Fluted Pumpkin or Ugu is one of the plants from West African continent precisely from the Southern part of Nigeria. You may unfamiliar with this plant, but it had been widely cultivated in Ghana, Cameroon, and Sierra Leona. Also, it is botanically known as Telfairia Occidentalis Hook F. and is belong to the cucurbitacase family.
This plant has unique characteristics as it has greenish leafy vegetables and fleshy fluted gourds with hard edible seeds. The fluted gourds are quite big, yet, some of them are medium and quite small. The plant comes in large ranging size with 16 to 105 cm in length. Also, it has an average diameter of 9 cm. Besides, there are 10-200 seeds in each gourd and it is depending on the size of the gourd.
Moreover, the diluted pumpkin seeds are edible and have to be cooked before consumption. The seeds can be used for making soaps or as local spices while the leaves of fluted pumpkin used for cooking stews, soups, and even for natural medications. Indeed, the increase consumption of fluted pumpkin leaves and seeds is linked to the nutritive benefits which they have provided.
Fluted Pumpkin leaves are rich in dietary properties like calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. Even, the leaves provide the great amount of vitamin A, B2, C2 and E for sure. Indeed, it is also packed with antioxidant properties to protect the body against disease.
As the consequence, to know what are excellent health benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves, then have a look at following statements below.
1. Source of Protein
By consuming fluted pumpkin leaves or Ugu, you will help your body to fulfill the protein needs in the body. As we all have known, protein will help to restore the broken cells in the body with the new ones. Also, protein plays the main role in providing another great health benefits including to support neurological function, balancing hormones naturally, and preventing weight gain as protein can make us feel full. Hence, if you want to obtain those great health benefits, you can start to eat Ugu regularly as a right option.
2. Source of Fat and Carbohydrate
As fluted pumpkin leaves contain a good source of fat and carbohydrate, then they are valuable to promote the energy level in the body. Also, fluted pumpkin leaves have a role in building great muscle as they can elevate growth hormone which inhibits muscle breakdown. For the tips, you can also consume another good food to obtain fat and carbohydrate nutrients such as rice and whole grains for sure.
3. Source of Iron
Not only for providing protein, fat and carbohydrate nutrients, but fluted pumpkin leaves are good in providing the iron source. As a result, iron contained in Ugu will help to balance hormones naturally and prevent the weakness and dizziness for sure. On the another hand, if your body does not absorb the ideal amount of iron needed in the body, it may lead to the presence of poor concentration and anemia. As a solution, you can consume another iron foods such as sardines, black beans, and lentils.
4. Source of Magnesium
It has shown that magnesium has a role in promoting the building of body muscle and keeping the normal level of blood pressure. Also, this vital mineral is responsible for maintaining the heart rhythm steady. As the consequence, if you consume fluted pumpkin leaves regularly, then your body will get those great health benefits as Ugu contains a good source of magnesium. Thus, adding fluted pumpkin leaves to your food will help you to deal with some health problems for sure.
5. Source of Dietary Fiber
To promote healthy digestion system, you can consume fiber foods such as whole grains and green vegetables. In the same way, fluted pumpkin leaves also provide a good source of dietary fiber. As a result, this kind of leaves will help you to obtain excellent benefits for sure. For instance, fiber is the one who has a role in normalizing bowel movements and helping to maintain the bowel health. Not only for those benefits, if you wish to get healthy weight, then fiber food like Ugu leaves will be there to help you.
6. Source of Potassium
The ideal intake of potassium will help you to achieve great health results. As the consequence, potassium contained in fluted pumpkin leaves or Ugu will help to support key bodily process. Indeed, potassium takes part in preventing maintaining the blood pressure and cardiovascular health and promoting bone and muscle building. For the tips, you can consume avocado, mushrooms, beet greens together with fluted pumpkin leaves to support the potassium needs as well as promoting the body function.
7. Source of Calcium
Surprisingly, fluted pumpkin leaves contain a good source of calcium. With calcium, our body will work well in promoting bone density and structure as well. Further, consuming cheese, milk, broccoli and Ugu will support the calcium needs in the body.
8. Treats Anemia
As have described, rich in iron nutrients, fluted pumpkin leaves will help in preventing the occurrence of anemia. Also, due to the presence of haematinic properties of the Ugu leaves, it will result in positive effects to treat anemia. Hence, if you suffer from anemia, consuming fluted pumpkin leaves regularly may help you as an alternative and natural medical treatment.
