Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Wonders of Eating Saluyot (Jute)

The Wonders of Eating Saluyot
Did you know that the popular Ilocano vegetable, saluyot (jute leaves), originated in Egypt, and was the source of health and beauty of the Egyptian royalties including Cleopatra? You might as well decide to eat it too, if you want to look young, healthy, and beautiful.

Saluyot thrives almost anywhere, requires little care in cultivation, and can be grown year round. It is a green, leafy vegetable that is rich in: beta carotene for good eyesight, iron for healthy red blood cells, calcium for strong bones and teeth, and vitamin C for smooth, clear skin, strong immune cells, and fast wound healing.

Saluyot is one, if not the most nutritious vegetable in the Philippines. One half cup cooked saluyot leaves (45g) contains 20kcal, 1.3g protein, 0.3g fat, 3.1g carbohydrates, 0.4g fiber, 87.3mg calcium, 22.5mg phosphorus, 1.334μg β-carotene or 222μg Retinol Equivalent (vitamin A), 1.0 mg iron, 0.02 mg thiamin, 0.04mg riboflavin, 0.3mg niacin, and 10mg Ascorbic Acid or vitamin C. moreover, saluyot has an antioxidant activity of 77% or α-tocopherol equivalent (vitamin E) of 48.9. In other words, saluyot contains all the important nutrients needed by the body.

Free radicals are highly unstable by products created as our cells use oxygen. Because they are so unstable, they react easily with many chemicals inside the cells, and these reactions can cause tremendous damage to the delicate cellular mechanisms. When those mechanisms are damaged, the cell may malfunction or die. Biologists tell us that this cumulative cell damage is the cause of many of the common degenerative diseases: arthritis, hardening of the arteries, heart and kidney ailments.

Vitamin A, C and E present in saluyot sponge-up free radicals, scooping them up before they can commit cellular sabotage.

Saluyot can make you look younger. Due to the high antioxidant activity of saluyot, eating it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines in the face and body. Thus, regular consumption of saluyot can make you appear young.

Saluyot can be prepared into dishes like dinengdeng of the Ilocano, bulanglang, or sauted with bamboo shoots or dried beans. It can be steamed and pureed, mixed with chicken, and prepared into soup like how the Japanese prepare it as molohiya.

Source: FNRI - DOST

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