•40 Health Benefits Revealed!
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This week, we shall be discussing the health benefits of Ugwu Vegetable or fluted pumkin leaves and seeds….
Globally there has been an increase in the awareness and the need to include more Vegetables in our diet, in order to maintain healthy body.
Several researchers have unraveled numerous reasons why increasing the rate of producing vegetables and fruits should multiply tremendously, the need to include more fruits and vegetables in our diet and the unending benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
One of such important vegetables is Fluted Pumpkin.
This creeping looking plant is characterised by greenish leafy vegetables and fleshy fluted gourds with hard edible seeds.
When cultivated, the fluted pumpkins develop tendrils that usually creep and spread on the surface of the ground if left unattended to and coiled through stakes. Characterised by broad lobed leaves, the fluted pumpkin leaves Telfairia Occidentalis is locally referred to as Ugwu leaves and culinarily used for cooking stews, soups, yam and vegetables, sauces and even for medicinal purposes.
First let me clearly state that Pumpkin and fluted pumpkin are not the same. Fluted pumpkin is commonly called Ugwu in local Nigerian parlance, it is botanically known as Telfairia occidentalis.
Pumpkin on the other hand is known as cucurbita pepo.
Fluted pumpkin Telfairia occidentalis popularly known as “Ugwu” is one of the commonly consumed vegetables in Nigeria, especially in the eastern part of Nigeria and without knowing its health benefits, many of us eat Ugwu on daily basis .
Therefore I decided that it is necessary for us to learn some of the Health benefits of our dear “Ugwu” vegetables.
(1) Do you know that “Ugwu” leaf contains a healthy amount of vitamins including; Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (nicotinamide), and even Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
Amino acids like: Glutamine, Histidine, Lysine, Methionine, Alanine, Aspartate, Glycine, Tryptophan, Cystine, Leucine, Arginine, Serine, Threonine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Tyrosine and Isoleucine have been found in Ugwu leaves and seeds.
(2) Ugwu leaves are also very rich in minerals such as potassium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, calcium and magnesium.
(3) Ugwu also has been proven to promote the formation of new sperm cells.
(4) Ugwu is used for the prevention of convulsion: …..
Slice the young leaves, mix it with coconut water and salt, and then store it in a bottle to take care of your convulsion problems.
(5) The Ugwu leaf extract is useful in the treatment of high cholesterol level in the blood.
(6)Ugu leaves lowers cholesterol:…
Different story had revealed that, the leaves contain hypolipdemic effect and may be a useful therapy in hypercholestolemia.
(7) Research has also shown that UGWU leaves have the ability to regenerate testicular damage in men, increase spermatogenesis which Boosts fertility.
(8) The health benefits of ugwu are as a result of its rich content of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
(9) Ugwu is commonly used to treat anaemia and diabetes.
(10) While many people prefer to cook ugwu as a vegetable with all the condiments that help wet the appetite, some just boil and eat it plain like that or blend it into a shake.
What ever the case may be, there are guaranteed levels of various nutrients with any style.
(11) Ugwu leaves possess HEPATOPROTECTIVE action which protects the liver.
(12) Ugwu leaves have antibacterial effects.
(13) Ugwu is very rich in iron and can be used to cure anemia and chronic fatigue.
(14) Ugwu juice is excellent in boosting a weakening immune system.
(15) The juice extract of Ugwu leaves helps to reduce blood glucose level in diabetic patients.
(16) Ugwu leaves dissolve blood fats and promote blood circulation which leads to Increase in blood volume.
(17) The Vitamin A content in Ugwu can be employed as a part treatment protocol for the treatment and management of sexual and urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, vision problems, skin diseases etc.
(18) Diabetic patients should take note that Ugwu seeds even contain more blood glucose lowering action than the leaves.
(19) The high protein content Ugwu leaves cannot be questioned.
(20) Ugwu leaves provide high antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties…
(21) Source of Fat and Carbohydrate:- Because fluted pumpkin leaves contain a good source of fat and carbohydrate, they are valuable to promote the energy level in the body. Also, fluted pumpkin leaves have a role in building great muscle as they help in the elevation and growth of the hormone which inhibits muscle breakdown.
(22) Source of Protein:-By consuming fluted pumpkin leaves or Ugwu, you will help your body to fulfill the protein needs. As we all have known, protein helps to restore the broken cells in the body with the new ones.
Also, protein helps to support neurological functions, balance hormones naturally, and prevents weight gain, as protein can make us feel full. Hence, if you want to obtain those great health benefits, you can start to eat Ugwu regularly as a right option.
(23) Source of Iron:-Not only for providing protein, fat and carbohydrate nutrients, but fluted pumpkin leaves or ugwu are good in providing the iron source.
As a result, iron contained in Ugwu leaves will help to balance hormones naturally and prevent the weakness and dizziness for sure. On the other hand, if your body does not absorb the ideal amount of iron needed in the body, it may lead to the presence of poor concentration and anemia.
(24) Treats Anemia:-As earlier stated, rich in iron nutrients, fluted pumpkin leaves will help in preventing the occurrence of anemia. Also, due to the presence of haematinic properties of the Ugwu leaves, it helps to treat anemia.
