Skip to content

Ugali Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts

share this post

Ugali Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts_Best Body Africa

What is Ugali?

Ugali is a swallow (starchy carb) made from maize/corn flour and is commonly eaten in many parts of Africa, particularly in the East. It is cooked with water and served with sauces, meat, fish and soups. It is common to eat both yellow and white ugali varieties.

The word ‘ugali’ originates from swahili but the swallow is also known as ‘nsima’ in Malawi and ‘nguna’ in Kenya, among other variations.

Maize was introduced to African countries in the 16th and 17th centuries. It quickly became Africa’s staple crop, replacing indigenous sorghum and millet as the most popular grain.


Ugali nutrition stats (100g)

  • 360 calories in ugali
  • 76g carbs in ugali
  • 6.9g protein in ugali
  • 3.8g fat in ugali

What does 100 calories of ugali look like?

Ugali Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts_Best Body Africa

Health benefits of ugali

Health benefits of ugali include but are not limited to:


Ugali is made of maize which provides the body with slow release energy to carry out daily activities or fuel a workout.

Digestion aid

Ugali is rich in soluble fibre which helps in the digestion of food. It helps to accelerate the passage of food through the body.

Rich in iron

Maize is a good source of iron which is important in the production of hormones and carrying oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body, among other functions.


How to prepare ugali

You can purchase ugali in a powdered form or you can make it from scratch with maize. For the purpose of ease, as many of you are constrained by time, we are providing the instructions for powdered ugali (cornmeal).

To make four servings, add four cups of water to a pot with 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Gradually whisk in 2 cups of ugali flour/corn meal and mix with a wooden spoon. Add extra water if necessary. Reduce to a low heat and continue stirring until it forms a starchy mixture. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When ready, scoop into balls and serve with your side of choice.

How to eat ugali

Ugali is usually pinched with four fingers and dipped into soups or stews. It can also be eaten with meats and fish.

Store ugali in cling film in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, remove cling film and add to a bowl with a splash of water. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until soft and hot.


Do you prefer yellow or white ugali? Comment below!

Unlock your health with the BBA Club

To keep reading this content, join The BBA Club!