Garcinia Indica commonly known as Kokum belongs to the genus Garcinia and Clusiaceae family. This article will explore the 7 amazing health benefits of kokum that will make kokum as secret super food. Health benefits of Kokum are so much that it is called an indigenous ever green plant grown in Western Ghats of India, lower slopes of Nilgiris and in North Eastern states of Manipur and Assam. The trees yield fruits annually in the summer season during the months of March to May. The fruits are generally globular or spherical in appearance, which are green when raw and become red to dark purple when fully ripe with unique flavour weighing about 15 – 20 grams, enclosing 5 – 8 large seeds.
Uses of Kokum:
Dried fruit rinds have been used extensively for centuries throughout Southeast Asia for culinary purposes as a condiment and flavoring agent in place of tamarind or lemon. Additional culinary uses include the flavoring of curries, meat and seafood. The fruit extract has been used as a flavoring agent for beverages and gourmet spices. The herb is considered beneficial for overall health in the traditional Ayurvedic medical system. Rheumatism and bowel complaints are treated with a decoction of the fruit rind. Dried fruit rinds have been used extensively for centuries throughout Southeast Asia for culinary purposes as condiment and flavoring agent in place of tamarind or lemon. Additional culinary uses include the flavoring of curries, meat and seafood.
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Nutritional Value of Kokum:
In the whole fruit, seed portion consists of 20 to 23% fruit weight. Kernel accounts for 61% of the seed weight. The kernel has 33 to 44% oil and 17% protein. The Garcinia oil or butter has 60-65% saturated fatty acids, which is solid at room temperature. The triglyceride composition is balanced with 2 to 8% palmitic acid, 55 to 65% stearic acid, 30 to 44% oleic acid, 1 to 8% linoleic acid. The fruit also contains substantial amount of malic acid. Malic acid is acidic, reddish coloured and gives the pungent sour taste to fruits. The rind of Garcinia contains nutrients such as protein, tannin, pectin, sugars, fat, organic acids like hydroxy citric acid, lactone, citric acid and anthocyanin’s, cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-sambubioside, garcinol and isogarcinol.
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Kokum:
Kokum health benefits are so much that kokum is called as a fruit with multiple uses.
1. Anti-obesity elements:
If you are on a weight loss journey, then Kokum can be your trusted companion. Its HCA content helps to curb appetite and reduce the accumulation of fat in the body. Furthermore, Kokum aids in boosting metabolism, which leads to increase calorie burning. By incorporating Kokum into your diet, you can achieve your weight loss goals more effectively.
2. Anti-cancer properties:
The fruit also contains xanthones, which inhibit preneoplastic lesions in mammary and colon cancer. The anti-inflammatory properties present in kokum serves as an effective remedy for various inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and joint pain. The xanthones also induce apoptosis in mouth, leukemia, breast, gastric and lung cancer cell lines in vitro.
3. Maintain Healthy Heart:
Hydroxy-citric-acid (HCA) and Para Hydroxyl-Citric-Acid (PCA) are the super ingredients present in Garcinia have found to serve significantly for lowering the cholesterol level. Due to the presence of high content of di-saturated and mono-saturated glycerides, it is in great demand for promoting heart health and reducing the risk of heart disease.
4. Medicinal Uses of Kokum:
Kokum exhibits various phytochemical properties like anti-ulcerogenic, cardio-protective, anti-cancer, chemo-preventive, free radical scavenging and anti-obesity effects. It is also useful in curing piles, dysentery, tumor pains and cardiac problems. The kernels of Garcinia seed contain about 33 to 44% oil which is commercially known as “kokum butter”. It is considered as nutritive, demulcent, astringent and emollient. Due to high content of di-saturated and mono-saturated glycerides, it is in great demand as a substituted for cocoa, an extender in chocolate and confectionary products preparations.
5. Kokum uses in cosmetic industry:
Kokum butter is easily absorbed into the skin and also contains vitamin E. It exhibits excellent emollient and functional properties. Hence it has good demand in cosmetic industry as well apart from confectionary industry.
6. Improve Digestive Health:
The most significant benefit of consuming kokum in regular way is that it improves your digestive health. It helps in the secretion of digestive enzymes which helps in the breakdown of food and enhances nutrient absorption. Kokum is the one of the secret power foods that acts as a natural remedy for acidity, indigestion and bloating.
7. Traditional uses of Kokum:
The outer rind of the fruit is dried and ground into powder, which is to impart an acid flavor to curries instead of tamarind. The fresh fruit also is consumed directly to avail lots of health benefits. The pulp of the fruit is used to prepare sherbet which is commonly available in market. The soft drink and derivative of Garcinia, popularly known as Kokum-syrup is consumed as natural soft drink to quench thirst during summer.
Garcinia fruit and seed are used in the the manufacture of wine, champagne and liquor. Garcinia can be used as an idea substitute for grapes in the wine industry. As Garcinia reduces fat, cools body, fights cholesterol, wine and liquors made from Garcinia will attract health conscious people.
In spite of having very good nutritional profile, the availability of processing technologies for Garcinia is limited. Hence there is a need for development of value-added and processed Garcinia products, which can ensure demand and fetch more income through the sale of such products. The resultant of this activity creates employment opportunities at rural areas apart from increasing the earnings. India is the only country enjoying the monopoly with respect to Garcinia production in the world. With a market driven encouragement to the Garcinia crop, establishment of large number of processing units at Garcinia-growing belt can help in earning good income through supply of nutritional value-added products.