10 Reasons why African Pear (Ube) is Good for You

10 Reasons why African Pear (ube) is good for you

African pear is a delicious seasonal fruit delight that is enjoyed between April – September. 

The fruit is popular in African countries. It is known as Ube (Nigeria), Safou (Cameroun), Atanga (Equatorial Guinea and Gabon), African plum, Butternut tree, and Bush pear. 

The purple skin and pulp are eaten, while the seed is discarded. It is mostly boiled or roasted and served with fresh roasted corn.

Ube is incredibly healthy and rich in nutrients.

Health benefits

African pears are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that may help prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, constipation, and metabolic disorders. 

Just like avocados, the fruits are rich in healthy fats that make up most of their calories.

The following are potential health benefits:

1. Rich in Nutrients

African pears are packed with nutrients. Approximately 100 grams of the fruit pulp will provide you with: [1]

  • Protein: 20 grams (g)
  • Fats: 48 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Vitamin C: 3 g
  • Calcium: 133 milligrams (mg)
  • Potassium: 65 mg
  • Sodium: 10 mg
  • Zinc: 13 mg

African pear contains a high protein content that is not common in most fruits. It will provide you with healthy fats rich in palmitic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid.

The fruits also contain rich amounts of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, folate, magnesium, and sodium.

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Eating nutrient-rich foods like Ube will boost your immune system, prevent diseases, and promote healthy cell growth.

2. Rich in antioxidants 

Antioxidants are substances that help the body fight against disease-causing free radicals.

The purplish skin and greenish pulp of the African pear contain powerful antioxidants called carotenoids that may help prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

The leaves are also particularly rich in flavonoids – a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight against free radical damage. 

3. Prevents cancer

Due to their rich antioxidant and fiber content, eating African pears may help protect your body cells against colon cancer and other types of cancer.

4. Protects heart health

The African pear contains a rich blend of saturated (palmitic acid) and unsaturated fatty acids (oleic, linoleic acid).

Their high potassium and healthy fats content help maintain a healthy heart and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

5. Protects bone health 

Calcium and vitamin D are important minerals needed to prevent arthritis and osteoporosis in humans.

Since African pears are good sources of calcium, they strengthen the bones and prevent damage.

6. Protects eye health

African pears are incredibly rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids that help minimize eye damage.

Adding these pears to your diet will also help to prevent age-related macular degeneration and protect your vision.

7. Promotes healthy digestion

Despite their creamy texture, African pears are high in dietary fiber.

Eating foods with natural fiber can help maintain a healthy digestive tract, prevent constipation, and lower the risk of colon cancer.

Also read: 15 Best African Foods high in Dietary Fiber

8. Promotes healthy pregnancy

The fruit pulp and skin are rich in nutrients like protein, calcium, folate, and vitamin C that help promote the development of healthy babies.

Additionally, eating nutrient-dense fruits like Ube may help prevent neural tube defects and reduce the risk of miscarriages.

9. Promotes healthy skin glow 

The healthy fats and antioxidants (vitamin C) found in African pears help to promote skin regeneration and prevent aging.

Adding the pears as part of a healthy diet will reduce blemishes and improve skin glow.

10. Delicious and highly versatile

The African pear’s creamy texture is incredibly delicious and easy to combine with other foods.

You can salt it, roast it or boil it and enjoy it with roasted corn. Or you can eat them raw by scrapping gently on the skin with your teeth.

Either way, the pears are a brilliant addition to your diet.

Other uses of the African pear

Although the fruit pulp is the most commonly eaten part of the African pear, the other parts of the plant are high in phytochemicals and are useful in treating diseases.

Seeds 

The seeds of the fruit are particularly high in flavonoids and alkaloids – two important phytochemicals that can be useful in treating bacterial and fungal infections when extracted. [2]

Also, flavonoids are potent antioxidants and can help protect the body from cell damage.

Leaves 

The leaves of the African pear have been in use in African Medicine to treat malaria, vomiting, and skin infections.

Recently, studies have backed up this practice by showing the presence of alkaloids with potent antimicrobial activity. [3]

Bark 

In some African countries like Gabon, the bark is used to treat wounds and prevent infection. In other countries, it is used as a medicine for leprosy, tonsillitis, skin diseases, and body pains.

The bark resin is also useful in treating parasitic infections. Commonly, it is used in the food and cosmetic industries as a glue, thickener, and emulsifying agent.

Oils

The African pear fruit pulp and seed contain rich amounts of healthy fats and essential oils.

Fatty acids like palmitic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and stearic acid are highly beneficial industrially and nutritionally.

Additionally, the fruit contains essential oils that are useful in the cosmetic and wellness industries.

It contains about 1.5% of essential oils whose main constituents are α-pinene, α-terpineol, myrcene, and germacrene-D. [4]

The bottom line

The African pear (Ube) is a healthy addition to your diet.

It is rich in protein, fats, carbs, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, zinc, and antioxidants that help repair the body and boost immunity.

In addition, It is versatile, easy to prepare, and tastes good as a snack or main meal.

Have you tried any of these supplements? Leave your answers in the comment section below!

  1. Kadji et al. Physico-chemical properties of Safou (Dacryodes edulis) fruits grown in Côte d’Ivoire J. Appl. Biosci. 2016
  2. Ogunka-Nnoka, et al. Nutrient composition of Dacryodes edulis seed and seed coat mixture. 2017. 
  3. K.K. Ajibesin. Dacryodes edulis (G. Don) H.J. Lam: A Review on its Medicinal, Phytochemical and Economical Properties. 2011
  4. Onocha, P.A.et al. Essential oils of Dacryodes edulis (G. Don) H.J. Lam (African pear). Flavour Fragrance. 1999
  5. Wikipedia: Dacryodes edulis. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dacryodes_edulis
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