Zobo Drink is one of the many nutritional drinks found in West Africa, it derives its name from the Hausa name of its parent plant “Zoborodo” Habiscus Sabdariffa (Roselle).The beverage is produced by steaming flower petals of the plant in hot water, additional flavorings and ginger are sometimes added to improve taste and nutritional content.There is widespread consumption of Zobo across Nigeria especially during festivities owing to perceived nutritional benefits. A study published in the American Journal of food technology noted the three varieties of Habiscus Sandarifa used in producing Zobo each had their own specific nutritional value .
The Benefits of Zobo consumption are
Zobo Drink and Hypertension (Anti-Hypertensive Property)
Zobo drink exert its anti-hypertensive effect as a result of its ability to reduce blood cholesterol level. This it does by reducing the amount of plaque which accumulate and narrow blood vessels leading to higher blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
Zobo Drink and Cancer (Anti-cancer Properties)
Zobo is a very rich source of vitamin C a powerful anti-oxidant which plays a significant role in the growth and repair of all body tissues. It’ also plays a critical role in the absorption of iron, wound healing and immune system. According to a study published in the international journals of Biomedical science, zobo has a rich content of anthocyannins which has several therapeutic properties such as, hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and chemoprotective properties.
Zobo Drink and Diabetes
Zobo drink can be very helpful in the management of diabetes especially in Africa where the leaves are in abundant supply. A comprehensive study conducted in the Department of Biochemistry of the Ahamadu Bello University and published in the African Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy on the beneficial effects of extracts of Zobo leaves (Hibiscus sabdariffa) in diabetic rats reported that, zobo extract significantly reduce the level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) and effected a considerable increase in the level of packed cell volume (PCV) when compared with diabetic control group.
Zobo Drink and Kidney (Kidney Protecting Properties)
The accumulation of the uric acid and oxalic acid in the kidney can lead to the formation of kidneys stones and its attendant health implications. A phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological analysis of the plant showed that the consumption of zobo drink results in a significant decrease in the concentrations of creatinine, uric acid, citrate, tartrate, calcium, sodium, potassium and phosphate in the urine and improved kidney function.
Zobo Drink and Babies / Pregnant women
Why Zobo Is Not Safe For Pregnant Women & Breast Feeding Mothers
Several studies have shown that the consumption of zobo during pregnancy or lactation is not safe. A study published in the African journal of alternative and complementary medicine concluded that the consumption of zobo drink during pregnancy increases the possibility of giving birth to babies with low birth weight (LBW) possibly through the gluconeogenic activities of the elevated serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT).
Results from another study which evaluated the effect of zobo drink during lactation showed that, consumption of zobo during lactation decreased maternal food and fluid intake, delays the onset of puberty in the female offspring and increased postnatal weight gain.
Zobo drink and Weight loss
There is no conclusive evidence to show the usefulness of zobo drink in any program geared towards losing weight as evidenced by the results from various research conducted to evaluate the impact of the drink on weight loss. One specific research published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science actually reported that the drink can be useful in regaining loss weight. It is important to note that the quantity of sugar or other sweetening agents added to the drink can promote weight gain.
Permission is hereby granted for the use of whole or parts of this article provided appropriate credit is given to www.publichealth.com.ng