WATERLEAF (Talinum triangulare)
Waterleaf has a botanical name known as Talinum triangulare, and it’s an edible leafy vegetable that belongs to the Portulacea family. It is an annual herbaceous plant of West Africa that is seen in most of the states in Nigeria mainly in the south. It is called Gbure in Yoruba; Mgbolodi in Igbo, in Edo, it is regarded as Ebe-dondon and generally referred to as waterleaf.
This vegetable contains lots of water and nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, crude fibre, lipids, crude protein and other which make them nutritious and medicinal in several ways. The following are therefore the nutritional benefits found in waterleaf.
Nutritional Values of Waterleaf
The below table is based on 2000 Calorie Diets
Waterleaf is rich in Vitamin C, Protein, Calcium, Iron, Pectin, Vitamin A, as well as other essential nutrients and minerals.
Health benefits of water leaf
Here are some health benefits of waterleaves.
- It boost Cognitive Ability
Regular consumption of this vegetable has a good effect on the cognitive ability because of the presence of certain constituents which helps to improve cerebral blood flow and cognitive function.
With iron inside of waterleaf, it has helped to boost so many health benefits in humans. For, among the benefits of iron for the body is to strengthen the muscle and performance of the human brain. Iron in the body can be found in the muscle tissue that functions in supplying oxygen to the muscles in the body. In addition, iron is also beneficial for the development of the human brain. The human brain needs more than 20% of blood oxygen to work optimally.
- Improves the Blood Cells
The crude protein contained in waterleaf is an important supplement both in quality and nutritional perspective which play a very important role in the human blood cell.
The benefit of waterleaf when it comes to blood cells in the body can’t be overemphasized. It is believed to help in the adequate pumping of blood and its supply and as such, it is used in many cases such as in the treatment of anaemia, etc. Waterleaf generally helps in improving the blood cells (both white and red blood cells).
- Repairs Body Tissues
Waterleaves are a good source of vitamins such as A and C which helps to repair the body tissues and promote good eye vision.
One of the main functions of vitamins C is to help in the normal body tissues repair and growth, it acts as an antioxidant as it prevents oxidative stress which is caused by the free radicals from damaging the body cells and tissues.
It makes the skin smoother and prevents dryness, as well as helps in the formation and improvement of the skin pigment.
- Maintains Skin Health
One of the benefits of Waterleaf is the most important role in the production of collagen, a protein that maintaining skin elasticity. Vitamin C inside of Waterleaf 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.
In line with increasingly older age, the collagen will break down and wrinkles begin to form. Adequate intake of vitamin C on the skin will resist the formation of wrinkles by increasing collagen production.
- Maintains good eye health
Vegetables are essential for the overall health which includes the eye as well, as they mostly contain the vitamin A which functions to improve the eye health. Vitamin A inside of Waterleaf plays an important role in helping to distribute items that are received by the retina of the eye to the brain, in the form of an image.
Waterleaf contains vitamin A which helps to enhance vision in poor light and as well helps in the improvement of the skeletal tissue and the skin due to its content of vitamin A1 as known as Retinol.
Vitamin A can help in providing the eye with the necessary nutrients which it needs to prevent some of the eye-related conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration and more. Therefore, the intake of waterleaf in the right amount will result in a healthy eye.
Waterleaf also contains the vitamin C which helps to maintain a healthy eye by preventing the retina from damages which might be caused by free radicals and other health conditions that affect the eyes like dry eyes, conjunctiva haemorrhages and even cataracts.
- Promotes Heart Health
Waterleaves, when consumed on daily basis, perform a key role in the maintaining the cardiovascular system.
It helps to keep the heart healthy by regulating the activities of the heart and reduce the risk of related heart diseases as well as stroke by adequately supply of blood and oxygen to the needed areas.
It also helps in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood, which is good for the prevention and improvement of heart-related conditions.
- Eliminates Diseases
Contain certain properties such as antibacterial properties, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties contained in waterleaf can help to suppress the growth of bacteria, fungi and inflammatory diseases in the body.
