Ugu which is the local and common name for the leaves of a crop known as fluted pumpkin is among the local green leafy vegetables employed in preparation of dishes of several kinds.
The leaves of this crop called fluted pumpkin are blessed with several nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are among the reasons foods they are added to are more nutritious compared to those without it.
Some of these nutrients include calcium, iron, vitamin C etc. Below is one important health benefit of consuming the leaves of fluted pumpkin.
Prevents and fights anemia
Anemia is a name given to shortage of blood in the body. A number of things can lead to blood shortage in the body ranging from sicknesses, heavy menstrual flow as for ladies who are yet to attain menopause etc.
The leaves of fluted pumpkin being a rich source of iron helps support production of hemoglobin which is among the major constituents of the red blood cells. The hemoglobin is the reason the human blood is red in colour. It also helps pick oxygen from the lungs to the organs and tissues as well as pick carbon dioxide from these organs and tissues back to the lungs for expiration.
Thus, consumption of foods rich in iron can help prevent and fight anemia. The leaves of fluted pumpkin are among these foods rich in iron.
It can be taken raw, it can be squeezed and taken as tea, most people however, prefer to take it with foods where they are cooked together with foods.
When cooking, it should be ensured that these leaves are not overcooked because these nutrients in them are vulnerable to evaporation and can be lost to the atmosphere when over exposed to heat.
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