10 Evidence-based Health Benefits Of Ugba seed

Ugba seed (African oil bean seed) is a nutrient- packed food obtained from the fermentation of oil bean seeds. It is native to west Africa.

However, the  nutrient packed food plays a pivotal role in the body, and covers a wide range of health benefits including cardiovascular health, immune system, antiinflammatory properties, reproductive system, among others.

Oil bean is scientifically known as Pentaclethra Macrophylla, a member of luguminosae. It is extensively grown in tropical regions of west Africa, particularly Eastern Nigeria.

Although, it is  named differently depending on the region or ethnic group. Their local names range from ugba(Igbo language) Apara( Yoruba language) and ukana (as in Efik ).

Oil bean tree grows up to 21meter tall, bearing flattened pods that contain seeds of oil bean which are reddish- brown in color, and woody in appearance.

The protein rich food, is an integral part of traditional foods in Nigeria particularly, the Igbo speaking regions.

It is used to flavor soups, abacha, Nkwobe and many others. Besides, its culinary benefits, its as well important in cosmetics and paint production (1)

Primary components of Ugba seed
Protein
Unsaturated fatty acids
Saturated fatty acids
Manganese
Copper
Calcium
Iron
Zinc
Potassium
Flavanoid
Glycosides
Saponin
Alkaloid

Health benefits include; maintains Heart Health, may prevent cancer, boost immune system, lower blood pressure, anti-inflammatory properties, source of protein, lower cholesterol levels, digestive disorder, skin care.

10 Evidence-based Health Benefits Of Ugba seed 

1. Maintains Heart Health

Heart is a vital organ that pump out blood to the entire body. This means oxygen and nutrient may be insufficient, if heart fails to supply blood to the body. It is generally observed that inability of the heart to circulate blood round the body can be as a result of plaques or build up in the walls of arteries and blood vessels.

Thanks to African oil bean as it is very advantageous in eliminating factors associated with heart failure.

You earn appreciable amount of antioxidant when you take a cup of African oil bean.

Antioxidant helps scrap out free radicals which triggers build up in the walls of arteries and blood vessels, thus optimizing your heart health.

2. May Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a life threatening disease that comes with a lot of daunting health challenges.

Prevention is always ultimate approach for any types of diseases.

Experts emphasize on sufficient consumption of natural foods due to their prominent in impeding growth of cancer in our body.

It is a powerhouse of phytochemicals, these are natural compounds that can sophisticatedly neutralize carcinogenic growth in your body.

3. Boost immune system

It contains various nutrients known for immune maintenance such as protein, unsaturated fatty acid, iron, zinc, and bioactive compounds.

These nutrients work together to strengthen your immune system. Immune system is essential, it keeps you protected against pathogenic growth.

4. Antiinflammatory & antimicrobial Properties

Flavouring your meals frequently with African oil bean can technically combat presence of bacteria, and viral infections in the body. Inflammation is characterized with various health disorder such swallow on the hands, joint pain etc.

Research has proven that African oil bean may help decrease growth of bacteria (2) .

5. May lower Blood Pressure

In terms of blood pressure, African oil bean is celebrated owning to the presence of potassium and magnesium.

These minerals contribute greatly in systolic and diastolic pressure that regulate blood pressure.

Equally, potassium also ensure electrolyte balance, promote efficient contraction and relaxation of the muscles.

6. Good Source Of Protein

African oil bean is a plant source of protein. Protein is highly required in our body for numerous bodily functions. Body building, hormone production, effective growth, repair of tissues to name a few, are functions of protein in the body.

Consequently, deficiency of protein in our body may cause anemia, weight loss, impaired growth, resistance to wound healing among others.

Adding it into your dishes will dramatically increase protein content of your food, thus reduce symptoms associated with low protein, as well as improving overall well being of the body.

7. Help Lower High Cholesterol

High cholesterol has been linked to several diseases in the body.

It triggers when the cholesterol range is above normal. In the medical practice, dietitian normally advocate use of natural foods to moderate cholesterol levels.

Fortunately, African oil bean is a natural food packed with essential nutrients that can markedly regulate cholesterol levels.

The presence of linoleic and oleic acids aid decrease of bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and significantly maintains good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein).

8. Good For The Skin & Hair Care

As mentioned earlier, African oil bean contains protein and antioxidant.

Protein is a component of hair, skin. Antioxidant helps get rid of harmful substance capable of causing oxidative damage.

9. Help Reduce Allergic Reaction

It  has been reported for reduction of Allergic Reaction when consumed. It serves as antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial Properties which contribute considerably in eliminating toxic substance.

10. Promote Digestive system

African Oil bean also assist in stimulating digestion. It nourishes the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal track.

Conclusion
Ugba seed is a nutrient dense food. It is derived from the fermentation of African oil bean seeds.

It is extensively use in th eastern Nigeria to flavour local dishes.

Moreover, people prefer African oil bean than other legumes because of it unmatched health benefits such as improvements of immune system, digestive system, heart health, anti-inflammatory properties to mention but a few

Dietther: Ojeoru Goodluck is a passionate health writer who has written numerous articles on health. He obtained bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics.