Nigerians enjoy eating vegetables a lot that they add it to almost anything they cook. They either enjoy it alone or add it to their cooking. One of the reasons for this is because of the abundance of vegetables in the country. Nigeria’s soil is very suitable for the production of many crops, including leafy vegetables. From the arid land in the north to the rain forests in the south, many types of vegetables are produced around the country.
But vegetables are not only enjoyed because of their effect on food but because of their health benefits as well. Indeed, many Nigerians include vegetables in their diet because of health benefits, and this practice did not start today. Nigerians have known about the health benefits of vegetables before they were verified or included in studies.
So today, we would be looking at some of the healthy Nigerian vegetables.
Bitterleaf or Onugbu, as it is popularly called by the Igbo people is a vegetable known for its bitter taste. But before it is included in food, it is washed a couple of times to rid it of its bitter taste without removing its nutrients. People also crush the leaves to get the juice to drink.
Bitterleaf is known for being a natural detoxifier, removing dirt and waste from the body, and can help one lose weight. It also reduces sugar levels in the body and the bitterleaf juice is taken to expel worms, to treat stomach upset, and even problems with digestion. It is rich in antioxidants that fight cell damage and helps keep the body healthy. You can find out more about the health benefits of bitter leaves.
Ewedu is another vegetable that people, especially the Yorubas love cooking. Besides tasting great in soup, ewedu is a vegetable that is loaded with a lot of nutrients, including antioxidants, and vitamins like A and C. Ewedu helps to ease bowel movement and can also help with weight loss. It also boosts one’s immunity and helps strengthens bones and teeth.
Also known as fluted pumpkin leaves, ugwu leaves are very popular throughout the country and are used in the preparation of an assortment of dishes. The leaves contain dietary fibre, which aids digestion and prevents constipation and other digestion problems. Many people also drink the juice of ugwu leaves to help regain blood because it contains a lot of iron which boosts the production of red blood cells. The leaves are also very low in calories and including them in your meal will help you gain less weight. The health benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves has been extensively covered on our website.
4. Scent Leaf
Depending on what part of the country you are in, you may know this vegetable by another name; Efirin among the Yorubas, Daidoya among the Hausas, and Nchuanwu among the Igbos. It is often used to spice up the taste of food. It has a strong, rich scent that adds a delightful aroma to whatever it is cooked with. It contains a lot of nutrients and is often used in treating dysentery, diarrhoea, fever, catarrh, and so on. Taking scent leaves also helps to reduce one’s cholesterol levels. You can read all about the health benefits of scent leaf on this website.
5. Water leaf
Water leaf is another popular vegetable you are bound to come across whenever you visit the market. It is often used in the preparation of soups. Water leaf helps with weight loss and also helps to lower sugar levels in the body. It is used in treating stomach issues, like indigestion and constipation. Water leaf also prevents heart-related diseases. The scientific name of water leaf is Talinum triangulare.
6. Lemon Basil
Lemon basil is known to many Nigerians as Nigerian curry leaves. There are tiny leaves used to improve the taste and aroma of food. Lemon basil are herbs that have a distinct lemon aroma, and are especially pungent once it is minced or cooked. The health benefits of lemon basil included it’s ability to boost liver function, fight inflammation and prevent cancer.
There are a lot of healthy Nigerian Leafy vegetables that offer a lot of health benefits to you. You can find out ways to easily add vegetables to your diet today.