Oha or Ora leaf is a vegetable native to the Igbo tribe in Nigeria.
Also known as African Rosewood plant, It is the primary ingredient used to prepare the popular ‘Oha’ soup and other soups.
Oha leaves contain minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, iron, zinc, and manganese.
It is also a source of vitamins A, B, and C source of amino acids like lysine, glutamic acid cysteine while still maintaining its low sodium status.
However, not many know that this leaf contains many health benefits which are essential to the body.
Here are some of them.
1. It is rich in antioxidants
Oha leaves are incredibly rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that help our body fight against free radicals that cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases.
Researchers found that oha leaves contain phenolic acids, lupeol, and benzenediol – important antioxidants that help fight diseases in the body and boost immunity.
2.It helps to treat malaria.
Ora leaves contain anti-microbial properties that help to treat malaria. This anti-microbial agent can kill the parasite that can cause malaria.
3. It aids digestion and prevents constipation
Oha leaves are great in dietary fiber which aids digestion and prevents constipation. This fiber help to digest the food well so the food residue can be pushed out of the body easily.
4. It helps treat anaemia
Oha leaves are an excellent source of dietary iron which help prevent anemia.
Iron plays an important role in red blood cell formation which helps build haemoglobin.
5. It promotes heart health
The presence of potassium in Oha leaves helps maintain the normal contraction of the heart. It will help the heart contract well and blood effectively pumped to all parts of the body.
6. It prevents cancer
The antioxidant within Ora leaves prevents cancer by inhibiting the growth and spread of the cells.
7. It promotes bone health
Oha leaves are rich in calcium, magnesium, and manganese, three essential minerals required for bone health and development.
They contain manganese mineral which plays the important role in the cartilage formation and lubricating fluid in the joint. This mineral will prevent joint diseases such as arthritis.
8. It boosts the immune system
Oha leaves are rich in vitamin C which helps boost the immune system.
9. It improves brain function
Oha leaves contain glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid substance. This substance is an essential neurotransmitter that maintains the normal function of the brain. It helps to treat some brain disorders such as muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, or schizophrenia.
10. It may prevent diabetes
Oha leaf is rich in dietary fiber that may help prevent diabetes and lower blood sugar levels.
Studies have found that a high intake of rich-fiber foods like green leafy vegetables is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.