Asaana in calabash
Asaana in calabash

Asaana drinkers may live long, with good mental health, eyesight

Asaana is a non-alcoholic, caramelised corn drink made from fermented corn and sugar. It is known in many countries as a corn beer drink.

Asaana could make you live longer. A case study of Kwon et al.( 2007) revealed the need to eat our traditional foods because of a better balance of calories and beneficial nutrients.


They note that staple crops like corn and legumes have antidiabetic, antioxidant, and anti-hypertension potential. These foods also provide certain protective phenolic phytochemicals that are beneficial for heart health, reversing hypertension as a natural remedy for high blood pressure, and controlling blood sugar levels.

They finally concluded eating and drinking corn-related drinks may help you live longer.

Well, the fermentation process in Asaana is also another banger! Besides, corn has a component known as zeaxanthin and lutein. For instance, three studies (Abdel-Aal et al. 2013; Moeller et al. 2000; Carpentier et al. 2009) found that dietary consumption of antioxidants, especially carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein, could boost eye health.


A study by Tay et al (2015) found that low-carb diets are more effective at managing diabetes. The study used 115 adults with obesity and Type 2 diabetes and found that eating a diet with only 14 per cent of calories coming from carbs resulted in more stable blood sugars and a reduced medication need compared to getting 53 per cent of the daily calories from carbs.

An earlier 24-year study by Bertoia et al. (2015) from Harvard in 133,468 adults found that each additional daily serving of corn was associated with a two pound (0.9-kg) weight gain per four-year interval.

This notwithstanding, there are many benefits in the fermentation process of corn used in Asaana production.

Mental, Weight, heart

Two studies (Wang et al. 2016; Messaoudi et al. 2011) found that Probiotic strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum help to reduce signs of anxiety and depression. Both probiotics are found in fermented foods.

Hence, drinking Asaana could give you the needed probiotic you looking for.

Two studies (Sanchez et al. 2014; Kadooka et al. 2013) found, links between certain probiotic strains — including Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri — and weight loss and decreased belly fat.

Four studies (Sonested et al. 2011; Agerholm-Larsen et al. 2000; Khalesi et al. 2014; Dong et al. 2013) found that fermented foods have been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Probiotics may also decrease blood pressure and help lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Hence, drinking Asaana, therefore helps you to meet your probiotic needs and is the term “for life.”

Probiotics are microorganisms proven to exert health-promoting influences in humans and animals. The reason why fermented Asaana is beneficial is because of the natural probiotics they contain.

One study by Parvez et al.(2006) found that probiotics help in “(i) improving intestinal tract health; (ii) enhancing the immune system, synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients; (iii) reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance, decreasing the prevalence of allergy in susceptible individuals; and (iv) reducing the risk of certain cancers.”

Three other studies (Ritchie and Romanuk, 2012; King et al. 2014; Sonestedt et al. 2011) found that Probiotics have been shown to improve immune function as well as digestive and heart health.

Also, a recent study by Obafemi et al.(2022) affirmed that in several African countries, traditional fermentation processes provide a means of food preservation, improving the shelf life and adding to the nutrients in the food products.

Probiotic bacteria not only balance the good bacteria in the gut, but they also help to “tune-up” the immune system.

As high as 70 per cent of the immune system lies in the intestine, so nurturing bowel immunity with probiotic bacteria keeps the intestinal tract healthy.

Another bonus is that drinking asaana enhances digestion. One study by Ritchie and Romanuk, (2012) found that during fermentation, the probiotics produced may aid in restoring the balance of friendly bacteria in the gut and deal with some digestive problems.

Finally, drinking asaana enhances immunity. Studies have established that the bacteria that live in our gut play an integral role in our immune system.


For instance, three studies (Ozen et al. 2015; Wang et al. 2016; Hao et al. 2011) found that due to the abundance of probiotics in fermented drinks such as asaana, can enhance our immune system and decrease our risk of infections like the common cold.

It has also been confirmed that consuming probiotic drinks helps one to recover faster from illnesses( King et al. 2014; E Guillemard et al. 2010; Vrese et al. 2006).

The writer, Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare/President, Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT)/African Naturopathic Foundation, adheres to strict sourcing, studies and academic papers in his articles, which are for educational purposes only and not medical advice for treatment.

E-mail: [email protected].

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