EPAZOTE HEALTH BENEFITS AND MINERALS

Posted in OTHER FOOD HEALTH BENEFITS AND MINERALS

HEALTH BENEFITS

Epazote has largely been viewed as medicinal herb rather than a culinary plant. In general, its leaves used in the cooking to counter indigestion and flatulence effects of beans, high-fiber and protein food. Nonetheless, the herb has its own intrinsic phyto-nutrients which when consumed optimally would contribute towards overall wellness.

The herb is very low in calories. 100 grams of leaves carry just contain 32 calories. Its plain leaves provide a good amount of fiber, 3.8 g per 100g.

Its leaves compose of many monoterpene compounds such as ascaridole (60-80%), isoascaridole, p-cymene, limonene, and terpinene. Ascaridole is toxic to several intestinal worms like roundworm, hookworms, pinworm, etc. Native Mayans drank its infusion regularly to keep off from worm infestation.

The herb parts, especially young leaves are an excellent source of folic acid, provide 215 µg or 54% of daily recommended values. Folic acid takes part in the DNA synthesis and cell division. Caution note: Expectant mothers, however, should avoid epazote greens in their diet since it causes uterine cramps and possible risk of termination of pregnancy. (Medical disclaimer).

Epazote has small amounts of vitamin A, and some flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as beta-carotenes. Together, they act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and in various disease processes.

The herb has a good amount of minerals like calcium (27% of RDA), manganese, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, and selenium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

 It has small but adequate levels of other B-complex vitamins, particularly pyridoxine and riboflavin. These vitamins function as co-factors in the enzymatic metabolism inside the body.

Nutritional value

Nutritional value:  100 g

Principle

Nutrient Value

% RDA

Energy

32 Kcal

1.5%

Carbohydrates

7.44 g

6%

Protein

0.33 g

<1%

Total Fat

0.52 g

2%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Ditary fiber

3.8 g

10%

VITAMINS

Folates

215 µg

54%

Niacin

0.639 mg

4%

Pantothenic acid

0.179 mg

3.5%

Pyridoxine

0.152 mg

12%

Riboflavin

0.348 mg

27%

Thiamin

0.028 mg

2%

Vitamin A

57 IU

2%

Vitamin C

3.6 mg

6%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

80 mg

5%

Potassium

470 mg

10%

MINERALS

Calcium

275 mg

27.5%

Copper

0.190 mg

21%

Iron

1.88 mg

24.5%

Magnesium

121 mg

30%

Manganese

3.098 mg

135%

Phosphorus

86 mg

12%

Selenium

0.9 µg

1%

Zinc

1.10 mg

10%

PHYTONUTRIENTS

Carotene-ß

38 µg

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