What are the Health Benefits of Bullet pears (Ube)

Last updated on June 29th, 2023 at 04:35 pm

7 minutes read.    


Bullet pear (Dacryodes edulis) native to Igbo and popularly known as ube among the Igbo-speaking people of South-eastern Nigeria is a member of the family Burseraceae.

It is an evergreen tropical fruit tree that grows in the humid and sub-humid climates of West African countries.

The African bullet pear (Dacryodes edulis) fruit pulp is well known for its richness in protein, fat, fiber, minerals, and essential amino acids. They are consumed during the months of April to September. (1)

African pear (Dacryodes edulis) belongs to the family Burseraceae and is also known as Safou (French), ube (Ibo), elemi (Yoruba), eben (Efik), and orumu (Benin).

It grows in a wide range of soil types and is widely distributed in Africa. It is found in Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo(Kinshasa), Gabon, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and Sao Tome.

 In southeast Nigeria, the trees are grown around homesteads and flowering takes place from January to April. The major fruiting season is between May and October. (1, 2, 3)

In both rural and urban areas of Cameroon, the fruits are boiled or roasted and then eaten with cassava or maize.

Nutrition Fact

The study showed that bullet pears (ube) are a good source of essential nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and sodium, vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E and anti-nutrients such as Alkaloids, saponin, tannins, flavonoid, and hydrogen cyanide. (1, 2)

Health benefit Bullet Pears (ube)

Here are the research-proven health benefits bullet pears:

1. Promotes Healthy Pregnancy

Bullet pear contains folate (a B vitamin) called “Folic acid,” which is essential for everyone, especially pregnant women.

Part of the reason why this vitamin is essential for pregnant women is that it helps in creating new cells and producing DNA.

Not that alone, the Folic acid in bullet pears also helps in preventing serious birth defects, including:

Spina bifida:- a neural tube defect when a baby’s spinal cord and brain are unable to develop outright.

Encephalocele condition causes a child’s brain to extend through the skull.

Anencephaly birth defect when a child’s brain and bones are unable to form or develop outright.

These and more are what make bullet pears an excellent food for pregnant women, so be sure you consume the fruit regularly. (1, 2)

2.  Promotes Skin Health and Combats Skin Diseases

Our article on the benefits of Nigerian pear would be completely shallow if we fail to mention that it is an excellent source of fiber, folate, pantothenate, and vitamins like vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, the antioxidant vitamin (vitamin C), All of which works together to give you a glowing, younger-looking skin while combating free radicals in your body.

To be specific, the fiber in ube helps in getting rid of yeast and fungus from the body to prevent them from causing acne and rashes on your skin, while the folic acid helps in eliminating toxins from the body to reduce the appearance of acne and to increase the skin’s firmness.

Additionally, the content of pantothenate in ube is beneficial to the skin such that it helps in combating acne as well as speeding up the healing process when there is a wound on the skin. (1,2, 3)

That said, Nigerian pear is also used in treating various ailments, including mouthwash, sickle cell disease, malaria, arthritis, wounds, skin diseases, ringworm, craw-craw, dysentery, fever, and lots more.

oka and ube (roasted corn)

Depending on the kind of ailment you are facing, there are numerous ways you can use this fruit for treatment;

For instance, you have to combine its powdered form with malagueta pepper to treat anemia or oral bleeding, while you have to mix it with palm oil when treating pains, stiffness, or skin-related diseases. (1, 4)

3. Promotes digestive health

Ube is very rich in fiber, butter, and healthy oil. When eaten either roasted or soften with hot water, it gives satiety and smoothens your intestinal tract, protects you from constipation and inflammation, and helps you produce soft bulky feces in the morning.

you can combine ube and coconut to eat cooked corn

Eating ube aids smooth digestion. During the season I love eating it with cooked corn because it keeps my tummy quiet and smooth. In fact, roasted or boiled ube is a quick constipation remedy.(5)

4. Promotes Healthy Oral Health

Nigerian pear contains a great number of antimicrobial properties, and for this reason, it is being used in making toothpaste in certain parts of Africa.

In addition to that, multiple local studies reveal that these potent properties also play a major role in combating the bacteria, which often causes mouth odor and tooth decay.(1,2, 3)

Therefore, if you are looking for a natural way to handle either of the two mouth conditions, it is recommended you increase your pear fruit intake to quicken the recovery.

5. Lowers High Blood Pressure

Bush pears contain essential minerals such as potassium, which plays a major role in promoting the optimal functioning of the human body.

When you consume Bush pears regularly, the potassium content in it will help balance out the negative effects of salt in your body, thus lowering high blood pressure as well as reducing the risk of stroke.

To lower high blood pressure with pears simply eat 4 – 7 portions of this super delicious fruit daily, and you will notice an improvement in your overall well-being. (1, 2, 3, 6)

two young men buying ube from the grocery

4. Cleanses the Body System

Due to one reason or the other, your body may be harboring various unnecessary organisms which may further result in certain health conditions.

However, there’s an effective way you can get rid of those redundant organisms, which is – regular consumption of Nigerian pear.

This fruit contains some potent antioxidants which help in cleaning unneeded organisms from your body and thus improving your overall well-being. In addition to that, ube is also proven to be excellent in reducing the occurrence of certain diseases while inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules in the body.

7. Helps in Treating Eye problems

The importance of Vitamin C to the human eye can never be overemphasized as it helps in keeping the eye healthy by enhancing the formation of eye-related connective tissues, protecting the eyes against damaging free radicals, and reducing the risk of cataracts and vision loss.

More importantly, Nigerian pear is an excellent source of the aforementioned antioxidant (Vitamin C), which means it will help improve your eyesight while also preventing eye-related diseases like cataracts and a host of others.

8. Antioxidants and Antimicrobial properties

Bullet pear or ube also contains a lot of powerful antioxidants that help in warding off harmful free radicals from the body.  They also have effective antimicrobial properties that prevent the body from contracting diseases. (7)

9. The seed can be used for poultry feed.

The ube seed which is not edible contains healthy edible oil and when extracted the chaff forms a dry matter which can be mixed with poultry feed to increase its quality. ( 8, 9)

Ube(bullet pear) and Weight Loss

Nigerian pear is not fattening, they contain healthy lipids and good cholesterol. The calories in Nigerian pear are also moderate.

Although the fat content in this fruit is a lot higher when compared to fruits like apple, guava, and pawpaw, pear cannot make you fat if you eat it moderately.

Related: What’s the Best Food to Eat during Pregnancy? (According to the dietitian)


The African bullet pear (Dacryodes edulis) fruit pulp is well known for its richness in protein, fat, fiber, minerals, and essential amino acids. 

Bullet pear/ube is very good for pregnant women because is rich in folate (folic acid) which prevents many birth defects and prevent constipation as well.

It promotes oral health and digestive health and combats skin disease as well. It is normally eaten roasted with roasted or cooked corn, it can also be soil in hot water and enjoyed as well and can be converted to butter for a bread spread.

The seed is not edible oil. When the seed oil is extracted, the chaff can be dried and used to supplement poultry feed. It contains saturated fatty acid but consumption cannot either make you fat or increase your LDL cholesterol.  

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The content provided in Living Good is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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