Garden Egg Leaf, locally known as Akwukwo Anyara by the Igbos, Efo Igbo by the Yorubas, and Ganyen Gauta by the Hausa, is a highly valued vegetable in West Africa.
Culturally, Solanum melongena or garden egg is said to represent fertility and blessing – this explains why it is common to find it being served during wedding ceremonies in some communities across the African continent.
Garden egg is very rich in dietary fiber, copper, and thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, and niacin. It also contains potassium, a necessary salt that helps in maintaining the function of the heart, and regulates blood pressure.
In Nigeria, garden eggs are usually at their best from August through October when they come to the market in droves and can be either enjoyed fresh alone, with groundnut or cooked into a rich sauce, which is eaten with boiled yam or plantain.
Health Benefits of eating Garden Egg
Helps in digestion of food:
One of the advantages of fiber in food is its ability to boost digestion. Garden eggs help with the digestion of food by ensuring the smooth passage of food in the body so that there is no chance of bloating; it prevents constipation and good for general colon health.
Improves Weight loss:
Garden egg help in the management of obesity and reduces the level of cholesterol in the body. If the level of cholesterol in the human body is low, weight reduction can be easily attained; it does not only aid in weight reduction but also maintains healthy-looking, fresh and toned skin when consumed in the right quantity frequently.
Prevents stomach ulcer:
An ulcer is borne as a result of inflammation of the stomach linings that leads to soreness and can be aggravated by the consumption of certain foods that are too acidic. Garden egg has been used traditionally for the treatment ulcers of the stomach as a result of the possession of some anti-ulcer properties.
Improves Kidney Health:
Garden egg leaves aid naturally in cleansing your kidney by filtering the blood and eradicating unwanted materials from getting into your system. Garden egg leaves are more effective when consumed raw or converted into a tea by boiling for a few seconds and then filtering out the juice in a metal container; this juice or liquid can then be taken three times per 24 hours or more.
Can prevent Cancer:
Garden egg leaves contain an anti-inflammatory agent that makes it one of the best veggies successful in the prevention and treatment of swelling and cancer-causing inflammations. Garden egg leaves aid in the prevention of cancer formation as a result of their presence of phytochemicals that go against free radicals that could, by any means, lead to inflammations that might cause cancerous diseases in the body system.
Like the garden egg itself, a lot of African cultures believe that the leaves and the garden egg fruit itself represent fertility, and have been used in local medicine in the treatment of libido and infertility issues.
Great for pregnancy:
One of the health benefits of drinking boiled garden egg leaves in pregnancy is the provision of minerals and vitamins needed for a good and better health condition of both mama and child during pregnancy. This helps offer proper development, prevention of birth defects, and ensures healthy weight for the unborn child.
Boiled or raw African eggplant leaves serve as a blood tonic for people facing issues with blood shortage or are anemic. To enjoy this benefit to the fullest, it is recommended that you get the fresh leaves, wash it clean (not too much but clean enough) in cold water, slice and eat it raw.
The presence of potassium (that contains a vital salt) helps in the maintenance of the heart condition and regulating blood pressure. One of the primary functions of potassium to the heart is to assist in the regulation of heartbeat, therefore having low potassium (hypokalemia) can cause changes in the heart rhythm or too much (hyperkalemia), which is dangerous to health.
Manages blood sugar:
Because of its high content of magnesium and high fiver, the garden leaf has been used in the reduction of sugar levels for ages. Additionally, it is low in carbohydrates, and this makes it a perfect food choice for diabetic patients. Food rich in fiber are slow to digest. This makes the blood sugar levels more stable, ridding away the feat of a spike in blood pressure. For reducing your sugar level, it is best eaten raw or drank as juice.
How to make Garden egg Leaf Juice:
- Wash the garden egg leaves thoroughly to remove dirt and sand.
- Cut it into tiny pieces in order to enable easily squeezing or pounding.
- Then squeeze effectively and strain the juice.