Garden egg leaves, also known as African eggplant leaves or aubergine leaves, offer several health benefits due to their rich nutritional profile.
It is also known as Akwukwo Anara or Efo Igbo in Nigeria and is scientifically known as Solanum aethiopicum.
Here are some potential health benefits of consuming garden egg leaves
Health benefits of garden egg leaves
Garden egg leaves are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, and they contain significant amounts of vitamin E, which act as an antioxidant and help protect the body against cellular damage.
Garden egg leaves are a source of minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium, which are important for proper bodily functions.
Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, muscle function, and nerve function, while iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells and oxygen transport in the body.
Potassium is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure, proper muscle and nerve function, and fluid balance in the body. Including garden egg leaves in your diet can provide these essential minerals and contribute to overall health and wellness.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Garden egg leaves contain phytochemicals and antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Bioactive compounds such as rutin, kaempferol, or quercetin found in the leaves of the egg plant have been proven to possess anti-inflammatory activities.
Some studies have reported that the methanol (different from aqueous) extracts of garden egg leaves significantly reduce inflammation and help stabilize cell membranes, which is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind their anti-inflammatory effects.
Regular consumption may help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
3. Digestive Health
These leaves are a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps prevent constipation.
Fiber also promotes a healthy gut microbiome by providing nourishment to beneficial bacteria in the intestines. It’s basically important for maintaining regularity in the digestive tract and keeping bowel movements regular.
Including garden egg leaves in your diet can help you meet your daily fiber needs and support overall digestive health.
Evidence also supports that dietary fiber intake reduces colonic health, cardiovascular diseases, and risk for CRC
4. Weight Management
Due to their low-calorie content and high fiber content, garden egg leaves can be beneficial for weight management.
They can help promote a feeling of fullness, reduce overeating, and support weight loss or maintenance goals.
Foods that are high in fiber are typically more filling than low-fiber foods, which can help to reduce overall calorie intake.
Additionally, research suggests that a high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of obesity and help with weight loss. Including garden egg leaves in your meals can provide a source of dietary fiber and contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.
5. Blood Sugar Control
Garden egg leaves may have a positive impact on blood sugar control.
Studies have suggested that certain compounds present in these leaves may help regulate blood sugar levels, making them potentially beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
For example, a study published in the Comparative Clinical Pathology journal in 2018 found that extracts of garden egg leaves and fruits had a hypoglycemic (blood sugar-lowering) effect in diabetic rats.
Another study published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in 2019 found that an aqueous extract of garden egg leaves had a significant antidiabetic effect in a diabetic rat model.
Additional research is needed to fully understand the potential impact of garden egg leaves on blood sugar control in humans.
6. Heart Health
The antioxidants found in garden egg leaves, such as flavonoids and phenolic compounds, have been associated with cardiovascular health benefits.
They may help reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing oxidative stress and inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Research suggests that a diet rich in plant-based foods, including those that are high in antioxidants like garden egg leaves, may help to promote cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, further studies are needed to fully understand the specific impact of garden egg leaves on cardiovascular health.
7. Eye Health
The presence of vitamin A in garden egg leaves is essential for maintaining healthy vision.
Adequate vitamin A intake is associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye-related issues.
Vitamin A is a nutrient that is important for eye health, and it plays a role in maintaining the integrity of the eye’s surface, supporting normal vision, and preventing age-related vision loss.
Including garden egg leaves in your diet can provide a source of vitamin A, along with other important nutrients, to help support overall eye health.
Health benefits of garden egg leave in pregnancy
Garden egg leaves can offer several health benefits during pregnancy due to their nutritional composition.
Note that individual needs and sensitivities can vary during pregnancy, so it’s always recommended to consult with a doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.
Here are some potential health benefits of consuming garden egg leaves during pregnancy:
- Garden egg leaves are a good source of folate, a B vitamin that plays a crucial role in fetal development. Adequate folate intake during pregnancy is important for the formation of the baby’s neural tube, which develops into the brain and spinal cord. Nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin C, which can support overall health and wellness during pregnancy.
- Garden egg leaves contain iron, an essential mineral needed for the production of red blood cells and to prevent iron deficiency anemia. Iron is particularly important during pregnancy as blood volume increases to support fetal development.
- The presence of antioxidants in garden egg leaves, such as vitamins A and C, helps protect cells from oxidative stress and supports a healthy immune system during pregnancy.
- The dietary fiber present in garden egg leaves can help prevent constipation, a common issue during pregnancy. Adequate fiber intake promotes regular bowel movements and supports digestive health.
- Garden egg leaves contain potassium according to USDA, which plays a role in regulating blood pressure. Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is important for the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby.
- Garden egg leaves have a high water content, which can contribute to maintaining proper hydration during pregnancy. Staying well-hydrated is essential for various physiological processes and supports overall health
Check the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the full Nutritional properties of eggplant and its leaves
Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Our Editorial Team