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Do You Eat Monkey Kola (Ochiricha)? You Should know Its Health Benefits

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How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha

Have you heard about Monkey Kola aka Ochiricha or Uchiricha? This is all you should know about it. How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha.


How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha
Monkey Kola or Ochiricha
How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha
Monkey Kola *Image credit: Author

It is not strange to find people who do not know about this delicious wild fruit called Yellow Monkey Kola. I am not guessing because yesterday, I was on a public bus when I bought this nutritious fruit.

I stopped over and bought four pieces at #200 (two hundred naira). When I came back to my seat on the bus, almost half of the passengers on the public bus were asking me what the fruit is used for. The fruit is for eating.

Monkey kola also is known as Ochiricha or Achiricha in the Igbo dialect has the same shape and form of Kola nut but it is eaten differently.

The major difference is that inner nuts are eaten in Kola nut while the yellow thick coat is eaten in Monkey kola.

Monkey Kola is made up of three parts. It is covered with a light peel bark which can easily be peeled with a nail.

When you peel the light bark, you will see the second part which is what we eat.

How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha
Monkey Kola meat

*Image credit: Author

How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha

The second inner cover is the edible part. It is yellow in color like the boiled egg yoke. This part is thick and as hard as coconut when chewed. It has a light sweet taste like the taste of a local apple or so I think.

The third part of Monkey Kola is the innermost part that looks like the real Kola nut. Someone who is not familiar with Monkey Kola will mistake this part of this fruit as the main food.

How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha
Ochiricha seed


Yellow Monkey Kola is the most common type of African indigenous wild fruit called monkey cola that can be found around homes and villages mainly found in the southern parts of Nigeria.

It is also called Ndiyah in Ibibio and Efik with lots of potential contents such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, fiber, other nutrients and phytochemical properties that are nutritious to health.

Nutrients present in these fruits are vitamins, carbohydrates, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium. It contains vitamins, mineral elements, and others that are beneficial to human health.

According to a research article by about tropical fruits and vegetables which dwelt on health benefits and nutritional value of yellow monkey kola by a nutrition expert, he listed 8 amazing health and nutritional benefits we can get from eating the wild plant.

So, if you are not eating Monkey Kola, these are what you are missing or loosing:

How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha



1.  Monkey Kola Maintains Healthy Gastrointestinal Tract

Like some other fruits, yellow monkey kola contains soluble fiber which contributes to the health of the gastrointestinal tract.

The soluble fibre contained in yellow monkey kola protects the hollow organs that connect the mouth, intestine (large and small), esophagus, and the anus.


2.  Helps in Weight Management

Monkey kola is one of the local fruits containing important nutrition that makes it best recommended for weight loss and weight management.

It has the fiber content which plays an important role in controlling the body weight by balancing the calorie intake with the amount lost.

Their low caloric effect has made it a good weight-loss diet. Nutrition experts have discovered that fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and low in calories serve best for weight-loss.

According to their researches, consuming just 30 grams of fiber in a day can help one to lose weight.


3.  Boosts Skin Health

The beta-carotene content in this yellow monkey cola contributes to healthy skin by creating an appealing glow on the skin.

This beta-carotene is a provitamin A carotenoid and a strong antioxidant that helps to enrich the skin by repairing and maintaining damaged skin cells.

It offers antioxidant protection of the skin by preventing aging effects such as wrinkles.


4.  Improves Eye Health

The body converts the beta-carotene in the fruit into vitamin A which helps to keep the eye healthy for better sight.

Vitamin A in yellow monkey kola is a naturally occurring vitamin that is very important for improving good vision and preventing defects that may affect the eye due to lack of the vitamin.


5.  Helps in Body Metabolism

Riboflavin which is also known as vitamin B2 is present in the fruit and it helps to metabolize fat and proteins in the body system.

Vitamin B-2 is a water-soluble vitamin that performs an important function in common metabolic reactions especially the ones that involves breaking down carbohydrates into sugar to produce energy.

6.  Moderates Body Cholesterol

This fruit helps to lower the level of lower bad cholesterol known also as low-density lipoprotein and improves high-density lipoprotein which is good cholesterol due to the presence of niacin (vitamin B3) known as nicotinic acid.

Science-based researches made an experiment using the combination of niacin and satin (cholesterol control) to compare their effects on cholesterol.

The result of the experiment was analyzed with the effect of niacin on body cholesterol which showed that niacin lowered the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and improved the high-density lipoprotein, HDL in the blood more than satin.


7.  Improves Heart Health

Intake of cola parchycarpa moderately can help to reduce the risk of heart diseases because it is rich in flavonoids which are metabolites that provide essential benefits to heart health.

Flavonoids have shown some positive effects on the heart through some clinical researches. They have shown protective effects against coronary artery diseases that cause damage to the heart and cardiac injuries.


8.  Maintains Healthy Bones

Essential mineral elements are proven present in yellow monkey kola such that are important in maintaining healthy bones, protein synthesis, and as well in the proper functioning of the body’s vital cells, organs, tissues, and overall body functions and development.

Adequate intake of minerals, especially the ones that occur naturally in fruits such as yellow monkey kola helps to protect the risk of bone loss.

Some of the minerals such as calcium and potassium in this fruit work with other nutrients: protein and vitamin D to protect the risk of fractured bones caused by osteoporosis.

Reference Source: on Tropical Fruits.


How to eat Monkey Kola or Ochiricha

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