Ugu (Fluted Pumpkin) is quite popular in Nigeria. It’s a staple in most soups, it is readily available and affordable. But we tend to overlook our own treasures and seek out things like Kale, collard greens, blueberries etc. I’m not saying that these are not good, but we have a lot of amazing health foods right here that we can enjoy. Maybe if we ate more locally produced fruits and vegetables we would find it more affordable to live healthy. My job is to educate you on these things. Ugu is amazing it is rich in protein, fat, β-carotene, carbohydrate, ascorbate, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, dietary fibre, copper, potassium, zinc, iron and calcium. Here are some amazing things that Ugu does:
1: It is an excellent blood builder (hematinic) so it helps in treating anaemia. A lot of sickle cell patients show improvement by incorporating Ugu to their daily diet. Pregnant women, new moms and people who have lost a lot of blood, whether through haemorrhage or menstruation can also enjoy it’s hematinic benefits.
2: It helps relieve constipation. it’s a good source of dietary fibre which helps improve bowel movement
3: It has anticancer properties. It is possesses anti oxidant properties which help mop up free radicals which cause oxidative stress in people.
4: It aids in maintaining the digestive flora by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria such as E.coli through its antimicrobial properties.
5: The seeds help improve lactation, hence it is recommend for breast feeding mothers.
Ugu is affordable and readily available. Eating Ugu daily could visibly improve your health and overall well-being
6: It aids in cardiovascular health.
7: It can be used in treating malaria. It possesses antiplasmodial and schizonticidal properties.
8: It aids in weight loss. It boosting metabolism and has low calories.
9: It keeps you healthy. It has a wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which enable your body produce better quality cells and aids it in repairs and removal of waste and toxic materials.
THE BEST WAY TO CONSUME UGU
A lot of people only eat Ugu when it is made in their soups. However, during the cooking process a lot of the nutrients are lost along with the health benefits you could enjoy. So this is not the best way to consume Ugu. Instead wash the leaves, and extract the juice. You can use a juice extractor or a blender to extract the juice. Drink the juice raw to gain its maximum benefits.