Bayo Ajibola

Health benefits of bitter Kola . The bitter kola comes from the kola tree found in many rain forests in Africa and is an important cultural symbol for many ethnic groups in Nigeria. From being given to guests at funerals and weddings to being used to flavor sodas, the bitter kola is a popular traditional nut.

So while we may already know these things about the bitter kola, how aware are we of its health benefits?

To begin with, the kola nut contains caffeine and theobromine, which are also found in coffee and cola drinks and acts as stimulants when consumed. It also contains useful nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Now let’s explore a few surprising and rare health benefits of bitter Kola that this interesting nut has to offer.

  1. A possible remedy for osteoarthritis

You may know that osteoarthritis is the deterioration of the joint cartilage and bone which causes stiffness and pain, especially in the knee, thumb and hip joints. Research has now shown that consuming kola nut reduces the inflammation and pain and also increases joint movement in affected patients.

  • Gives your immune system a boost

Kola nut is abundant with antioxidants which not only help the body to fight bacteria but protects the body against harmful toxins by providing the immune system with all the support it needs to function perfectly.

  • Fixing that migraine

This is where the caffeine and theobromine that I mentioned earlier come in. These two components are known to dilate or widen blood vessels in the brain, and since migraines often affect the blood vessels in the brain, they help to decrease the pain of migraines.

So before you reach for that Panadol extra, why not go the natural way and eat some kola nut.

  • Fights malaria

Substantial experimental studies have shown that kola nut contains kolaviron, a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory chemical that is useful for treating malaria which might explain the reason why traditional healers have prescribed kola nut for the treatment of malaria infections for many years.

To buttress this point, more than 20 years ago researchers in Congo attributed the kola nut’s anti-malaria properties to its quinones content which was known to inhibit malarial activity.

  • Drop those extra pounds

I’m sure many people; ladies especially would be excited to learn this about kola nut. Yep, it supports your weight loss goals with its natural hunger suppressant properties and its ability to increase your urge to drink more water.

If you are itching to drop those extra pounds, add kola nut to your special diet and experience fewer food cravings throughout your day. Not to mention, if you feel even a bit peckish, eating the nuts as a snack reduces hunger in between meals.

  • Say no to impotence

Here’s a little good news for the men. Studies have shown that kola nut holds its own as an herb that improves sexual performance. How does it do this, you ask?

Kola nut increases your sex drive, boosts your libido and is a potent aphrodisiac. In fact, if you’re looking to add a new member to your family, kola nut increases sperm count and promotes male fertility. Chew the seed a few minutes before sexual intercourse and you are good to go.

Still on the health benefits of bitter Kola,Fun fact bitter kola can temporarily boost your testosterone levels as well.

  • No dulling

The caffeine content in kola nut makes it an ideal stimulant by increasing your mental alertness and elevating your mood. As the kola nut naturally stimulates your central nervous system, it serves as a cognitive booster and amplifies your energy levels.

So if you’ve got that presentation coming up and have been pulling all-nighters, have some kola nut to keep you on your toes.

  • Lung health and asthma

While it might not be recommended for respiratory disease treatment, the caffeine in kola nuts could act as bronchodilators which open up the airways and make breathing easier: an effect that may be useful to people with breathing problems such as asthma.

In addition, the antioxidant properties of kola nuts support the maintenance of a healthy respiratory tract as well as the treatment of colds. So if you are an active or passive smoker, your lungs could certainly use these beneficial effects of kola nut.

  • Takes care of constipation

Kola nuts are excellent sources of dietary fiber which are useful in keeping your digestive system running smoothly.  How this works is, the soluble and insoluble fiber allows more water to remain in your stool and adds bulk to your stool which makes it softer and larger and makes it easier to pass through your gut.

So if you feel bloated, constipated or have any other health condition that disrupts your bowel movement, take some kola nuts for immediate relief.

  1. Kola nut and cancers

Early research has indicated that some compounds found in kola nuts may decrease the risk of cancers like prostate cancer. Chemical compounds found in kola nut, called phytoestrogens have been found to reduce the growth of cancer cells and stop the growth of tumors.

  1. Lowers your eye pressure

According to a journal by the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, consuming kola nut twice daily could successfully reduce the pressure in your eyes and lower your risk of glaucoma, a condition caused by high pressure in the eyes which could lead to permanent blindness if not treated.

This healthy nut with the bitter taste that becomes sweeter as it is chewed does all these things and so much more. From increasing circulation to boosting metabolism, its benefits are vast.

Is this a lot to take in? Maybe you are surprised by the sheer advantages of consuming kola nut, many of which you might not have been aware of. So when next you are involved in the ceremonial breaking of kola nut to make your guests feel welcome at that next family gathering, keep these points in mind.

Here’s a final fun fact, if you spread kola nut around your house, it’s said to repel snakes.


Bayo Ajibola

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