Telfairia occidentalis, popularly known as “Ugwu” by the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, and called “Aworoko Eweroko” in Yoruba land is used in cooking several delicious soups such as edikang ikong, efo riro, ofe ugwu, egusi and as spice for foods like asaro (porridge) and ogbonno soup has a lot of nutritional benefits that may interest you;
It is rich in minerals especially potassium
Ugwu leaves have variety of minerals but exceptionally high in potassium. This nutrient has been associated with decreased risk of developing and dying from Hypertension and Stroke, helps to regulate body fluid balance, protects against loss of muscle mass, maintain healthy blood pressure and help preserve bone mineral density.
It has high Dietary Fiber
Past studies show that dietary fiber lowers blood pressure and cholesterol level and improve insulin sensitivity in both non-diabetic and diabetic persons, making it very important in reducing the risk of heart diseases. It also promotes bowel movement and help to prevent constipation and other gastrointestinal diseases.
It can help you lose weight
Due to ugwu’s richness in fiber, it tends to be more filling such that you don’t have to eat too much before you feel satisfied. It also helps you to remain full for a longer period of time before you feel hungry again, this is useful cutting down on your carbohydrate intake. Ugwu is also suitable for weight loss because it has low caloric content.
It helps to boost your immune system
Ugwu is very rich in Vitamin A and C which are known for fostering cell growth, boosting immunity, preventing inflammation and also good for skin health
Rich in antioxidants that can protect you from oxidative stress
Ugwu leaves are rich in strong antioxidants such as phenols, flavonoids, Carotenoids and Vitamin C which can protect you from diseases caused by oxidative stress, this is also another way through which it can protect against heart diseases
It helps to boost the production of blood cells
Due to the high content of Iron in ugwu leaves, the extract can be administered as blood tonic in treatment of anemia and to convalescing patients. Iron helps metabolize proteins and plays a role in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells, this helps to prevent symptoms associated with anaemia such as fatigue, headache and body weaknesses.
For Further Resources