Ugu leaves as popularly called with the Igbo dialect is also known as Fluted pumpkin leaves. Ugu leaves are one of the most consumed dark green leafy vegetables but many people are not aware of its benefits to the body.
Pumpkin leaves can be consumed in various ways, one of which is that it can be made as a soup, added to salads, made as a dessert or eaten raw. It is essential to make sure the leaves are not overcooked to prevent the nutrients from being destroyed.
Some reasons Ugu leaves should be added to the diet include the following:
1- It boosts the immune system
The combination of vital immune-boosting nutrients present in pumpkin leaves makes it one of the foods that have the ability to fight diseases and infections. For instance, beta-carotene produces vitamin A which protects the body from infections. Also, there is an abundant number of vitamin C in pumpkin leaves. Vitamin C also strengthens our immune system and keeps people healthy.
2- Rich in fibre
Daily intake Ugu helps in the digestion of food. It also prevents the blood from absorbing too much sugar. It regulates the bowel’s movement which reduces the risk of colon cancer.
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3- It lowers blood pressure
Potassium is one of the nutrients for heart health. Eating potassium-rich foods can prevent high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and other heart-related diseases. The good news is, this important element can be found in pumpkin leaves.
It lowers blood pressure in people with high blood pressure and can prevent those that don’t have it from developing high blood pressure.
4- It may reduce the risk of cancer
Pumpkin leaves are good sources of beta-carotene which is proven to reduce the risk of some cancer.
Including ugu leaves in the diet will boost the body’s vitamin A level. Also, it can prevent the growth of cancers like prostate and breast cancer.