Four Nigerian Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

     A pot of isi ewu cooked with potash. (Shop cooking pots)  
  1.  Ngwongwo:  (Not the goat meat type, I mean dog meat ngwongwo). This is a dog meat delicacy from Calabar also known as forty forty. Not all Cross Riverians eat dog meat pepper soup though, but those who do, swear by it. Ngwongwo is cooked with some herbs and ogogoro, know what ogogoro is? It is kai kai, also know as akpeteshi, small no be sick, hot, do me I do you etc. Alcohol is not good for your unborn baby, neither is it good for the expectant mom, it adds no value whatsoever to your system. Pregnant women are advised to stay off alcohol. It's best not to eat ngwongwo if you must avoid ogogoro. This delicacy of the south south people of Nigeria is frawned at by other tribes. Many people have dogs as pets and can't imagine that these loyal friends are used as meat elsewhere in the country.

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  2. It is actually not just ogogoro that makes dog meat pepper soup unfit for pregnant women, the fact that the skin and hair is most times burnt by pouring kerosine and lighting the dead animal up. That's not all, to wash off the smell of kerosine and make the meat good for consumers, detergents or bar soaps are used. So, with all  that goes on in the preparation of dog meat pepper soup, no pregnant woman should give in to that unhealthy craving. Although the eaters claim that dog meat pepper soup is excellent for pregnant women, they believe that eating especially the legs of a dog will make the unborn baby achieve milestones earlier than usual when born. It is believed that the baby will grow up to become a very successful sportsman like especially in the track and field events. He will be a very fast runner just like Usain Bolt.  Killing and cooking a dog on it's own is unacceptable by me not to talk of the whole process of preparation with poisonous chemicals and alcohol. If you are pregnant and craving, please do not believe those myths about dog meat and fast running babies. It is animal cruelty and should be avoided. Your baby doesn't need dog feet to become a fast runner, neither do you.
  3. White chalk known as nzu in Iboland: 

  4. White chalk Image courtesy Nairaland.

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  5. Avoid this addictive snack  because nzu contains lead which is cancer causing. That craving shows that you are anaemic, craving nzu or any kind of dust or sand during pregnancy is a sign of anaemia. If you are pregnant and all you want to do is chew on this native chalk, quickly see your Doctor for some blood tests and probably prescriptions. Don't even attempt to taste nzu as it's very addictive.

  6.  Akaun potash used in making abacha, isiewau, tobacco snuff 
     Abacha (african salad) on wives connection
  7. Abacha  (African Salad):  Abacha on it's own is not bad, it is a very healthy combination of African foods but the addition of kanwu known as lime stone by many is not acceptable. Kanwu potash is a kind of lake salt that is edible but not when you are pregnant. It is added to beans, okra soup and even ewedu. It can also be used as a preservative.I don't know if kanwu is very safe for other people, even though I eat abacha. For pregnant women? It's not good for the baby in any way. Ask the Doctor before you take abacha if it's cooked with akanwu. If you must eat abacha, prepare it without kanwu. Studies reveal that akanwu (kaun, potash) can induce abortion in early pregnancy Potash is also added to tobacco snuff, a brown stuff sniffed by local villagers. Avoid this snuff too if you are pregnant.

  8.  pot of isi ewu ( goat head meal) on wives connection
  9. Isi ewu meal (goat head):  Isi ewu contains potash, the brain is boiled and pounded with palm oil and potash before being cooked and served. If you are carrying another human in you, please avoid these foods and probably resume after delivery and weaning. For the safety of your baby, eat healthy, snack healthy and sacrifice some comforts, it's just a matter of months and you are free to eat what and how you want.

    Those of asking whether ogbono soup is good in pregnancy, you can eat as much ogbono as you want. What you shouldn't eat is the four Nigerian foods listed above. They are not really safe for your baby.

