Mr Adewale Samson, a food scientist, says jute leaves locally known as “ewedu” is suitable to stabilise blood pressure, to lower cholesterol and other diseases affecting humans.
Samson, who is also a farmer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that ewedu vegetable, often prepared by the Yoruba ethnic group was highly beneficial to the body.
“Jute leave is a green leafy edible vegetable known for its slimy appearance when cooked and is rich in minerals, vitamins, proteins, phosphorus, fat and antioxidants.
“It also contains iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, fibers, Vitamins A, C and E, riboflavin, niacin and folate. It is perfectly healthy and safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers to consume,” he said.
The food scientist said that ewedu was packed with nutrients the body could not produce, known by different names in different ethnic groups in Nigeria was also popular among the West Africans.
According to him, Omega 3 content in ewedu is useful in maintaining good level of blood pressure when consumed.
“Disorder of the body such as dizziness can sometimes be caused by high blood pressure or too low blood pressure.
“Omega 3 content will help blood pressure to be stable. That way, hypertension can be prevented and avoided.”
Samson said that ewedu was also able to lower cholesterol levels in the blood and could reduce the risk of heart disease.
“The content of Omega 3 fatty acids can also be used as an anti- inflammation in the body for gout disease.
“The respiratory distress in the form of asthma can also be treated by taking ewedu regularly.
“It is able to overcome the problem of asthma because it has the content is suitable to relieve asthma.
“The aromatherapy from ewedu is also suitable for treating asthma. The content of anti-inflammatory substances in ewedu can work to heal the inflammation of the lungs,” he said.
Samson said that sufferers of dry scaly skin could make ewedu a part of their regular diet to help keep the skin soft, supple and smooth.
“Vitamins A and E in ewedu is known for its anti-ageing properties and can help to reduce the visibility of fine lines, age spots and wrinkles.
“It also combats dull skin and promotes the production of collagen that keeps your skin supple and youthful.”
He said that other health benefits of ewedu include helping to fight cancer, packed with fibre for digestive system, strengthen bones and teeth, reduce the pain and prevent skin cancer.
“Others are reduced interference in women in menstrual period, improve eyes vision, maintain the clean nails, lowers the risk of cataracts and other eye disorders and can cure Ebola virus among others.”
He advised everyone to make ewedu part of his or her daily diet because of its numerous health benefits “and it is also affordable for both rich and poor”.