About 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; Mgbolodi in Igbo, in Edo, it is regarded as Ebe-dondon and generally referred to as waterleaf.

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. Enhances Cognitive Ability

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.

And due to its ability to improve the flow of blood, it helps the brain to function adequately by supplying it with adequate oxygen as well in order to prevent/improve Cerebral Hypoperfusion, Schizophrenia as well as death of the brain tissues.

The presence of iron which is a micronutrient found in waterleaf helps also in the strengthening of the brain muscles and tissues which helps in the improvement of the human brain, thereby improving the cognitive reasoning as well.

 

2. Improves the Blood Cells

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.

It functions when it comes to blood cells in the body can’t be overemphasized. It is believed to help in the adequate pumping of blood and its supply and as such is used in many cases such as in the treatment of anaemia.

It generally helps in improving the blood cells which includes both the white and red blood cells, and with the content of iron as well helps in this case.

 

3. Promotes Heart Health

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 by adequately supply of blood and oxygen to the needed areas.

It also helps in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood, which is good for the prevention and improvement of heart-related conditions.

 

4. Eliminates Infections & Diseases

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.

It has been proven effective for the treatment of some diseases like Atherosclerosis which results as the arteries in the body is been accumulated with fats and cholesterols thereby making the walls of the artery to be narrow.

This makes the blood flow to be interrupted and can even cause a total blockage in the artery thereby leading to many health conditions like stroke, heart attack and more.

Waterleaf consumption has been locally used in the treatment and prevention of this health condition, for more effective results, the leaf should be washed and properly squeezed to extract the juice which has to be taken orally.

There is no measurement for the quantity of waterleaf juice to be taken but it should be moderate.

 

5.  Repairs Body Tissues

They are a good source of vitamins such as A and C which helps to repair the body tissues and promote good eye vision.

One of the main functions of vitamins C is to help in the normal body tissues repair and growth, it acts as an antioxidant as it prevents oxidative stress which is caused by the free radicals from damaging the body cells and tissues.

It makes the skin smoother and prevent dryness, as well as helps in the formation and improvement of the skin pigment.

 

6.  Strong Bones and Teeth

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.

Calcium is very vital in the formation of bones in the body, and the content of this mineral in waterleaf makes it one of the foods suitable for those who have bone conditions such as osteoporosis, fracture, and more, as it can help in its improvement.

 

7.  Helps in Digestion

Waterleaves are an excellent vegetable that is 100% healthy for the body even when consumed together with the stem which helps to reduce constipation and aid in proper digestion of food.

Problems with indigestion seem to alleviate when waterleaf in eaten and helps to soften the stool as well but when eaten in excess can cause a little stomach discomfort.

 

8.  Good for Weightloss

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.

The fibre content makes the stomach fuller thereby eliminating the chances of craving for more food, its water content also helps in this case, which makes it one of the vegetables to be added to our daily meal for proper weight management.

In as much as it helps to improve weight, we have to also eat healthy at all times for the effectiveness of this nutrient.

 

9. Improves Blood Clotting

Waterleaf has a great effect on the blood which makes it one of the vegetables which have to be incorporated into our daily meal due to its effectiveness.

It helps in the improvement of blood clotting and prevent new ones from forming just like thrombus which might be formed in ones of the blood vessels interfering with the flow of blood.

Though thrombus can be termed healthy when it functions to stop bleeding on injuries by making the blood to form a clot but can be termed unhealthy when the clot formation tends to block the blood vessels.

Therefore, the intake of waterleaf in whatever form can help prevent such occurrences and even help improve existing ones due to its anti-inflammatory properties and others.

 

10. Promotes Eye Health

Vegetables are essential for the overall health which includes the eye as well, as they mostly contain the vitamin A which function to improve the eye health.

Waterleaf contains vitamin A which helps to enhance vision in poor light and as well helps in the improvement of the skeletal tissue and the skin due to its content of vitamin A1 as known as Retinol.

Vitamin A can help in providing the eye with the necessary nutrients which it needs to prevent some of the eye-related conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration and more. Therefore, the intake of waterleaf in the right amount will result in a healthy eye.

Waterleaf also contains the vitamin C which helps to maintain a healthy eye by preventing the retina from damages which might be caused by free radicals and other health conditions that affect the eyes like dry eyes, conjunctiva haemorrhages and even cataracts.

 

Nutritional Values of Waterleaf

The below table is based on 2000 Calorie Diets

Nutrients

Values

Calories

23

Total Carbohydrates

4g

Protein

2g

Total Fat

0.4g

                Trans Fat

0g

Saturated Fat

0g

Cholesterol      

0mg

Sodium

36mg

Vitamin A

54%

Vitamin C

47%

Calcium

11%

Iron

25%

 

Waterleaf is rich in Vitamin C, Protein, Calcium, Iron, Pectin, Vitamin A, as well as other essential nutrients and minerals.

 

Where is WaterLeaf Grown?

Waterleaf is a native to West Africa, Central America, Caribbean, and Mexico where its cultivation is believed too have started before migrating to other tropical areas like some parts of North and South America, and Asia.

In many places where it is grown, it has names allocated to it which includes Lagos bologi (Nigeria), Philippine spinach (Philippines), Surinam Purslane, Ceylon spinach, Florida spinach and more.

Waterleaf is best cultivated during the raining season and posses a short lifespan which could be less than 4 months.

 

Waterleaf Juice

Most people may not be versatile with waterleaf juice as it is mainly used in cooking serving as an important vegetable in many local cuisines in Nigeria.

The juice of waterleaf is very beneficial to health and is effective in increasing the blood level and also in the treatment of many health conditions which it has proven successful.

To get the juice;

  • Wash the waterleaf thoroughly to remove dirt and sand
  • Don’t pluck the leaves from the stem as both are medicinal and contain various degrees of nutrients.
  • Cut it into tiny pieces in order to enable easily squeezing or pounding.
  • Then squeeze effectively and strain the juice.

Alternatively, some grinding machine like a blender can do this work, but in case there is none the above method should be considered.

 

Is Waterleaf Good in Pregnancy?

Waterleaf is most times called the blood pumping machines” as it plays a vital role in the adequate production of blood in the human body. 

It is good for pregnant women as it helps increase their blood levels and as well, supply them with other vital nutrients which the body needs.

 

Culinary Uses of Waterleaf

Waterleaves are generally good and beneficial to human health. The uses are versatile such as for culinary purposes, they are used to prepare waterleaf soup, waterleaf stew or sauce, 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), Mgbolodi Soup and more.

 

Medicinal Uses

Waterleaves have been used in many ways serving diverse ranges of medicinal purposes. In this case, its juice, stem, leaves and roots are all considered effective as they have proven successful in the treatment of measles.

It can also treat insomnia, anaemia, malaria, arthritis reduce blood sugar and blood pressure. It is also used in the treatment of diarrhoea, improve weakness and more.

 

Side Effects

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.

It is effective for improving constipation just as most vegetable does but when it is eaten in excess can cause stomach upset and frequent stooling.

 

Conclusion

Waterleaf should not be underrated, as it has many benefits which it has to offer when we consume it adequately. Its richness in many vitamins and minerals makes it one of the vegetables we should add to our daily meal for an effective result.



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