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Indigenous vegetables boost body immunity against diseases, nutritionist

The high content of various vitamins and iron in the spider plant (Saggeti) indigenous vegetables has pushed its popularity a notch higher due to health concerns and the advice for immunity-boosting in defense against the covid-19 pandemic.

A Nutrition Expert, Mrs. Ruth Ongiri said for families with limited food budget and for those who could not afford expensive fruits, the cheapest way of enhancing their immunity was by consuming the spider plant popularly known as Saggetti because it contains beta-carotene, Vitamin C &A, calcium, magnesium and iron.

In addition, she said, the sagetti vegetables contain protein, lipids and phenolic compounds. However, she said it wasn’t medicine against the covid-19 disease but advised those under quarantine or isolation to increase the intake of the indigenous vegetable as a precautionary measure.

“In most vegetables, vitamin C is lost during cooking but Sagetti retains the vitamin and when cooked in oil, a serving can contain over 450 per cent of the daily vitamin A requirement and its high on amino acids than groundnut,” she said.

Speaking to KNA  on Wednesday in Nakuru town, Mrs. Ongiri said the indigenous vegetable was also consumed in South and Southern Asian countries and both the leaves and seeds were used as home-grown medicine in many countries.

She added that lactating mothers and boys after circumcision were fed on the spider plant vegetable, as it was believed to replenish blood.

She urged  wananchi to adhere to all the Ministry of Health guidelines, saying that isolation of sick people has always been practiced in African traditions hence it shouldn’t be difficult to implement.

A farmer in Rongai who specializes in the spider plant, Mrs. Agnes Rono told KNA that sagetti could withstand dry weather and it thrives in sandy soils but it doesn’t do well in waterlogged or heavy clay soil.

She added that the vegetable is a fast-growing plant and in the right condition, it could be harvested in three weeks after planting, making it important for food security for the rural population.

By  Veronica  Bosibori

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