Kola nuts just as bitter cola have many incredible health benefits which will be discussed in detail in the subsections of this article.
However, the benefits which kola nuts provide for health have no difference with that of bitter kola. For this reason, we chose to merge the two since they exhibit similar health benefits.
1. Increase Alertness
The caffeine content in kola nuts makes it a good stimulant or psycho-stimulants for the central nervous system; as it helps to improve awareness, mood and elevated mood.
These nuts, specifically Kola nuts are regarded as cognitive boosters.
2. Boost Immune System
Kola nuts provide the immune system with all the needed supports in order to protect one from attacks of harmful toxins and effective immune response against strange particles.
It contains important antioxidants that help to kick against the activities of free radicals and as well provides a potent bodily response to antigens that occur when the lymphocytes notice foreign antibodies when consumed on a daily basis.
3. Reduce Constipation
Kola nut functions as a dietary fiber in food as it helps in the prevention and treatments of health conditions that relate to the digestive system which includes but is not limited to bloating, constipation and other conditions that disrupt the bowel movement.
4. Help in Weight Loss
Just as kola nuts, bitter kola helps in weight loss management but kola is more effective compared to bitter kola in this aspect. Kola nut is a good weight loss supplement because it increases metabolism helps in digestion and proper movement of the bowl.
It helps in reducing appetite and not only that because of its role in improving the body’s metabolism thereby effectively burning fats.
Daily intake of kola nuts speedily increases the rate of body metabolism by 118% (Source Jonbarron.org); this implies that it helps in burning off many calories and as well limits one's appetite for food.
5. Helps To Prevent Action Bacterial Diseases in the Body
The kola nut fruits are not the only source of nutrients of the kola nuts tree as its stem, as well as leaves and roots.
Have certain compounds that help in the prevention of some health conditions which is commonly caused by bacteria such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, meningitis and more.
Just like kola nut, bitter kola can be used also in the prevention and treatment of health conditions such as infections that are caused by bacteria.
The study made by the Journal of Bioscience and Medicine reported that the use of kola nut extract is very effective in suppressing the actions and growth of bacteria.
6. Used As Flavouring Agent in Drinks
Kola nuts contain a natural flavor and because of this, it is mostly used as a flavoring agent in production of certain drinks and beverages.
It can be used in different forms; it can be eaten as whole nuts, can be converted to powdered form or used as an extract.
It is the extract that is used as a natural flavor in drinks especially sodas as a supplement that enhances energy and human health.
7. Cancer Treatment
Kola nuts have been found effective in stopping growth of tumors and cancerous disease in the human body.
Researches show that the presence of a chemical compound known as phytoestrogens in kola nuts is used for cancer treatment and reduces the growth of tumour cells.
Similarly, there is a nonsteroidal plant compound contained in kola nut extracts which have the ability to terminate the growth and development of prostate cancer cells in the body.
8. Serves As A Natural Therapy For Cold
This is one of the ancient uses of kola nuts which extend till the recent times. These nuts have been found medicinal since the olden days as a natural remedies for a chest cold.
Kola nuts help to enlarge the alveolar sac and duct thereby providing relief for chest cold and prevent the symptoms of a cold.
The presence of caffeine in kola nuts also contribute to this effect but always consult the doctor before using this therapy because excess caffeine can cause adverse reactions.
9. Promotes Diuresis
Kola nuts and bitter kola contain bitter chemicals such as caffeine and theobromine which serve as natural diuretics.
This implies the bitter content in these nuts helps to increase water and salt expelled from human body, and some minor sicknesses in the body are been flushed out through urine which makes them beneficial to human health.
10. Treat Respiratory Illnesses
It may surprise readers that this caffeine is basically known for some adverse reactions also have quality benefits to the health of man.
In this case, caffeine helps to reduce some resistance in the respiratory airways and at the same time increase the flow of air to the lungs.
For this reason, kola nut is sometimes referred to as a bronchodilator which reduces the occurrence of asthma and related illnesses that can block the airways.
11. Helps in Sleep Prevention (In-ability to Fall Asleep)
One of the things kola nut is commonly abused is its intake to prevent sleep which is possible because of its rich caffeine content.
And when it’s taken regularly and in excess can at a point cause insomnia including other related problems such as stomach irritation, nervousness, restlessness, and more.
Origin of Kola Nuts and where it can be found:
Countries in the African tropical rainforest such as Nigeria are widely known for its cultivation and use of bitter kola and kola nut in diverse ways.
It is a not a food crop like rice, beans etc., but rather it is used mostly as a supplement because of its great benefits which are numerous to the body.
Many people know cola nuts and bitter for just their bitter taste and the adverse reactions associated with them.
Notwithstanding, this is a little about these nuts, the first and foremost is the benefits kola nuts and bitter cola can offer to human health and wellbeing.
In Nigeria and some other parts of Africa, where they are commonly cultivated, kola nuts are consumed through chewing not just as traditional rites but due to its medicinal effects.
In Nigeria, Kolanut can be called by some many names such as Gworo in Hausa or Oji-Hausa in Igbo (which posses only two cotyledons), there are also other species known as Oji-Igbo which has more than two cotyledons and this is mostly used in traditional rites in the south-eastern parts of Nigeria.
In most cases, kola nut is being confused with bitter kola (Garcinia kola) which is known as Namijin Gworo in Hausa, Aki Ilu in Igbo, and Orogbo in Yoruba, they are different, though have almost the same health benefits.
While kola nut has a bitter-sweet taste, bitter kola has a bitter taste just as the name implies but both are commonly enjoyed by its lovers because of its medicinal health benefits.
On the other hand, bitter kola is known to reduce the efficiency of drugs which is good news when drug overdose is taken and it is also generally considered medicinal with no specified side effects.
Just like cocaine which is also a stimulant and others that have caffeine content, the intake of much kola nut will supply the body with excess caffeine which can lead to adverse effects.
Some of the known health benefits of kola nuts and bitter kola include the following: increases the nervous system activity and alertness, improves the immune system, reduce constipation, helps in weight loss, prevent bacterial diseases, use as flavouring agent in drinks, cancer treatment, used as a natural remedy for cold, promote diuresis and helps in treating respiratory illnesses.