If you regularly use turkey berry to prepare your favourite traditional meals, then you are aware of the health benefits of turkey berry. If not, this content will give you more reasons to include it in your recipe while preparing any meal. Surprisingly, turkey berries can also be found in other places of the world including; Alabama, Brazil, Mexico, South America, Jamaica, Thailand, China, Caribbean, Indonesia, and Puerto Rico. However, Ghanaians locally refer to them as; Beduru, Kantosey, Kwahu Nsusua, and Tinvii tinvii.
Keep scrolling through this article and get to learn the many reasons why you should always include Bederu, turkey berry in your meals.
The health benefits of turkey berries
Besides being a cooking ingredient, fresh, cooked, and dried turkey berries can be used for the purposes provided below:
1. To treat anaemia
Scientifically, the turkey berry contains a lot of iron components which is excellent for anaemia treatment since it stimulates red blood cells formation.
2. Treats diarrhoea and indigestion
Turkey berries are also suitable for digestion; they help in the treatment of indigestion, diarrhoea, and stomachaches. Interestingly, the berries are known to neutralize the stomach acids and so, are essential in the treatment of gastric ulcer.
3. Prevents intestinal worms
If you regularly eat turkey berries, you will be protected from the formation of intestinal worms in your body. Interestingly, it's possible to dry them and form a powder which can be used as a cooking ingredient added to gravies.
4. Helps to treat diabetes
Consumption of turkey berries helps in the treatment of diabetes and lowers blood sugar. To control diabetes, add dried and powdered leaves to the cooked berries.
5. Prevents and treats cold and flu
The turkey berries also help with the treatment and prevention of flu and colds. This is possible by taking the berry soup.
6. Protects from cancer
According to Dr.Paul Helder, turkey berries are antifungal, antibacterial and they stop the excessive growth of cells, making it essential for treating cancer. Additionally, other studies show that the eating of turkey berries protects against lung cancer.
7. Helps to treat kidney diseases
The berries are essential in the healing and prevention of kidney diseases. They reverse the tubular necrosis and glomerular congestion, making it very important in the treating of kidney diseases.
8. Helps in weight gain
People who are underweight can blend raw turkey berry with water and take half a glass of it before going to bed. If you drink this juice and feed well consistently, your weight gain will improve. You can refrigerate the raw berry juice to prevent it from going bad, and also lessen its bitterness.
9. To treat phlegm and mucus
To manage this, dry the turkey berries into powder. This powder can dry up the mucus; treat coughs, lung inflammation and asthma among other diseases. Secondly, turkey berry soup helps in the prevention and treatment of flu and colds.
10. Helps to prevent pains, redness, and gout
The turkey berries help in flushing out uric acids, making them crucial in preventing and reducing pain redness and reduce gout symptoms. Consequently, turkey berry leaves contain some powerful anti-inflammatory agents and soasoline (a natural steroid) which are great for the treatment of lower back pains, swellings, and arthritis. Inflammation is the first issue to deal with in many diseases, making the turkey leaves act as a painkiller.
Turkey berry and pregnancy
Are you wondering about the benefits of turkey berries in pregnancy? The turkey berry seeds contain the following nutrients and minerals; vitamin A, 0.28mg of calcium, 1.7mg of fat, 56.9mg of fibre and 24.5mg of iron. As earlier stated, iron facilitates the production of red blood cells which increase the level of haemoglobin which is essential for pregnant women with issues of low haemoglobin levels which lead to anaemia. For effective results, it should be eaten raw. Secondly, turkey berry during pregnancy is used by herbalists to prevent miscarriages of pregnant women who have undergone previous miscarriages (consistently). Remember; the product is locally grown in Ghana, therefore, it is available in almost all marketplaces countrywide.
How to prepare turkey berry juice
Follow these steps on how to make turkey berry juice:
1. Add some water to a handful of uncooked turkey berries
2. Blend the contents to extract some juice
3. Store the extracted juice in a refrigerator to prevent it from going bad
This juice may be taken to boost blood production. Dr. Paul Haider advises against any intake of unprepared and unclean turkey berry, saying that it's toxic.
