The African pear, also known as bush pear, is a native fruit of West Africa, primarily found in southeast Nigeria. It’s fun to eat it with roasted or boiled corn. It is pink when unripe and dark purple when ripe. It has a buttery flavor when roasted or dunked in hot water and is enjoyed by everyone.
The African pear is a delicious seasonal fruit that is available from April to September. The purple skin and pulp are eaten, but the seed is thrown away. It’s usually boiled or roasted, and it’s served with freshly roasted corn. Ube is extremely healthy and nutrient-dense. Ube is a medical-grade fruit with an indigo-colored covering over a greenish pulp and a firm seed inside. Carbohydrates, fat (no cholesterol), vitamins (C, B1, B6, Folate, Niacin), and minerals are also present (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc).
List of Health Benefits
- Nutrient packed fruit: African pears have a high amount of protein that is rare in fruits. It contains healthy fats such as palmitic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid. Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, folate, magnesium, and sodium are also abundant in fruits. Eating nutrient-dense foods such as ube will boost the immune system, prevent disease, and encourage healthy cell growth.
- Good for your skin: Although it contains a high concentration of vitamin C, which works to protect cells from free radical damage even more than other fruits and vegetables like oranges and lemons, ube also helps improve the texture of your skin by smoothing it and reducing wrinkles. They are high in oil, which contains several nutrients in the green part, and the purple flesh can aid in the treatment of skin diseases such as ringworm, dandruff, and others. Nutritionists say the pulpy pericarp can be eaten fresh or steamed, has butter qualities, is rich in minerals and oil, and is good for the skin. Vitamin C, like riboflavin, is a powerful antioxidant and dietary supplement that helps to keep the skin vibrant.
- Prevents/manages cancer: Chomping African pears may help shield your body tissue against colon cancer and other types of cancer due to their high antioxidant and fiber content. Ube has a lot of fiber, which could be why it lowers the risk of colon cancer. Other nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and essential fatty acids, could also be to blame.
- Strong bones and teeth: Some minerals present in the fruit, such as calcium and phosphorus, are key players in maintaining healthy teeth and bones. These minerals play important roles in the skeletal system; calcium aids in bone health, muscle contraction, immune system function, and blood clotting. Phosphorus is essential for the development and upkeep of strong bones and teeth in both children and adults. Ube has also been linked to the prevention of stiff joints and bone pain.
- Proper eye health: African pears are extremely high in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids, which help to reduce eye damage. Including these pears in your diet will also aid in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration and protect your vision. To put it simply, Vitamin C is important for the health of our eyes because it helps to make connective tissues that help our eyes stay healthy, protects our eyes from free radicals that can damage them, and reduces the risk of cataracts and vision loss.
- Better oral health: Nigerian pear holds a variety of antimicrobial properties, which is why it’s used to make toothpaste in some parts of Africa. Furthermore, numerous local studies show that these potent properties play an important role in combating bacteria, which frequently cause mouth odor and tooth decay. You should eat more pear fruit if you are looking for a natural way to treat either of the two mouth problems. This will speed up your recovery.
- Maintains blood pressure: African ube pears contain important nutrients such as potassium, which aid in the proper functioning of the body. When you eat Bush pears on a regular basis, the potassium content will help balance out the bad effects of salt in your body, lowering high blood pressure and the risk of stroke. To lower high blood pressure with pears, simply eat 4–7 portions of this super tasty fruit daily, and you will notice an improvement in your overall wellbeing.
- Great for pregnancy: Folic acid, which is crucial for everyone, especially expecting women, is found in the Nigerian pear. This vitamin is important for pregnant women because it aids in the formation of new cells and the production of DNA. Not only that, but the folic acid in African ube pears aids in the prevention of serious birth defects such as spina bifida (a neural tube defect in which a baby’s spinal cord and brain are unable to develop fully), anencephaly, and other birth defects. These and other factors combine to make Nigerian pears a fantastic food for pregnant women, so make sure you consume the fruit on a regular basis.
- Controls blood sugar: African pears are high in vitamins and minerals, which help to regulate blood sugar levels. African pears have a low glycemic index due to their high carbohydrate content (GI). It has a slow metabolism in order to keep blood sugar levels from rising, which causes diabetes.
- Prevents constipation: The soluble fiber content of bush pear is an appropriate quality that allows it to reduce constipation and aid in normal bowel movement. This fiber contains pectin, cellulose, and lignin, which are resistant to digestion enzymes. Pectin aids in diarrhea control and binds compounds in the intestine.
Other than the above benefits, they are also categorized as hypoallergenic fruits because they do not cause allergic reactions, making them an available fruit for anyone, whether young or old. Although the seed is poisonous, the fruit can be eaten roasted or boiled with roasted corn. Another exciting way to eat pears is to use the fleshy pulp instead of butter or margarine on bread. Ube pear goes well with rice, salad, yam, cooked plantain, and cooked sweet potato.