Ogbono (Irvingia gabonensis), also known by the names African mango, wild mango, bush mango or dika is a species of trees native to Africa, bearing edible fruits that resemble mangoes. This tree is also popular for the ogbono nuts that are extremely nutritious with high protein and fat content. The fruits are used to make jelly, jams, juice and wine. Sometimes the flesh of the fruit is used to obtain a black dye, which is used for coloring clothes. Ogbono is mostly valued for its nuts that can be eaten raw or roasted. Butter can be made by pounding these seeds. Seeds are pressed to make edible oil, which is used for cooking and also for manufacturing pharmaceuticals, soaps or cosmetics. The seeds contain mucilaginous polysaccharides, which acts as a thickening agent. Adding crushed seeds to soups and stews can thicken them as well as impart and good flavor.
Nutritional value of Ogbono
Ogbono is high in protein content, fiber and essential fats. A 100 grams serving of ogbono seeds provides about 683 calories. It is rich in fatty acids such as oleic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic, stearic, myristic, and lauric acids, which are essential for performing the various bodily functions, maintaining the health of the nervous system and for muscular development. It also contains flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol. Additionally ogbono seeds contain vitamins like vitamin C, thaimine, riboflavin and niacin along with minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. The oil obtained from ogbono seeds is rich in beta-carotene, which is effective in protecting your body against conditions like heartburn, infertility, high blood pressure, cancer, and some types of mental disorders.
Benefits of Ogbono
Ogbono or the African Mango is a fruit that has been found to have magnificent health benefits because of its high nutritional content. The African locals or natives use various parts of the ogbono tree to treat a variety of ailments such as fatigue, headaches, indigestion, cramps, and malnutrition. The nutritional components found in this fruit are known to enhance energy, prevent fatigue and so it is widely used for a large number of health purposes today. Given below are some of the health benefits of ogbono.
Ogbono seed promotes weight loss
African mango is highly popular among the Hollywood stars as many of the celebrities use it to kick start their weight loss plans. Ogbono seeds are particularly popular for its weight loss properties. It is sold as a weight loss remedy in the form of capsules and powder. One way in which these seeds promote weight loss is by inhibiting the action of an enzyme known as amylase, which is responsible for the absorption of sugar in the body. So by inhibiting amylase, ogbono causes less sugar to be absorbed, thus preventing weight gain. Ogbono also inhibits an enzyme known as glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, which is associated with converting blood sugar into fat. Another method by which ogbono aids in weight loss is by increasing the levels of the hormone adiponectin. It also increases the levels of leptin, a hormone that helps in reducing appetite. Ogbono provides a boost in energy and metabolism. It helps in preventing fatigue and increasing the oxidation of fat, thereby helping in weight loss.
Ogbono is a good source of fiber
Ogbono seeds are rich in dietary fiber that helps to lower blood cholesterol by binding to bile acids in the intestine and helping to eliminate them from the body. The fiber is also important for digestion and helps to prevent digestive disorders like constipation by adding bulk to the stool and regularizing bowel movements. Fiber also promotes weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer hours, thus preventing overeating.
Ogbono is a good analgesic
The bark of the African mango tree has been long used by the Mende tribe of Africa as a remedy for relieving pain. The water extract of ogbono has been found to be effective in reducing heat induced pain, a property that is mediated through opioid receptors. The ethanolic extract although less effective in relieving heat-induced pain was found to be effective in soothing pressure-induced pain.
Ogbono may be good for cardiovascular health
High levels of cholesterol in the blood stream are one of the reasons that could lead to cardiovascular problems. Studies revealed that the intake of ogbono extract was associated with a reduction in the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL or bad cholesterol. The results also showed an increase in the levels of HDL or good cholesterol. The cholesterol lowering properties of the African mango makes it a heart healthy fruit.
Ogbono control blood sugar levels
African mango helps in lowering the risk of diabetes by controlling the levels of insulin levels and also by maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar. It has also been found to be helpful in reducing blood glucose levels in people already suffering from diabetes.
Ogbono improves energy
One of the reasons why ogbono is a great weight loss aid is because it has the ability to increase energy and boost your metabolism. This fruit is rich in B group vitamins that help in converting the carbohydrates from your foods into glucose. If you have a physically demanding lifestyle and want to jumpstart your day with high energy levels, then eating African mango is the way to go.
Ogbono enhances your immune system
Ogbono is a good source of vitamin C, which is known to boost the health of the immune system, thus helping in protecting your body against colds, flu and other infections.
Ogbono is a mood enhancer
Ogbono is sometimes referred to as the Happy Fruit, because it contains a compound known as tryptophan, which stimulates the production of Serotonin, a neurotransmitter which is responsible for promoting good mood, libido, memory, and improved sleep. Eating this fruit may thus help in alleviating anxiety, stress and depression.
Other health benefits of ogbono
Ogbono is believed to possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, astringent, and anti-oxidant properties. It has been long used in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including diarrhea, dysentery, yellow fever, wounds, and tympanic membrane infections.
Ogbono soup, which is very popular in Africa, is not only good for the health but also helps in losing weight. Clinical studies also consider the used of African mango seeds as an effective treatment for obesity and high levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. The Global Institute for Bioexploration states that extract of ogbono may be beneficial in alleviating conditions like diarrhea, hernia diabetes, and yellow fever. The leaf extracts have been found to help in reducing fever. Because of its numerous proven benefits, several people who want to lose weight have started consuming African Mango, which helps them to burn body fat and finally attain their weight loss goals. According to researchers, African mango could possibly be one of the major breakthroughs in attaining health, fitness, and weight loss in a safer and more natural way.Image Credits: Flickr - PlaywithFood