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All about “Fonio”

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Nutritional value of fonio

  50 g (1/4 cup uncooked)
Calories 180
Fat 0.5 g
Protein 4 g
Carbohydrates 40 g
Fibers 1 g
Iron  0.8 mg


Fonio health profile

The main feature of fonio is that it does not contain gluten. People with celiac disease or an allergy to wheat can therefore consume it. Fonio contains less protein than other grains. Its composition is very similar to white rice.

No major scientific study has focused on fonio specifically. On the other hand, by being considered as a whole grain, we know that these have positive impacts on the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, constipation, overweight and certain types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. These health effects are due to the nutrient content of whole grains: antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, B-complex vitamins and fiber.

In addition, fonio is particularly rich in the amino acids methionine and cystine which supply sulfur and other compounds necessary for the body for normal metabolism, especially in the liver.

Fonio is reputed to be richer in magnesium, zinc and manganese than other cereals. It is also significantly richer in thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), calcium, phosphorus and iron than white rice.

The glycemic index of fonio is relatively low (66) compared to white rice (73) for example. The glycemic index (GI) reflects the speed with which the carbohydrates in a food are digested, converted and found as glucose in the blood. The more the blood glucose level increases following the consumption of a food, the higher the GI of this food. Over the years, many scientific studies have shown that a low GI diet has a positive impact on health, notably the reduction of the risk of type 2 diabetes, the control of blood sugar and cholesterol, weight control and decrease in cardiovascular risk.

Use of fonio

Fonio is used in everyday dishes ranging from breakfast to evening meals. It has a nutty taste.

In grains, it is usually eaten in the form of couscous or in salads. In the form of flour, it is incorporated into cakes, breads and donuts. In France, some brands have marketed it. In Canada, it is a little more difficult to obtain.

Renowned as a rather tasty cereal, its finesse and its gustatory qualities make it a delicacy always served at important festivals or ceremonies in Africa.

A word from the nutritionist

Fonio deserves to be known and incorporated into your diet. For its nutritional value of whole grain, it is incorporated to add variety to our menus.

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