a more extended period.
Please note that the kunu drink is also known to promote weight gain because of the added sugars used for sweetening. Therefore, it is best to reduce the amount of sugar added to your kunu if you make it at home.
If you buy from sellers, make sure to tell them about how you’d prefer low sugar ones.
Helps you relax and promotes sound sleep
I have earlier mentioned that millet contains tryptophan, which is a hormone that supports the production of serotonin and melatonin ( sleep-inducing compound).
If you have been having problems sleeping well, or staying asleep for longer than a few minutes, drinking a glass of kunu two hours before bedtime may be all you need to fix this problem.
Remember to include some ginger to you kunu so that when you wake up, you can feel both refreshed and well-rested.
Reduces menstrual pains
A large percentage of women deal with menstrual cramps and are quick to pop an over the counter painkiller to ease the pains. While these over-the-counter medications are not harmful, a more natural solution is the kunu drink.
Studies have revealed that a high intake of magnesium can help to reduce or eliminate pains such as menstrual cramps, headaches, PMS, and many more.
The millet used in preparing kunu contains high amounts of magnesium, and drinking kunu is also a great way to stay hydrated while menstruating.
If you must drink kunu while menstruating, we advise that you go for a low-sugar variety, as it is healthier, and helps you enjoy the pain-killing benefits more.
No doubt, the kunu drink is a healthy, natural beverage. However, it is vital to be very careful when purchasing from sellers, as some of them may not prepare this beverage under hygienic conditions.
Always buy from a trusted vendor, and if possible, learn to make yours at home. We hope that you found this article very helpful.
If you did, please leave a comment below telling us how you like your kunu drink, and possibly share a recipe if you can. We look forward to interacting with you.