Nutritional Composition of Githeri

A plate of githeri packs in a lot of nutritional value
A plate of Githeri. Photo credits: Mercy Nekesa

How nutritious can a plate of githeri be? If this is the question in your mind today, you are on the right page. In this article, I discuss the nutritional composition in a plate of githeri. 

Low calorie

First, a serving of githeri-400g (Kenyan man serving portion) has only 740 kcal. This is just 30% of the 2500kcal needed by a man. These calories in githeri are also healthy since they come packed with high fibre, protein and a host of minerals.

Complete proteins

Plant proteins are usually considered less superior than animal proteins. Most plant foods lack one or two essential amino acids (EAA). But not in this dish!  Beans contain Isoleucine and leucine, the lacking EAA in maize. On the other hand, maize contains methionine and tryptophan which is absent in beans. The mix of maize and beans in githeri, therefore, provides the body with all the EAA it needs.

High-quality fibre

A plate of githeri gives you all the fibre you need in a day. Githeri has two types of fibres; Soluble and insoluble. These fibres slow down digestion keeping you full for long. Slow digestion also results in better blood glucose regulation for diabetics.

 Soluble fibre prevents the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestines.  Eating githeri regularly ultimately lowers blood cholesterol.

The fibre in githeri also helps prevent constipation. Insoluble dietary fibre gives bulk to poop and helps it move through the colon faster. The soluble fibre keeps the poop softer making it easy to pass.

The nutritional composition of Githeri made from sauteed green maize and beans

 KcalProteinFatCarbFibreIronMagnesiumZincFolate (B9)
 400g serving740Kcal27.6g28.8g71.2g42g8.8mg172mg5.28mg20.8mcg
 % RDA (2500Kcal diet)30% 22%34.7% 22.7% 42%110%41%48%52%
The nutrition profile of githeri. Source Kenyan Food composition tables 2018. RDA* Required Daily Allowance


The body needs iron to make haemoglobin and myoglobin. These are important proteins that supply our cells with oxygen. Without enough iron, you can become anaemic.

Iron from githeri is called non-heme iron. The body absorbs this iron best when taken with Vitamin C. Therefore, always remember to eat your githeri with citrus fruits like oranges or drinks like lemonade.


A plate of githeri gives you a good dose of zinc. Zinc boosts immunity and speeds up the healing of wounds. It also helps the eyes to maintain a sharp vision especially as we age.

Another important benefit of zinc is the prevention and management of acne. Research actually shows that people with acne tend to be low in zinc.


Literally, every cell in the body needs magnesium. This mineral helps in converting food into energy, making proteins from the EAA above, and aiding muscle movement

Magnesium can also protect you from getting diabetes. Research shows that people with low magnesium are at high risk of getting diabetes. Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity and helps in blood sugar regulation.

Hello ladies, magnesium from githeri may be your ticket out of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the cramping that comes with menstruation.


In addition to Iron, folate is important in preventing anaemia. This is because our bodies use folate to make healthy red and white blood cells.

Folate also helps in controlling homocysteine levels in the body. Although the body makes homocysteine, too much of this amino acid can harm the body. Low homocysteine levels reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and even memory loss.

Githeri cooking tip

If you have issues with bloating, soak beans and discard the soak water before boiling.

Read about the health benefits of githeri here