Health and Nutritional Benefits of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves (Ugu)
Fluted pumpkin leaves are greenish leafy vegetables grown in Nigeria. They are edible when boiled or cooked with foods, it can also be taken as a vegetable salad or as juice when mashed as fresh leaves and the juice extracted.
It is called sokoyokoto in Yoruba, Ugu in Igbo language and kabewa in Hausa, it contains calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese also provides a good amount of vitamin C, A, B2 and E.
Here are some nutritional benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves or vegetables;
1. Fluted pumpkin vegetable is a source of dietary fibre that helps in the healthy maintenance of the digestive system.
2. The vitamin contents present in this vegetable helps in maintaining healthy tissues, cells, membrane as well as maintaining the skin and treating of wounds in the case of vitamin C.
3. They are rich in alkaloids, resins, hydrocyanic acid, tannins and flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants that offer some immune system and anti-inflammatory benefits.
4. The vegetable is known to have a high protein content. Ugu contains the amount of protein needed for hormone balancing, tissue repairs and regulates the acidities of body cells and organs.
5. It has an anti-diabetic effect which means that it has the ability to treat diabetes mellitus by reducing the level of glucose in the blood.
6. This vegetable is always recommended for patients who suffer shortage of blood due to the effect of certain illnesses; the presence of iron and other important minerals in it contribute in the boosting of blood in the body system and prevent anaemia.
7. Fluted pumpkin vegetable contains a good amount of calcium that the body needs for maintaining healthy bones and teeth also keep the skeletal systems in normal functioning conditions.
8. Ugu leaves have been found effective in treating convulsion in children. It becomes medicinal in this case when sliced and mixed with coconut water and with a small amount of salt.
They are basically known to be used for culinary purposes but most people are yet to know that they are rich in dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins A, B6, C, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, manganese niacin, folate, magnesium, iron, potassium, anti-oxidants and vitamins flavonoid, poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthins and carotenes that jointly or separately produce effective benefits to human health which are not limited to treating several health issues, replenishing dead cells in the body and maintaining the tissues and membranes.