Determination of Nutritive Values of Garden Cress (Lepidium sativum L.) Leaves
The focus of this study was to investigate the nutritional values of Lepidium sativum leaves, a vegetable commonly consumed by the people of North-Western Nigeria. Sample of L. sativum leaves were collected from different farm lands at More town, Kware Local Government Area of Sokoto State. The leaves were dried then subjected to proximate, amino acids, minerals and antinutritional analyses. The results of proximate analysis indicate that the leaves had high crude protein (18.25%), crude fibre (9.31%) and ash (15.38%). The minera ls assay showed that the leaves are particularly high in potassium (1850.00 mg/100g), calcium (829.13 mg/100g), magnesium (160.60 mg/100g), sodium (141.13 mg/100g) and iron (63.47 mg/100g) with low level of phosphorus (4.10 mg/100g), manganese (5.74 mg/100g), copper (0.39 mg/100g) and chromium (0.36 mg/100g). The amino acid profile revealed that the leaf protein is generally low in lysine, sulphur containing amino acids (methionine and cystein), and threonine. Lysine was the most limiting amino acid in the leaves. In terms of antinutritional factors, the leaves had low concentrations of phytate (10.95 mg/100g), nitrate (0.05 mg/100g) and HCN (31.54mg/100g) with moderate amount of oxalate (337.50 mg/100g). Based on these nutrient contents, the leafy vegetable will have potential benefits as part of feeding programmes, as well as their promotion as part of composite die.
Key words: Lepidium sativum, proximate analysis, amino acid, minerals, and antinutrients.