Besides being touted as a natural anti-ulcer recipe, experts are asking weight watchers to eat more of African garden egg, a fruit that can help with maintaining a good weight and cholesterol levels in the body.
In a new study, researchers at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, found that inclusion of the fruit in one’s diet can ensure a significant reduction in weight gain,
They found that eight per cent supplement of two different types of Solanum aethiopicum and Solanum macrocarpon, two common types of African garden egg, caused 54.24 per cent and 42.24 per cent weight gain reduction respectively in tested rats.
In addition, it also ensured stability in blood glucose level, thus suggesting that the fruits can be used to mitigate weight gain, obesity and type II diabetes.
However, they suggested that the observed stability in blood glucose level was because of its dietary fibre content, the indigestible portion of plant foods.
Fibres help to normalise blood glucose levels by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach and by delaying the absorption of glucose following a meal. It also increases insulin sensitivity.
Also, by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach, it promotes a sense of satiety, or fullness, after a meal, which helps to prevent overeating and weight gain.
The 2016 study published in the World Journal of Nutrition and Health involved Opeyemi Christianah Emiloju and Shalom Nwodo Chinedu.
They investigated the effects of dietary supplements of two African eggplants, Solanum aethiopicum and S. macrocarpon, on weight gain and glucose metabolism in rats. Weight gain, blood glucose and liver glycogen levels of the rats were determined after 28 days.
African eggplants, Solanum species, have been described to have beneficial effects and potential uses in reduction of weight gain and lower blood cholesterol level as well as in the treatment of several ailments such as pains, asthma, and glaucoma.
In fact, researchers at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, suggested that eating African garden egg is better at reducing blood cholesterol than apple and oat. It was published in the 2005 edition of the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition.
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.
According to their observation, garden egg plant 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 linked the health benefits of eating foods like garden egg to its effectiveness at boosting the level of High plasma HDL-cholesterol, the good 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.
Previously, expert in a study indicated that garden egg could be used for the treatment of stomach ulcers. The study, according to the 2011 Journal of the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine found that African garden egg to be a cheap source of natural anti-ulcer remedy.
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.