The consumption of fluted pumpkin leaves commonly known as “Ugwu’’ will improve human reproductive capacity and fertility potential in both men and women, medical researchers and nutritionists in Lagos said on Saturday. Pumpkin leaf is said to be one of the most consumed dark green leafy vegetables in Nigeria and many people in Nigeria have been eating Ugwu without really realising its health benefits. Pumpkin leave is called ‘Ugu’ by the Igbos and ‘Ugwu’ by the Yorubas.
Dr Ochuko Eruikainre and Mrs Yeside Adesiyun, both Senior Research Officers and nutritionists, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Lagos, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos. Eruikainre said that Ugwu leaf helps to protect men against infertility by improving the germinal epithelial lining of the testes, sperm count and increase serum levels of testosterone.
According to the expert, the micro-nutritional constituents of the leaves such as vitamins A, Bs, C and E, zinc, manganese, and copper have shown to improve both male and female fertility.