Phytochemical and Nutritional Profiles of Tetragonia tetragonioides Leaves Grown in Southeastern Nigeria
The phytochemical and nutritional profiles of Tetragonia tetragonioides leaves were investigated. The phytochemical analysis showed that flavonoids (402.00±0.42 mg/100 g) registered the highest concentration followed by alkaloids (250.71±0.72 mg/100 g), phenol (109.12±1.37 mg/100 g), saponins (67.67±0.45 mg/100 g), glycosides (64.25±0.35 mg/100 g) and tannins (25.23±0.09 mg/100 g). The proximate analysis revealed high percentage moisture (92.77±0.03), carbohydrate (50.65±0.70) and crude protein (18.25±0.14); moderate percentage crude fibre (13.94±0.00), ash (13.91±0.12) and low fat (4.15±0.07 %). The vitamins detected include ascorbic acid (50.55±0.66 mg/100 g), β-carotenoid (14.50±0.70 mg/100 g) and the B-vitamins – thiamine (0.16±0.01 mg/100 g), riboflavin (0.30±0.01 mg/100 g) and niacin (0.80±0.01 mg/100 g), with ascorbic acid, βcarotenoid and the B-vitamins present in high, moderate and trace amounts respectively. The mineral elements composition of T. tetragonioides leaves were dominated by potassium (270.65±0.77 mg/100 g), followed by phosphorus (106.60±0.42 mg/100 g), sodium (72.70±0.70 mg/100 g), calcium (37.54±0.70 mg/100 g), magnesium (35.97±0.71 mg/100 g), iron (4.54±0.19 mg/100 g) and zinc (1.29±0.19 mg/100 g). This investigation revealed that T. tetragonioides leaf is of high nutritional value and may serve as a food supplement and raw material in the pharmaceuticals. The present findings recommend its adequate consumption for the maintenance of good health.