African locust bean is a superfood grown in West Africa. It is called Iru by the Yorubas, Dawadawa by the Hausas, and Ogiri by the Igbos. Locust bean might not be an appealing addition to food for some people because of its offensive smell, but experts have discovered that it is a highly nutritious food condiment, and its benefits far outweigh its smell. This article discusses all the health benefits of the African Locust Bean.
African locust bean’s botanical name is Parkia biglobosa. This condiment is an important part of the diet of many West Africans. It is used as a flavouring for foods and it is a good source of protein.
Even though the seeds and fruit pulp of the African locust bean tree are used for culinary purposes, the stem, bark and roots are also used for medicinal purposes in African traditional medicines.
They are usually used in the treatment of diarrhoea, diabetes, wounds, and malaria. Locust bean is a source of good bacteria known as probiotics, hence, the reason why it is good in treating diarrhoea.
Locust beans contain lots of nutrients. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C, phosphorus, potassium, fats, calcium, phenols and saponins.
The African locust bean is a food condiment that ought to be in our foods on a daily basis. It is better than the artificial seasonings we have in our markets today and has more beneficial properties.
Impressive Health Benefits of the African Locust Bean
The following are the amazing health benefits of the African locust bean to the body:
1) Improves Vision
African locust bean is a wonderful food condiment that takes care of vision. It is a good source of vitamin A which is ideal for good eyesight.
Vitamin A helps the surface of the eye, the cornea, mucous membranes and skin to be effective barriers to bacteria and viruses, reducing the risk of eye infections. It also prevents dry eyes, eye inflammation and vision loss and therefore improves eyesight naturally.
Dawadawa is rich in antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids, which protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that are harmful to the body when their levels in the body become too high.
Free radicals cause chronic diseases like hypertension, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. African locust bean is an ideal food containing antioxidants, just like Garden eggs, and they help protect the body from these free radicals that can cause harm to the body.
Locust beans can help in reducing the bad cholesterol in your body. High levels of cholesterol in the body can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Excess bad cholesterol can also damage your arteries. It can build up in the arteries, clog them up, and make them less flexible. Hardening of the arteries is known as Atherosclerosis.
Blood does not flow well through such hardened arteries, hence, the heart has to work extra times harder to pump blood into the body. With time, as the cholesterol builds up in the arteries, the heart can develop a disease.
The addition of locust beans into your diet makes it easier to avoid this.
4. Prevents and Treats Diabetes
Just like Unripe plantain, Locust bean is also an African food that prevents and treats Diabetes. I’m a study, African locust bean significantly reduced blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and triglycerides.
Consumption of locust beans is ideal for diabetics as it helps reduce their blood sugar levels. It also helps prevent diabetes from happening to those without it.
African locust bean is a food used in treating diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is when you have loose, watery stools that occur more frequently than normal, and may be due to a virus or contaminated food.
African locust bean contains tannins and pectin, which are recommended for people having diarrhoea. Studies have also shown that the leaves, roots, bark and fruit of the African locust bean tree can be used in treating diarrhoea and stomach ache.
Another benefit of the African locust bean is that it treats and prevents hypertension. Hypertension also referred to as high blood pressure, is a condition that the heart pumps blood through the arteries at a pressure higher than normal.
Hypertension is a silent killer, and an individual may not know he is down with it unless he goes for regular checkups. Locust beans reduce blood pressure due to their high antioxidants content. Locust bean leaves also have procyanidin, a compound known to reduce blood pressure. Procyanidins protect the heart and cardiovascular system.
They work as antioxidants and block nitrosamines from forming. Nitrosamines are strong carcinogens and can cause cancer in different organs and tissues like the liver, kidney, lung, brain and stomach.
7. Gum Health
Locus beans consumption helps to treat and prevent gum infections. There are lots of bacteria in the mouth. While some of these bacteria are safe, others can cause infections in the teeth and gums.
Locust beans have properties that help to get rid of these harmful bacteria in the mouth. They can also heal mouth ulcers and provide relief for receding gums.
The bark of the locust bean tree can be soaked, steeped and boiled to make a local mouthwash that can relieve toothache.
African locust bean is an ideal food during pregnancy. It contains calcium, protein, iron and other wonderful nutrients that are good for both mother and baby.
Locust beans may help in the prevention of anaemia and gestational diabetes during pregnancy. It also protects the mother’s heart health and helps the baby to be born healthy.
9. Skin Diseases
The African locust bean is good for treating skin diseases. Its root, leaves, bark and pod can be infused, soaked and used for bathing by individuals with skin diseases like leprosy and also skin sores. It can also be applied to the skin to soothe burns.
Locust beans contain iron that prevents anaemia in individuals. Anaemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells. This affects the transportation of oxygen around the body.
Anaemia also occurs if the haemoglobin concentration in the red blood cells is lower than normal. Iron helps to produce haemoglobin in the red blood cells and also increases the red blood cells in the body.
African locust bean is a wonderful food condiment that ought to be added to one’s diet. It contains lots of nutrients and is ideal for everyone, including vegetarians. Include locust beans in your diet and you will benefit a lot.