HEALTH BENEFITS OF FLUTED PUMPKINS (UGU LEAVES)
Fluted pumpkin leaf are a source of dietary fibre that could help in the healthy maintenance of the digestive system, improving digestion thereby reducing the chances of health conditions like an irritable bowel movement, constipation and those causes by indigestion problems like ulcers and gastroparesis. It can also help to lose weight as it makes one satisfied and lowers their appetite.
Researchers have established that vitamin contents present in this pumpkin vegetable leaves, helps in maintaining healthy tissues, cells, membrane as well as maintaining the skin and vitamin C, treating of wounds. Antioxidants properties of pumpkin seeds are rich in alkaloids, resins, hydrocyanic acid, tannins and flavonoid. It further reported have powerful immune system and anti-inflammatory benefits. Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, known to be effective in the prevention of cancer and other associated health conditions like ulcer. It has the ability to prevent diabetes mellitus by reducing the level of glucose in the blood. this is made possible due to the presence of polysaccharides and ethyl acetate which have been effective in promoting glucose tolerance lowering the blood sugar level and maintain the levels of serum insulin.
It acts as an anti-diabetic agent, which regulate the blood glucose level also contribute in the boosting of blood in the body system and prevent anaemia due to the presence of iron and other important minerals.
Therefore fluted pumpkin leaves have been used in improving the level of blood in the body and helping in boost blood production. It also aids in the improvement and normal functioning brain, magnesium help brain and nervous system, improving cognitive reasoning, memory loss (Dementia) and other health conditions associated to memory health such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Adequate magnesium in the body helps in making the teeth stronger and firm. Potassium as one of the minerals it contains which also help in maintaining the bone mineral density which means that helps to make the calcium content in the bones intact avoiding the leaching of the mineral. It prevents osteoporosis, which affects the bones especially in the aged.
Fluted leaf pumpkin help in weight reduction are recommended for its effectiveness in weight management.
Fluted Pumpkin leaves have been used locally in the treatment of infertility issues in both men and women. Its content of many vital nutrients and compounds have proven effective in its use to boost/improve sperm count in men and the overall functioning of their testicles. Also it boosts fertility in women and improves post-natal health as it helps lactating mother to adequately feed their babies by increasing breast milk production.
Natural foods are source of vitamins that are required by humans. It has been reported that vegetables contains numerous vitamins such as beta carotene, ascorbic acid, riboflavin, folic acid as well as minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus and others.
These vitamins and minerals are essential dietary constituents required for growth, development and reproduction. the minerals in vegetables contribute to the alkaline substance in the body, which enables the body to maintain acid-base balance.
The absence of any particular vitamin may result in a nutritional diseases which is characteristic of that specific vitamin. Vegetables act as powerful medicine which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Lawal et al. (2015) reported that fresh vegetables contain high amount of ascorbic acid content when compared to vegetables that have undergone any form of processing.
Vegetable is highly perishable and require careful processing in order to preserve the nutrients, especially the water soluble vitamins. Leafy vegetables are sources of essential and trace elements which play a major role in the normal functioning of the body system, maintaining regular metabolic processes and repair of worn-out cells and tissues in man.
BY AKUBUO CHIGAEMEZU