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How can Kangkong…

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Water lilies, garbage, janitor fishes, wastes, water spinaches and spills—these are the common settlers of the Philippine rivers nowadays.  These are nothing but pure evidences of how our nature is devastated, by whom? The answer is no one else but by US, humans. Well this is not another pro-nature article. Let’s focus on one of the inhabitants of our dear rivers. The vegetable that made Popeye nearly invincible: spinach. Oh, that’s just his cousin. The real star is Water Spinach.

Locally called as “kangkong”, water spinach, Chinese spinach, water morning glory or swamp cabbage, ipomoea aquatica is a semi-aquatic tropical plant grown as a leaf vegetable. This green can be found in every river where there is a Filipino. In the market, it is sold for a very low price of 5 pesos per bundle. It may be cheap but it’s got lot of health benefits.

  • Hypoglycemic/Anti-Diabetic- an experimental study showed that consumption of shredded, edible and fresh portion of kangkong for one week effectively reduces the fasting blood sugar of Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
  • Antiproliferative- the ethanol extract of the stems has the highest phenolic compounds and amount of flavonoids. This tends to inhibit cell growth for tumor cells.
  • Diuretic- increases the diuretic activity (elevation of the urination rate) that is useful for treating heart failure, liver cirrhosis, hypertension and certain kidney diseases.
  • Antioxidant- good source of antioxidants that help cells inhibit the oxidation of molecules in the body. These help in treating diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and can help prevent noise-induced hearing loss.
  • Vitamins and minerals- good source of iron, calcium, vitamins B and C and amino acids.

In the country, kangkong is prepared by sautéing, boiling with or not with other vegetables or meat and fish. It can also be served raw as salad, glazed with olive oil and topped with nuts. Sometimes, it is also used as an ingredient in the native pickle, atsara (achara).

Different Kangkong preparations

 

Thai recipe

 

 

 

Fried Kangkong with Belacan

 

 

Adobong Kangkong

 

 

There are other cheap sources of good nutrition that can be found in your backyards. You only have to research and verify the uses and benefits that can be get from these in-home springs of sustenance.

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