13 African Foods That Can Help You Gain Weight Fast

13 African Foods That Can Help You Gain Weight Fast

Jun 27, 2024Elizabeth Yakubu

While many people are focused on losing weight, there are also plenty of individuals looking to gain weight for a variety of reasons. Maybe you're recovering from an illness, trying to build muscle, or simply have a naturally high metabolism that makes it hard to keep weight on. Whatever your reason, gaining weight can be just as challenging as losing it. African Foods, with their rich flavors and diverse ingredients, can help you pack on healthy pounds. Let's dive into some delicious African foods that can help you gain weight effectively and healthily.

Understanding Weight Gain

Weight gain is primarily about caloric intake. Consuming more calories than you burn leads to weight gain, but it's important to balance these calories with nutrients. High-calorie foods rich in proteins and healthy fats are essential for gaining weight healthily. African cuisine offers numerous options that meet these criteria.


Rice is a staple in many African diets and is high in carbohydrates and calories. Consuming large amounts can contribute significantly to weight gain. It is versatile and can be paired with various stews and proteins to enhance its calorie content.


Rich in healthy fats and calories, avocados are excellent for healthy weight gain. A single avocado contains about 322 calories and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Adding avocado to meals or consuming it as a snack can significantly increase your caloric intake.

Nigerian Soups and Swallows

Foods like egusi, ogbono, and groundnut soups are calorie-dense. When paired with swallows such as pounded yam, eba, or semo, they provide a substantial calorie boost. These combinations are both nutrient-rich and filling, making them ideal for weight gain.

Nuts and Seeds

Groundnuts (peanuts), cashew nuts, and other nuts are high in healthy fats and calories. These can be consumed as snacks or added to meals. They are portable and easy to incorporate into your diet, providing a convenient source of extra calories.

Milk and Dairy

Whole milk, yogurt, and cheese are high in calories and protein. Full-fat dairy products are particularly effective for weight gain. They can be consumed as beverages, added to meals, or eaten as snacks.


Fried yellow plantains are high in calories and can be a delicious part of a weight gain diet, especially when combined with tomato sauce or other high-calorie toppings. They are a versatile food that can be prepared in several ways to enhance their calorie content.


Yams, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and calories. They can be prepared in various ways to enhance their calorie content. These tubers are staples in many African diets and are excellent for promoting weight gain.

Smoothies and Shakes

Protein-rich smoothies made with bananas, peanut butter, milk, and other high-calorie ingredients can be very effective in increasing caloric intake. They are easy to prepare and can be consumed on the go, making them a convenient option for busy individuals.

Red Meats

Beef and goat meat are rich sources of protein and fats, essential for weight gain. They are also packed with iron and B vitamins. Including red meats in your diet can help you build muscle mass while also increasing your overall calorie intake.

Peanut Butter and Groundnut Soup

Peanut butter is calorie-dense, and groundnut soup, made from peanuts, is rich in fats and protein, aiding weight gain. These can be consumed as part of meals or as snacks, providing a substantial caloric boost.


Full-fat cheese, including local varieties like Nigerian "wara," is high in calories, protein, and fat, contributing to weight gain. Cheese can be added to meals or eaten as a snack, providing an easy way to increase your calorie intake.

Fruits like Mangoes and Bananas

Mangoes and bananas are calorically dense and can be consumed in smoothies or as snacks to boost calorie intake. These fruits are not only delicious but also provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Butter and Oils

Adding butter or oils like olive oil to meals can significantly increase calorie content. These fats are essential for gaining weight healthily and can be easily incorporated into various dishes.

Sample Eating Schedule for Weight Gain

To effectively gain weight, it's important to have a structured eating schedule. Here is a realistic daily meal plan incorporating these African foods:


Rice with Stew: 2 cups of rice with vegetable or meat stew

Avocado: Half an avocado sliced on the side

Morning Snack:

Groundnuts (Peanuts): 1 handful

Banana: 1 large banana


Egusi Soup with Pounded Yam: 2 servings of pounded yam with 1 serving of egusi soup

Plantain: 1 large fried plantain

Afternoon Snack:

Moi Moi: 1 serving (steamed bean pudding)

Cashew Nuts: 1 handful


Peanut Stew with Fufu: 2 servings of fufu with 1 serving of peanut stew

Yam Porridge: 1 serving

Evening Snack:

Milkshake: 1 large glass (made with whole milk, banana, and peanut butter)

Dates: 1 handful

Before Bed:

Nut Milk: 1 glass (almond or cashew milk)

Portion Sizes and Caloric Intake:

Ensure that each meal is large and nutrient-dense.

Focus on high-calorie foods and include healthy fats and proteins in every meal.

Incorporate snacks between meals to boost overall calorie intake.


What are some high-calorie African foods?

Rice, avocados, Nigerian soups and swallows, nuts and seeds, milk and dairy, plantains, tubers, smoothies and shakes, red meats, and dried fruits are all high-calorie African foods.

How can I incorporate these foods into my diet?

Plan meals that combine these high-calorie foods. Include snacks and beverages that are nutrient-dense and calorically rich. Follow a schedule that ensures regular meals and snacks.

How often should I eat to gain weight?

Aim for three large meals and three to four snacks per day. Consistency and portion size are key.

Are there any specific cooking methods that help?

Traditional cooking methods like boiling, steaming, and grilling can help retain nutrients while preparing high-calorie dishes.

Can exercise help with weight gain?

Yes, strength training exercises can help build muscle mass, contributing to healthy weight gain.

What should I avoid while trying to gain weight?

Avoid junk food and focus on nutrient-dense options to ensure that the weight gained is healthy. Monitor your health and maintain a balanced diet.


Gaining weight can be a rewarding journey when you have the right foods and a good plan. At My Sasun African Store, we offer a wide variety of authentic African ingredients that can help you reach your weight gain goals. By incorporating these nutrient-dense foods into your diet and following a structured eating schedule, you can achieve healthy and effective weight gain. Whether you're looking to build muscle, recover from an illness, or simply maintain a healthy weight, our store has everything you need to support your journey. Visit us today and start your path to a healthier you.

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