Hence, if you suffer from anemia, consuming fluted pumpkin leaves regularly may help you as an alternative and natural medicine treatment.
(25) Healing Properties;-Due to the presence of healing properties in Ugwu, it will help to alleviate certain diseases and illnesses. Fluted pumpkin leaves as a juice to be drunk as herbal decoction.
(26) Acts as Antioxidant:-Rich in aponins, glycosides, phytic acid, tannin, flavonoids, alkaloids, resins, hydrocyanic acid and oxalic acids, Ugwu is valuable to promote antioxidant nutrients in the body. It will help to protect the body against the presence of viruses and bacteria. Furthermore Ugwu helps to prevent certain health problems as well.
(27) Acts as Anti-Inflammatory:-Another health benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves are the way they act as anti-inflammatory properties. Ugwu leaves work well in the prevention of inflammation. Also, the presence analgesic properties, Ugwu leaves will help to inhibit the neurogenic, non-neurogenic and narcotic pains affecting the inflamed body part.
(28) Have Antimicrobial Properties:- Ugwu Treats Cardiovascular Diseases
Fluted pumpkin leaves also play a role in providing the natural treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
Thus, if you suffer from cardiovascular diseases, then consuming fluted pumpkin leaves regularly is something that should be taken into account.
(29) Source of Magnesium:-Research has shown that magnesium has a role in promoting the building of body muscle and keeping the normal level of blood pressure. Also, this vital mineral is responsible for maintaining the heart rhythm and keeping it steady.
Hence if you consume fluted pumpkin leaves regularly, then your body will get those great health benefits as Ugwu contains a good source of magnesium.
(30) Prevents Cancer:-As cancer has been reported to be a leading cause of death in the world, then it is necessary for us to find a way to prevent and treat this kind of chronic disease.
The presence of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in fluted pumpkin leaves will help to prevent cancer. Also, as Ugwu leaves contain chlorophyll, phenolic compounds, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, and phytosterols, which possess chemo-suppressive properties, the leaves helps to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body.
(31) Treats Malaria:-It is known that fluted pumpkin leaves have a role to be anti-malaria properties. As a result, this benefit is linked to the presence of antiplasmodial and schizonticisal properties contained in Ugwu leaves. By having these properties, they are capable of treating parasitic malaria infection.
(32) Treats Infertility:-Surprisingly, fluted pumpkin leaves have a role in the natural treatment of infertility. The way the leaves work is by providing anti-oxidative properties including oleic acid, vitamin A, alkaloids, tannins and linoleic acid which can help to boost the functionality of the testicles for an increased sperm count.
(33) Prevents Diabetes:-Researchers have shown that by consuming fluted pumpkin leaves, it will help to prevent diabetes. Indeed, the aqueous leaf extract of Ugwu acts as anti-diabetic properties which helps to reduce and regulate the glucose level of diabetic patients. Furthermore, this great benefit is also linked to the presence of ethyl acetate and polysaccharides content which are anti-diabetic properties of the leaves.
(34) Kidney Diseases:-The presence of high level of phosphorus contained in fluted pumpkin leaves will help to prevent the kidney diseases. As a result, phosphorus will help to prevent the presence of kidney stone as well as maintaining the work of kidney greatly.
(35) Helps Nursing Mothers:-Another health benefit of fluted pumpkin leaves are the way they provide lactating properties. Hence, it will help nursing mothers to produce more milk for the baby.
(36) Reduces Stress: Consuming fluted pumpkin leaves will help to reduce stress and depression as well. This benefit is linked to the presence of antioxidant nutrients such as tocopherol, dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase and ascorbic acid contained in Ugwu leaves.
(37) Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia:- Hearing about Alzheimer’s disease may make you worry about having this kind of diseases. However, by consuming fluted pumpkin leaves, then you should not worry again as the leaves contain certain antioxidant compounds that can inhibit the enzymes involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
(38) Boosting of Immune System:-Rich in vitamin and minerals, fluted pumpkin leaves has shown positive results to the immune system booster.
(39) Also, as the leaves contain antioxidant source, it will help to maintain overall body health .
Increasing awareness to consume best foods daily is a great way to go. In the same way, numerous reasons are there to support the consumption of fluted pumpkin leaves. Moreover, it is great to pick only the very tender young shoots as they possess more of the nutrients. Hence, by consuming fluted pumpkin leaves regularly, then you will get a healthier body and life.
(40) The Ugwu seeds are also edible however, they ought to be properly cooked before consumption.
The cooked fluted pumpkin seeds can be dipped in palm oil or local sauces before eating and can also be used for making soaps as well as local spices known as ogiri or ogili.
Fluted pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein and oil thus are highly beneficial to human health. Interestingly, the seeds can last for months or up to a year in the gourd if left uncut and whole.
There has been an overwhelming increase in the consumption of fluted pumpkin leaves, seeds and shoots over the past years due to all the nutritive benefits obtainable from them.
Now I believe we all know the health benefits of Fluted pumpkin leaves poularly known as Ugwu in our daily diet.
This is where we would be stopping this week.
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