Pepper fruit (mmimi) is actually a fruit that can be used as a spice for seasoning and flavoring soups, beverages, stew sauce, as well as herbal medicine.
It is botanically known as Dennettia tripetala, but commonly known as “mmim”i by the Igbo speaking region and “Ata igebere” by the Yorubas.
Though Dennettia tripetala tree is native to west Africa where it thrives mostly. It is gradually gaining recognition among other regions of the world.
The fruit matures for consumption between April to may. The pepper fruit is greenish in appearance, but turns reddish or pink when ripened. Pepper fruit has a strong peppery taste and smell.
Pepper fruit gained wide popularity in Igbo land for the fact that it is used for traditional events such as cultural ceremonies, new yam festival, marriages to name but a few.
It is usually served to guests with bitter kola and kola nut .
It is worth noting that the leaves, roots and fruits of the pepper are recognised and considered potent for the treatment of several diseases including worm infestation, stomach disorder, cold, typhoid and vomiting.
Moreover, it contains valuable nutrients such as copper, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, ,vitamin A, vitamin C, and other natural compounds like flavanoid, alkaloids, terpenes saponin and tannins.
Several researches conducted indicated that extract from Dennettia tripetala fruit are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-mutagenic, anti-microbial and antifungal properties which are attributed to the phytochemical found in it.
Health benefits include; help prevent prostrate cancer, may regulate blood sugar, cardiovascular health, treat respiratory problems, analgestic properties, treat convulsion, anti-inflammatory properties, maintain the eyes, antimicrobial properties, promote reproductive system, post partum, and digestive system.
12 Proven Health Benefits & Side Effect
1. May Prevent Prostate Cancer
You can prevent growth of prostste cancer by making pepper fruit your routine snacks. Owning to its potent in eliminating cancer causing agent. Study conducted in one of the reputable university, Illinois at Chicago revealed that dennettia tripetala extract impede growth of prostrate cancer.
2. Help Maintains Blood Sugar Levels
It can assist your body manage blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is a major causes of diabetes. Diabetes comes with a lot of health challenges, especially if it is not properly controlled. To prevent its symptoms and further complications, Nutritionists- Dietitian always emphasize on the use of plant- based product as they’re loaded with phytochemicals, and nutrients that can drastically reduce full absorption of sugar into the blood stream. Its an established fact that pepper fruit possess anti hyperglycemic property – this help decrease excessive blood sugar levels in the body. Similarly, fiber and other compounds present in pepper fruit contribute profoundly as well in regulating your blood sugar levels.
3. Maintains Cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular disorder can be the result of different factors, starting from poor diet, to life style that exacerbate stress. Luckily, pepper fruit can address heart problem, and blood pressure from numerous sources, and exhibit great promise. In terms of blood pressure, it has been observed that pepper fruit can effectively improve blood flow as well help them dilate and relax blood vessels. However, presence of potassium, a mineral in found in it, also known for regulation of blood pressure. Additionally, contraction and relaxation of the heart muscles is controlled by potassium and magnesium found in pepper fruit.
4. Prevent Respiratory Diseases
Traditionally, people consume pepper fruit to treat cough, cold and among others( 1 )Scientists have shown that pepper fruit exhibit antimicrobial properties, this aid destruction of bacteria, and viral infection. These pathogens are said to be responsible for respiratory diseases. It do not only limit to decongestion of the airways but assist in keeping symptoms linked to respiratory diseases at bay. Another studies conducted attributed cardiac glycosides to the treatment of asthma, though more researches are needed to ascertain its potent in the treatment of asthma.
5. Possesses Analgesic Property
It is very advantageous as it help relief pains. They are observed to have same healing properties with aspirin and indomethacin, a conventional medicine.
6. Help Combat Convulsion
People add pepper fruit as an ingredients in treatment of convulsions. Equally, modern science has proven that the compound,
1- nitro-2- phenyl ethane, exhibits hypnotic anticonvulsant, and anxioytic effect which may technically treat convulsion(2)
7. Antiinflammatory properties
Inflammation is characterized with
Redness, stiffness, swelling, joint pain can be prevent when consume reasonable amounts of pepper fruit. The antioxidant in it helps ward off free radicals capable of causing inflammation. If you have be neglecting pepper fruit, opt for it to promote overall well being of the body.
8. Maintains The Eye sight
It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidant. Vitamin A is typically known for promoting eye health and reduce eye defect. Importantly, antioxidant found in pepper fruit is very essential in neutralizing toxic substance assembled to cause night blindness and other eye disorder.
9. Antimicrobial properties
Another studies conducted have shown that pepper fruit can prevent and destroy pathogenic growth. As an antimicrobial agent, it help impede growth of microbial
10. May Boost Reproductive system
This can be as a result of many factors, range from build up in the arteries that supply blood to the penis, and the secretion of vital hormones needed for reproduction. Leading to erectile dysfunction, and infertility. Nevertheless, it possesses stimulants properties that can facilitate release of important hormones and blood flow to the penis, thus revamping your reproductive system. Also you obtain vitamin E, vitamin C, steroid when you consume 1-2 medium size of pepper fruit. These nutrients are very potent in sanitizing your reproductive system.
11. Help Treat Digestive Problems
Pepper fruit help enhance your digestive system as by facilitating sufficient secretion of bile. Bile is commonly known for emulsification and digestion of food in our body.
12. Post- partum
After delivering, women are advised to take pepper fruit in order to maintain their uterus.
Pepper fruit can as well serve as insecticide.
It may cause uterus contraction, therefore, pregnant women must speak to a physician before consumption.
Pepper fruit is a nutritious fruit but has peppery taste and as well use to flavour dishes. They are a powerhouse of natural compounds which assist in many bodily functions. The health benefits of pepper fruit include; treatment of respiratory problems, antimicrobial properties, digestive system, help lower blood pressure, and sugar.