It has been proven effective for the treatment of some diseases like Atherosclerosis which results as the arteries in the body is been accumulated with fats and cholesterols thereby making the walls of the artery to be narrow.
Waterleaf consumption has been locally used in the treatment and prevention of this health condition, for more effective results, the leaf should be washed and properly squeezed to extract the juice which has to be taken orally. This makes the blood flow to be interrupted and can even cause a total blockage in the artery thereby leading to many health conditions like stroke, heart attack and more.
- Strong Bones and Teeth
It’s certainly already widely known. Calcium is useful to help ensure strong teeth and thus will prevent dental problems that torment
The presence of calcium in this vegetable helps in maintaining strong bones and teeth, in general, gives support to the body skeletal structure and improve skeletal function.
Calcium is very vital in the formation of bones in the body, and the content of this mineral in waterleaf makes it one of the foods suitable for those who have bone conditions such as osteoporosis, fracture, and more, as it can help in its improvement.
- Helps in Digestion
Waterleaves are an excellent vegetable that is 100% healthy for the body even when consumed together with the stem which helps to reduce constipation and aid in proper digestion of food.
Problems with indigestion seem to alleviate when waterleaf in eaten and helps to soften the stool as well but when eaten in excess can cause a little stomach discomfort.
- It boost Immune System
Vitamin C inside of Waterleaf is a vitamin that is very important because it helps to increase body resistance to disease and restore the body’s condition after activity or daily activities in order to re-fit body. Thus, consuming more waterleaf may help boost your immune system.
- Good for Weight loss
Waterleaf serves as one of the vegetables that help to reduce weight loss because of the large amount of fibre contained in it. For this to be effective, it must be taken on a regular basis in our diets. Its water content also helps in this case, which makes it one of the vegetables to be added to our daily meal for proper weight management.
The fibre content makes the stomach fuller thereby eliminating the chances of craving for more food. In as much as it helps to improve weight, we have to also eat healthy at all times for the effectiveness of this nutrient.
- Improves Blood Clotting
Waterleaf helps in the improvement of blood clotting and prevents new ones from forming just like thrombus which might be formed in ones of the blood vessels interfering with the flow of blood. Though thrombus can be termed healthy when it functions to stop bleeding on injuries by making the blood to form a clot but can be termed unhealthy when the clot formation tends to block the blood vessels.
Therefore, the intake of waterleaf in whatever form can help prevent such occurrences and even help improve existing ones due to its anti-inflammatory properties and others.
Waterleaf has a great effect on the blood which makes it one of the vegetables which have to be incorporated into our daily meal due to its effectiveness.
- Reduces Hypertension
From the research recently conducted, it was shown that waterleaf has the tendency to lower blood pressure, and reduce the possible risk of hypertension and other serious health problems associated with high blood pressure.
- Lowers Cholesterol
To avoid and overcome cholesterol problems, the intake of waterleaf is beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, and it is also important in protecting you from heart disease and stroke.
- Prevent Bladder Stones
Kidney stones occur because the crystallisation of calcium oxalate (a kind of salt that is generally present in food). Excessive consumption of foods containing calcium oxalate or uric acid can result in the occurrence of kidney stones. With the constant intake of waterleaf, the problem of kidney stone could be prevented.
- Copes with Stress
Waterleaf can help the body to cope with stress, by reducing the levels of stress hormones or cortisol. Thus, stress is also indicating that brain is working too much in negative way. Thus, consuming waterleaf may relax you and get back the brain function to stay positive.
- Improves Mood
One of the health benefits of waterleaf is to help improve your mood. By regularly consuming waterleaf as an antioxidant, the free radicals caused by stress can be resisted, and therefore, it can improve someone’s mood on the long run.
- Heals wound faster
The body uses vitamin C inside of waterleaf to restore tissue damage, which will help to heal wounds faster. If old wounds do not heal, it simply indicates that the body lacks vitamin c or the vitamin c is in short supply. Waterleaf, therefore works to increase skin elasticity, and help to create scar tissue and ligaments for faster wound recovery.