Pumpkin leaves are edible greenish leafy vegetables grown in Nigeria and other West African countries. Ugu, as it is mostly called, is commonly consumed when boiled or cooked with foods, and can also be eaten as a vegetable salad or juice when mashed as fresh leaves.
This leafy vegetable is filled with nutrients ranging from calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, A, B2, E, and more. Here are important reasons to include them in your diet:
- Promotes fertility
Pumpkin leaves contain oleic acid, vitamin A, alkaloids, tannins, and linoleic acid which makes it a local treatment for infertility in both males and females. These nutrients have made it effective in improving sperm count in men and the overall functioning of their testicles.
It also helps women in the post-pregnancy stage as it increases breast milk production due to its rich source of calcium.
- Improves memory
Surprisingly, pumpkin leaves can help to improve cognitive reasoning, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory-related conditions because it contains vitamins and magnesium.
These nutrients also help to improve the functioning of the brain and nervous system.
If you really want to age effortlessly, you should add pumpkin leaves to your diet. Consumption of pumpkin leaves will help slow down your aging process because it has antioxidants in abundance.
- Rich source of dietary fibre
Pumpkin leaves also help to improve the digestive system and make digestion easy due to the dietary fibre present in them. You can reduce the risk of irritable bowel movement, constipation, indigestion problems like ulcers by taking pumpkin leaves.
- Strengthens the bone and teeth
There is a great amount of calcium, potassium, and magnesium in ugu. These nutrients are needed by the body to maintain healthy, strong, firm bones and teeth.
To also prevent deficiency of calcium in children and mothers, it is recommended.
- Improves blood production
Pumpkin leaves are a “natural blood tonic” which is why it is usually recommended to people who suffer from a shortage of blood due to certain sickness. It acts as a blood booster due to its rich iron and minerals properties.
In regards to blood-related conditions, ugu also prevents and treats anaemia. The folate nutrient present in it helps increase the hemoglobin and red blood cells in the body.
- Keeps diabetes in control
Ugu also serves as an anti-diabetic agent. The polysaccharides and ethyl acetate in it helps to reduce the level of glucose in the body and also make the body glucose tolerant enough thereby keeping diabetes in check.