A nutritionist at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital ( UATH), Gwagalada, Olugbenga Jagun has explained the properties of the jute leaf known as ‘Ewedu‘ which fortifies the body against cancer and other coronary diseases.
Jagun stated this is due to the richness of the Ewedu leaf in antioxidants; as well as phytochemicals, during a media interview on Saturday, March 30 in Abuja.
The jute leaf is one of the common African leafy vegetables cultivated here. In gardens and farms for home use.
He said that “Dieticians called it a pharmacy on your plate due to the numerous nutritional-health benefits.
“It is a good source of vitamins and mineral elements such as calcium, potassium, iron, vitamin C, B, K, Folic acid.
“These vitamins and mineral elements have a great therapeutic effect on our bodies such as the lowering of blood pressure and neural tube defects in pregnant women.
“It is rich in both essential and non-essential amino acid, an example is Lysine.”
He added that it also helps to prevent constipation due to the presence of fibre in it; and that makes it a natural laxative.
Jagun also said the plant could be ideal in the case of obesity. This is because of its almost no-fat and low cholesterol level.
“The leaf is a good anti-anaemic which prevents anaemia due to high iron content and also facilitates the production of red blood cells.
“Excellent and appropriate food for the elderly because of its calcifying action, that is the supply of calcium”.
He further advised Nigerians to consume the leaf due to its numerous health benefits.
The Jute leaf is popularly called Ewedu among the Yoruba; but also ahingbara in Igbo and Rama in Hausa.