BISSAP(SOBOLO) : HEALTH CLAIMS AND EVIDENCE

Image Credit:. Vitalisnutrition.com
Image Credit:.
Vitalisnutrition.com

Hibiscus tea is a herbal tea made as an infusion from crimson or deep magenta-coloured sepal of the roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flower. It is consumed both hot and cold.
It has a cranberry-like flavour, and sugar is often added to sweeten it. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild medicine.
Sobolo is a cool drink found in most West African countries. It is a dark red-purple coloured juice. The Burkinabes call it bissap while we in Ghana call it sobolo.It tastes a bit grapey and more like the cranberry juice and can be served with mint leaves.It is not just a refreshing drink that many have come to love over the years but it also has many health benefits that doesn’t cross our minds.
In fact there are a huge number of claims made for Bissap’s therapeutic benefits, from Ayurvedic menstrual remedies to hangover cures and treatments for cancer.
Previously I thought green tea was the only beverage that had the most antioxidants,however after reading more about the hibiscus leave I realized it was untrue.
Maybe the most important thing that can be said about hibiscus tea is that it is one of the richest sources of antioxidants in a beverage in the world.
In East Africa, the infused hibiscus drink called “Sudan tea”, is taken to relieve cough.
Dieters and people with kidney problems often turn to the natural and beneficial properties of the hibiscus flower, because of the Vitamin C and minerals, and as a diuretic.

 Image Credit :Hedjorleonline.com
Image Credit :Hedjorleonline.com

THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF BISSAP.

CHOLESTEROL LOWERING AND ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES
Oxidation in the human body produces chemicals called ‘free radicals’. These chemicals have
been linked to diseases such as heart and liver disease, and cancer. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that can bind to ‘free radicals’ preventing them from damaging healthy cells.
Studies from around the world indicate that Bissap exhibits strong antioxidant activity and that this is linked to the pigments (anthocyanins), which give the plant its vivid red colour.
Scientists from Chung Shan University in Taiwan have stated that the antioxidant properties of
the compounds found in the flower may reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.

WEIGHT LOSS
Experts recommend drinking hibiscus tea to assist in weight loss.Studies has shown that Hibiscus tea contains an enzyme inhibitor which blocks production of amylase – an enzyme that breaks down complex sugars and starches.It is likely that drinking a cup of hibiscus tea after meals could reduce the absorption of dietary carbohydrates and assist in weight loss.

LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure (hypertension) is on the rise in most developing countries. It also increases risks of heart disease and strokes. In Northern Nigeria Hibiscus drink is traditionally used as a treatment for this condition.However in Ghana it is mainly enjoyed as a refreshing drink called “SOBOLO.”

Reference

http://www.pan-uk.org/files/Bissap%20health%20claims.pdf


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_tea

Vegetarianism: Born out of belief or lifestyle?

Image Credit:Krishna.org
Image Credit:Krishna.org

Vegetarianism is growing to be a popular choice for individuals. In a nutshell, vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from consumption of meat, meat products and by products of animals such as cheese, eggs and milk. Many adopt vegetarianism for different reasons. The principal motivation of many is the respect and love for sentient life which serve as the ethos for various religious beliefs. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, or lifestyle.
It may interest you to know that there are various classes of vegetarians. OVO-VEGETARIANS include eggs but not dairy products in their diet, a LACTO-VEGETARIAN includes dairy products but not eggs in his diet, and an OVO-LACTO VEGETARIAN includes both eggs and dairy products in his diet. A VEGAN excludes all animal products, including eggs, dairy, beeswax and honey. Some vegans also avoid animal products such as leather (and possibly silk) for clothing and goose-fat for shoe polish.
Making the change to a vegetarian diet.
Many people become vegetarian instantly. They totally give up meat, fish, and poultry overnight. Others make the change gradually. Do what works best for you. Being a vegetarian or vegan is as hard or as easy as you choose to make it. Some people enjoy planning and preparing elaborate meals, while others opt for quick and easy vegetarian dishes.
What about nutrition?
PROTEIN: Vegetarians easily meet their protein needs by eating a varied diet, as long as they consume enough calories to maintain their weight. It is not necessary to plan combinations of foods. A mixture of proteins throughout the day will provide enough essential amino acids
Sources of protein include Beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, chickpeas, peas.Many common foods, such as whole grain bread, greens, potatoes, and corn, quickly add to protein intake.

Sources of iron: Dried beans, tofu, tempeh, spinach, chard, baked potatoes, cashews, dried fruits, bulgur, and iron-fortified foods (such as cereals, instant oatmeal, and veggie “meats”) are all good sources of iron. To increase the amount of iron absorbed at a meal, eat a food containing vitamin C, such as citrus fruit or juices, tomatoes, or broccoli. Using iron cookware also adds to iron intake.

Sources of calcium : Good sources include broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, tofu prepared with calcium, fortified soymilk, and fortified orange juice.

Vitamin B12: The adult recommended intake for vitamin B12 is very low, but this is an essential nutrient so vegetarians should be aware of good sources. Fortified foods, such as some brands of cereal, nutritional yeast, soymilk, or veggie “meats,” are good non-animal sources. Check labels to discover other products that are fortified with vitamin B12. Tempeh and sea vegetables are not reliable sources of vitamin B12. To be on the safe side, if you do not consume dairy products eggs, or fortified foods regularly, you should take a non-animal derived supplement.

Source:www.vrg.org
Feel free to like , share or comment about your journey to becoming a vegetarian.