Bambara nuts (Vigna subterranea) commonly referred to as okpa and Epa- Roro by the Igbos and the Yorubas respectively is a type of fruit that belongs to the family of legumes. They are a small, round, white seed from the Bambara plant. They are high in protein and low in fat. Bambara nuts are also high in calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. The nuts are edible and have been used for centuries by the people of Burkina Faso as food and medicine. The health benefits of Bambara nut are numerous and we shall discuss them in this post.
Bambara nuts contain heart-healthy fats and other nutrients that help protect against heart disease. Bambara nuts have been used in West African countries to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and other ailments. They are also considered to be one of the most effective treatments for asthma in Africa.
It is commonly cooked in India and even in Nigeria. It has a distinctive flavor and is used to make different dishes. The seeds has sweet flavor that can be enhanced by roasting or frying them.
The most common way to prepare Bambara nut in Nigeria is by cooking it. This is a special meal for some parts of Nigeria. It can also be fried after it has been grounded just like bean cake (akara).
Bambara Nut Nutritional Value.
Bambara nut is a very nutritious food that helps in the growth of human beings. Here are Bambara Nut nutritional value:
Rich Source of Potassium.
Bambara nut is a good source of potassium which helps to maintain a healthy heart, blood pressure and regular bowel movements. It also helps in maintaining a healthy skin by reducing wrinkles & scars, removes free radicals from our body and prevents acne breakouts.
Rich in Magnesium.
Being rich in magnesium, it helps to maintain normal blood pressure levels, promotes relaxation after stress & reduces anxiety symptoms.
Bambara nuts are packed with vitamin E which helps to prevent age related macular degeneration (AMD), protect your skin from UV rays & improve your immune system health.
Good source of Fiber.
Bambara nut is a very good source of fiber, which is essential for good digestive health. This fiber also contributes to weight loss.
It Provides Iron.
They also provide you with iron which is essential for red blood cells production & energy production process.
Rich in Protein.
Bambara nut is rich in protein, carbohydrates and fat. It contains more than 20 vital nutrients which help strengthen your body’s immune system. It also helps build up your bones and muscles. Their high protein contents helps to keep you full for long hours after consuming them.
Bambara nuts contain more protein than any other commercial plant-based food, making them an excellent food for athletes who are looking for something nutritious but also easy to digest.
Bambara Nuts Nutrition Facts.
Amount Per 100g
Saturated Fat (g) 0
Total Fat(g) 3
Sodium (mg) 0
Alcohol (g) 0
Total Carbohydrate (g) 27
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Dietary Fiber (g) 0
Sugars (g) 0
Protein (g) 7
Bambara Nuts Calories.
Bambara nuts are high in calories which make them ideal for snacks or even morning meal. From the above, 100g of Bambara nuts have 160 calories. This is why it can take you till afternoon or evening after consuming it.
Health benefits of Bambara nuts.
The health benefits of bambara nuts include:
1. Heart Health.
One of the main benefits of bambara nuts is that they contain monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which help lower cholesterol levels in your blood. Monounsaturated fatty acids also help keep arteries clear by lowering inflammation and improving circulation to your heart. In fact, taking a few tablespoons of bambara nuts each day can reduce your risk for heart disease by as much as 20 percent!
2. Fighting Cancer and Ulcers.
Bambara nuts contain high amounts of antioxidants like vitamin E, beta-carotene, flavonoids and resveratrol — all of which have antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals that cause cell damage and inflammation. This helps to prevent cancer and ulcer.
3. Helps to Maintain Healthy Bone.
It contains lysine which helps in the absorption of calcium for the development of bones. It also helps in the synthesis of collagen which is very important for tissue formation such as cartilages, bone, tendon and skin.
4. Lowering Cholesterol.
They have a high concentration of monounsaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular risk.
5. Control Malnutrition.
Due to its high calorie contents, carbohydrates, proteins and many minerals, it has been used to control malnutrition, especially in Africa.
6. Weight Loss.
Bambara nuts aid in weight loss. Its fiber content helps you to lose weight. Bambara nut can make you stay full for a long time, thereby reducing your appetite and the rate at which you go hungry, and consequently helps you to lose weight.
7. Lower blood sugar.
Certain chemical constituents found in bambara nuts aid in controlling your body’s blood sugar levels. According to studies, those who consume bambara nuts had lower blood sugar levels than those who do not.
8. Reducing Inflammation.
The bambara nut has been used by African tribes since ancient times for its medicinal properties. Its ability to reduce inflammation and soreness makes it useful during recovery from injuries such as strains and sprains. This can be helpful when athletes are playing sports like soccer or basketball on a regular basis.
The seeds (nuts) of the bambara nut tree contain an oil called oleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties similar to those of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils. Oleic acid can lower cholesterol levels in blood vessels by reducing inflammation and suppressing the production of proinflammatory molecules that cause atherosclerosis or build up on artery walls leading to heart disease.
Bambara nuts can be used to prepare healthy meal you can count on. It can serve as both snacks and as a meal you can eat anytime in the day. It has numerous nutritional and health benefits. If you are a looking for a healthy meal that also serve as snacks to eat, a well prepared Bambara nuts can serve this purpose. The good news is that aside its nutritional and health benefits, it is tasty and can last for a long time.
Originally posted 2022-08-14 15:55:52.