African beverages are food-grade liquids made from single or mixed grains (mainly cereals) using simple food processing processes, the most common of which is fermentation. The content and nutritional value of these beverages vary greatly, and they are unique to different cultures and regions.
Overview on African Beverages
Globally, a beverage is a sort of liquid that can be consumed for nutrition, energy, or hydration at its most basic level. You may encounter a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages when you look at a menu, go down a grocery store aisle, or even open your refrigerator. The variety can be mind-boggling at times. It’s critical to comprehend the various forms and types of these beverages, as well as the potential effect on health.
In addition to their basic function of satisfying thirst, drinks play important roles in human culture. Common types of drinks include plain drinking water, milk, juice, and soft drinks. Traditionally warm beverages include coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Caffeinated drinks that contain the stimulant caffeine have a long history.
African beverages are single or mixed cereals/legumes, animal milk, and various plant parts that can all be used to make traditional African beverages that are processed (such as flowers, sap, and fruits). They are also utilized during the weaning process of infants, whereas men prefer alcoholic beverages.
Types of African Beverages
African beverages are classified into alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic African Beverage
Alcoholic African beverages are made by treating grapes, grains, barley, fruits, sugarcane, and rice with yeast in a controlled atmosphere and fermenting them. Fermentation is a biological event that occurs when sugar interacts with yeast at various temperatures, distillation is then done to reduce the original watery liquid to a liquid of much greater alcoholic strength.
Non-alcoholic African Beverage
Non-alcoholic, also known as an alcohol-free or temperature drink is a form of an alcoholic drink that is created without alcohol or with the alcohol removed or reduced to virtually zero. These include non-alcoholic mixed drinks (also known as “virgin cocktails”), non-alcoholic beer (sometimes known as “near beer”), and “mocktails,” and are generally accessible anywhere alcoholic African beverages are sold.
Top 10 African beverages you’d absolutely love
Umgombothi is a beer produced from maize (corn), maize malt, sorghum malt, yeast, and water, according to the Xhosa and Zulu languages. It’s very common in South Africa. It contains a lot of vitamin B. The beer is recognized for having a strong, noticeably sour aroma and a low alcohol concentration (typically less than 3%). The beer has an opaque look and a pale color. It has a rich, creamy, and grainy texture (from the maize), and a bitter taste.
This African beverage is popularly classified as a traditional African beer is known by a number of different names. It all depends on where you are in the world and what region you are in. Traditional artisan beer is known as Umqombothi in the Western and Eastern Cape districts of South Africa, where Xhosa is the prevalent African language. This home-brewed mixture is created using maize (corn), maize salt, yeast, and warm water, which is a commonality across cultures and places.
For Xhosa people, making and eating Umqombothi has always been a way of life, especially in more traditional rural areas. Weddings, funerals, rites of passage, and imbizos (traditional meetings) all feature it. It’s also a traditional component of connecting with one’s ancestors. Naturally, consuming too much homebrew will lead to intoxication, despite the fact that umqombothi is believed to have a lower alcohol level than commercially packaged beers.
It does, however, have a short shelf life. The longer it is kept between manufacturing and consumption, the higher the alcohol level and the more bitter the taste becomes. In traditional African culture, Umqombothi is associated with respect for customs and traditions and not with intoxication.
Umqombothi is high in Vitamin B and has anti-inflammatory qualities.
According to their beliefs, their forefathers taught them that beer is beneficial for cleaning the stomach, removing toxins from the body, and, most significantly, it is a good source of sexual energy.
It is stated that the substances make men sexually active and energetic. So that could help to explain why I’m so fond of this beer.
Sobia, a delicious rice-based drink from Egypt, is made with coconut milk, sugar, and pulverized rice. Vanilla is commonly used as a flavoring, and it can also be created using cooked rice. The ingredients are blended, and the drink is strained before serving. It should always be served chilled, definitely one of the best African beverages in the northern part of the continent.
Sobia is a sweet beverage with a thick texture. The usual form is off-white, but some people like to tint it with food coloring to make brilliantly colored drinks. Sobia is popular all year, but it’s most popular during Ramadan when it’s served as a fast-breaking beverage.
Many Saudis make a profit from selling Sobia in the streets. Locals, as young as 12 and as old as 70 years old, sell Sobia during Ramadan. They put their Sobia in plastic bags and seal them.
