What have you heard about “Fonio”- Africa’s Super Grain?

David Akeju
6 min readSep 8, 2020



A lot has been said about how blessed Africa is. And of course, if you are counting the blessings of this great continent you will count Nigeria twice.

We are truly blessed. You and I know. No need to start mentioning the natural resources and perfect climatic conditions and so on. Let me save time.

One of these blessings is this magical wonder called fonio popularly called acha in Hausa.

Before any food attains the status “superfood” trust me, it has been tested and proven and approved by nutritionists in the international space.

A superfood is a food (grain, fruit, vegetable etc) that is highly nutritious and also has great health benefits.

Yours truly fonio/acha has passed through the fire of stringent scrutiny and is 100% approved for you and your family.

Let me share a little secret with you. Europeans are now trooping into Africa and Nigeria precisely and exporting acha in tonnes to their countries because they fully understand how healthy and medicinal acha is.

To cut the long story short, what are the health benefits of this super grain called acha?

Acha is the perfect example of “great things come in small packages” or rather “small but mighty”.

Fonio/Acha is the smallest of all millets yet the most powerful, medicinal and nutritious. In fact, this post cannot contain all the wonders of this grain so I will select a few health benefits and discuss others in subsequent posts.

Fonio/Acha and Diabetes

Due to acha’s relatively high fibre content and low-calorie content, acha has a low glycemic index (GI). This means that it efficiently releases needed energy, decreasing the chances for low or high sugar levels. The grain contains properties that help to manage glucose levels and minerals that help decrease inflammation. So it is 100% good for diabetes patients.

Acha and Celiac Disease

Having celiac disease means some grains especially those that have gluten have adverse effects on your body.

Eating gluten when you have celiac can lead to damage of the small intestine which causes bloating and some digestive issues.

The good news is acha is naturally gluten-free and can be consumed by anyone with celiac without any worries about digestive issues. In fact, acha actually aids in digestion because it’s very rich in fibre which can reduce bloating and stomach problems.

Skin, Hair and Nail Health

Acha is rich in methionine and cysteine (sulphur containing amino acid) which are known to play important roles in skin, hair and nails health.

Methionine has an anti-ageing effect on the skin, reducing the rate of ageing; it also helps avoid hair loss and strengthens the nails.

Cysteine, on the other hand, helps with wound healing and keeps skin healthy.

Weight Loss

It is an excellent meal for weight loss. Because of its low glycemic index and high fibre content, it fills you up when you eat it and it produces a lot of energy. So you literally forget that you have not eaten a whole day even after engaging in energy-consuming activities.

Acha is packed with nutrients, making it very healthy and nutritious cereal, even healthier and nutritious than common cereals like rice and oats.

Fonio Gives Creative Tasty Freedom To Diabetic & Celiac Patients

It’s time to learn three different lovely ways you can prepare your fonio and enjoy.

The most interesting thing about acha is that you can prepare it as pudding (pap), couscous or swallow or even plain with side stew or vegetable.

Fonio gives you creative tasty freedom even if you have diabetes or celiac disease.

You can’t but fall in love with this great grain. Whatever your taste bud craves, you can count on it to satisfy you.

Oh, lest I forget, you can also use it to bake your bread, cake or pancake.

This means you can enjoy it as a whole grain or even in its powdered form (flour). So much goodness right? YES.

Now back to the main matter. You will be learning steps on how to prepare your acha as couscous, pap and swallow.

The regular couscous you get in the market is made from crushed pasta. So if you are someone who is cautious of what you eat and want something purely organic, I am sure this is the perfect couscous you need to replace that flour you have been consuming.

How To Prepare Your Acha Couscous


1 Cup of Acha (depending on how much you want to prepare)

1 Cup of mixed vegetables (carrots, greens)

2 medium sausage links ( You can use shrimp or chicken)

A small bulb of Onion

1 seasoning cube (Maggie)

One teaspoon of Curry Powder

Pinch of thyme

A teaspoon of black pepper

One scotch bonnet pepper (rodo/tatashe)

1 tablespoon of butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil (or vegetable oil)


  1. Wash your acha and set aside or buy already washed and processed Acha.

2. Pour in your butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil into a pan, allow to heat; add your vegetables then stir fry.

3. Add in the chopped sausages.

4. Add your seasoning cube.

5. Pour out the vegetables and set aside and in the same pan, pour in the rest of the oil and stir fry the acha on low heat for about 1 minute.

6. Add your curry powder, black pepper, thyme and seasoning cube and stir the acha properly.

7. Toss in the vegetables immediately into the pan and toss all together. Taste for seasoning and serve your acha couscous hot and fresh.

P.S — Acha couscous needs very little water or else it becomes mashed up. It gets done within 3 to 4 minutes.

How To Prepare Your Acha Pudding

Fonio pudding


1 Cup of Fonio/Acha (depending on how much you want to prepare)

A Tea Spoon of natural sweetener (as advised by your physician)

Organic Milk (as advised by your physician)


  1. Place a cup of water on the fire and allow to boil.
  2. Rinse your fonio and pour it inside the boiling water.
  3. Begin to stir your fonio until it becomes a bit thick same texture as pap.
  4. Drop from fire and add your sweetener and milk.
  5. You can also add your favourite nuts or fruits to add flavour.

How To Prepare Your Acha Swallow

fonio swallow with okro soup


1 Cup of Fonio/Acha (depending on how much you want to prepare)


  1. Place water on the fire and allow to boil.
  2. Rinse your fonio and pour it inside the boiling water.
  3. Begin to stir your fonio until it becomes very thick, thicker than the pudding.
  4. Eat your fonio swallow with your favourite soup.

Bake With Fonio Flour

Fonio flour is a healthy alternative for your maize, millet, cookies, pies etc, flour. You can use fonio flour to bake your gluten-free bread, cake, brownies and pastries.

If you are diabetic and tired of eating the same thing always, you now have something to enjoy without worries of your sugar level rising.

If you are also all about healthy and organic meal then I recommend acha couscous, pudding or swallow for your eating pleasure.

Get yourself some acha today. You will love it and don’t forget to share with your family and friends.