Waterleaf is an annual plant that originates from West Africa and grows also in southern Nigeria. Here, we will see what the health benefits of waterleaf are and how they contain nutrients. This plant has many names such as Gbure in Yoruba; Mgbolodi in Igbo, in Edo, there are also those who think of it as Ebe-dondon and in general everywhere it is called by its name in English, namely; water leaf.
This annual plant has abundant water content, minerals, vitamins, fiber, protein, lipids, and this has made it a plant that is beneficial for health. It can be said that the waterleaf plant is a cure for several diseases.
Nutritional Values of Waterleaf
Below we will see a review of the health benefits of waterleaf. But before that, we will first see how the nutritional content of the waterleaf plant is as below:
The waterleaf nutrition below is based on 2000 Calorie Diets
As we see at the table above, waterleaf rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, Protein, Pectin, and various other mineral nutrients that are quite important for human health.
Amazing Health Benefits of Waterleaf
Ok, after we know what the nutritional profile of waterleaf is, now is the time to see what are the health benefits of waterleaf, this is the discussion we have been waiting for and this is our explanation.
1. Increase red blood cells
Waterleaf leaves contain crude protein, this is an important supplement that plays a role for red blood cells. Because it helps increase red blood cells, it is good for traditional medicine to prevent anemia or treat anemia.
Actually, the increase in blood cells here is not only for red blood, but also plays a role in increasing white blood cells.
2. Supports heart health
If you regularly consume water leaves, then this is good for preventing problems related to cardiovascular.
So water leaves have extraordinary health benefits in maintaining heart health and preventing stroke (diseases related to the heart). This occurs due to an adequate supply of oxygen and blood to various organs of the body.
Eating waterleaf every day can also reduce blood cholesterol, so it also has important health benefits for heart health. If the content of LDL (bad cholesterol) is reduced, then by itself HDL (good cholesterol) increases and this provides good benefits for the heart.
3. Improve cognitive abilities
Water leaf contains certain constituents that are useful for improving cognition, but this is only obtained when you consume waterleaf regularly.
Well, this is a function that is obtained when the water leaf plant is able to increase blood circulation. Well, good blood circulation will bring blood flow throughout the body without exception including to the brain, this is what makes the brain increase cognition. Well, when the oxygen supply is complete, it can prevent Schizophrenia, Cerebral Hypoperfusion, as well as the death of the brain tissues.
Then the health benefits of waterleaf are to strengthen muscle tissue, and improve the health of the human brain in cognitive reasoning.
4. Helps digestion
Waterleaf vegetables are delicious vegetables with high nutritional content. When you consume regularly every day or every two days, by adding the stems in cooking, you will avoid constipation.
By consuming it regularly, it will provide great benefits against stomach problems. Including relieving constipation and others.
5. Eliminate infection and disease
Furthermore, the health benefits of water leaves are to treat or eliminate many diseases. It is a plant with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. That is why consuming this plant is very good for health.
Water leaf plants are proven to be able to treat many types of diseases such as atherosclerosis. This is a disease that causes the accumulation of fat in the arteries, as well as the buildup of cholesterol that causes the narrowing of blood vessels. This health problem if not treated quickly, it can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
In addition to blood pressure, narrowing of the arteries can also cause strokes and so on. Traditionally, the water leaf plant has been used as an herbal plant in treating heart-related problems.
An easy way to consume waterleaf is to extract the juice from the leaves and consume it orally. You can boil it or even better, squeeze it or blend it.
6. Beneficial for repairing body tissues
Waterleaf is a source of vitamin A and vitamin C, its benefits are to repair body tissues and support eye health.
So, the benefits of vitamin C include building body tissues, and it acts as an anti-oxidant. This means that it can prevent free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, this stress is the cause of cell and tissue damage. Consuming waterleaf regularly can make skin smooth, prevent dryness, help repair skin pigment and others.
7. Waterleaf strengthens bones and teeth
Waterleaf is a vegetable or leaf that is rich in calcium so the benefits are quite good for healthy teeth and bones. In general, the benefit of calcium is to improve skeletal function by strengthening any existing bones.
Calcium is also a vital mineral in bone formation and strengthening. Consuming water leaves regularly can improve bone health, prevent osteoporosis, minimize the risk of fracture, and more.
8. Good for weight loss
Waterleaf is also a vegetable with high fiber content that is good at preventing hunger. This strongly supports weight loss diets, but must be consumed regularly. You can consume it by steaming or adding it in salads.
The high fiber content makes the body full quickly, preventing you from adding to your meal portions. The high water content supports fiber in keeping you full for a long time. To lose weight, add these vegetables or leaves to your diet.
9. Improve blood clotting
If you have an accident or cut a knife, then the blood will come out continuously. This indicates that your body lacks blood clotting substances such as vitamin K. Consuming waterleaf can increase the supply of vitamin K which is useful for blood clotting so that if you are cut by a knife, the blood that comes out will clot quickly.
However, this leaf is not suitable if consumed by those of you who are taking drugs to thin the blood.
10. Waterleaf is good for the eyes
Plants are also rich in vitamin A which is useful for the eyes, the content of vitamin A acts as an antioxidant that can counteract free radicals in the eye so it does not cause cataracts or macular degeneration.
Eating waterleaf regularly is good for improving vision in dim, and helps repair eye tissue and skin tissue because of the content of vitamin A1 or known as retinol.
In addition, water leaves also contain vitamin C which is good for the eyes in preventing various toxins and free radicals as well. So, it can prevent the eyes from dry eyes, conjunctiva and cataracts.
Is Waterleaf Good in Pregnancy?
The leaves of this plant are also known as “blood-pumping machines” because they are very helpful in producing more red blood cells.
Pregnant women often experience anemia which can have a negative impact on their pregnancy. So, one of the health benefits of waterleaf is that it provides sufficient nutrition for pregnant women so that they get an adequate supply of new blood and this can prevent anemia.
Waterleaf for Culinary Use
The health benefits of waterleaf are not only as herbs but also as food and vegetables at the dinner table. By consuming this leaf as a salad, for example, as a soup, it can also provide many health benefits.
Southern Nigeria for example, they use waterleaf as a vegetable for their signature soup, this is known as Edikang Ikong and Afang, Mgbolodi Soup and more.
Waterleaf as Medicinal Uses
In the world of traditional medicine, water leaves have been widely used in curing various diseases. Used as medicine are stems, juices, leaves, and plant roots. These plant parts are all effective in treating measles.
Water leaves are also able to treat several diseases such as insomnia, malaria, anemia, arthritis and can lower blood pressure, it is also often used as a traditional medicine for diarrhea, increases stamina, gives enthusiasm and much more.
Also see: 10 Best Health Benefits of Mint Leaves
Even though there are many benefits, there are also some side effects of this leaf. For example it is very good for treating bladder stones, cancer, but is not recommended for those who have gout and kidney disease.
Waterleaf is great for treating or treating constipation, but if you take too much it can cause increased bowel movements or diarrhea.