Bitter Kola: Best 4 Amazing Health Benefits & It's Side Effects
As obesity and junk-invited diseases are popping up at the surface, "healthy is the new tasty" is developing in its initial stage. Said that people are finally opting for a healthier diet.
Whatever the taste may be, people are choosing organic foods against processed and packed ones for the sake of health benefits. And, surprisingly with that, previously little known bitter kola’s demand is rising in the market.
Bitter kola, like its name, is known for its bitter taste. But, wait before you judge it, based solely on its delicacy.
The flowering plant, a native to Africa and cultivated in countries like Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and more, was long used by the African people in a belief that it increased life span; but it is now with the development of modern medicine and research that the public is being aware of its exact varied health benefits.
The bitter kola plant in its natural habitat (Photo: Forestcenter.iita.org)
Being tangled with African lifestyle, Bitter Kola plant holds all traditional, religious and medicinal values including the belief that it is capable to treat poisoning. And, while the plant comprises so much of importance, its nut, a small bean-like structure of three to five cm with a brown covering - works as the most useful part of the plant.
Why? Well, find out! Also, know its disadvantages and side effects!
Health Benefits Of Bitter Kola
Bitter kola nut with its rich content of vital nutrients like vitamins, calcium iron, antioxidants, fiber and more is a whole treat in a bonbon.
Along with its ability to combat multiple life-threatening diseases, the nut is helpful in regulating the bodily functions often boosting the process of recovery from various medical conditions.
Raw Kola Nuts before processing (Photo: Guardian.ng)
While the bark and seed of bitter kola are believed to cure severe cases of food poisoning, the nut is by far the part with the most health benefits. Here are a few proven benefits of bitter kola which may surprise you:-
(1) Combats Diseases And Illness
Your shield: Bitter kola is used in the treatment of several deadly diseases including malaria, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, osteoarthritis, migraines, and asthma.
If that's not enough, the chemical compounds found in the plant possess anti-malaria properties, which is useful to treat the contagious diseases. Similarly, its contents are used in the manufacture of eye drops that minimizes the adverse effects of increased eye pressure and glaucoma.
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Furthermore, the bitter kola's antibiotic characteristics is an important constituent in treating both HIV and AIDS. With its several vital nutrients and minerals, bitter kola is used in curing various other diseases including prostate cancer, migraines, asthma, and more.
(2) Maintains & Boosts Bodily Functions
Bitter kola can help you regulate bodily functions.
In addition to its antibacterial properties, the nut is also used to cure the chest cold, increase blood circulation in the heart, boost the metabolism, and help with digestion.
With people now suffering from more and more bizarre medical conditions, the consumption of bitter kola in a moderate amount can be essential to immunize the body against factors trying to shut down the system.
Moreover, its benefits are not only limited to keeping the body healthy as the kola nut can also help a man become a better lover. It is known to cure impotence and aid a man perform well in bed.
(3) Helps In Weight Loss
A big effect in a small package!
If you are wondering, how can a tiny nut help so much? Well, it contains valuable elements like water, caffeine, protein, fats, essential oils, starch and so on. And, with the nutrients, African people in the olden days would often walk nearly 80 km a day by consuming just a grain of the kola.
Also, it has been found by studies that the bitter kola can cut off the extra fats in the body, thus boosting the process of weight loss. The caffeine contained in the kola nut helps in digestion and reduce appetite causing the body to lose weight and get a designated figure.
Bitter kola nuts are helpful for weight loss (Photo: Liverampup.com)
Its high nutrient-content can cause the body to maintain the energy for a longer duration, decreasing the consumption of food and shedding off extra pounds.
(4) Beneficial During Pregnancy
If you are a mother yourself or if you have empathized being pregnant, you must have known that a pregnant woman has to be very cautious of what she eats as her diet could affect the health of her baby. While many foods can deteriorate the fetus' condition, bitter kola is not one of them.
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Instead, kola nut can be useful in making the womb healthier, enhancing the health of both the mother and child.
Bitter kola nuts are essential for a pregnant lady (Photo: Liverampup.com)
Moreover, it can also benefit the mother by minimizing the vomit and nausea. Further, it helps in blood circulation from the mother to her child causing the fetus to grow without interference.
Although the bitter kola has its uses for a pregnant woman, due to its high level of caffeine, it should be consumed in a minimum amount or otherwise it could adverse the health of both the mother and the child.
Side Effects Of Bitter Kola
Where there is good, there's evil too!
Too cheesy? Let me just simplicize! Bitter kola with its numerous uses could be considered as one of the healthiest nuts; however, it also comes with some defects as if not consumed rightly. It could severely affect the health of a person.
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While bitter kola's benefits outnumber its side effects, there are a few backlashes:-
- Excessive consumption of bitter kola could lead to gastrointestinal or mouth cancer. While the chances of getting cancer are few, there is a slim possibility, so the nut must be eaten with caution.
- Bitter kola can prevent the chances of glaucoma. However, overuse of the nuts can also cause a person to suffer from the disease, so a minimum consumption habit is advised.
- The kola nuts' high caffeine content could have unhealthy effects on the body causing it to suffer from anxiety, diarrhea, or cardio problems.
- The use of kola nuts can also make the blood clot more slowly. The condition could worsen if the bleeding person has eaten the bitter kola in a high amount.
- The consumption of bitter kola could cause the body to lessen the effects of medicines. If a person is on medication, using the nuts could make the medicines ineffective.
Everything has its uses and disadvantages. While bitter kola has its benefits, it also comes with some side effects. So, precautionary measures must be followed before consuming the kola. And if any side effect occurs, you should contact your doctor immediately.