Kolanut is quite common in Nigerian, especially in rural areas. It is often used ceremonially at weddings, coronations or at any traditional ceremony. It is presented to chiefs or presented to guests when they visit. To the West, Kolanut is seen as a flavoring ingredient and one of the sources of caffeine in cola and other similarly flavored beverages, although the use of kola (or kola flavoring) in commercial cola drinks has become uncommon. Kolanut (Bissy nut) belongs to the family of Sterculiaceae and was introduced to Jamaica from Africa. Kolanut is a tropical plant that is original from the African continent with approximately 20-40 species, however, the most common kola nuts species are the Cola acumulata and Cola nitida. For some people whose only knowledge of Kolanut is that it is broken at traditional ceremonies, INFORMATION NIGERIA in this piece brings you 7 other facts about it that are sure handy…
Metabolism Booster: One of the unique effects of the kola nut, largely due to its caffeine content, is its ability to stimulate the body and increase heart rate. While this can potentially be dangerous for people who suffer from pre-existing heart conditions, it can provide a necessary metabolic boost for those with slow metabolisms. This can actually optimize heart health, as caffeine can be a health stimulant in moderate doses. This also helps the metabolism optimize itself, which has a wide range of positive enzymatic and physiological effects on the body.
Digestion: For thousands of years, kola nuts have been chewed or consumed by indigenous cultures in Africa both in ceremonies and in the treatment of digestive upset. The active ingredients of the kola nut are able to improve digestion and nutrient uptake, while also reducing constipation, bloating, cramping, and other, more serious, gastrointestinal issues.
Prostate Cancer: Although research is still in its early stages and is still a matter of debate in some circles, Some of the phytoestrogens and phytoandrogens found in kola nuts are able to stimulate apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. This line of study is relatively new, but applications for other types of cancerous cells are also being explored.
Immune System Health: The roots, stem, and leaves of the kola tree have been found to have volatile compounds that can prevent certain bacterial infections in the human body. These bacterial infections include those responsible for causing a wide range of respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis, meningitis, and tuberculosis. Kola nut extracts are available in most health stores, but the nuts themselves have not been directly connected to this medicinal benefit.
Drink Production: Drink industries use kola nut extracts for producing drinks such as sports energy drinks due to the high flavourful and caffeine content of the nuts.
Poison Neutralizer: Researchers agree that kola nuts contain compounds that are capable of neutralizing poisons.
Migraine Treatment:Small portion of kola nut can be chewed to treat migraine, however there are some claims that excess consumption of this nut can invariably cause headache.
Helps In Weight Loss : The caffeine content of kola nut extract, kola nut powder, and other kola nut products curbs appetite and helps in digestion as well, leading to weight loss. Kola nut and kola nut products help in enhancing metabolism. Kola nut supply almost instant energy and is often taken after work out sessions, thus giving more energy for further exercise and in turn helping in further weight loss.
Kola Nut Constituents:Kola nut is contains Caffeine (with tinge of theobromine), Kolanin (combination of kola red and caffeine),Glocuside,Starch,Sugar,Fatty matter,Tannins,Oils, some anti-oxidants like phenolics and anthrocyanin and protein.
However, side effects of consuming excess kolanut include shaky hands, high blood pressure, upset stomach, and insomnia, as caffeine is a powerful stimulant.