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Health News of Thursday, 31 December 2009

Source: Teacher Baffour

Garden egg as solution to obesity, blindness

Garden egg Garden egg (Solanum melongena) is the fruit in season and for its lovers having steamed yam and stew made with garden egg is a delight. The benefits of eating garden eggs however extend far beyond ensuring that one’s desire for a good breakfast is satisfied.

From Cotonou to Harare, Mozambique to Senegal, this fruit is a highly valued delicacy and constituent of the African food. They also represent fertility and blessing. It is thus not uncommon to find them served during wedding ceremonies across the African continent.

Experts are encouraging people that wants to loss weight to eat more of its fresh form too just as they say that people that are told to protect their heart against cholesterol effects should make it their delight.

In a study undertaken to assess the influence of whole garden egg plant in comparison to apples and oats on serum lipid profile in rats fed a high cholesterol diet that were obtained from the animal unit of Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, the results suggested that eating garden egg is better at reducing blood cholesterol than apple and oat.

The lipid profile includes total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol (often called good cholesterol), LDL-cholesterol (often called bad cholesterol), and triglycerides. A high level of blood cholesterol level, more particularly low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart disease.

James Karho Edijala, Samuel Ogheneovo Asagba and Uzezi Atomatofa from the Department of Biochemistry, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria as well as George Edaghogho Eriyamremu from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, did the study. It was published in the 2005 edition of the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition.

According to their observation, garden eggplant significantly reduced weight gain in those rats that eat this fruit compared with those that had oat and apple in both the mid-term and full-term studies.

The experts attributed the health benefits of eating foods like garden egg to its effectiveness at boosting High plasma HDL-cholesterol. They stated that it may be beneficial since studies have unequivocally established an inverse relationship between HDL-cholesterol and incidence of cardiovascular diseases like stroke.

Guimaraes and his co-workers in the 2000 edition of the Brazilian Journal of Medical Biology Research reported a similar observation with garden eggplant juice infusion in humans. They said the infusion has a modest but temporary effect on persons with cholesterol problem.

Meanwhile, among the Igbo people in Nigeria community, they can hardly do without eating garden egg because it is good for the sight. Given that there is scientific basis for this, many individuals may equally imbibe this culture. In a study to assess the “Effects of garden egg on some visual functions of visually active Igbos of Nigeria”, the experts found that its consumption may be of great benefits to glaucoma patients.

Drs. S. A. Igwe, D. N. Akunyili and C. Ogbogu from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria; Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria and School of Optometry, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria, respectively did the study. It was published in the 2003 issue of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

The study, which initially set out to find out if there may be complications associated with its excessive consumption in the male volunteers that were involved in the study, found they all had a reduced pupil size.

They also had a lower intraocular pressure. It dropped by 25 per cent, even though it was yet still within the normal range. They concluded that garden egg consumption does not produce any vision discomfort and that people need not fear eating plenty of it since it could even help to lower eye pressure in persons with glaucoma.

However, in a study by Drs. S.O Bello and others in the 2005 edition of the Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, which assessed the toxicity and pharmacological properties of the aqueous crude extract of garden egg, while the researchers agree that this fruit may work both for the control of weight and asthma, they raised some doubt about its use for the control of acute attacks of asthma.

Even though garden egg is generally said not to contain huge amount of protein and other nutrients, it is low in sodium, low in calories and very rich in high dietary fibre. It is also high in potassium, a necessary salt that helps in maintaining the function of the heart and regulate blood pressure.

Without any exaggeration, this is the perfect recipe for achieving weight loss within a short period of time. It is also good for a diabetic because it is very low in calorie content.

Compilations by Teacher Baffour

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