Malabar spinach (Poy sag): overview and its health benefits

By Dr. Sachin Singh | 26th Apr 2022

Malabar spinach (Poy sag): overview and its health benefits

Spinach from Malabar!

Malabar spinach, also known as Basella alba, Basella rubra, Basella oleracea, and Basella Lucida, is a type of plant in the Kingdom: Plantae Angiosperms. It is in the family of plants called Basellaceae, and thus the name of Malabar spinach belonging to this family is Basella Alba. It can be found in tropical Asia and Africa, where it is used as a leaf vegetable all over. You can’t eat Malabar spinach(Poy sag) because it isn’t really spinach at all. It’s more like an exotic vine that grows up and out. Vine Spinach, Red Vine Spinach, Creeping Spinach, and Ceylon Spinach are some of the other names for this vegetable. Even though it’s not spinach, it tastes the same.

Malabar spinach is a vegetable that is a bunch of green leaves. Basale leaves are similar to green leaves but have nothing to do with spinach. It has leaves that are soft and juicy, and when they are raw, they taste like citrus and pepper. People in Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and the Indian Subcontinent eat Poy sag, which comes from these places. There are many different names for Malabar spinach. They include vine spinach which is also called Bachalakura, red vine spinach, creeping spinach, climbing spinach, Ceylon spinach, buffalo spinach, and Casella alba (a type of spinach). For example, the University of Florida says that the name of Malabar spinach comes from the Indian state of Kerala in the southeast of the country: trepadora. It also comes from the Latin word for “spinach”. There are two types of Malabar spinach (Poy sag): Basella alba and Basella rubra, both of which are made from spinach. Basella alba has dark green leaves and a green stem, while Basella rubra has dark green leaves with pink veins and purple stems. It is a common leafy vegetable, and it is grown under the sun and in moist places.

Nutritional composition of Malabar spinach

A lot of people use Malabar spinach (Poy sag) to make soups that are very thick and to make stir-fries. People who eat these are going to get a lot of protein and not very many calories from them. Malabar spinach is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, and calcium. 100 grams of Malabar spinach has about 8,000 units. It has a lot of protein. It also has magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium in it, which are good for your body to have. People who eat Malabar spinach (Poy sag) are also getting a lot of antioxidants, which are chemicals that help keep your cells young. Beta carotene and lutein are two of them. Rubra may be a little more antioxidant-rich because it’s purple.

Malabar spinach health benefits

1. It improves your vision

At the roots of cells in the retina, free radicals are thought to cause damage. Antioxidants like vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein, which are found in Malabar spinach (Poy sag), help protect the eyes from free radicals that can damage them.

2. It helps you digest food

The fibre in Basella helps with digestion, which in turn helps with the absorption of nutrients and reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by getting rid of waste.

3. Poy sag for bone strength

Calcium and magnesium are both important for the strength of bones. While calcium is important for strong bones, magnesium is needed for the body to properly absorb calcium. This helps calcium get into the body properly. Because calcium and magnesium are found to be in Malabar spinach (Poy sag), it gives bones the strength they need to stay strong.

4. Treats depression

The presence of folates in Poi saag benefits depression. People who eat Basella’s proteins have certain amino acids that can help them control their mood and anxiety levels.

5. Treats and Prevents Cancer

People who don’t have enough fat in their bodies are more likely to get cancer. The lack of folates in the body is made up of Malabar spinach (Poy sag), which stops the growth of cancer.

6. It also helps to treat dementia.

High levels of homocysteine and not enough folates are to blame for things like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Malabar spinach (Poy sag) has a lot of folates that can help cut down on the effects of homocysteine and improve mental activity and help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

7. Treats Restlessness

Malabar spinach (Poy sag) has enough magnesium, which is needed to relax muscles that have been stressed by not getting enough sleep. When the muscles relax, the body goes to sleep in a good way.

8. Poy sag in pregnancy.

For a foetus to grow well in its mother’s womb, the health of the neural tube is very important. The folate, which is part of a group of vitamins called B-complex vitamins, helps the embryo grow, especially its neural tube. This helps the foetus grow properly during pregnancy. Pregnant women who eat a lot of leafy vegetables are more likely to have a normal placenta and give birth to healthy babies.

9. Prevents Infections in the Urinary Tract

People who eat a lot of Malabar spinach, especially as a salad or raw vegetable, seem to be less likely to get a urinary tract infection and less likely to have a burning sensation when they urinate.

10. The heart is healthy.

Basella leaves have a lot of minerals like potassium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and copper. The human body mostly needs potassium for good health and a good circulatory system. Potassium cancels out some of the effects of salt and lowers blood pressure to normal levels, so it’s good to eat a lot of salt.

Do you want to grow Malabar Spinach?

This isn’t true spinach. Malabar spinach likes the heat of summer better than true spinach. During the night, let the seeds soak in water.
Make sure the soil is well-drained and rich. Make sure the plants get a lot of sunlight. Make sure to water it a lot and keep it wet. In dry places, you may need to mist it from time to time because it likes humidity. The soil should have a pH level of about 7-8.
People who grow Malabar spinach don’t seem to have a lot of pests or diseases, so neem oil isn’t likely to be needed.

You don’t want to forget to leave your seeds on the vine or pick them up at the end of the summer. You’ll be able to grow a whole new crop!

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