Jute leaves, have you come across it before perhaps this article will convince you to try this wildly popular leafy green that’s cultivated in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the Middle East.
Depending on the region, jute leaves are also referred to as edewu, ayoyo, and rau day, among many other names (.
Jute leaves tend to have a bitter taste, though their taste may vary based on their age. Those that are harvested while young are typically more tender and flavorful, while older leaves may be earthier and more fibrous.
Since jute leaves have a slippery texture, they’re often used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and curries. They’re quite versatile and can be found frozen, fresh, or dried.
This content covers jute leaves’ nutritional content, potential health benefits, and downsides, as well as provides you with tasty recipes to try jute leaves at home or at anywhere of your comfort.
Potential advantages of jute leaves for health
Jute leaves have long been utilised medicinally in Ayurvedic medicine, in addition to their culinary use.
Here are a few possible advantages of cooked jute leaves for health.
May provide some inflammatory protection
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain growth and may assist the body fight inflammation. When you consider omega-3 fatty acids, what foods spring to mind? Fatty fish, nuts, and vegetable oils seem to come up for a lot of folks.
However, jute leaves are only one kind of vegetable that contains omega-3 lipids. In fact, according to one research, jute leaves have the most omega-3 lipids of any known vegetable.
Remember that jute leaves only contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which your body converts into the active forms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Jute leaves are a minor source of omega-3s, not a significant one, due to the low conversion rate, which ranges from 5 to 8%.
Additionally, lycopene, an antioxidant that shields your cells from oxidative damage, which raises your risk of illness, is found in jute leaves.
The preparation technique may affect the lycopene content in foods. For instance, older and cooked jute leaves have greater amounts.
And last, jute leaves might help to reduce liver inflammation. Rats fed jute leaves every day for 30 days were the subject of research. The rats' liver antioxidant levels had improved by the time the trial was through.
Remember that the outcomes of rat studies may not always apply to human health, necessitating further human study. However, these preliminary findings are encouraging.
May benefit bone health
Calcium and magnesium, two elements necessary for regular biological activities, are abundant in jute leaves. As they work together to help develop and maintain strong bones and teeth, the combination of these minerals is particularly crucial for sustaining bone health.
184 mg of calcium and 54 mg of magnesium, or 14% and 13% of the DV for adults, respectively, are present in one cup (87 grammes) of boiled leaves.
Your body has the most calcium, and the bulk of it is kept in your bones and teeth. Your bones cannot effectively absorb calcium without magnesium.
Calcium may gradually accumulate in your blood vessels and kidneys over time if you consume a lot of calcium and little magnesium, which can lead to kidney stones and an elevated risk of heart disease.
Due to the bones' inability to absorb that crucial calcium, a low calcium-to-magnesium ratio may also raise your chance of getting osteoporosis.
It takes skill to maintain a healthy ratio between your calcium and magnesium consumption, and skewed levels may be harmful. The ideal calcium-to-magnesium ratio seems to be 2 to 1.
Remember that two more essential vitamins for maintaining healthy bones are vitamin D and vitamin K, none of which are present in jute leaves.
The immune system's health
Your immune system protects your body from sickness and needs a number of nutrients to operate at its best. Jute leaves include some of those elements, which may help your immune system battle illness.
Antioxidants like vitamin C protect your cells from oxidative damage brought on by things like stress, contaminants in the environment, drugs, unhealthy behaviours, and more. The onset of illness is aided by oxidative damage.
28.7 mg, or 32% of the DV for adults, of vitamin C, can be found in one cup (87 grammes) of boiled jute. Getting enough of this vitamin lowers your risk of illness by assisting in the development of immune cells that eliminate pathogens. Additionally, vitamin C promotes wound healing, inflammation reduction, and skin health.
Jute leaves are a rich source of vitamin A, another strong antioxidant, with 259 mcg per cooked cup (87 grams). For adults, it is 25% of the DV.
In order to improve immunological performance, vitamin A is essential. In fact, it has been shown to have therapeutic benefits in the treatment of infections and aids in the production and regulation of immune cells.
The nutritional richness of jute leaves might, however, be impacted by processing techniques. In one investigation, it was shown that boiling jute leaves results in even greater losses of provitamin A carotenoid content.
Eating jute leaves
Jute leaves are fantastic since there are so many different ways to use them.
Jute leaves are often used as a thickening ingredient in soups and stews because of their gelatinous nature. Nigerians love the soup called ewedu, which is prepared with jute leaves, amala (pounded yam), and dried fish.
Check out this recipe from Chef Lola's Kitchen and try it at home.
In a traditional meal called mulukhiyah, minced jute leaves are tossed with lemon juice and olive oil.
Here is a simple recipe you may attempt.
As an alternative, you may sip on dried jute leaf tea, which is popular in Japan.
Jute leaves may also be cleaned, added to a salad with other loosely cut vegetables, and eaten raw, much like other leafy greens.
Jute leaves may be found in your supermarket's frozen vegetable area or, depending on your location, in the fresh produce section. They may be discovered in farmers' markets as well.
The versatile and well-liked vegetable jute leaves. They are abundant in vitamins A and C, calcium, and other elements that strengthen the immune system and bones.
Jute leaves may be enjoyed by including them in stews and stir-fries. As an alternative, you may eat them raw by including them in smoothies and salads, which is just as healthful and delectable.
Now that you know all there is to know about jute leaves, you can use them in recipes and enjoy them.