Malabar Spinach, Package of beauty and health!

Malabar Spinach, Package of beauty and health!

What is Malabar Spinach

Malabar Spinach, scientifically known as Basella alba (Green Malabar Spinach) and Basella rubra (Red Malabar Spinach), is a leafy green vegetable that has been treasured for centuries for its unique taste and incredible health benefits. Native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, Malabar spinach is a vining plant with thick, succulent leaves that are rich in vitamins A, C, and iron. It has a mild, slightly tangy flavour, and its leaves are often used in various culinary preparations, such as stir-fries, salads, and soups. Red Malabar Spinach is a vibrant and visually striking cousin of the more common green Malabar spinach. With its purple or burgundy stems and oval to round leaves with pink veins, Red Malabar spinach is commonly grown as an ornamental plant too.

Malabar Spinach vs Spinach

Many of you may be wondering how is Malabar Spinach (Basella alba) different from Spinach (Spinacia oleracea). Well although from different families, they both are leafy vegetables with similar nutritional content. However, Malabar Spinach is a vine that is more adapted to tropical climates whiles spinach is a shrub that grows well in temperate regions. Taste wise, Malabar spinach is slightly tangy, while spinach is mildly earthy in flavour. Moreover, spinach is an annual while Malabar spinach is a perennial that is often grown as an ornamental plant. 

Health benefits of Malabar Spinach

  • Nutritional Powerhouse: Both Green and Red Malabar Spinach are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, which play vital roles in boosting the immune system, promoting healthy skin, and supporting eye health. 100 g fresh leaves provide more than 200% of recommended daily allowance of this vitamin. In fact, Malabar spinach has over 1.5 times as much Vitamin A as in kale and over thrice as much Vitamin C as in spinach. Additionally, they are rich in iron, an essential mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body and prevents anaemia.
  • Antioxidant-Rich: Malabar Spinach varieties are loaded with antioxidants that help combat free radicals and protect the body against oxidative stress. These antioxidants contribute to overall cellular health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.
  • Excellent Digestive Aid: The high fibre content in Malabar Spinach promotes healthy digestion and aids in maintaining regular bowel movements. It supports a healthy gut microbiome, preventing constipation and promoting a balanced digestive system.
  • Weight Management Support: Being low in calories and fat, Malabar Spinach is an excellent addition to a weight management plan. Its high water content and fibre content contribute to a feeling of fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating and promoting satiety.
  • Heart-Healthy: The presence of potassium in Malabar Spinach helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, the high content of dietary fibre assists in managing cholesterol levels, further supporting heart health.
  • Pregnancy: Malabar Spinach is rich in folate, a crucial nutrient for fetal development. Folate plays a vital role in preventing neural tube defects in the baby. Including Malabar Spinach in the diet can contribute to the overall nutritional support required during pregnancy.
  • DNA Growth and repair: Malabar Spinach contains antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are beneficial for DNA growth and repair. These antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals. Malabar spinach also contains a good amount of vitamin B-complex which supports healthy DNA replication and growth.
  • Anti-Aging: The antioxidants present in Malabar Spinach help combat oxidative stress, a key factor in the aging process. By neutralizing free radicals, Malabar Spinach can help reduce the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, and age-related skin damage. Including Malabar Spinach in your diet can support healthy skin and promote a youthful appearance.
  • Better Sleep: Malabar Spinach contains minerals like magnesium and calcium, which play a role in promoting quality sleep. Magnesium helps relax muscles and nerves, aiding in relaxation and restful sleep. Calcium is involved in the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Consuming Malabar Spinach can help improve sleep quality and support a healthy sleep pattern.

Impressed? So what are you waiting for? Elevate your meals and your garden with this amazing plant today.

(Note: It is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional or nutritionist before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.)

Buy Green Malabar Spinach here and Red Malabar Spinach here

Happy Growing! Take care till we meet again.

With love,
The Bee



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