Pepper fruit is a tropical fruit dominant in West Africa and is a kind of berry that is pungent, peppery and medicinal in nature that could be found in most parts of Nigeria.
It contains some valuable nutrients and phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health in different ways.
Here are Surprising Health Benefits of Pepper Fruit
1. Has Medicinal Effects
The fruit, leaves and root of pepper tree are medicinal in such a way that they can be used to treat stomach upset, stubborn worms and other gastrointestinal issues.
In many parts of Nigeria and other local areas where it is grown, it has served many medicinal purposes, though not yet scientifically proven but it has been used by locals to alleviate many health conditions such as the ones mentioned above and even more.
2. Helps Treat Convulsion
Pepper fruit oil extract contains a compound called 1-nitro-2-phenyl ethane which has an anticonvulsant and hypnotic effect which can treat infant convulsion effectively.
For this health condition, the leaves are more beneficial in this case, and it can be squeezed and the liquid content drain for oral treatment of convulsion in infants.
It can also be used to induce sleep especially for those with sleeping problems due to its hypnotic effect.
3. Serves as a Postpartum Tonic
This fruit serves as a post-partum tonic because of the presence of active compound contained inside, the seeds can be grounded and use to prepare certain food for nursing mothers immediately after childbirth because it aids in uterus contraction and heals some wounds sustained during the childbirth process.
The fruit can also be eaten in its raw form, as it can also provide the body with almost the same effect, especially for the nursing mothers.
4. Rich in Antioxidants
There are important antioxidants such as ascorbic acid and flavonoids that fight against free radicals that have tendencies of causing sicknesses in the body system.
These antioxidants prevent free radicals (chemicals) in the body from damaging the body’s vital organs and cells during oxidation.
This antioxidant property is mainly applicable to unripe pepper fruit since it was discovered that the antioxidants in the fruits reduce as they ripe while the phenolic content increases.
Phenolic compounds, also have some interesting properties, as it exhibitions antioxidants, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antimutagenic properties in the body.
They help in the prevention of cancer due to its ability to prevent oxidation and inflammation which could lead to cancer and swelling, and much more.
5. Can Prevent Cancer
Owing to its ability to reduce inflammation as it contains some vital anti-inflammatory properties, pepper fruits can help reduce the risk of getting cancer, and also improve existing ones.
Fruits rich in anti-inflammatory properties reduce/prevent swelling or inflammation which could lead to abnormal growth or cancer, and the phenolic compounds, flavonoids etc., in pepper fruit serve this purpose.
From recent studies, pepper fruit has been proven effective as used in the treatment of prostate cancer, etc., as it shows positive improvements on the cancer cells.
6. Has Anti-Ulcer Properties
The seed of pepper fruit has an ethanol extract which exhibits anti-ulcer properties due to the presence of flavonoid in the fruit and this ethanol extract from the seed helps in terminating stomach ulcers.
Fruits, as well as vegetables, have been found to have a great anti-ulcer property, and due to this effect, pepper fruits serves a great substitute for use in the prevention/treatment of peptic ulcers, and other related health conditions like stomach disorders.
7. Good for Diabetic Patients
One of the main issues of diabetes is the spike in the blood sugar, which when regulated can improve their health conditions.
Pepper Fruit has been found worthy of reducing the blood sugar levels, an experiment which was conducted on rats induced with high blood sugar (Hyperglycemia) effects were shown to have a significant reduction in the level of the glucose in the blood.
Therefore, the adequate intake of this fruit can help in reducing high blood sugar levels in the body.
8. Improves the Body’s Organs
The liver and kidney are one of the vital organs in the body performing specific functions, and its failure to this designated task can adversely affect the body in a diverse range of ways.
Therefore, researches on pepper fruits had been found to help improve the functions of the liver and kidney in the body and as well prevent them from damage and exposure to any element that can cause it to malfunction.
The extracts of pepper fruit are vital for this and have even proven to help in the treatment of some of the liver and kidney related health conditions.
Where is Pepperfruits Grown?
Pepper Fruits is a tropical Fruit which is native to West African and Central African countries and is commercially grown in countries like Nigeria, Cameroun, Ivory Coast and more.
It has so many other local names in different places, and it identifies with the custard apple family known as Annonaceae which is characterized by its fruity green or purple pod.
Uses of Pepper Fruits
They are found to contain insecticidal properties, meaning that they can be used to prevent attacks from insects, pest, weevils and related due to their peppery nature and their property content.
Pepper fruits are used in pharmacology due to the presence of elements and compounds containing anti-oxidants, anti-allergic, terpenes, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Fruits are nutritionally valuable to human health but exceptional benefits are attributed to pepper fruits which are used for versatile purposes.
They can be used as flavouring ingredients in foods, ginger substitutes in producing zobo drinks, alcoholic drinks, beverages, hot drinks and lots more.
Pepper fruits and leaves together can be used in preparing traditional medicines that are used in the treatment of typhoid, diarrhoea, and fever.
They are also beneficially essential in the preventing and treating of several sicknesses such as bacterial infection, glaucoma, liver and kidney damage, prostate cancer and much more.
The intake of pepper fruits should be drastically reduced when pregnant and take it under the supervision of your physician.
This is because of its effect in contracting the uterus which is good for nursing mothers but can lead to other unhealthy conditions and even forced or premature labour for pregnant women.Aside from this, there are no other known side effects apart from those who might be allergic to it.
Pepper fruits might be neglected by many as it may not be sweet like mangoes, banana, pineapple and the rest, but it contains vital nutrients which the body needs.
It has lots of nutritional and health benefits and is recommended to be taken in moderation in order to gain all that it offers.
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