Yellow Monkey Kola is the most common type of African indigenous wild fruit called monkey cola that can be found around homes and villages mainly found in the southern parts of Nigeria.
It is called Ochiricha or Achicha in Igbo, Ndiyah in Ibibio and Efik with lots of potential contents such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, fibre, other nutrients and phytochemical properties that are nutritious to health.
Nutrients present in this fruits are vitamins, carbohydrates, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium. It contains vitamins, mineral elements and others which are beneficial to human health in many ways as follows:
1. Maintains Healthy Gastrointestinal Tract
Like some other fruits, yellow monkey kola in other words called cola parchycarpa contains soluble fibre which contributes to the health of gastrointestinal tract.
The soluble fibre contained in yellow monkey kola protects the hollow organs that connect the mouth, intestine (large and small), oesophagus and the anus. This implies that the effect starts from ingestion process down to egestion.
2. Helps in Weight Management
Monkey kola is one of the local fruits containing important nutrition that makes it best recommended for weight loss and weight management.
It has the fibre content which plays an important role in controlling the body weight by balancing the calorie intake with the amount lost.
Their low caloric effect has made it a good weight-loss diet. Nutrition experts have discovered that fruits and vegetables that are high in fibre and low in calories serve best for weight-loss.
According to their researches, consuming just 30 grams of fibre in a day can help one to lose weight.
3. Boosts Skin Health
The beta-carotene content in this yellow monkey cola contributes to a healthy skin by creating an appealing glow on the skin.
This beta-carotene is a provitamin A carotenoid and a strong antioxidant that helps to enrich the skin by repairing and maintaining damaged skin cells.
It offers antioxidant protection of the skin by preventing ageing effects such as wrinkles.
4. Improves Eye Health
The body converts the beta-carotene in the fruit into vitamin A which helps to keep the eye healthy for better sight.
Vitamin A in yellow monkey kola is a naturally occurring vitamin that is very important for improving good vision and preventing defects that may affect the eye due to lack of the vitamin.
5. Helps in Body Metabolism
Riboflavin which is also known as vitamin B2 is present in the fruit and it helps to metabolize fat and proteins in the body system.
Vitamin B-2 is a water-soluble vitamin that performs an important function in common metabolic reactions especially the ones that involves breaking down carbohydrates into sugar to produce energy.
6. Moderates Body Cholesterol
This fruit helps to lower the level of lower bad cholesterol known also as low-density lipoprotein and improve high-density lipoprotein which is the good cholesterol due to the presence of niacin (vitamin B3) known as nicotinic acid.
The result of the experiment was analyzed with the effect of niacin on body cholesterol which showed that niacin lowered the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and improved the high-density lipoprotein, HDL in the blood more than satin.
7. Improves Heart Health
Intake of cola parchycarpa moderately can help to reduce the risk of heart diseases because it is rich in flavonoids which are metabolites that provide essential benefit to the heart health.
Flavonoids have shown some positive effects on the heart through some clinical researches. They have shown protective effects against coronary artery diseases that cause damage to the heart and cardiac injuries.
8. Maintains Healthy Bones
Essential mineral elements are proven present in yellow monkey kola such that are important in maintaining healthy bones, protein synthesis, and as well in the proper functioning of the body’s vital cells, organs, tissues and overall body functions and development.
Adequate intake of minerals, especially the ones that occur naturally in fruits such as yellow monkey kola helps to protect the risk of bone loss.
Some of the minerals such as calcium and potassium in this fruit work with other nutrients: protein and vitamin D to protect the risk of fractured bones caused by osteoporosis.
Nutritional Contents in Yellow Monkey Kola
Yellow monkey kola contains some important compounds which are the nutrients that help to regulate several body chemical processes. Another testimony about this fruit is that it contains some essential nutrient which the body cannot make in sufficient quantity.
Some of the nutrients in this fruit are vitamins such as vitamin B and C; minerals: potassium, calcium, beta-carotene and amino acids. It also contains strong antioxidants, low calories and zero fats.
Monkey Kola and Types
The yellow variety of monkey kola is called Kola lepidota as the botanical name while the white monkey kola fruit is botanically known as Kola parchycarpa.
But the yellow types of monkey kola fruit have surplus nutritional and medicinal values than other types such as the red and white monkey kola.
White Monkey kola botanically called pachycarpa has a waxy mesocarp which is formed in the edible portion of the follicle. This type of monkey kola fruit has a relatively pronounced fruit sweetness taste.
Red Monkey Kola botanically known as cola lateritia has a reddish exocarp and white seed inside. There are also ranges of medicinal properties and health benefits attached to it just like other types.
Yellow Monkey Seed
The seed of this fruit if slightly flattened that is obliquely ovoid and is been enclosed by two flattened surfaces called the mesocarp.
Monkey kola fruit has been found to exhibit a range of therapeutic effects and benefits to human health and lifestyle but the seeds are not as edible as the fruit.
Use as a Natural Remedy
It is used over the centuries as natural remedies to certain diseases that may counter healthy living. Other potentials realized from it tend to improve general human health and lifestyle.
Cola parchycarpa has some micro-nutrients, low caloric, protective and nutritional effects in a high quantity.
The yellow aril and fruit pericarp of this yellow monkey kola is quite nutritious in value and is advisable to be taken for health improvement but shouldn’t be taken in excess to avoid micronutrient deficiencies.
Yellow monkey kola is a very nice fruit considering the nutritional profile. It has a sweet crunchy taste with zero records of fat, also important nutrients and other phytochemical compositions that make it perfect for health.
The fruit is been associated with several health benefits starting from the body metabolism which takes place in the internal organs to the outermost part of the body which is the skin.