Arabs have an uncanny ability to consider anything verbally-transmitted during card gatherings, family dinners, and coffee visits as scientifically correct.
How many times have you heard this phrase?
الملوخية عشبة خضراء لا تضر ولا تنفع
Personally, I’ve heard it many times, and again today, when someone mentioned that saying as scientific proof that not all that’s green is good.
I agree, of course, that not everything that’s green is good. Many green-colored vegetables are absolutely disgusting, such as cucumbers. I usually avoid green-colored food because I do not find in them any culinary value for my sugar-obsessed taste buds.
But come on, taste-buds aside, an urban saying that regards leafy green plants as not even slightly beneficial in terms of nutrition is a saying I’m not likely to take with a grain of salt (for the smart asses: antinutrient levels are usually balanced when leaves are cooked).
So I did a little internet burrowing, and came across a research paper published in the Asian Journal of Plant Sciences called “Nutritional Analysis of the South African Wild Vegetable Corchorus olitorius L.”
Corchorus olitorius is also known as jute, mallow, and of course, mlookheyeh. According to research, the article claims no significant nutritional differences between C. olitorius and spinach leaves.
They even have a cute little chart and all that compares nutritional values between Mlookhyeh, cabbage (malfoof), and spinach (sabanekh):
Okay. Point is, we really shouldn’t listen to Arab urban legends/sayings/myth when it comes to the nutritional value of food. Not only doesn’t apply with Mlookhyeh, it also applies to how what they tell you is really good for you is really just perfume (case in point: Mazaher, read rant here).
I’m not sure why I got so flustered about this :)