Kolanuts are a fruit of high cultural importance in West African countries, Nigeria in particular – we use it for native meetings, weddings and naming ceremonies. It is expressly available in various parts of the country – you cannot go a day without passing a kolanut vendor.
Kolanuts are known to have high caffeine content and they mostly taste bitter when eaten fresh; that reduces when they’re dried.
Kolanut extracts have been used for years in the production of certain stimulants, weight loss drugs, supplements, and as natural food flavoring.
Health Benefits of Kolanut
Several claims have surrounded the health benefits of kolanuts – some were told us by our elders, others from modern day internet. A few of the many benefits attached to this fruit include:
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- It can cure tiredness in persons
- It can reduce pain from hunger
- It can cure headaches
- It can treat various eye conditions
- It treats constipation and dysentery
- It can make stale water whole again
- It can cure several infections and diseases
- It can cure depression and also boost libido
- It can treat asthma and cough
- Chewing it can get rid of morning sickness
- It can treat ulcers and toothache etc.
However, note that no matter how convincing these benefits are, you should not fully put your trust in them because there are no standard proofs supporting these claims.
Many of the benefits gotten from kolanuts can be seen as due to its caffeine concentration (speaking of which we need to be careful about excess caffeine intake). Reactions to and side effects of the fruit are equal and comparable to that of caffeine, although they can vary from person to person. One could find themselves feeling;
- very energetic and alert
- heartburn in the chest area or stomach troubles
- frequent urge to urinate.. after eating kolanuts.
As was stated earlier, the effects can vary for different individuals and we need to remember that an excessive intake of caffeine can lead to several unpleasant downsides.