cola nut

The cola nut is a little-known food product, although its name is especially popular due to the Coca-cola brand of the same name. It was the walnut extract that gave the drink sweetness and a tonic effect. It was later abandoned due to high cost and transportation difficulties.

What else is the nut famous for, what are its useful properties and how justified is the cost of the product?

General characteristics of the tonic ingredient

Cola (lat. Cola) is a plant from the Malvaceae family. Cola looks like a tall lush bush with massive seeds. The height of the evergreen tree reaches 20 meters. Small bell-shaped flowers form on the branches. They gather in panicles, inside which a seed later develops. This seed is called the kola nut. The fruit is a woody or leathery nut that is protected by 5 carpels.

Fact: walnut blossoms only in the 6th year of growth. Upon reaching the age of 6, fruiting becomes year-round.

Walnut grows mainly in West Africa. According to The Plant List (an online botanical encyclopedia), about 125 plant species are known in the tropical region, the most famous of which is the pointed kola. The average tree height is 15 meters. Oblong leaves in the course of development acquire the shape of an ellipse. All leaves are leathery, petiolate, formed at the ends of branches of 5-15 pieces. This variety of walnut is known for its five-petalled bright yellow flowers. On each of them three red stripes with a diameter of 2 centimeters are outlined. Miniature yellow flowers gather in inflorescences and form fruits. The fruit of the pointed cola is no different from the usual one either in nutritional properties or in external characteristics.

Raw fruits are painted in various colors of pink and beige palette. But the variety of shades is hidden behind dense brown walnut shells, which protect the seeds from the harmful effects of the external environment. From one tree for one crop, you can collect 45 kilograms of fruit. The size of the stake is slightly larger than the size of the usual walnut .

Interesting: the average cost of a product is $8/50 grams. The cost may vary depending on the manufacturer and export characteristics.

Historical background

The first information about the tonic product reached the European continent in the 16th century. Official information appeared a little later - during the colonization of Africa. Europeans marveled at the endurance and vigor of the natives. At first, excellent physical data was associated with the climate and the need to adapt to difficult conditions. This assumption is partly true, but the most important component of the good health of the natives is diet.

Inhabitants of Africa used kola nuts every day, later soldiers of the French army took advantage of this trick. The French spent the whole night without sleep, but did not feel any physical fatigue. After several reports, the fruits were sent to the laboratory for study.

The first clinical trials took place in 1885. The secret of the action of nuts was an explosive combination of nutrients and tonic substances. The only drawback that scientists have identified is an increase in libido in all subjects, so the use of cola in its pure form had to be limited. Chocolate with nut extract was issued to German officers and Soviet pilots during the Great Patriotic War. In the USSR, they also launched the industrial production of the product at the Krasny Oktyabr factory. In some armies of the world, chocolate nuts are still added to soldiers' rations.

Interesting: in West Africa, the kola nut is considered a symbol of peace, hospitality and friendship. In some African states, the product is given sacred meaning and used for ceremonies. Previously, the walnut was considered one of the most expensive products of exchange and trade on the continent.

Today the kola nut is a traditional export crop of West Africa. It is also grown in smaller volumes in Java, the Seychelles and Antilles, Cameroon, India, Brazil, Zanzibar, Australia. The world's largest supplier is Côte d'Ivoire. About 60 thousand tons of stake are collected there annually. Walnut is used not only in the gastronomic industry, but also in pharmaceuticals for the development of tonic drugs.

Nutritional value and characteristics of the composition of the product

Energy value of the nut
Name Content per 100 grams
Calorie content 150 kcal
Proteins 7.9 g
Fats 0.1 g
Carbohydrates 5.2 g
Dietary fiber 0 g
Water 0 g

The chemical composition of the fruit is very similar to coffee beans, tea leaves and guarana fruits. All these components are known for their stimulating effect. It becomes possible due to the high concentration of caffeine, theobromine and collatin. Additionally, the body is invigorated with the help of essential oils, catechins and protein structures.

