The carob bean known as ‘Iru’ is a spice that adds flavor to cooking. It is also an important ingredient used in the preparation of Ofada and Ayamase sauce.
Commonly used in Nigeria, the Yorubas call it Iru, the Igbos Ogiri, and the Hausas Dawadawa. Iru has many nutritional health benefits that the body needs to stay healthy, but not many people know about it.
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It contains nutrients such as proteins that build and repair tissues in the body and carbohydrates that are a source of energy for the human body.
It also helps fuel the brain, kidneys, heart muscles, and central nervous system.
Here are some of its health benefits.
1. Stimulates the immune system
Iru has a bitter taste and that is a sign that it contains vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
The vitamin C content in iru is quite high and this makes it a good source of this vital vitamin that helps boost the immune system.
In addition, it helps the body to fight free radicals that can cause diseases.
2. Promote good eyesight
The consumption of carob beans helps to give good sight to people who have eye problems such as cataracts, negative eyes, myopia, glaucoma and others because it also contains natural nutrients that can maintain eye health.
3. Treat diarrhea
Locust beans can serve as a local medicine for diarrhea (which is a condition in which a person excretes in liquid form repeatedly) because it contains a nutrient called ‘Tannin’ and the substance works to treat diarrhea.
4. Promotes bone health
The hydrocyanic acid (HCN) in iru is another excellent antioxidant for its role in helping bones stay strong.
As you age, your bones weaken, requiring an adjustment in your diet. Adding iru to your diet will help strengthen your bones.
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5. Treat hypertension
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, occurs when the pressure of the blood pumped through the arteries is higher than it should be. The consumption of carob beans can serve as a local medicine for patients suffering from this disease.
6. Reduces the risk of cancer.
Locust beans contain an antioxidant called carotenoids. These are beneficial antioxidants that can protect you from certain cancers.
Additionally, another compound in iru, phytic acid, is also excellent for its potential to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
7. Help with weight loss
Like other forms of soluble fiber, Iru has shown potential benefits for enhancing weight loss and controlling blood sugar levels.