Sep 22, 2017 Last Updated 2:37 PM, Apr 10, 2017

AIV's offering better health for Ugandans

  • Dec 20, 2014
Published in Vegetables

AFRICAN INDIGENOUS vegetables (AIVs) are commonly served as side dishes prepared to accompany many impressive foods, the likes of the commonly reffered to as Nakati, dodo, gyobyo and many others ,also in Buganda Commonly referred to as Enva endirwa (side dish), indigenous vegetables offer a wider range of health benefits that suite them to be a major course of food. Indigenous vegatables key medicinal value include but not limited to being just antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant, properties. AIVs and commonly referred to by scientists are host of both vitamins and nutrients. Key vitamins include A, B, C, E, K as well as proteins, potassium, zinc, iron, fibers, & calcium.

 

Unlike many other foods, AIVs are readily available year round and can be eaten when boiled, steamed or fried. They go well in salads and soups, as well as standalone vegetables and side dishes. Scientists advice that a little AIVs everyday can go a long way in helping you to protect as well as boost your health.
“To reap the most health benefits from AIVs, eat them when they are just steamed or boiled. Fried AIVs lose a significant amount of its medicinal qualities “ advices Christine
TEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF AIVS

1. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL LEVEL.
Studies have shown that eating AIVs everyday lowers cholesterol. The antioxidant properties in AIVs help reduce harmful free radical which can contribute to bad cholesterol in the blood. So when fresh AIVs are consumed on a regular basis it can significantly lower cholesterol levels.
According to Mr. Nyombi Ivan a nutritionist with Maganjo Grain Millers said that almost all AIVs are so low in calories and contain no fats. This also makes them suitable for weight loss strategies.

2. REDUCES ARTHRITIS PAIN
AIVs have also been shown to reduce pain and other symptoms in people with arthritis. Various chemical compounds present in AIVs are believed to aid in reducing information associated with various forms of arthritis.

3. REDUCES WEIGHT
Many researchers believe that the inflammatory property in AIVs help regulate the formation of fat cells in the body one of the regulate the formation of the primary factors in obesity. Regular consumption of AIVs or AIV value added products can help you body weight. Mr. Nyombi Ivan a nutritionist with Maganjo Grain Millers said that almost all AIVs are so low in calories and contain no fats. This also makes them suitable for weight loss strategies.

4. INHIBITS CANCER
AIVs help prevent cancer of the colon, pancreas and breasts. Daily intake of AIVs is important for those who have a family history of cancer to lower the risk of many types of cancer.

5. PREVENTS HYPERTENSION.
Most AIVs are rich in minerals like potassium which helps to widen the blood vessels making blood flow smoothly said Mr. Nyombi. AIVs play a great role in preventing the formation of blood clots thus lowering blood pressure.

6. AIDS DIGESTION
AIVs promote, relax and tone the digestive system. It can prevent blockage of gastric pancreatic & intestinal juices that are responsible for digesting nutrients. AIVs also trigger the liver to release toxins from the body, while at the same time protects the liver from harm.Mr. Nyombi added that AIVs malakwang, nakati and spider plant have both soluble and insoluble fibre which aids or quickens bowl movements and therefore help prevent constipation .

7. CURES MALNUTRITION

8. IMPROVES VISION
AIVs contain a high amount of vitamin a which has a direct impact on eyesight. Plus, the beta-carotene present in AIVs has been shown to protect against night blindness due to the presence of vitamin A in them. So, start eating AIVs today and you will soon notice significant positive changes in your vision

9. BOOST IMMUNITY
AIVs are rich in immune boosting nutrients. They are good source of dietary fiber, which is linked to changes in immune cell activity.AIVs especially nakati and pumpkins are rich in vitamins that have anti oxidant properties.The vitamins are A, E, K and C. The anti oxidants help the body develop capacity to fight against diseases by boosting immunity.

10. KEEPS BONES STRONG
AIVs contain calcium which makes the bones strong and teeth. For most individuals, AIVs do not cause any serious side effects. However, when consumed in large quantities, AIVs like Amaranth causes stomach irritation.

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