Waterleaf is an annual herbaceous plant of West Africa that is seen in most of the states in Nigeria mainly in the south. It is called Gbure in Yoruba; Mgbolodi in Igbo, in Edo, it is regarded as Ebe-dondon and generally referred to as waterleaf.
According to research this vegetable contains lots of water and nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, crude fiber, lipids, crude protein and others which make them nutritious and medicinal in several ways such as:
Enhances Cognitive Ability
Regular consumption of this vegetable has a good effect on the cognitive ability because of the presence of certain constituents, which helps to improve cerebral blood flow and cognitive function.
Moreover, due to its ability to improve the flow of blood, it helps the brain to function adequately by supplying it with adequate oxygen as well in order to prevent/improve Cerebral Hypoperfusion, Schizophrenia as well as the death of the brain tissues.
Improves the Blood Cells
The crude protein contained in waterleaf is an important supplement both in quality and nutritional perspective, which plays a very important role in the human blood cell.
It functions when it comes to blood cells in the body cannot be overemphasized. It is believed to help in the adequate pumping of blood and its supply and as such is used in many cases such as in the treatment of anemia.
It generally helps in improving the blood cells, which includes both the white and red blood cells, and with the content of iron as well helps in this case.
Promotes Heart Health
Waterleaves, when consumed on a daily basis, perform a key role in maintaining the cardiovascular system.
It helps to keep the heart healthy by regulating the activities of the heart and reduce the risk of related heart diseases as well as stroke by adequately supply of blood and oxygen to the needed areas.
It also helps in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood, which is good for the prevention and improvement of heart-related conditions.
Eliminates Infections & Diseases
Contain certain properties such as antibacterial properties, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help to suppress the growth of bacteria, fungi and inflammatory diseases in the body.
It has been proven effective for the treatment of some diseases like Atherosclerosis which results as the arteries in the body is been accumulated with fats and cholesterols thereby making the walls of the artery to be narrow.
Repairs Body Tissues
They are a good source of vitamins such as A and C which helps to repair the body tissues and promote good eye vision.
One of the main functions of vitamin C is to help in the normal body tissues repair and growth, it acts as an antioxidant as it prevents oxidative stress which is caused by the free radicals from damaging the body cells and tissues.
It makes the skin smoother and prevent dryness, as well as helps in the formation and improvement of the skin pigment.
Strong Bones and Teeth
The presence of calcium in this vegetable helps in maintaining strong bones and teeth, in general, gives support to the body skeletal structure and improve skeletal function.
Calcium is very vital in the formation of bones in the body, and the content of this mineral in waterleaf makes it one of the foods suitable for those who have bone conditions such as osteoporosis, fracture, and more, as it can help in its improvement.
Waterleaves are an excellent vegetable that is 100% healthy for the body even when consumed together with the stem which helps to reduce constipation and aid in proper digestion of food.
Problems with indigestion seem to alleviate when waterleaf is eaten and helps to soften the stool as well but when eaten in excess can cause a little stomach discomfort.
Good for Weight loss
It serves as a weight loss diet due to the amount of fiber content in it. But should be taken on a regular basis either used in a salad or steamed to a certain temperature.
The fiber content makes the stomach fuller thereby eliminating the chances of craving for more food, its water content also helps in this case, which makes it one of the vegetables to be added to our daily meal for proper weight management.
Improves Blood Clotting
Waterleaf has a great effect on the blood, which makes it one of the vegetables, which have to be incorporated into our daily meal due to its effectiveness.
It helps in the improvement of blood clotting and prevents new ones from forming just like thrombus, which might be formed in ones of the blood vessels interfering with the flow of blood.
Promotes Eye Health
Vegetables are essential for overall health, which includes the eye as well, as they mostly contain vitamin A which functions to improve the eye health.
Waterleaf contains vitamin A, which helps to enhance vision in poor light and as well helps in the improvement of the skeletal tissue and the skin due to its content of vitamin A1 as known as Retinol.
Therefore, the intake of waterleaf in the right amount will result in a healthy eye.
Nutritional Values of Waterleaf
The below table is based on 2000 Calorie Diets
Total Carbohydrates 4g
Total Fat 0.4g
Trans Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Vitamin A 54%
Vitamin C 47%
Olaifa Bukola is a student of adekunle ajasin university, department of mass communication 300level