7 Amazing Health Benefits of Ogbono (Irvingia gabonensis)

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Health Benefits of Ogbono
Health Benefits of Ogbono

Ogbono, otherwise known as African Bush mango is a species of trees that originated from Africa. Other common names for ogbono are bush mango, wild mango or odika. The scientific name of ogbono is Irvingia gabonensis.

One thing about this plant is that it is versatile, that is, it’s fruits, nuts, seeds, and bark can be used for culinary, manufacturing, cosmetic and medicinal purposes.

In Nigeria, ogbono seeds are dried and used to prepare ogbono soups, a popular and delicious delicacy. The fruits of the plants can also be eaten fresh too. However, in this article, you will get to learn about the nutritional value of ogbono and the health benefits of ogbono (Irvingia gabonensis).

 

Nutritional Value of Ogbono

Nutritional value of Ogbono
Nutritional value of Ogbono

Ogbono is especially valued for their fat- and protein-rich seeds. The plant is an excellent source of vitamins and valuable substances, including fiber, antioxidants, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, and vitamins B and C.  The fatty acid content in ogbono seeds are myristic acid, lauric acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid. [1]

 

Health Benefits of Ogbono

Health Benefits of Ogbono
Health Benefits of Ogbono

Below are some health benefits of ogbono that will surprise you.

1. Controls blood sugar levels 

Diabetes is among the challenging health conditions and has claimed thousands of lives in recent years. However, multiple studies have shown that ogbono seed is effective in reducing blood glucose levels and reducing the risk/effect of diabetes. One of the things ogbono does in the body is the regulation of insulin levels and blood sugar levels, which in turn lowers the risk of diabetes. One report from a Canadian university reported that African mango or ogbono is useful for controlling blood sugar levels and preventing diabetes. [2]

Due to its low sugar content and catechin compounds, ogbono seed makes a great substitute for foods with higher sugar levels. For those who already have high blood sugar levels, the catechin in ogbono seed is capable of regulating hyperglycemia and shielding against the complications of diabetes by promoting insulin sensitivity, which makes this natural plant an ideal food for both diabetic and obese patients. 

2. Supports Weight loss

Ogbono seeds contain some weight loss properties, making it a great food for people intending to lose weight without breaking the bank. In fact, there are certain countries of the world where it is being packaged as a weight loss remedy in the form of capsules as well as powder.

There are numerous ways Ogbono seed can help accelerate your weight loss goals, and part of it is that it blocks the action of “amylase,” an enzyme responsible for sugar absorption in the body. By blocking this particular enzyme, your body will absorb less sugar, which in turn prevents weight gain. 

In addition to the above, ogbono also promotes weight loss as it inhibits glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, an enzyme linked with the conversion of blood sugar into fat. Again, it helps in increasing the levels of the hormone adiponectin and leptin, both of which reduce appetite and promote weight loss. Many studies have supported the assertion that ogbono is good for weight loss. [3]

It is equally important to let you know that ogbono is an excellent source of fiber, which is known for suppressing appetite to prevent overeating that may further trigger excess weight gain. 

3. Treats Dysentery

Dysentery, otherwise known as infectious diarrhea, is characterised by inflammation of the intestine and is often followed by bloody diarrhoea. The major causes of this health condition include but not limited to shigella bacteria (shigellosis) or an amoeba, and it is often spread via food or water that is contaminated. 

To treat dysentery and diarrhoea with ogbono, all you need do is to decoct its back or better still combine the bark with palm oil and use it.  One study on rats and mice with castor oil-induced diarrhea, showed that African mango leaf extracts could prevent diarrhea and fluid buildup in the intestines. [4]

4. Prevents Constipation

Ogbono has a good amount of dietary fibre, and it has been severally proven to be effective in aiding digestion and preventing various digestive disorders, including constipation. It helps in adding bulk to the stool and improving bowel functioning to keep constipation and other digestion related problems at bay.

Ogbono is also good for gut health. One study showed that African mango extracts inhibited ulcer formation in rats by enhancing increasing mucus production in the stomach. [5]

5. Lowers cholesterol

Ogbono seeds are packed with an excellent amount of dietary fiber, which helps in reducing ‘bad’ Low-density lipoprotein – LDL cholesterols simply by binding to bile acids located in the intestine and getting rid of them from the body. [6]

A study in 2005 where extracts of ogbono were taken daily, showed there was a decrease in cholesterol and triglycerides.

6. Great mood enhancer 

Ogbono contains a compound called “tryptophan,” which helps in enhancing the production of the neurotransmitter (Serotonin) associated with the promotion of good mood, libido, concentration, and sleep quality.

This simply means eating this fruit can help control anxiety, stress, depression, and other factors that may affect your overall mood. 

7. Serves as Pain relief 

Ogbono is packed with potent analgesic properties that can help relieve certain types of pain. In fact, there are some countries where the bark of ogbono tree is being used as a remedy for relieving pain. Studies also reveal that its water extract can help reduce pain caused by both heat and pressure. [7]

OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF OGBONO:

  • Boosts cardiovascular health
  • Boosts energy and metabolism 
  • Enhances your immune system
  • Prevents Anemia.
  • Has Anti-bacterial and Anti-parasitic properties.

BOTTOM LINE

Ogbono is rich in a lot of essential properties and is associated with a good number of health benefits, including improved immune system, reduced risk of diabetes and obesity, improved digestion, increased concentration, to name a few. Start consuming ogbono today, and don’t forget to share your thoughts and opinions via the comment box below.

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