When it comes to breaking the fast during the holy month of Ramadan, Saudi Arabians have a lot of traditions. During iftar (breaking of the fast), one such tradition is to provide specialized Ramadan drinks due to their unique flavor. Many refreshing drinks are in high demand throughout the fasting month to assist deal with the sweltering temperatures and stave off continuous thirst.
Zobo (Sobolo Drink)
Zobo (Zoborodo) is an African beverage popularly used in Nigeria and made from dried Roselle plant flowers. It’s an ox-blood or red wine-colored drink and is also known as Roselle in Australia, sorrel in the Caribbean, and sobolo in Ghana.
Rosella is a beautiful annual shrub with broad, lobed crimson leaves and gorgeous yellow hibiscus-like blooms that grows to 1.5 meters tall
Roselle is used in many folk medicines. It is valued for its mild laxative effect, ability to increase urination, relief during hot weather, and treatment of cracks in the feet, bilious, sores, and wounds.
Roselle is thought to have originated in Africa, but it has since spread throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly in India and Southeast Asia. Africa, Asia, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific are all home to this plant. China and Thailand are the biggest manufacturers, controlling a large portion of global production. Mexico, Egypt, Senegal, Tanzania, Mali, and Jamaica are all notable suppliers, however, the majority of the product is consumed in the United States.
Nutritional value of zobo
Roselle is a wonderful source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in addition to their delicious taste. 57 grams of roselle provide 123 milligrams of calcium, 0.84 milligrams of iron, 6.8 milligrams of vitamin C, 29 milligrams of magnesium, 6.45 grams of carbohydrate, 21 milligrams of phosphorus, 119 milligrams of potassium, 0.016 milligrams of vitamin B2, and 8 milligrams of vitamin A.
Health benefits of zobo drink
Zobo drink has been used as a herbal health drink for years and has been known to aid with a variety of health issues such as high blood pressure, loss of appetite, circulation, liver disorders, malignancies, fevers, and as a light laxative and diuretic. Hibiscus, on the other hand, provides a variety of health benefits, according to modern research. This places it among the top ten nutritious drinks you can brew at home.
It is thought to help manage blood pressure
In pre-hypertensive and slightly hypertensive people, consuming zobo drinks may reduce blood pressure. It possesses antihypertensive and cardioprotective characteristics, according to a study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, which may be advantageous for patients with hypertension and those at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
It improves appetite
Calcium, carotene, iron, free caffeine, fiber, and other minerals and vitamins are found in Zobo drink. Loss of appetite is sometimes linked to your digestive system, and when your stomach is working properly, you will regain your hunger. Because of the anti-bacterial characteristics inherent in the Zobo drink, the nutrients in the drink can help you lose weight while also overcoming any worms or germs in your digestive tract.
Its effect on the menstrual cycle
Zobo drink is also great for women who suffer painful cramps while menstruating as it provides natural relief. The Zobo drink also helps to deal with diseases related to irregular menstrual periods. Inducing menstruation may be beneficial to certain women. It can actually help regulate your menstruation if you have an erratic cycle. Even if you’re already on a regular schedule, a cup of hibiscus tea will help relieve cramps. Taking a zobo drink when pregnant, however, is not advised. For pregnant women, the hibiscus drink poses the most danger. It raises your chances of having a miscarriage by inducing menstruation. Drinking hibiscus is not recommended even if you are merely trying to conceive. It could make it much more difficult for you to conceive. If you’re taking birth control pills or breastfeeding, you should avoid hibiscus.
It helps to deal with anemia
According to the nutritional qualities of Zobo leaves, the drink includes enough iron to enhance red blood cell synthesis. Those who suffer from anemia disease should start drinking this drink because it can assist to increase hemoglobin production, preventing anemia symptoms such as weariness, weakness, and so on. Because of the iron content, the health benefits of Zobo drink herbs perform well against anemia.
It helps prevent oxidative stress
The antioxidants in the Zobo drink are believed to help prevent oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This is due to the plant’s anthocyanins, which are natural pigments that give the flower its red color.
The anti-oxidant properties of Zobo drink to aid in the prevention of malignant disorders such as leukemia.
Palm wine is an African beverage made by fermenting the sap of various palm species. This alcoholic African beverage is sweet, milky, has a cloudy-white appearance, and is effervescent. Amino acids, proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates make up palm wine. This traditional beverage is made in various parts of Africa including Ghana, Cameroon, and West Africa.
