Fluted Pumpkin leaves (Telfaria occidentalis) are majorly grown in West African countries, it has a greenish fairly-thick texture. However, in countries like Nigeria particularly, pumpkin leaves are used in preparing soup.
Although pumpkin leaves are edible when cooked very well, some may boil and eat them, while some prefer using them in making soup and other dishes.
This greenish vegetable can also be served as juice when mashed and the juice extracted from it.
The liquid extract of pumpkin leaves is very healthy as it provides the body with so many nutritional and health benefits.
Pumpkin leaves have other local names some of which are; Ugu, Kabewa, and Ikong-Ubong, although these are native names recognized by Nigerian-African tribes.
These vegetables are high in mineral and nutrient content. It contains calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese also provides a good amount of vitamin C, A, B2, and E.
In this article, we’ll be sharing useful tips and facts about fluted pumpkin leaves and how they can benefit you when eaten.
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10 Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin Leaves
Here are the ten (10) amazing health and nutritional benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu leaves);
1. Good Source of Dietary Fibre
These greenish vegetables are not just delicious but also a good source of fiber. Its fiber content helps in maintaining the digestive systems of your body.
One of the important reasons for improving or maintaining your digestive systems is to help curb and reduce health conditions like irritable bowel movement, constipation, and those caused by indigestion problems like ulcers and gastroparesis.
Therefore, you should add pumpkin leaves to your diet to tap into these benefits.
2. Maintains the Body Tissues
This vegetable contains vitamins and minerals that are capable of maintaining the body, tissues, cells, and membranes and also it helps in maintaining your skin when eaten. Above all, it can also be used in treating wounds.
It is also high in protein content which helps improve the tissues in your body, which includes the connective tissues, muscles, and nervous systems.
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3. Rich in Antioxidants
Fluted pumpkin leaves contain compounds and minerals. These minerals and compounds are powerful antioxidants that help in maintaining and improving your immune system.
However, according to medical experts, foods rich in anti-oxidants possessing minerals and compounds can be very effective when it comes to preventing cancer and other health problems/conditions like ulcers.
This anti-oxidant in pumpkin leaves helps in preventing the damages that the ‘oxidative stress’ causes.
You should also know that oxidative stress is among the causes of cancer and other age-related illnesses and can cause changes in the DNA, resulting in cancer formation.
4. Balances the Hormones
As mentioned earlier, this vegetable contains high protein content. It contains the required amount of protein needed to balance your hormones.
It repairs tissues and so helps in regulating the acidity of the body cells and organs. It helps in replacing broken cells in the body.
5. Serve as Anti-Diabetic Agent
Fluted pumpkin leaves possess an anti-diabetic property that has the capability of treating diabetes by reducing the level of glucose in the body.
It also helps in promoting ‘, Glucose Tolerance’.
However, when this vegetable is mashed, the extract has been gotten and taken can help in regulating the level of blood glucose in your body.
6. Improves Blood Production
Medical experts always recommend pumpkin leaves for patients suffering from ‘blood shortage’.
However, the presence of iron in this vegetable helps boost blood and also helps in preventing anemia.
7. Improves the Bones and Teeth
Pumpkin leaves contain the required quantity of calcium that is needed by the body. The calcium in it helps in improving and maintaining healthy bones and teeth and also keeps the skeletal systems in good condition.
It also plays the same function on the teeth, as adequate magnesium in the body helps make the teeth stronger and firm.
Pumpkin leaves also contain potassium which helps in maintaining the density of bones. It also helps in containing the calcium content in bones keeping them intact, thereby improving the health and bone growth.
This vegetable also prevents osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone deficiency, capable of making bones prone to fracture.
8. Treat Convulsion
Over the years, pumpkin leaves have proven to be an effective herb in the treatment of convulsion.
It is very beneficial and medicinal when it is sliced and mixed with coconut water with a little amount of salt.
Note: Scientifically there might be no proof of this, but it was used hundreds of years ago to treat high fever and convulsion and serve as a remedy to many other health conditions.
9. Effective for Weight Loss
Pumpkin leaves are high in dietary fiber content. Although foods that contain dietary fiber make one fuller and lower appetite when eaten. It helps in weight loss.
Although, storing calories in the body is not bad but storing too much of it is not recommended as it may lead to weight gain when it gets accumulated in the body.
Note: Too many calories is not good, as it may result in weight gain.
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10. Can Improve Memory
Pumpkin leaves are medicinal vegetables that are capable of improving and maintaining your memory. This is so sided to its compounds and minerals.
It also contains essential nutrients and minerals such as magnesium and vitamins, which improves the normal functioning and operations of the nervous system.
It is recommended you include pumpkin leave in your diet as it is not only edible but also can serve as a medicinal herb in treating wounds and also it provides the body with benefits such as improving memory, improving cognitive reasoning, and also to treat convulsion.
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