20 June 2012


I remember when I was in UNN, a roommate of mine was pregnant at that time and her midwife advised her to be eating unripe plantain pottage, as it is very healthy and rich in iron. There are loads of reasons why we need this important mineral.

Even before you're pregnant, your body needs iron for several reasons:

  • It's essential for making haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells.
  • It's an important component of myoglobin (a protein that helps supply oxygen to your muscles), collagen (a protein in bone, cartilage, and other connective tissue), and many enzymes.
  • It helps you maintain a healthy immune system.

But during pregnancy you need a lot more of this crucial mineral. Here's why:

  • The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy until you have almost 50 percent more blood than usual, so you need more iron to make more haemoglobin.
  • You need extra iron for your growing baby and placenta, especially in the second and third trimesters.
  • Many women need more because they start their pregnancy with insufficient stores of iron.
  • Iron-deficiency anaemia during pregnancy is associated with preterm delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality.

How much iron you need?

Pregnant women: 27 milligrams (mg) of iron per day
Non-pregnant women: 18 mg

You don't have to get the recommended amount of iron every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week.



5 plantains – 4 unripe and 1 ripe
Dry fish
Palm oil
2 knorr cubes
Frozen spinach


Peel off the skin of the plantains. Cut plantains into small cubes and into a medium pot it goes.

Add water, same level as the diced plantain. Allow cooking for about 5-7mins.

Using warm water, wash the dry fish removing the bones. Set aside. Wash the crayfish and pepper. Blend together with half of the onions.

Add the mixture and fish into the pot. Add the cubes, ½ teaspoon of salt, 4 tablespoons of palm oil and cut in the remaining onions.

Cover the pot and cook for about 10-15 mins, then turn the food.  Check that the plantains are cooked. Then continually turn the plantain until it thickens. Add the spinach, cover the pot and cook for the next 2-3mins. Food is ready!

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