Palm ‘wine’ gained popularity as one of the top alcoholic African beverages in the Western part of Africa, with over 10 million people drinking it and its production has become a source of household income in several areas.
Palm wine comes in a wide range of flavors, from sweet and unfermented to sour fermented and vinegary alcoholic beverages. In Nigeria, it is known as emu and ogogoro, and in Ghana, it is known as nsafufuo. Sugary palm saps are used to make it. The oil palm (Raphia hookeri or R. vinifera) and raphia palms (Raphia hookeri or R. vinifera) are the most often tapped palms (Elaeis guineense).
Traditional uses of palm wine
Palm wine is commonly used in traditional rites in many African countries. Rites such as libations in which palm wine is poured forth as a sacrifice to a deity or god. As a symbol of respect to their dead ancestors, some traditionalists spill palm wine on the ground.
Palm wine is an important feature of many African festivals and traditional events; for example, it is provided as a special drink to visitors at birthday parties, weddings, and other events.
Palm wine is traditionally offered to the bride by the head of the family during traditional wedding rites in Igboland.
The bride confirms her husband by serving him the palm wine after searching for him from among the crowd of attendees.
Nutritional constituents of palm wine
Palm wine is a good source of probiotics, nicotinic acid, thiamin, vitamin C, protein, and riboflavin, among other nutrients. Sugar, protein, carbohydrate, amino acid, Vitamin C, yeast, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamins B3 and B6, and vitamins B3 and B6 are all present.
One cup of Palm oil serves 1909 calories and 216 g of total lipid fat. It also offers 0.02 mg of iron, 0.6 mg of choline, 34.43 mg of Vitamin E, 17.3 µg of Vitamin K, 106.488 g of total saturated fat, 0.216 g of lauric acid, 2.16 g of myristic acid, 93.96 g of palmitic acid, 9.288 g of stearic acid, 79.92 g of total monounsaturated fats.
Palm oil contains 0.648 g of palmitoleic acid, 79.056 g of oleic acid, 0.216 g of gadoleic acid, 20.088 g of total polyunsaturated fats, 19.656 g of linoleic acid, and 0.432 g of Linolenic acid.
Health benefits of palm wine
It improves vision
Beta-carotene is essential for vision improvement. Palm wine has a lot of antioxidants, which help the body’s defense mechanisms work better. They are helpful by-products of cellular metabolism that can aid in the body’s protection against free radicals.
Free radicals are to blame for a lot of cellular damage and mutation, including eyesight loss. Palm products can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts by replacing other forms of oil.
Optometrists confirm that yeast contained in palm wine is very good for the eyes thus the presence of yeast in palm wine makes it very helpful for boosting eyesight.
It is effective in the treatment of skin rashes
Palm wine can be used to treat rashes on the skin, especially in children. It is used to treat measles in children in Nigerian rural communities.
In the name of consumerism, people nowadays commit a lot of horrible things. To maximize profit, many hazardous ingredients are added to food products. Palm wine must be fresh, unadulterated, and free of artificial sweeteners if you want to reap the benefits it has to offer. It must also be consumed in moderation.
It helps control cardiovascular diseases
According to studies, consuming palm wine on a regular basis helps to reduce the number of people who die as a result of cardiovascular disorders including heart failure. Nonetheless, excessive consumption of palm wine with high alcoholic content might have negative health consequences, therefore it should be consumed in moderation.
Amasi is the common name for fermented milk that tastes like cottage cheese or plain yogurt. It is a very popular African beverage in South Africa and Lesotho and is called maas in Afrikaans, mafi in Sesotho, and amasi in Zulu and Xhosa. Amasi is traditionally prepared by storing unpasteurized cow’s milk in a calabash container or hide sack to allow it to ferment.
The milk comes from Nguni Cattle (which is already on the Ark of Taste) and, on rare occasions, goats; sour milk is the result of spontaneous acidification of raw or, even more rarely, boiling milk. It’s made during the offspring season. The coagulum has a sour taste and is whitish. It usually has a uniform texture. Magege varies in consistency from semi-fluid to thick.
The day’s leftover fresh milk from home consumption is poured into a lidded container. Acidification occurs after a few days, either as a result of the natural flora of milk when it is not cooked or as a result of bacteria growing on the vessel’s surfaces. For two days, milk is left to settle in a quiet environment, usually in a closed container protected from dust. Coagulation time varies greatly depending on room temperature, which can range from 22 to 35 degrees Celsius.
