Benefits of Angkung Fruit and Leaves for Health

The fruit of the angkung plant is quite popularly used for traditional medicine. The leaves themselves are often used as a side dish like other green vegetables.

Circulating information, that this fruit can treat blockage of blood vessels in the brain. However, do these claims prove to be effective? Check out the nutritional content as well as the potential benefits of angklung for health.

Nutrient content of angkung fruit and leaves

Angkung or also known as Malabar spinach or Basella alba is a plant that grows in mainland Asia and Africa.

This plant is similar to green spinach with red stems and grows vines.

If you look closely, the leaves are heart-shaped with dark green and shiny. Near the leaves, grow white or pink flowers.

Within a certain time, the flower can turn into a small purple fruit that looks like a berry and sticks to the stem.

Consumption of both the leaves and fruit of the angklung plant is believed to provide health benefits because of its nutritional content.

Nutrients of angklung leaves per 100 grams

1. Water: 90.40 grams (g).
2. Carbohydrates: 0.2 g.
3. Protein: 3.4 g.
4. Fat: 0.7 g.
5. Fiber: 3.7 g.
6. Calcium: 267 milligrams (mg).
7. Iron: 10.9 mg.
8. Potassium: 446 mg.
9. Vitamin C: 79.8 micrograms (mcg).
10. Beta carotene: 2213 mcg.

Nutrients of ripe angklung fruit without seeds per 100 grams

1. Carbohydrates: 1.64 g.
2. Protein: 51 g.
3. Niacin: 0.5 mg.
4. Vitamin C: 89.33 mg.
5. Vitamin E: 1.27 mg.

Benefits of angklung fruit and leaves for health

This plant has many names, such as Indian spinach, grape spinach, and creeper spinach.

For the leaves, people usually prefer to eat them in ripe condition. So, it is very rarely enjoyed as a raw vegetable.

The leaves can be served as stir-fried dishes, stews, clear vegetables, or vegetable peels. While the fruit, more often used as juice.

Based on a study in LWT Food Science and Technology, the angklung plant, both the fruit and the leaves, can provide the following benefits.

1. Potentially lowers cancer risk

Both the fruit and the leaves, the angklung plant provides cancer prevention benefits because it is rich in antioxidants.

These various antioxidant compounds include polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C which can reduce the bad effects of free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that can damage cells, proteins, and DNA in the body. Well, DNA damage can trigger cells to become abnormal and cause cancer growth.

The presence of antioxidants can protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals that come from exposure to sunlight, the body’s metabolism, or air pollution.

In addition, the content of vitamin E and beta carotene in Malabar spinach which if consumed regularly can also help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and lung cancer.

2. Relieves constipation

Treating constipation is the benefit of various types of fruits and vegetables, including the fruit and leaves of the angklung plant. This benefit is obtained from the content of insoluble fiber.

This type of fiber promotes bowel movement and keeps the texture of the stool soft, making it easier to expel from the body.

However, the consumption of fibrous foods must be balanced with adequate water intake. That way, the fiber in the digestive system functions optimally.

In addition to maintaining the digestive system, high-fiber foods can keep cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels stable.

3. Stabilize blood pressure

Consuming angklung fruit and leaves can help keep your blood pressure stable.

The benefits of this plant are obtained from the potassium content in it.

Potassium keeps fluid inside cells and helps muscles contract. In addition, this mineral keeps sodium levels in the body stable.

Keep in mind that excessive sodium levels can cause blood pressure to rise. Well, with adequate potassium intake, you can keep your blood pressure normal.

Can angklung fruit be used as a medicine for stroke?

Malabar spinach has long been used as traditional medicine.

One of the uses of angkung which is quite popular is as an alternative treatment for blockage of blood vessels in the brain.

Although many have applied it as a stroke treatment, there is no research that supports the claim that this fruit can help overcome stroke.

After further investigation, this potential may come from the vitamin E content in the angkung fruit.

Based on research in Stroke and Vascular Neurology, vitamin E intake has the potential to prevent more severe ischemic strokes.

The ischemic stroke itself is a blockage of blood vessels in the brain so that blood cannot flow smoothly.

Despite showing this effect, increasing the intake of vitamin E is not the main treatment for ischemic stroke patients, but as an additional treatment. This method should still be supervised by a doctor who treats the patient’s illness.

So, if you want to add angklung fruit or leaves regularly to the patient’s diet, consult your doctor further.

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