Malunggay is one of the edible leaves for man and it is usually added as an ingredient to various dishes. On top of its role as a food ingredient, it also helps nourish the human body. The following are the health benefits of malunggay, together with a sample dish recipe.
One health benefit of malunggay is its ability to clean the body. According to Medical Health Guide, malunggay can be made into a decoction, which can be used to wash sores and wounds, its roots can be boiled and allowed to cool and used to clean such breaks in the skin. Also, the decoction can be used as gargle to wash sore throats and mouth sores. The plant’s leaves, seeds, and bark can also be ground into a poultice, which is applied on the skin to relieve inflammation.
Another health benefit of malunggay is management of diabetes. According to Dr. Health Benefits, studies revealed that participants who drank malunggay tea demonstrated reduced blood sugar levels after the intake. While it did not have a significant effect to people with initial blood sugar levels between 60 to 120 mg/dl, the study result showed a promising premise that malunggay really helps management and treatment of the endocrine disorder.
Vision and Resistance
Malunggay also helps promote a person’s vision and resistance to various illnesses. According to Super Malunggay, the plant contains vitamins A and C. Vitamin A promotes vision, as well as skin and mucus membrane integrity while vitamin C promotes the body’s immune function against germs and infection. To add, vitamin C promotes the function of collagen, a substance that acts as cement and connects loosely connected cells and tissues. As per the publication, an ounce of malunggay contains the same amount of vitamin C as seven oranges.
Digestion and Metabolism
Another benefit of malunggay involve digestion and metabolism. According to Pinoy Recipe, the plant is rich in fiber, which makes digestion more regular. Fiber also acts as a sweep to eliminate unwanted agents from the body and increases bulk roughage of stools to facilitate a smoother elimination; hence, it can prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Malunggay also aids metabolism, allowing a person to burn calories and fats faster. Thus, those who are on a diet may include malunggay in their meals.
Stronger Bones and Cardiovascular Health
Malunggay also helps strengthen the bones and the heart. As per Health Benefits of Malunggay Leaves, the plant also contains calcium, which promotes bone strength and density. It also helps promote heart contractility, preventing any irregularities in the heart beat.
One tasty recipe that uses malunggay is Homemade Malunggay Basil Pesto. According to Eat Pray Lurve, the ingredients include two cloves garlic, fresh ground black pepper, two good handfuls fresh basil (picked), a handful of nuts (very lightly toasted), parmesan cheese, half cup of extra virgin olive oil (setting aside another half), and a handful of baby malunggay leaves. Optional ingredients include lemon zest an a small squeeze lemon juice, nutmeg, and chili flakes.
To prepare, as per the publication, the ingredients are mixed together except the cheese and salt. Then, olive oil is added slowly, using the first cup only. Then, the ingredients are combined until the desired consistency is met – a paste-like consistency. The ingredients are gently stirred while adding salt and cheese to taste. The remaining extra virgin oil may be added to bind the sauce; it is recommended to prepare the sauce with the person’s preferred taste and consistency. Lemon zest or a small squeeze of lemon juice can be added to give a different flavor to the dish.
Malunggay is a truly nutritious vegetable with its numerous health benefits. Thus, it can easily be added to various meal recipes at home, at school, or at work.