Palm wine is fermented palm sap or juice from the stem of the oil palm tree and its raffia palm. Palm wine tappers make it available as a local beverage for consumption. In as much as it is a known alcoholic drink, it contains sugar, bacteria and yeast (which causes fermentation). It, however, has a lot of beneficial nutrients like; protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C, amino acids, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin B(s).
Health Benefits of Palm wine
- Eye Vision: Due to its good content of Vitamin A, B (especially B1 and B12) and C. It helps prevent macular degeneration. Potassium present in it helps keep the eye moist and reduces muscle spasms in the eye seen as twitches.
- Body Building: Helps in building and improving the body cells because of its good amounts of amino acids.
- Hair and Skin Improvement: Due to its vitamins, zinc and magnesium content.
- Promotes Heart Health: It has rich potassium content. Hence, it a good source of drink to help combat various related cardiovascular diseases. It helps the nerves and muscles to function well. Thereby, helps in normalising the rate at which the heart beats and well helps in reducing or lowering the blood pressure.
- Cancer-fighting Drink: It is rich in antioxidants that help prevent free radicals from damaging the cells in the body and fight cancer. For instance, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). Vitamin B2 recycles glutathione which is the most crucial antioxidant which protects against free radicals in the body.
It is also interesting to note that, palm wine is not capable of causing ulcer as might be thought despite its content of 5% ethanol.
And Some Side Effects
Do not consume excessive fermented palm wine. Despite all the above health benefits.
Excessive consumption can result in hypertension, neurological problems and can as well lead to failure of the body’s vital organs such as the liver and kidney, the alcohol content in fermented palm wine is 2 or 3 times more than that in other alcoholic drinks which gives the liver work overload while trying to detoxify the system. See what alcohol does to your liver.
Some studies show that palm wine contains some chemically active compounds and therefore should be regarded as a drug (or product) which regular intake could gradually distort male reproductive (testicular) cytoarchitecture (is the study of the cellular composition of the central nervous system’s tissues under the microscope) but may not significantly increase testis weight nor body weight. With regard to the observed effect on animal models, palm wine should be consumed with caution, especially by individuals who still hold good procreative or reproductive tendencies.
Many local gins can be produced from palm wine too depending on the duration of the fermentation process which still has adverse reactions to the body when taken in excess. Experimental findings show that regular intake of this fermented palm sap or juice may not significantly affect body weight nor testis weight, but can gradually distort testicular tissue architecture with abnormally structured cells.