10 Science-based Health Benefits Of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves (ugu)

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10 Science-based Health Benefits Of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves(ugu)

Fluted pumpkin leaves are scientifically known as “Telfairia occidentalis” It belong to “Cucurbitacase” and commonly called ugu in eastern Nigeria where it’s originated and extensively used for stew and soup preparation.

Ugu has been grown for decades, and highly recognized for it nutritional profile.

However, many west Africa countries now cultivate ugu owing to its relevance in human body. The greenish, leafy vegetable bears 1 – 3 pod per one seed cultivated.

The white-like pod with vertical lines have seeds inside and yellowish juices, both the seeds and the leaves are edible.

Moreover, ugu is liked because of it taste and as a source of valuable nutrients such as vitamin B2, B6, B12, C, E , A, iron, copper, potassium, dietary fiber, phosphorus and natural compounds.

Comparatively, ugu is consumed in many households than other vegetables in both Igbo speaking and non Igbo speaking part of west Africa as a result of its prominence in immune system maintenance.

Ugu health benefits includes enhancement of immune system, good for diabetics patient, maintains the heart health, lower cholesterol levels, improve digestive system, preventing anemia, preventing cancer, boost skin and nails, weight loss, and maintains the eye.

Nutritional fact of pumpkin leaves(100g)
Carb 12g
Protein 4.3g
Fiber 4.3g
Calcium 1.71mg
Phosphorus 0.61mg
Potassium 2.45mg
Iron 0.3mg
Magnesium 0.65
Zinc 0.01mg
Thiamine 0.08mg
Riboflavin 2.07mg
Pyridoxine 1.55mg
Vitamin C 341mg

10 Health Benefits Of fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugu)

1. Enhance Immune system

Ugu is an excellent source of numerous nutrients such as vitamin C, copper, iron, pyridoxine, dietary fiber and antioxidant.

Cooking with ugu leaves provide you reasonable amount of these nutrients. Iron helps in the production of red blood cells and increase circulation of oxygen thus improve immune system.

The vitamin C and copper are very helpful in synthesis of blood cells, promoting White blood cells – known for immune response. Moreover, ugu keeps your immune strong ready to kill off pathogenic growth that can fight against immune system.

2. Good For Diabetics patient

One of problem faced by the diabetics patients are high blood glucose, and very low blood glucose level.

Bringing it to a level that can prevent complication, is the right approach to manage it.

Expert often recommend use of foods with hypoglycemic index, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals blood sugar control.

Ugu is a rich source of dietary fiber and low glycemic index.

The presence of fiber delay absorption of glucose into the blood stream.

Apart from these function, it facilitate insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing insulin resistance – major causes of high blood glucose level.

3. Maintains The Heart Health

Ugu is very impressive for heart maintenance, due to antioxidant in it. Obstruction in the arteries are primary reason of heart attack or stroke.

Antioxidant play a very active role ensuring removal of plaques, fat deposits on the arteries which are capable of reducing heart performance.

Potassium is found in ugu, that can function as vasodilator, an ideal solution for blood flow to body.

4. Helps Low Cholesterol Level

Excessive cholesterol in the blood are reason why arteriosclerosis form and cause stroke or heart attack.

To reduce this, foods rich in fibre are required to decrease cholesterol levels.

Fiber helps decrease full absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream thus preventing it deposition on the arteries.

Taking adequate vegetable is recommended for overall well-being of the heart.

5. Help Improve Digestion

Ugu can as well improve digestive system, and preventing symptoms attributed to digestive disorder.

They’re dietary fiber that promote secretion of enzymes and hormones that helps improve digestion of foods and minimize indigestion.

The fiber is well-known for promotion of bowel movement, helping maintain gastrointestinal track.

6. Prevent Anemia

Anemia occurs when there is very low blood in the body than normal.

Anemia is characterised with different symptoms like fatigue, palpation, fever, and headache.

Ugu contains iron, pyridoxine, vitamin B12, and vitamins C which are needed for production of blood in the body [1].

Ugu is a major staple in many house hold because of these benefits.

7. May Prevent Cancer

Scientists hypothesized that excessive accumulation of free radicals in the human body triggers different kinds of diseases, one of them is cancer.

It is clear that diet play a greater role in eliminating this free radicals.

Thanks to the ugu or fluted pumpkin leaves compounds such as antioxidant.

Antioxidant is a phytochemical that are very effective at neutralizing free radicals and stop them from causing harm to the body.

Hence, ugu is recommended to be eating regularly as it’s a natural foods and contain vitamin E and vitamin C.

8. Good For The Eyes

Experts say that primary causes of eye defects are due to deficiency of some important nutrients in the body such as vitamin A, Vitamin B2, vitamin C and free radicals.

Not surprisingly, ugu is an excellent source of vitamin B2, niacin, caroteneoid, and vitamin C, all these nutrients are very advantageous in the eye maintenance.

While, the antioxidant helps reduce risk of muscular degeneration.

In addition, caroteneoid is a precursor of vitamin A which is known for overall well-being of the eye.

9. Improve Skin And Nail

Consumption of ugu play a crucial role as it provides you with plant-based protein. Protein is required in terms of body building and nourishment of skin and hair growth.

10. Weight Loss

Ugu is a very low caloric leafy, a must for those on weight reduction plan.

Apart from this, it makes you feel full after consumption, thereby delaying onset of hunger.

Read more: 10 Amazing Health Benefits of potato 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Bitterleaves

Shocking Health benefits of Dietary fiber 


Ugu or fluted pumpkin leaves are incredibly nutritious.

It is commonly used for cooking different dishes; and covers wide range of health benefits.

10 Science-based Health Benefits Of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves(ugu)

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