Wonders of Ipomoea Leaves (Sweet potato leaves)
Fitterfly - Team Nutrition
- Posted On May 03, 2018
Category: Dark Green leafy vegetables
Ipomoea batatas or sweet potato is an important root vegetable which is starchy and sweet in taste and is widely known for its nutritional benefits all over the world. Ipomoea leaves or sweet potato leaves have various classifications as per size, type and structure of the plant. Traditionally vines of the plant are used as palatable cattle feed. Asian cuisine considers a wide use of the leaves and twigs of the plant especially in countries like India, Taiwan, Sri-Lanka, Hong-kong, and Malaysia. Certain species of Ipomoea genus have edible fleshy and tender fruits, quite often used as vegetables in India. Medicinal properties of the plant include hallucinogenic components that are specifically extracted for certain treatment measures.
Nutritional Benefits of Ipomoea leaves in Humans:
- Rich in essential amino acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in food and help in the development of skeletal muscles in the body. Certain genus species of Ipomoea leaves like I. acquatica have high amounts of essential and non-essential amino acids. The most abundant essential amino acids found in the leaves are leucine, tryptophan, tyrosine, phenyl-alanine, and threonine which are seen lacking in most Indian Cereals. Thus it can be complemented with cereal rich staple diets.
- Rich in essential vitamins and minerals: Ipomoea leaves contain high mineral content of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Among many other dark green leafy vegetables, ipomoea leaves are predominantly rich in copper and zinc. This helps prevent mineral deficiencies in a diet deficient in these nutritional elements.
- Rich in radical scavenging elements: Many bioactive compounds found in Ipomoea leaves like antioxidants, phenols and Vitamin C possess radical scavenging activity that help prevent diseases and infections. A regular intake of ipomoea leaves in diet can be highly beneficial.
Recommended in conditions like:
- Diabetes Mellitus: Adipopectin is a protein hormone produced by fat cells that helps maintain blood sugar levels of human body, this is seen to be relatively reduced in Diabetic individuals. Regular intake of Ipomoea leaves helps increase the adipopectin protein hormone levels in the body. Ipomoea Leaves are low in glycemic index and have a high phenolic acid content that helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
- Cancer: Regular intake of plant leaves help reduce risk of gallbladder, colorectal and breast cancer. Ipomoea leaves possess cytotoxic and anticancer properties that help in preventing progression of the disease.
- Heart diseases: Bioactive components found in the leaves help in vaso-relaxation of the arteries and prevent the incidence of blockages in arteries. This helps in preventing atherosclerosis and heart damage.
Toxic effects of the leaves:
Ipomoea plant contains high oxalic acid that can crystallize and form oxalate stones in the urinary tract of individuals with a history of stones. A controlled intake of the vegetable and with high water intake is suggested to prevent complications.
Worldwide uses of Ipomoea leaves:
- Apart from medicinal uses, Ipomoea leaves have commonly been used for medic ornamentals, esthetic, religious trials, horticulture and genetic studies.
- In countries like India, species of Ipomoea leaves are considered holy and are used in ornamental decorations during festive and religious occasions. Ipomoea nil, Ipomoea leari hederidfloia, Ipomoea macrantha plants are commonly grown species of plants grown in India.
- Ipomoea leaves are also used as food additives in the food industry. The beautiful “Heavenly Blue” flowers produce a significant amount of anthocyanidin components like “Peonidin” that is used as a food color in many commercial foods.
- Other uses include use in paper industry, a potential herbicide, and also used as a cover crop in agriculture.
Pick a new vegetable today and enjoy the goodness of greens...For more reads Fitterfly!!!
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