Nutritional constituents of amasi
Despite the fact that different strains of amasai are taken around the world today, they all appear to provide similar advantages to the African variety. The type of container in which amasai is fermented to get the perfect African beverage, the length of the fermentation period, the type of dairy utilized to manufacture amasai, and the type of bacteria “starter” employed all influence the strain of amasai.
One cup of amasai (8 ounces, or 240 ml) that are made with whole cow’s milk has about:
- 170 calories
- 8 grams protein
- 11 grams fat
- 7 grams sugar
- 10 grams carbohydrates
Amasai is a good source of nutrients including:
- probiotic bacteria
- B vitamins
- vitamin A
- omega-3 fatty acids and CLA
Health benefits of amasi
It boosts immunity
They can help to strengthen immunity and defend against cancer, allergies, parasites, infections, and diseases. Treatment with probiotic strains could result in a 60 percent reduction in a form of intestinal illness that affects youngsters and can cause mortality in some circumstances, according to a Colombian study.
It improves digestive health
Amasi is a gut-healing food with probiotics. Probiotics can improve one’s digestive health, helping to ease common issues such as bloating and constipation
It improves brain health and metabolism
Probiotics have been linked to improved cognitive function as well as prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They also have a role in the regulation of hormones that regulate hunger, satiety, and body weight.
Red tea, or red bush tea, is another name for Rooibos tea. It’s one of the popular African Beverages created from the leaves of a plant called Aspalathus linearis, which is commonly found on South Africa’s western coast. Green and black teas are not linked to Rooibos, which is a herbal tea. The leaves of traditional rooibos are fermented, giving them a reddish-brown appearance. Green rooibos is also available, which hasn’t been fermented. It’s usually more expensive and has a grassier flavor than ordinary tea, but it’s also higher in antioxidants.
The tea has been popular in Southern Africa for generations, and since the 2000s has gained popularity internationally. The tea has an earthy flavor, similar to yerba mate or tobacco.
While rooibos is high in antioxidants, it is low in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It does, however, contain significant levels of:
An 8-ounce serving of rooibos tea has no calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, or sugar. However, an 8-ounce serving of rooibos tea with nonfat milk contains:
- Calories: 80
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 16 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 16 grams
Health benefits of amasi
It is caffeine-free
Rooibos tea is caffeine-free, making it a healthy choice for pregnant women, children, and caffeine-sensitive individuals. While caffeine may have certain health benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. It can disrupt sleep, exacerbate anxiety, and create physical symptoms like jitteriness and heart palpitations. Black tea, green tea, and coffee all contain caffeine. Rooibos tea is a fantastic alternative for folks who want to cut back on caffeine or altogether avoid it.
It helps improve heart health
Antioxidants found in rooibos have been linked to improved heart health. This can happen in a variety of ways. To begin with, rooibos tea may lower blood pressure by blocking the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). By causing your blood vessels to constrict, ACE indirectly raises blood pressure. Drinking rooibos tea 30–60 minutes after intake decreased ACE activity in 17 persons in a study. However, there were no changes in blood pressure as a result of this. More evidence suggests that tea can help lower cholesterol levels.
Six cups of rooibos tea per day for six weeks reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol in a trial of 40 overweight people at high risk of heart disease. Healthy people, on the other hand, did not have the same effect. Healthy cholesterol levels protect against a variety of cardiac problems, including heart attacks and strokes.
More evidence suggests that tea can help lower cholesterol levels. Six cups of rooibos tea per day for six weeks reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol in a trial of 40 overweight people at high risk of heart disease.
Healthy people, on the other hand, did not have the same effect. Healthy cholesterol levels protect against a variety of cardiac problems, including heart attacks and strokes.
It is great for weight loss and management
A cup of rooibos tea has nearly no calories, making it an excellent choice for people looking to reduce weight or maintain a healthy weight. Keep in mind, though, that adding honey, sugar, or other sweeteners can up the calorie count.
According to one study, rooibos tea can help with weight loss and control by raising leptin levels. This hormone provides signals to the brain that help to control food intake and decrease appetite. In the same study, rooibos tea was proven to boost metabolism and prevent the development of new fat cells.