9. Have Healing Properties
Due to the presence of healing properties in Ugu, they will help to alleviate certain diseases and illnesses. For the tips, you can consume fluted pumpkin leaves as a juice to be drunk as herbal decoction.
10. Acts as Antioxidant
Rich in aponins, glycosides, phytic acid, tannin, flavonoids, alkaloids, resins, hydrocyanic acid and oxalic acids, Ugu is valuable to promote antioxidant nutrients in the body. Moreover, as it has great antioxidant properties, it will help to protect the body against the presence of viruses and bacteria. Further, Ugu will help you to prevent certain health problems as well.
11. Acts as Anti-Inflammatory
Another health benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves are the way they act as anti-inflammatory properties. Indeed, by having great nutrients contained in Ugu leaves, the will work well to prevent the bad effects of inflammation. Also, the presence analgesic properties, Ugu leaves will help to inhibit the neurogenic, non-neurogenic and narcotic pains affecting the inflamed body part.
12. Have Antimicrobial Properties
What is even great from fluted pumpkin leaves is the way they have antimicrobial properties. With those, Ugu is responsible for inhibiting the growth of intestinal pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, S. faecalis, Salmonella typhi. As a result, by adding Ugu leaves as your food, your body will be free from the presence of bad pathogens.
13. Treats Cardiovascular Diseases
Fluted pumpkin leaves also play a role in providing the natural treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Thus, if you suffer from cardiovascular diseases, then consuming fluted pumpkin leaves regularly is something that should be taken into account.
14. Prevents Cancer
As cancer has been reported as the leading diseases which cause the death in the world, then we should find a way to prevent and treat this kind of chronic diseases. The presence of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in fluted pumpkin leaves will help to prevent cancer. Also, as Ugu leaves contain chlorophyll, phenolic compounds, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, and phytosterols, which possess chemo-suppressive properties, then the leaves are valuable to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body.
15. Treats Malaria
It is known that fluted pumpkin leaves have a role to be anti-malaria properties. As a result, this benefit is linked to the presence of antiplasmodial and schizonticisal properties contained in Ugu leaves. Also, by having these properties, they are capable of treating parasitic malaria infection. What a great benefit, isn’t it?
16. Treats Infertility
Surprisingly, fluted pumpkin leaves have a role in the natural treatment of infertility. The way the leaves work is by providing anti-oxidative properties including oleic acid, vitamin A, alkaloids, tannins and linoleic acid which can help boosting the functionality of the testicles for an increased sperm count.
Researchers have shown that by consuming fluted pumpkin leaves, it will help to prevent diabetes. Indeed, the aqueous leaf extract of Ugu acts as anti-diabetic properties which help to reduce and regulate the glucose level of diabetic patients. Furthermore, this great benefit is also linked to the presence of ethyl acetate and polysaccharides content which are anti-diabetic properties of the leaves.
18. Prevents Kidney Diseases
Next, the presence of high level of phosphorus contained in fluted pumpkin leaves will help to prevent the kidney diseases. As the consequence, phosphorus will help to prevent the presence of kidney stone as well as maintaining the work of kidney greatly.
19. Helps Nursing Mother
Another health benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves are the way they provide lactating properties. Hence, by having lactating properties, it will help nursing mothers to produce more milk for the baby.
20. Reduces Stress
Consuming fluted pumpkin leaves will help to reduce stress and depression as well. This benefit is linked to the presence of antioxidant nutrients such as tocopherol, dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase and ascorbic acid contained in Ugu leaves. Then, if you face some hard days, it is recommended to have fluted pumpkin leaves as your food option.
21. Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Hearing about Alzheimer’s disease may make you worry about having this kind of diseases. However, by consuming fluted pumpkin leaves, then you should not worry again as the leaves contain certain antioxidant compounds that can inhibit the enzymes involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
22. Boost Immune System
Rich in vitamin and minerals, fluted pumpkin leaves has shown the positive result to be immune system booster. Also, as the leaves contain antioxidant source, it will help to maintain overall body health for sure.
Increasing awareness to consume best foods daily is a great way to go. In the same way, numerous reasons are there to support the consumption of fluted pumpkin leaves. As they offer you the great range of health benefits, then you can have it as stews, soups, or egg dishes. Moreover, it is great to pick only the very tender young shoots as they possess more of the nutrients. Hence, by consuming fluted pumpkin leaves regularly, then you will get a healthier body and life.