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I found the information below on Social Media: 
I beg you in the name of God, no more Nkwobi, Isiewu or any food cooked or made with Akanwu. It has been proved to be the cause of Kidney problems. That's why many young fellows who visit joints for Nkwobi, Isiewu or other delicacies made with Akanwu, some of them are unlucky to be having kidney problems. Please No More AKANWU in any food

More details on akanwu. It is a mineral known as saltpetre. It's major components are salts of sodium or potassium nitrate. It is also very alkaline due to hydroxides of sodium or potassium. It is used as food tenderizer. To soften kanda, cook beans, ukwa and akidi faster. It is used to prepare soap, that is ncha used to eat abacha, ugba or ona. It is added to utaba, that is snuff. 
 My people suffer for lack of knowledge. Even after this analysis we will continue to eat it because the restaurants will continue to use it. 
 The toxic aspects of its use is due to presence of high concentration of  nitrates. Nitrates will generate nitrosamine and nitrous acid. These are known as potent carcinogens. They also generate reactive oxygen that can stress the kidney among other detoxifying organs. Food prepared with akanwu, maybe highly alkaline up to pH as high as 10 to 12, depending on added quantity. The best pH for good food will range from 4-8. So, the kidney is the main organ to control acid-base balance of the blood. A good blood pH should be around 7.35-7.40. It is therefore an uphill task for kidney to buffer the effect of consuming large quantities of saltpetre containing food. 
 Alternative to saltpetre or akanwa is the native ngu or lye from palm tree inflorescence. It is the traditional alternative used to prepare black soap. Its alkalinity is milder and does not contain high levels of nitrates. 
 The best meals are prepared at home. Young people of today need to learn a lot to live a healthier life. We are eating increasing amount of chemicals in our meals today. The consequence is to get sick.
It is necessary to add that research result from biochemistry dept at unizik, Awka indicated that those sniffing utaba, that is snuff have a slow blood clotting response. This is likely associated with saltpetre added to snuff. The amount of saltpetre added to food vary among cooks. Tell anybody that cares to listen that akanwu or saltpetre is toxic and should not be eaten. Let us go back to our ngu cooking tradition.

  EZENWA CHUKEZE PhD Biochemistry.


  1. So Anything with potash and dog meat is not good... got it!

  2. Anonymous11/08/2015

    The potash can be replaced with ogiri for the abacha.

  3. Thanks. Wen I am pregnant I would avoid potash. As for dog meat, am sure I would never taste it

  4. Anonymous11/08/2015

    Another one is 'Uda'...very powerful. that thing aborted a 7 months old pregnancy within hours. The lady ate yam pepper soup (ji mmiri oku) and she was warned. Uda is the worst culprit

  5. Anonymous11/08/2015

    noted! i will put this in my left hand so i wont eat it with it.tho i cannot and will not eat dog meat

  6. Anonymous11/12/2015

    Well said

  7. Anonymous11/12/2015

    Pls help me. I have been dating my guy for ten years now. And going to for years now we've been looking for job before getting married. Him and his parent insists he must get a job before we marry. Am 31 and tired of waiting. Pls advise.

    1. How do you want to marry a jobless man. After the wedding, fights will start when he can't take care of his family.

  8. If I am correct nkwobi also has potash in it However I am past childbearing age and I used a solution of baking soda and water in to the palm oil

    1. Please is it OK to use baking soda for abacha when pregnant?

  9. If I am correct nkwobi also has potash in it However I am past childbearing age and I used a solution of baking soda and water in to the palm oil

  10. Wow! Thank goodness I backtracked to this post!
    I'm in my first trimester and my major craving has been Abacha and I've been having it for dinner and lunch!
    Thank God I know now!

    1. Anonymous3/23/2018

      I have been craving for abacha too
      I have it once in two weeks because of this potash issue
      I pray I just forget everything about this abacha for now

    2. Anonymous3/26/2018

      i am craving for Abacha right now, i don't know what to do as i can't eat any other thing. i feel like crying now...pregnancy is not easy at all

  11. Anonymous4/17/2018

    can I eat achi

  12. Anonymous4/25/2018

    Can i eat pepper fruit

  13. Can I eat oha soup and ewedu


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