Fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu), which have the botanical name Telfairia occidentalis, are greenish vegetables that are often grown in West African countries like Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and, of course, Nigeria.
Fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu) belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. This leaves are recently gaining attention of people because of numerous health benefits which they consists of.
In Nigeria today, Ugu is used in preparation of many Nigerian dishes which include vegetable soup, Rice and vegetable, Vegetable with yam, Egwusi soup, and many more.
Yorubas call it ‘Sokoyokoto,’ In Igbo it is called ‘Ugu’, in Hausa, it is called ‘Kabewa’ and in Efik ‘Ikong-Ubong’
In this post, you are going to learn the health benefits of Fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu), but before that, let’s first look at the nutritional values of Fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu) below.
Nutritional Value of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves (Ugu)
Fluted pumpkin leaves contain folate, calcium, copper, niacin, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamins A, B2, B6, C2, and E, flavonoids, and carotene, according to many sources.
The researchers also found that it had a high amount of dietary fiber, protein, and phosphorus.
Health Benefits of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves (Ugu)
Below are some health benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu):
1. Rice in Dietary Fibre
Fluted pumpkin leaves are a good source of dietary fiber, which helps keep the health of the digestive system.
It’s a big component of improving digestion, which helps with problems like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and ulcers and gastroparesis that are caused by bad digestion.
Green leafy vegetables, like pumpkin leaves with flutes, are full of fiber and should be a part of our daily diets to get the most out of it.
2. Rice in Antibacterial Properties
Studies show that the fluted pumpkin plant has antibacterial properties that make it able to stop the growth of intestinal pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, S. faecalis, and Salmonella typhi.
3. Promote Body Tissues
When it comes to vitamin C, the vitamin content of this vegetable assists in the treatment of wounds and the maintenance of healthy tissues, cells, and membranes. Vitamin C also plays a role in the maintenance of the skin.
The protein found in fluted pumpkin leaves helps to improve and preserve the body’s tissues, including the connective tissues, muscles, and neural systems. This benefit extends to the overall health of the body as well.
4. Fight Cardiovascular Diseases
The leaves of the Fluted Pumpkin plant have a high concentration of beneficial nutrients, including dietary fiber, vitamins, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, and carotene. These nutrients all play an important part in maintaining overall human health as well as the function of the heart.
These leaves are employed in the production of herbal medicine in a number of nations across the world, with the intention of enhancing the general performance of the cardiovascular system.
Additionally, it aids in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders like as heart attack and stroke, among other related conditions.
5. Aids Weight Loss
It is encouraged to eat foods that help with weight loss because these foods are useful in managing one’s weight. Vegetables like fluted pumpkin leaves include a high quantity of dietary fiber, which can help you lose weight by making you feel filled for longer and reducing your appetite. Dietary fiber can be found in a variety of vegetables.
As a result of its low or nonexistent caloric content, there is no possibility of the body storing any additional calories.
Because calories are beneficial to the body in that they assist give energy, they have the potential to start building up in the body if they are not completely utilized, which can result in weight gain.
6. Improves Fertility
The leaves of the Fluted Pumpkin plant have been utilized in the treatment of infertility disorders experienced by both men and women.
Its use to increase/improve sperm count in males and the overall functioning of their testicles has been shown to be successful due to the fact that it contains a significant amount of critical nutrients and compounds.
It encourages the production of breast milk, which in turn helps mothers sufficiently nourish their babies, which in turn improves the health of the mother after pregnancy. Women who use this supplement have an increase in fertility.
7. Malaria Treatment
The antiplasmodial and schizonticidal characteristics that ugu, also known as fluted pumpkin leaves, possess make it capable of treating parasite malaria infections. This is just one of the many wonderful health benefits that ugu provides. In fact, this plant has been employed in certain nations for the preparation of a local medicine for malaria since ancient times, and its efficacy has been demonstrated right up to the present day.
Fluted pumpkin leaves were shown to have antiplasmodial properties in a study that was conducted in 2007.
8. May Promote Bones Health
One of the major minerals found in fluted pumpkin leaves is potassium, and this mineral plays an important role in the preservation of bone mineral density.
In addition to this, it protects against osteoporosis, a degenerative disease that gradually weakens the bones as people become older.
9. May Improve Memory
The compounds that aid to strengthen memory are found in the leaves of the fluted pumpkin, just as they are in the leaves of most green leafy vegetables.
Additionally, it is rich in important nutrients such as magnesium and vitamins, both of which contribute to an improved and more normal functioning of the neurological system and brain.
Cognitive thinking, memory loss (also known as dementia), and other health issues connected with memory health, such as Alzheimer’s disease, may all benefit from its use.
10. Rice in Anti-diabetic
Researchers have found evidence of anti-diabetic properties in both the seeds and leaves of the fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis).
Due to the presence of ethyl acetate in the leaf, the aqueous extract of the plant’s leaf has the ability to lower and control the glucose level in diabetic patients.
This can be achieved by using the leaf. In addition, the polysaccharides that are found in the plant possess qualities that are diabetic-fighting.
The health of the body as a whole and its defense against sickness are both improved by the use of pumpkin leaves with fluted edges.
As a result, we need to incorporate it into each and every one of our meals in order to receive these essential benefits that it provides.