Ehuru seeds, gotten from Ehuru also called Calabash nutmeg is indigenous to Africa and it goes by many names; ehiri, ariwo, Jamaican nutmeg, African nutmeg, airama, to mention a few. Its seed is commonly used as part of a culinary requirement (as a substitute for the nutmeg) but less commonly, its plant is used as an ornamental plant in Indonesia.
Ehuru, Monodora myristica, is an extremely useful plant as a whole. Its seeds are used as spices in West African dishes due to the taste and odour it shares with nutmeg. They are used in soups, stews, cakes and desserts of all sorts. The seeds are also used as necklaces after they have been dried. The timber and bark are useful medicinally as they are used to treat eye diseases, haemorrhoids, and stomach aches, among others. Its leaves also contain chemical compounds such as alpha-pinene, pinene, myrcene, alpha-phellandrene, and limonene.
Despite the vast usefulness of Ehuru, our focus, in this article, will be on the health benefits of its seeds. We will see what the nutritional value of the seeds are and how its constituents are beneficial to the human body.
Nutritional info of Ehuru Seeds
|Nutrient in Ehuru Seed (100g)||Nutrient value|
|Total Fat||36.31 g|
|Dietary Fiber||20.8 g|
|Vitamin A||102 IU|
|Vitamin C||3 mg|
A quick glance at the table above makes some information about Ehuru obvious, the fact that the numerical value of energy and carbohydrates is quite high says it is an excellent energy giver. This is also corroborated by the high value of fat it possesses; however, it has no cholesterol. The worry that might linger due to its high energy value is removed on deeper look at the table.
It has an excellent value of fiber and that fact, combined with the zero-cholesterol value it has makes the seed an excellent choice of food. All of these, combined with the vitamins, minerals and other chemical compounds, as you will see, positions Ehuru as one of the most beneficial spices that exists.
Health benefits of Ehuru Seeds
The importance of a god night’s sleep cannot ne overstressed. It is bad enough that we go through the day with our minds constantly running and without an hour of rest. To sleep better at night, you must consume foods that suppress the stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) the body has produced with our activities during the day. These foods are high in magnesium, manganese, potassium, and melatonin.
These nutrients help the concerned glands to produce the relaxation hormone, serotonin and melatonin, and induce sleep.
Ehuru is high in these nutrients and therefore helps to fight insomnia and consequently improves overall health.
Improves Cardiovascular Functions
One of the aspects of the body that is usually of concern as one age is the cardiovascular muscles and organs. Ones diet choices from childhood and activity, or inactivity, as it were, has its affect more pronounced at the later stages of life.
Foods high in cholesterol causes high fat deposits in the blood vessels, giving the heart a hard time to pump blood with enough force that will get the blood over those deposits and to their target organs.
Ehuru seed is high in fat but has no cholesterol, making it an excellent food choice for promoting heart health. It is also a great source of fiber and magnesium, important nutrients that promote heart health.
Promotes Cerebral Ability
The intelligence and response center of the body should be taken care of. The brain needs some nutrients to perform optimally. Some of these nutrients are contained in Ehuru seeds.
Some days, we wake up feeling sluggish. This is because the brain has been deprived of adequate nutrient (in some cases) and rest. Nutrients such as Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, and Copper are essential to the improved health of the brain. Copper is specifically known to be influential in controlling nerve signals originating from the brain. A drop in the required level may lead to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers.
Magnesium improves memory and learning. A deficiency of it leads to migraines and depression.
A deficiency of Zinc may lead to neurological degenerative disorders as its work is similar to copper’s.
Ehuru seed is abundant in these nutrients and is therefore a powerhouse for brain-power improvement.
Antioxidants! They are the ever-important flushers and cleansers that help us get rid of metabolites that has been produced due to oxidative stress of the body. Antioxidants are responsible for removing toxins that may impair the functionality of vital organs in the body.
This detoxification helps to remove stress from the brain, heart, liver, kidney, and the body generally, leaving it fresh.
Ehuru seeds contains antioxidants, which is why it could be used to improve sleep and heart health. Consumption of ehuru seed ensures the constant detoxification of the body – which is very much needed considering our food choices these days.
Ehuru seeds are used to treat stomach-aches. It does this through its anti-inflammatory properties as well as the phytonutrients it contains. Some nuts and seeds have been found to successfully relieve pain due to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain. They block the pain receptors from receiving the signal ergo the consumer doesn’t feel the pain anymore.
Ehuru seed is known traditionally to successfully treat stomach-aches, head aches and other forms of pain in the body.
Ehuru seeds have been used to treat men who have erectile dysfunction traditionally for a long time. Recently, its efficacy as an aphrodisiac has been proven, although more research will be needed before conclusion can be drawn, that it improves a man’s sexual performance.
Ehuru seed is high in Zinc which is an important nutrient in controlling the testosterone level in men. In women, zinc relaxes the mind and allows the woman prepare for sex easily.
Vitamin C, also found in Ehuru seed, improves sperm count and sperm quality.
Easy Bowel Movement
One of the perks of consuming adequate quantity of Ehuru seed, and consistently is the ease with which it allows you to empty your colon. This is due to the fats and fiber it contains in high quantity.
Fiber makes digestion easy and adds mass to your fecal matter while fats make it easy to move the waste from the colon out of the body.
Gaining control of one’s weight is not an easy thing. It is, however, possible when you follow the right diet and eat the right foods. It does you no good to consume simple carbs, instead, eat complex carbs as they are high in energy and fiber. They also contain some protein.
These constituents of complex carbs helps you manage your hunger and consequently your food consumption.
Ehuru seeds are high in energy, fats, and fiber, making them good for weight management. It even gets better as they do not contain any cholesterol. Other important micro-nutrients such as zinc, phosphorus, vitamin c, and others help to maintain metabolic activity even during inactivity.
Controls Blood Sugar
Blood sugar level in the blood is controlled by Insulin. Insulin level in the blood is usually high when the you feel hungry. Insulin is responsible for removing sugar from the blood and depositing it where it is needed.
When blood sugar is high, it means the insulin level is low. Ehuru seeds help in regulating the level of insulin in the blood as it addresses one of the reasons for low insulin, lack of sleep. Insulin is produced while we sleep to clear the blood of sugars, that’s why we wake up hungry.
For individuals with Type 2 diabetes, Ehuru seed is an excellent spice as it is rich in fiber and helps you stave off hunger.
Ehuru seed is an excellent choice as a spice and should be more commonly used in cooking so as to gain all of its benefits. The seed is also rich in folate, one of the B-vitamins, that’s is important in the production white and red blood cells. It also helps to make energy available for use.
Ehuru seeds are not commonly seen outside its place of origin anymore, therefor, it has the potential of being a source of livelihood to locals as they can now grow them for export.
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