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The ora-pro-nóbis is an unconventional edible plant, but it is considered a native and abundant plant in Brazilian soil. Plants of this type, such as bertalha or taioba, are a kind of edible "bush" with high nutritional value, which can be found in vacant lots and flower beds.
Its scientific name Pereskia aculeata, and its leaves rich in fiber and protein can be consumed in salads, in soup, or mixed with rice. It contains essential amino acids such as lysine and tryptophan, fibers, minerals such as phosphorus, calcium and iron and vitamins C, A and B complex, which makes it very popular among fans of a varied and sustainable diet.
In many regions ora-pro-nóbis is grown even at home, however, it is also possible to buy the ora-pro-nóbis leaf in he alth food stores, in dehydrated or powdered forms such as flour. Although ora-pro-nóbis is a very economical option to enrich meals and has shown to be a great source of nutrients, there is still a need for more studies with scientific evidence to prove these benefits.
Benefits of ora-pro-nóbis
The ora-pro-nóbis is considered a cheap and very nutritious source of nutrients, mainly because it is rich in protein, vitamins and fibers for a good functioning of the intestine. So, some of the possible benefits of this plant include:
1. Be a source of protein
The ora-pro-nóbis is a great choice of vegetable protein source, because about 25% of its total composition is protein, meat has approximately 20% in its composition, which for many makes it the ora-pro-nóbis is considered the “meat of the poor”.It also has a high protein level when compared to other vegetables, such as corn and beans. It contains essential amino acids for the body, the most abundant being tryptophan with 20.5% of the total tryptophan amino acids, followed by lysine.
This makes ora-pro-nóbis a good option in the diet, to enrich protein content, especially for people who adhere to a different lifestyle, such as veganism and vegetarianism for example.
2. Slimming aid
Due to its protein content and being rich in fiber, ora-pro-nóbis helps with weight loss as it promotes satiety, in addition to being a low-calorie food.
3. Improve bowel function
Due to the large amount of fiber, consumption of ora-pro-nóbis helps in digestion and the proper functioning of the intestine, preventing constipation, the formation of polyps and even intestinal tumors.
4. Prevent anemia
The ora-pro-nóbis has a large amount of iron in its composition, being a greater source of this mineral when compared to other foods considered sources of iron, such as beets, cabbage or spinach. However, to prevent anemia, iron must be absorbed along with vitamin C, another component present in large amounts in this vegetable. Therefore, ora-pro-nóbis leaves can be considered a good ally to prevent anemia. Check out other foods that also help prevent anemia.
5. Prevent aging
Due to the large amount of vitamins with antioxidant power, such as vitamins A and C, consumption of ora-pro-nóbis helps to reduce or even inhibit the damage caused to cells. This helps prevent premature aging of the skin, aids in the he alth of hair and nails, and improves vision. Because it is rich in vitamin C, it also helps to strengthen immunity.Discover other foods rich in vitamin C.
6. Strengthen bones and teeth
The ora-pro-nóbis helps to strengthen bones and teeth, as it has a good amount of calcium in the composition of its leaves, 79 mg in every 100 g of leaf, which is a little more than half of milk, which offers 125 mg per 100 ml. Although not a substitute for milk, it can be used as a supplement.
The following table provides nutritional information for 100 grams of ora-pro-nóbis:
|Components||Amount in 100 g of food|
|Fat||0, 4 g|
|Fibers||0, 9 g|
|Iron||3, 6 mg|
|Vitamin A||0, 25 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0, 2 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0, 10 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.5 mg|
|Vitamin C||23 mg|
Recipes with ora-pro-nóbis
Its succulent and edible leaves can be easily included in food, being used in various preparations such as flours, salads, fillings, stir-fries, pies and pasta.The preparation of the plant leaf is relatively simple, as it is done like any vegetable normally used in cooking.
1. S alt pie
- 4 whole eggs;
- 1 cup (tea) of oil;
- 2 cups (tea) of milk;
- 2 cups (tea) of wheat flour;
- ½ cup (tea) of chopped onion;
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder;
- 1 cup (tea) of chopped ora-pro-nóbis leaves;
- 2 cups (tea) of grated fresh cheese;
- 2 cans of sardines;
- Oregano and s alt to taste.
Beat all the ingredients in the blender (except the ora-pro-nóbis, the cheese and the sardines). Grease a shape with oil, place half the dough, the ora-pro-nóbis, the cheese and oregano on top.Cover with the rest of the dough. Beat a whole egg and brush over the dough. Bake in a medium oven.
2. Pesto sauce
- 1 cup (tea) of ora-pro-nóbis leaves previously torn with the hands;
- ½ clove of garlic;
- ½ cup (tea) of grated semi-cured Minas cheese;
- 1/3 cup (tea) of Brazil nuts;
- ½ cup of olive oil or Brazil nut oil.
Mash the ora-pro-nóbis in the pestle, add the garlic, chestnuts and cheese. Add the oil little by little. Knead until it becomes a homogeneous paste.
3. Green juice
- 4 apples;
- 200 ml of water;
- 6 sorrel leaves;
- 8 leaves of ora-pro-nóbis;
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger.
Beat all the ingredients in the blender until it becomes a very thick juice. Strain through a fine sieve and serve.