How to cook turkey berry
Besides the health benefits of turkey berries, they are also used as a supplementary vegetable in many homes in preparing soups and stews. However, they are not cooked alone but are accompanied by other ingredients. Below are some recipes one can use to prepare them.
Mellon seeds with turkey berries (Aguturk Yum)
- Two medium-size cassava fish (whitish fish)
- One medium-size Koobi (salted fish or tilapia)
- 6 to 8 chopped tomatoes
- Four chopped or blended onions
- Some pepper to spice (if necessary)
- Agushi powder (melon seeds powder)
- Turkey berries
- Vegetable cooking oil or palm oil
1. First, clean your hands and essential utensils; pans, bowls and ingredients thoroughly.
2. Boil the whitish and the salted fish together in some water. Ensure you stir them twice. When the salted fish is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside to cool and debone. Remember, the fillets will be used in cooking the stew.
3. Pour the cooking oil in the cooking pan and put it on the fire.
4. Mix the Agushi powder with water into a paste and add some salt to curdle it
5. Pour the Agushi paste into the cooking pan and cook until it forms some chunk-like eggs.
6. Once the Agushi paste is cooked, remove it from the oil and add the chopped or blended onions
7. Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes, then add some pepper, diced tomatoes, and the blended turkey berries one after the other, within a time interval of 5 minutes.
8. Allow the ingredients to boil for about ten minutes, then add your fish fillets to the Agushi.
9. Cover the mixture and reduce the cooking heat. Allow it to simmer until there is just a little amount of water.
10. After that, your Aguturk stew is ready. You can serve it hot with potatoes, cocoyam, rice, plantain, or yam.
Palm nut soup with turkey berries (palmiturk)
- 2 pounds of meat
- Four medium-size bulbs of onions
- Ten peppers
- 20 grams of ginger
- ¼ garlic bulb
- 6 cups of palm nuts
- ½ cup or a handful of the turkey berries
- Salt for seasoning
1. Boil the palm nuts and the turkey berries together. Pound the mixture well and sieve to get a solution.
2. Boil the pepper together with the chopped onions and some water. After that, blend the boiled pepper and onions with fresh ginger.
3. Add some salt to season.
4. Chop the meat into small pieces, put into a cooking pan. Add four fresh tomatoes and add the blended pepper, onions and ginger.
5. Finally, steam the mixture for about 15 minutes.
6. After that, remove the tomatoes and add the palm nut and turkey berry solution.
7. Blend the mixture and add the tomatoes.
8. Allow them to cook
9. Upon cooking, you will notice some foam formation, continue cooking
10. When the foam disappears, your palmiturk is ready.
11. You can serve it hot with potatoes, cocoyam, rice, plantain, or yam.
How to make the dried turkey berry
- 2 cups of water
- Two teaspoons of salt
- 1 kg of turkey berries
1. Boil some water and add put some salt into it
2. Wash your turkey berries and put them in the boiled water
3. Immediately the vegetables change their natural colour, take them out
4. Allow the boiled vegetables to cool, then spread them out on a clean piece of clothing or a plastic piece of paper
5. Allow the cooked berries to dry completely by exposing them to direct sunlight (for 3 to 4 days).
6. Your turkey berry is dried and ready for use. You can store it in an airtight container.
How to make dried turkey kulambu or the vatha kulambu
- Garlic bulb
- Cooking oil
- Kulambu chilli powder
- Turkey berries
1. Soak the tamarind in hot water and later extract the water from it
2. Peel off the garlic cloves and the onions
3. Clean all the ingredients and the cooking utensils thoroughly
1. Take a frying pan, pour some cooking oil and add onions and garlic
2. Fry the contents for about 2 minutes and add the kulambu chilli powder
3. Add the extracted tamarind water and allow the mixture to boil until the kulambu starts to thicken
4. Add the dried turkey berry and cook the mixture for approximately 5 minutes in a medium frame
5. After that, add jaggery and stir well
6. Your dried turkey berry kulambu is ready. Serve it with rice while it's hot.
Finally, the turkey berry in Ghana is grown locally, therefore, it is very affordable and available in almost all stores countrywide. With the mentioned abedro health benefits, Ghanaians should embrace the product and include it in all their recipes. In addition to that, the Ghanaian government should create awareness of the importance of this crop.