Nutritional Assessment of Underutilised Traditional Leafy Vegetables of South-Eastern Nigeria

Nnamani, Catherine V. (2014). Nutritional Assessment of Underutilised Traditional Leafy Vegetables of South-Eastern Nigeria. UNU-INRA Working Paper. United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.

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    Author Nnamani, Catherine V.
    Editor Asubonteng, Kwabena O.
    Nutakor, Praise
    Saccoh, Karamzo
    Title Nutritional Assessment of Underutilised Traditional Leafy Vegetables of South-Eastern Nigeria
    Series Title UNU-INRA Working Paper
    Publication Date 2014-12-15
    Place of Publication Accra
    Publisher United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa
    Pages X, 31
    Language eng
    Abstract One is hungry when the body takes in less daily nutritional requirements. Currently, global food security has progressively been contingent on a handful of crops and over 50% of the body’s requirement of proteins, calories and minerals, are met by few plant genetic resources. These narrowing bases of food security and dietary menu particularly in Nigeria are limiting sources of nutrients for the poor rural and peri-urban communities, thereby snowballing malnutrition. Diversification of dietary menu to include underutilised Traditional Leafy Vegetables (TLVs), which are cheap, readily available and affordable, could contribute to the daily dietary requirements of resource-poor rural and semi-urban dwellers. The proximate and antioxidant values of 13 underutilised TLVs of South-eastern Nigeria were determined. Multidimensional Analysis (MDA) for decision making tool was used to pool the desirable nutrients in each species based on their weighted factors (WF). These were then compared with two most conventional vegetables Lactuca sativa var. longifolia L and Allium cepa L. These TLVs were Senna occidentalis Linn, Newbualdia leavis Seemann Bureau., Solanum nigrum L., Ficus capensis Thunb. Ipomoea aquatica Forsk., Synedrella nodiflora Gaertner., Vernonia cinerea (L.) Less.Ageratum conyzoides L, Acanthus montanus (Nees) T. Anders., Mucuna flagellipes Hook. F., Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloids Lam., Amaranthus spinosus L. and Telfairia. Occidentalis Hook. Results showed that these TLVs which do not require formal cultivation could contribute to the nutritional requirements of these resource poor communities in Nigeria. Multidimensional Analysis showed that S. occidentalis ranked 1st with a WF of 4.16, S. nigrum 2nd with a WF of 3.90, T. occidentals is 3rd with WF of 3.75, while L. sativa ranked 4th with WF of 3.56; by desirable nutrient values (high moisture, carbohydrate and protein contents, low fat and better energy calorie nutrients) pooled together amongst these TLVs. Similarly in relation to the antioxidant values, S. nigrum ranked 1st with WF values of 5.18, A spinosus ranking 2nd with WF value of 4.61, while L sativa ranked 14th with WF value of 1.21. S. nigrum ranked 1st when all the desirable nutrients (Protein-energy calories (kcal) and antioxidants) values are pooled together with 5.18, followed by A. spinosus with 4.61 and L sativa with 1.21 ranking 14th. It implies that these underutilised TLVs are potentially endowed with some levels of essential nutrients higher than those of the most cherished and expensive species. They could contribute to the daily nutritional requirement and thereby contribute to reducing malnutrition. There is the need for deliberate policy programmes on sustainable enlightenment on their nutritional benefits in order to promote their cultivation and consumption.
    Copyright Holder United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa
    Copyright Year 2014
    Copyright type Fair use permitted
    ISBN 9789988633615
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    Created: Wed, 04 Oct 2017, 00:00:50 JST by Praise Nutakor on behalf of UNU INRA