Nigerian food is inspired by its environment; rich, wholesome, and packed full of flavour. We've produced some practical tips to ensure this cuisine can be enjoyed in line with the Second Nature guidelines!

Ensure the meals are based around the Second Nature healthy plate model found in the handbook. Half the plate filled with non-starchy veggies, then a portion of protein, and a portion of carbohydrate if you wish. Be mindful of the amount of oil used when cooking, and reduce intake of fried foods or foods high in added sugar. Using olive oil, coconut oil or butter is preferred, rather than refined vegetable oils such as palm oil.

Our guidelines focus on having three main meals at regular times in the day, along with one carb-free meal a day. If you do find you are hungry, try to consume lower-carbohydrate snacks such as nuts, seeds, greek yoghurt, and hummus with vegetables.

Some great non-starchy vegetable options include okra, eggplant, carrots, broccoli, leafy greens such as callaloo, kale, collards, spinach, and Swiss chard.

Measure out portions of starchy carbohydrates, including bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, cassava, yam, plantain, lentils and beans (see handbook for portion sizes). Using cauliflower and mincing this/food processing it to fine pieces, can make a good substitution for rice (you can also buy ‘cauliflower rice’).

Breakfast ideas

  • 40g oats- Porridge/overnight oats with 1-2 level tablespoons of nut butter, a handful of berries
  • Omelette with some spinach/mushrooms/tomatoes
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, 1 portion of fruit and 2-3 spoons of Greek Yogurt.

Lunch & Dinner

  • 1 portion of kidney beans with cauliflower rice and mixed vegetable curry (no potatoes)
  • Okra soup with beef/mackerel and mixed vegetables
  • Pepper soup with protein (fish) and some non-starchy vegetables
  • Soup/stews with mixed meat/fish and non-starchy vegetables
  • Grilled fish with non-starchy vegetables and brown rice/serving of potato/sweet potato/serving of yam (FuFu)
  • Chicken/Goat curry with steamed leafy green vegetables and jollof rice (using a mix of rice & cauliflower rice)

There are also some great Nigerian recipes online:

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