Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of WaterLeaf
Waterleaf is an annual herbaceous plant of West Africa that is seen in most of the states in Nigeria mainly in the south. It is called gbure in Yoruba; mgbolondi in Igbo and generally referred to as waterleaf.
Waterleaf is best cultivated during the raining season and posses a short lifespan which could be less than 4 months. This vegetable contains lots of water and nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, crude fibre, lipids, crude protein and other which make them nutritious and medicinal in several ways such as:
1. Regular consumption of this vegetable has a good effect on the cognitive ability because of the presence of certain constituents which helps to improve cerebral blood flow and cognitive function.
2. The crude protein contained in waterleaf is an important supplement both in quality and nutritional perspective which play a very important role in the human blood cell.
3. Waterleaves, when consumed on daily basis, perform a key role in the maintaining the cardiovascular system. It helps to keep the heart healthy by regulating the activities of the heart and reduce the risk of related heart diseases as well as stroke.
4. Contain certain properties such as antibacterial properties, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help to suppress the growth of bacteria, fungi and inflammatory diseases in the body.
5. They are a good source of vitamins such as A and C which helps to repair the body tissues and promote good eye vision.
6. The presence of calcium in this vegetable helps in maintaining strong bones and teeth, in general, gives support to the body skeletal structure and improve skeletal function.
7. Waterleaves are an excellent vegetable that is 100% healthy to the body even when consumed together with the stem which helps to reduce constipation and aid in proper digestion of food.
8. It serves as a weight loss diet due to the amount of fibre content in it. But should be taken on a regular basis either used in a salad or steamed to a certain temperature.
Waterleaves are generally good and beneficial to human health. The uses are versatile such that for culinary purposes, they are used to prepare waterleaf soup, waterleaf stew, yam, salad and more.
In the southern part of Nigeria, waterleaf is used in making special soup known as Edikang Ikong and Afang (predominant in Cross River and Akwa Ibom).
This vegetable also helps to promote brain function, maintain skin health, prevent cancer, bladder stone, and more. On the contrary, consumption should be limited in people suffering from kidney disorder and gout.