Phytochemical, proximate and anti-nutrient compositions of four leafy vegetables used in South Eastern Nigeria
AbstractChemical constituents of plants are influenced by environmental factors and fluctuations just as many other polygenic traits. Four different green leafy vegetables commonly used in the diets of South Eastern Nigeria were analyzed with a view to determine the phytochemicals, proximate and anti-nutrient compositions of these ecotypes. The vegetables, of which three are spices, are scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum L.), fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis), amaranth globe (Gongronema latifolium Benth.) and ashanti pepper (Piper guineense Schumach. and Thonn.) leaves. The preliminary phytochemical analysis indicates the presence of the phytochemicals from trace amounts to strongly present. The quantitative tests showed that O. gratissimum had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) the highest tannin content of 1074.94±0.009 mg/100 g. Significant variations were observed in all the other phytochemicals except in alkaloid and phenol content. Proximate and antinutrient compositions showed significant variation in the different vegetables. T. occidentalis had highest values in ash (13.51%), crude fibre (33.52%), protein (25.49%) and phytate (8.58 mg/100 g) contents. The results obtained in this study clearly indicate that the four leafy vegetables are readily available sources of nutrients and prove the extensive use of these vegetables in ethnomedicine; and their potential in drug formulation.
Keywords: Alkaloid, ethnomedicine, proximate, spice, vegetables.
African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol 13(50) 4541-4546