Ewedu or Jute or saluyot leaves (called ewedu among the Yoruba and rama among the Hausa and their Fulbe neighbours) are used as a food source in many parts of the world. It is a popular vegetable in West Africa and is not just rich in nutrition but also has a lot of health benefits, including protecting us from various diseases. Nutrition-wise, vegetables are low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. They are also good sources of fibre. Fibre keeps the intestinal tract in good health and may even reduce the risk of some cancers and diseases. The leaves contain almost all of the nutrients needed by humans and are high in antioxidant property, primarily in the form of Vitamin E. These antioxidants combine with free radicals that cause health problems like arthritis, hardening of arteries, heart and kidney ailments and inhibit the harmful and destructive effects of these radicals. It is also used as herbal medicine to control or prevent dysentery, worm infestation and constipation. Ewedu leaves are rich in vitamins, carotinoids, calcium, potassium and dietary fibres. Although it has been grown for food, in recent times it has been discovered that ewedu has many other benefits, including anti- ageing benefits.
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Traditionally, the moi moi leaves are used in making moin moin. It takes quite some skill to pour liquid(ground beans) into carefully folded leaves, and ensure that when the wrap is placed in a pot to steam, the ground beans don’t leak out. The leaves are also used in wrapping a variety of other foods for cooking such as eko(steamed corn starch).
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