Water spinach is a very famous green leafy vegetable. Who would not know? This is the favorite food of the famous cartoon character, Popeye. However, it’s not always only about Popeye, because the vegetable is among the highest ranking healthiest foods in the world. And, there’s a lot of reason for it. The health benefits of water spinach are astonishingly good not only for the skin, or any other parts of the body but for the overall health.
Before getting into the health benefits of water spinach, let’s get to know first, what really is a water spinach.
What is Water Spinach or Kangkong?
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Water spinach, swamp cabbage, or kangkong is basically a green leafy vegetable that is very popular in many regions. Furthermore, the vegetable is semi-aquatic or herbaceous aquatic perennial plant that usually grows in subtropical or tropical countries.
The vegetable has two varieties –the Pak Quat and Ching Quat. Pak Quat water spinach’s leaves are like an arrow, and its flowers are pink. The Ching Quat, on the other hand, has narrow leaves, green stem, and white flowers.
Even though all the parts of the vegetable are edible, the most preferred are its younger leaves and tender shoot tips.
Just like any other green leafy vegetable, water spinach is very rich in nutrients that are beneficial for the body, the skin, and the brain. Water spinach or kangkong has ample amount of water, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and some other nutrients. Furthermore, the vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked –whatever choice you will do, it will still be healthy. Usually, people incorporate or mix it in salads and some other dishes to add some nutrients to it. Additionally, the health benefits of water spinach can also be obtained through the juice of it,
Medicinal Uses of Water Spinach
-You can use it as a sedative to help promote sleep and relaxation.
-Use it in treating diabetes especially for pregnant women.
-You can use it to treat infestation of intestinal worm.
-The juice from kangkong can help in loosening constipation.
-Mix water and kangkong juice and make it as a cold compress, this will treat fever.
-You can use it in times of poisoning; this can promote vomiting.
-Use it as a cold compress to cure skin diseases like athletes foot, ringworm, etc.
Side Effects of Eating Water Spinach
Normally, water spinach consumption is very safe for humans and animals. However, like some other vegetables when excessively eaten and improperly handles, the vegetable might put you to risk.
If you eat water spinach raw, it may transmit intestinal fluke parasites like, Fasciolopsis buski. This certain intestinal parasite also affects those animals who eat them like pigs, goats, carabaos, etc. Furthermore, if not treated, it may cause fasciolopsiasis.
In pregnancy and breastfeeding –it’s safe to serve kangkong or water spinach for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Just like what’s stated above, it helps in treating diabetes during the period of pregnancy.
Water spinach in diabetes –in lowering the blood sugar level, kangkong may cause some after effects. There must be a caution if you want to take medicines for diabetes.
Health Benefits of Water Spinach or Kangkong
There are a lot of amazing health benefits of water spinach or kangkong and here are some of the best ones that you may find surprising:
Helps prevent Insomnia. The sedative elements in the vegetable help in the prevention of insomnia. These sedatives make people feel sleepy and will make them sleep soundly. Furthermore, it is also because of the zinc and selenium content which makes the nerve lose and calmer.
Helps prevent constipation. The detoxifying properties of the vegetable make it beneficial in relieving ulcer pain. Furthermore, because it has a high level of fiber, water spinach is beneficial as well in relieving constipation.
Helps prevent anemia and increase hemoglobin. With approximately 2.5 mg of iron per 100g of water spinach, the vegetable is a good source of iron. This is very good in increasing the level of hemoglobin in the blood and preventing the occurrence of anemia.
Helps in preventing diabetes mellitus. Eating the vegetable is proven to help in absorbing the excess blood sugar in the bloodstream. This is what makes it beneficial in preventing diabetes.
Helps in increasing immunity. The vegetable is very rich in vitamin C, this is what makes it beneficial in increasing the immunity. Furthermore, it is also good in fighting the risk of influenza.
Helps in maintaining a healthy vision. The rich vitamin A content of the vegetable is beneficial for the eye health. Vitamin A as we know is an antioxidant which is beneficial in combatting free radicals in the eye.
Truly, water spinach isn’t just a delicious vegetable, its nutritional power is also amazingly good. You cannot go wrong when you eat this vegetable. Hence, it will make your overall health improve. Who knows, you can be strong like Popeye.