Saluyot can make you healthy and beautiful
() - January 16, 2005 - 12:00am
This item will surely make Ilocanos proud: Egypt’s beautiful queen Cleopatra ate saluyot.

This jute plant, widely known as Ilocandia’s favorite vegetable crop, actually originated in Egypt, said Dr. Lydia M. Marero of the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Center (DOST-FNRI).

In a report, Dr. Marero added that saluyot leaves were the soruce of health and beauty of Egyptian royalties, including Cleopatra.

"Saluyot
leaves are rich in beta carotene for good eyesight, iron for healthy red blood cells, calcium for strong bones and teeth, and vitamin C for smooth, clean skin, strong immune cells, and fast wound-healing," she said.

In other words, saluyot contains all the important nutrients the body needs, she pointed out.

Moreover, saluyot has high (77 percent) antioxidant activity.

Antioxidants are phytochemicals or substances (mostly present in vegetables and fruits) that neutralize or counterbalance the free radicals generated by the body during normal metabolism (chemical changes in living cells).

Free radicals are the most vicious and most toxic by-products of metabolism. When not neutralized, they can travel through the body cells, disrupting the structure of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates, and cause cell damage that contributes to aging and degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cataract, and the like.

"Vitamins A, C and E present in saluyot ‘sponge-up’ free radicals, scooping them up before they can commit cellular sabotage," Dr. Marero said.

Two other scientists, Professors Ludivina S. de Padua and Juan Sancho of Los Baños, in their co-authored book said that saluyot infusion is diuretic (helps the body dispose of excess water by increasing the amount of urine produced). It likewise produces healthy muscular condition and reaction and provides protective coating on membranes.

Saluyot can be prepared into dishes such as "dinengdeng" (mixture of vegetables with fish or meat) of the Ilocanos and "bulanglang" or sauteed with bamboo shoots or dried beans. It can be steamed and pureed, mixed with chicken, and prepared into soup like the Japanese molohiya.

Summing up, Dr. Marera stressed: "You might as well eat saluyot if you want to look young, healthy, and beautiful...Regular saluyot consumption can make you look younger due to its high antioxidant activity. Eating saluyot reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines in the face and body." Rudy A. Fernandez

C AND E DR. LYDIA M DR. MARERA DR. MARERO MARERO OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY-FOOD AND NUTRITION RESEARCH CENTER PADUA AND JUAN SANCHO OF LOS BA PROFESSORS LUDIVINA S RUDY A SALUYOT VITAMINS A
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