Water leaf is a herbaceous annual and perennial plant that has green leaves that are edible. This vegetable is mostly found in West Africa and western North America. This vegetable is loved in most parts of Nigeria and is used in making different delicacies.
The botanical name of this vegetable is Talinum triangulare and is known as Gbure, Inene, Alenruwa, Nte oka. The leaves and stems of this plant are consumed as vegetables. In some parts of the country, it grows as a weed and is usually more abundant in rainy season.
Water leaf like most vegetables has a short life cycle and is considered a perishable plant. It is used in the preparation of soups and stews. Sometimes, it could be eaten raw when it is added into salads. It could be sometimes added to okro soup to make it richer and greener.
This leafy plant is considered to be a rich source of vitamins and proteins. The protein content could be likened to that of cashew nuts, millets and cowpeas.
Find below some of the health benefits of eating water leaf:
1. Prevention of heart diseases and stroke
Eating water leaf on a regular basis has the ability to prevent you from having stroke and other heart related problems. This vegetable would keep you healthy and fit as long as you take it regularly.
This way it will reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and will this also includes the lowering of blood pressure.
2. It enhances cognitive ability
Research has shown that water leaf has some positive effects on the neurons in the cerebrum and may improve one’s memory, perception and retaining abilities. It helps the body to keep fit and the mind to be sharp.
3. Pharmacological uses
Water leaf has a range of biological and pharmacological uses. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial functions. Water leaf could also be mixed with alligator pepper and avocado in the treatment of hypertension.
4. The perfect remedy for weight loss
Water leaf could be taken regularly while on a diet plan which is aimed at weight loss. This is because the vegetable is low on calories and has high fiber content.
This would be filling to the body and at the same time would not make you accumulate fat. It is a vegetable that will keep you healthy and fresh while you are trying to shed weight.
5. Treatment of diabetes
Consuming water leaf also helps diabetic patients as it regulates blood sugar levels in the body. Most of the staple foods consumed have glucose as their end product. Eating this vegetable helps you stick to a balanced diet and helps you to be fresh while you are conscious about your health.
6. Reduction of blood cholesterol level
Another health benefit accrued to eating water leaf is its ability to reduce blood cholesterol levels because of its soluble fiber content. This would prevent one from developing chronic health issues at the long run.
7. As a laxative
Sometimes, the body system feels weird and may come up with issues that involve constipation. Water leaf can be eaten to treat this irregularity in the body system. It is used as a mild laxative which could restore the body to its normal form.
Water leaf also has antioxidant properties which makes it useful in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Having known all these, it would be awesome to eat this vegetable often in order to stay healthy. The good thing is that it is quite affordable and can be gotten with little or no stress in the market.