Tripe, locally referred to as matumbo, is one of those foods that stir up mixed feelings. One group has strong feelings against it, while it’s a favourite of the other group. Well, emotions aside, tripe has several nutritional values to the human body. The consumption of this organ meat has been there for many years. Some cultures, however, have taboos against consuming organ meat.
The most popular way of making matumbo is stewing and can also be added to beef stock for extra flavouring. In Kenya, tripe is used to make mutura. Matumbo doesn’t have a dominant flavour, so it takes the flavour of the spices and foods that you add to your cooking pot. You’ll definitely need to clean it up properly before cooking it.
What is tripe?
Tripe (matumbo) is the edible stomach lining of farm animals like cows, sheep, pigs and goats. Buffalos also contain tripe. You’ll mostly find cow tripe. There are four types of tripe classified according to the source in the cow’s stomach.
- Flat or blanket tripe, which is from the first stomach chamber.
- Honeycomb tripe comes from the second stomach chamber. It looks like a honeycomb, thus the name.
- Omasum or book tripe found in the third stomach chamber.
- Abomasum or reed tripe comes from the fourth stomach chamber.
Nutritional benefits of tripe (matumbo)
1. It’s a rich source of protein
Matumbo is a high-quality source of proteins because it contains nine essential amino acids. Human bodies need essential amino acids, but our bodies don’t make them, so we must outsource them from foods like tripe.
Proteins undertake various functions in the body, like the repair of tissues. They are vital in the structure and support of cells, and play a role in the immune system and growth. Proteins provide energy and can prevent overeating since they are filling.
2. Tripe contains vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential in producing red blood cells and aids in the health of nerve tissue. The body absorbs B12 better from food than from supplements. Matumbo is a good source of B12 and is an excellent addition to the diet to prevent anaemia.
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3. Matumbo is rich in selenium.
Selenium is a trace mineral nutrient with many benefits to the body. It helps maintain thyroid hormone metabolism, improves cognitive functions or prevents the decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease, improves fertility and prevents oxidative damage in the body.
Consuming foods rich in selenium, such as tripe, provides the body with this nutrient which it absorbs and stores in the skeletal muscles and other human tissues.
4. Tripe is good for weight loss and management.
A serving of approximately 85 grams of matumbo contains 3.4 grams of fat, 1.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of proteins. Matumbo is low on carbohydrates, making it ideal for people trying to lose weight. Tripe has significantly less fat than other meats. Compared to low-fat diets, low-carb diets are more effective for weight loss because taking fewer carbohydrates forces the body to use up the stored fat to get energy leading to weight loss.
Additionally, as earlier mentioned, tripe is rich in protein which is filling, so consuming it reduces snacking. Constantly filling full takes away thoughts of food and reduces the appetite, which is helpful in weight loss.
5. It’s rich in zinc
The human body needs zinc for blood clotting, healing of wounds, vision, immune system, thyroid function and reproduction. Additionally, zinc is also an antioxidant that protects our bodies from free radicals. Matumbo provides a significant amount of zinc in each food serving.
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6. It provides iron
In a serving of 100 grams of beef tripe, you get 0.66 mg of iron. Iron is essential to the body in the making of haemoglobin which carries oxygen in red blood cells from the lungs to other body parts. Iron also helps make myoglobin which provides oxygen to muscles. Matumbo, together with other red meats, are a rich source of iron.
A possible downside of tripe
While matumbo has all these benefits, it also has relatively high cholesterol levels. Although dietary cholesterol has minimal effects on the body’s cholesterol levels, unlike saturated fats, some people are cholesterol hyper-responders, so tripe could affect them.
Should you add matumbo to your diet?
Absolutely. Matumbo has numerous nutritional benefits to the human body. Further, it is also pocket friendly compared to other types of red meat. If you enjoy cooking, it also gives you a welcome challenge of experimenting with different tripe recipes.
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