Locust bean, commonly known as ‘Iru’ by Yorubas, ‘Ogiri’ by Igbos, and ‘Dawa Dawa’ by Hausas, is a local seasoning used in soups and stews. It contains a good amount of essential nutrients such as potassium, ascorbic acid, lip, protein, carbohydrates, phosphorus, etc.
Despite their unpleasant smell, locust bean is an incredible ingredient not only because they transform the taste of your soups and stews but because they are a healthier alternative because of their numerous health benefits. Both fruits, seeds, leaves, pods, and essential oils are highly valuable.
Locust beans tree
- Not only is it used as a seasoning in our dishes, but the leaves of the locust beans tree can also be used to wrap your Moi Moi. Also, its seeds can be used as animal feeds for livestock and poultry.
- In some parts of Africa, the bark, roots, and fruits could be prepared as a bath for fever and stomach problems and as hot steam and mouthwash for healing toothache.
- The tree is also used in treating leprosy, wounds, and other bacterial infections because of its medicinal properties.
Health benefits of Locust beans
It will interest you to know that you can rely on locust beans as a food source, traditional medicine, and remedy for several ailments. Below are some health benefits of locust beans;
- Regulates cholesterol. Regular intake of locust beans can help your body control the number of cholesterol levels. This is because it contains natural properties that interfere with the cholesterol in your body and then strike a balance.
- Improves vision. Locust beans contain Vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and the immune system. The vitamin present in locust beans is one of the nutrients your eyes need to function correctly. Regular intake also reduces your chances of developing dim vision and cataracts, glaucoma, myopia, etc.
- Treatment of hypertension. Research shows that hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure, occurs when the blood pressure in arteries persistently increases above the average level. You might not be aware that you have had it for several years if you didn’t go for checkups. Consuming a good amount of locust beans prevents and treats hypertension. The seeds are rich in antihypertensive properties w, which have proven to be effective in lowering blood pressure.
- Treatment of diarrhoea. Diarrhoea occurs when you suddenly lose control over the volume of your faeces. Locust beans contain tannins, and foods rich in tannins are recommended for treating diarrhoea.
- Weight loss. Locust beans contain soluble fibre, which enhances weight loss and controls your sugar levels.
African locust beans consist of many nutrients which are cherished by your body. Therefore, don’t forget to include locust beans in your soups and stews. Locust beans also serve as a great source of income.
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