Waterleaf vegetable, called Efo Gure (in Yoruba), Inene (in Igbo) and Alenruwa (in Hausa) is a very popular plant which grows all year round, no matter what season it is, flourishing more during the rainy season. It got its name from its approximately 90 per cent water content.
Waterleaf is mostly treated like unwanted grasses in the fields as people tend to step and weed it away in preference to other plants which are considered more important. Despite this, the defiant plant grows more when weeded. If only people knew the great benefits of this West Africa-originating herbaceous perennial plant, they would regard it more. This is why today, we have decided to discuss 10 ways which the waterleaf is beneficial to us and why you as a KOKOFoodie need to eat it more.
- Antioxidant: Gbure is packed with essential antioxidants and soluble fibres that act as a mild laxative. It helps to protect and boost the immune system, and aids the fight against any irregularities in the body. The plant is a good source of vitamins A and C which helps to repair the body tissues and prevents oxidative stress which is caused by the free radicals from damaging the body cells and tissues. It has been proved very effective in regulating the blood sugar level. Studies have also revealed that it is suitable for preventing the onset of cancer and tumour growths, regulating the cholesterol level and prevention and/or management of cardiovascular diseases.
- Blood Creation and Purifying Functions: The plant is said to be very rich in Iron and Vitamin C which are of great importance for blood creation and purification. These essential nutrients in the plant also help to prevent blood clots or thrombus in the body. They also improve the white and red blood cells. It is also effective in preventing anaemia as the plant has the ability to clear bilirubin from the blood, which suggests that it can help the red cells to remain longer and be effectively utilised by the body. Iron in food makes not only the body active but the brain. It helps to supply more oxygen to the muscles and the brain, thereby improving physical and mental health.
Skeletal Structure Support and Improvement: The presence of calcium in this vegetable helps in maintaining strong bones and teeth and generally gives support to the body skeletal structure and improves skeletal function. Calcium is very vital in the formation of bones in the body, and its content in waterleaf makes it one of the foods suitable for those who have bone conditions such as osteoporosis, fracture, etc.
READ ALSO: KOKO Recipe: Gizdodo Is Everyone’s Favourite New Dish! Here’s How To Prepare This Mouthwatering Delicacy
Weightloss Ingredient: Waterleaf contains a high amount of fibre which makes it fit to serve as a weight-loss diet if taken on a regular basis. The fibre content makes the stomach fuller thereby eliminating the chances of craving for more food. They also provide bulk in the diet thus minimising the intake of starchy foods and preventing obesity and excess body weight. This makes it one of the vegetables to be added to our daily meal for proper weight management.
- Vision Repairer: Waterleaf contains vitamin A which helps to enhance vision in poor light and as well provides the eye with the necessary nutrients which it needs to prevent some eye-related conditions like cataracts. It also contains vitamin C which helps to maintain a healthy eye by preventing the retina from damages.
Digestion Guru: Waterleaf is an excellent vegetable that is 100% effective in proper digestion of food and managing constipation. Its high dietary contents help to slow down the digestion and conversion of starch to simple sugars, and softens the stool to ensure proper bowel passage.
- Skin Glower: Vitamin C present in the plant is needed for the production of hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, which will both be binding molecule-producing collagen in the body. This will have a positive impact on the skin, as it will maintain skin firmness by resisting the formation of wrinkles. It also maintains skin moisture thereby prevents skin dryness, makes the skin smoother as well as helps in the formation and improvement of the skin pigment. Waterleaf can also protect DNA from photochemical reactions (photochemical) which can cause discoloration of the skin.
- Mood Booster: Waterleaf has further been discovered to improve one’s mood as it contains nutrients which resist the free radicals caused by stress. It reduces the levels of stress hormones thereby helping one become relaxed, more stable and insensitive to unpleasant life trifles.
- Insomnia Remedy: Consistent eating of the leaf part of the plant as a daily delicacy is discovered to help get back one’s sleep rhythm in no time as it calms the nerves and frequently cleanses the body system.
- Simply Rich: Water leaf contains more proteins, pectin, vitamin B, essential amino acids, omega3-fatty acids, resins, iron, calcium, copper, lead, manganese and zinc. It is also a rich vitamin C, A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, alpha and beta tocopherols. All these put together and individually have great benefits to the body, so you see why you need to eat the vegetable more?
If eating it raw does not work for you, then you can try it as a juice (blende with a little water), dry food ingredient (sun dry) or boiled food (cook as soup or with other foods).