Basella alba is a perennial, herbaceous, twining, branched, and succulent plant cultivated as a vegetable; this plant is also known as Alugbati, Malabar spinach, Cyclone spinach, Chinese spinach, Climbing spinach, Vine spinach, and Indian spinach.
This is an edible flowering plant in the family Basellaceae, which is native to tropical Southern Asia and originated from Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka. This is a perennial plant that grows up to 9 meters long. The leaves are heart-shaped, fleshy, and dark green, around 4 – 8 cm wide and 3 – 9 cm long.
The flowers of Malabar spinach are pink or white, spherical, and 4 mm long. This plant bears deep, purple fruit with indehiscent, globose, and black seeds. It prefers well–drained soils and warm climates. This vegetable is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, calcium, and iron. Also, it has high amounts of potassium and phosphorus.
Malabar spinach has great amounts of lutein and beta-carotene, which are antioxidants. This plant is rich in Vitamin B9, other minerals, and proteins. There are ten calories in one serving of Malabar spinach, which has 44 grams.
7 Health benefits of Malabar spinach
We know that anemia is the result of iron deficiency. The low amount of iron can result in low hemoglobin, due to which adequate oxygen cannot be transported to our cells. Iron deficiency can lead to apathy, lack of energy, and poor mental function. Pre–menopausal women and children have a high risk of anemia if they do not consume iron-rich foods.
Folate is one of the best vitamins women require for a healthy pregnancy. The folate deficiency can result in neural tube defects such as heart ailments, limb malformations, spina bifida, and anencephaly. Folate is a vital vitamin for the building of new cells and the copying of DNA. When there are low levels of folate, then they can lead to development issues which can remain after birth as well.
Utilizes amino acids, iron, and Vitamin B12
One of the most common causes of folate deficiency is anemia. This is a health problem when our red blood cells are formed improperly. Folate assists in the absorption of Vitamin B12, which can provide energy and brain function and absorb nutrients.
Treatment for cancer
The low presence of folate in our bodies increases the chances of brain, lung, breast, cervical, and colon cancer. There was one study in which it said that a diet rich in folate could protect from cancer development. People should take the natural forms of Vitamins because the pharmaceutical form of Vitamins differs from the natural ones that can provide protection.
There are some studies in which is shown that high levels of homocysteine can increase the chances of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Low folate in our bodies can lead to poor mental activities.
Folic acid can decrease homocysteine levels, but no studies prove that this element can forbid diseases and improve cognitive function. Adding Malabar spinach to the diet, which is rich in nutrients and folate, can help treat Alzheimer’s disease.
The intake of folate with adequate amounts of plant foods and veggies can help to treat depression naturally. A high intake of folate can help to lower depression significantly in people who are depressed.
We know that folate is essential to reduce the homocysteine levels in our blood. Homocysteine can increase our chances of getting strokes and heart attacks. Folate can help to convert the homocysteine into methionine which can normalize the levels of homocysteine in our bodies.
It has a positive role in metabolizing minerals as well as the activities of antioxidants. There are some studies in which is shown that a high intake of folate can reduce the chance of having cardiovascular disease.