Fact: A nut contains 3 times more caffeine than a coffee bean.

But the composition of the product abounds not only with useful components. Cola contains toxic nitroso compounds. They lead to the development of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and oral cavity. In some African countries, an abnormal level of infection with these types of cancer has been recorded. Scientists link the detrimental statistic to frequent cola consumption.

Useful properties of the food component

Kola nut is a natural stimulant. A high concentration of caffeine increases efficiency and helps not think about sleep. The product helps to improve attention and maximum focus on business. What else is useful food ingredient:

  • helps to remove the symptoms of alcohol intoxication;
  • increases libido;
  • improves the body's ability to cope with strenuous exercise;
  • increases gastric acid secretion;
  • relieves fatigue and drowsiness;
  • accelerates metabolic processes and increases the level of absorption of nutrients;
  • has a diuretic effect;
  • fights internal pathogenic microflora;
  • blocks heartburn and nausea;
  • relieves lung spasms during an asthma attack.

Exotic product is able to relieve various types of pain. For example, a tablespoon of chopped walnuts can help with headaches and even migraines. There is information that cola can block menstrual pain and reduce the pain of labor during childbirth. But modern women are better off using traditional medicines and not risking their own health.

Side effects and possible harms of the product

Cola is considered a safe herbal antidepressant. Its main advantage is that the product is not addictive, but there is also a downside to the coin - side effects from excessive use. Their intensity depends on the state of human health and the amount of nuts eaten. Symptoms include:

  • indigestion;
  • sleep problems due to stimulation of the nervous system;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • tremor;
  • stool disorders;
  • nausea/vomiting;
  • heartburn;
  • sharp pains in the body;
  • allergic reaction;
  • anaphylactic shock (in extremely severe cases).

Doctors recommend giving up the exotic nut for people with heart disease and sleep disorders. Patients who have recently had a stroke or suffer from anxiety/depression (in combination with taking antidepressants) should also limit their diet and choose the safest foods possible. Since kola, like other nuts, is considered a strong allergen, its use should be minimized during pregnancy and lactation.

Important: Try to limit yourself to 5-7 nuts per day so as not to provoke an allergic reaction and not upset the balance of CBJU.

Areas of use of the component

Most nuts are used in the gastronomic industry. Cola is used like any other nuts: added to pastries, drinks, salads, side dishes or eaten as an independent dish. Most often, the component is added to protein snacks to increase the energy potential of the finished product.

The walnut rose to the top of popularity thanks to the drink Coca-Cola. The first version of cola included cola extract - it was responsible for the rich sweet taste and toning the body. Previously, the drink was even sold in pharmacies as a medicine. What did Coca-Cola treat? The first cola was produced exclusively for medical purposes. It included alcohol and cocaine, which was later replaced by kola nut extract. After the change in the recipe, cola began to be sold in characteristic beer bottles or poured from huge vats - this is how the drink became popular among all segments of the population.

The company later had to stop using the walnut. Firstly, there were difficulties with transportation, and secondly, the cost of the product is high, which affects the price of the finished drink. Cola was replaced by sugar, chemical preservatives and other achievements of the gastronomic industry.

Walnut extract is used not only in the gastronomic industry, but also in cosmetology. The substance accelerates hair growth, strengthens hair follicles, nourishes curls and gives them the most well-groomed appearance. The extract also affects the regeneration and metabolic processes in cells, which helps to rejuvenate and protect the skin from free radicals.

Where to buy Cola

It is almost impossible to find a nut in retail sales, because its price is high and demand is low. If trips to large chain supermarkets ended in failure, order the product through an online store. Before buying online, carefully study the site and reviews about the seller. Given the high cost of the stake, it will be extremely unpleasant to be deceived. Use the secure transaction function, if it is available on the site, or offer the seller to pay for the goods after receipt.