Nutrient, Mineral and Phytochemical Properties of Selected Underutilized Amaranthus Vegetable Species in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
Food insecurity (characterised by poor nutrition) and ill health are interlinked problems which constitute major sustainable development challenges globally. Effective tackling of these challenges must, among other efforts, involve exploring and exploiting the nutrients and medicinal potentials of many underutilised indigenous vegetables. This study assessed the nutrient, mineral and phytochemical constituents of four different Amaranthus plants as a basis for establishing their nutritional and medicinal values. In dried and powdered forms, the plants were subjected to nutrient, mineral and phytochemical analyses using standard chemical methods. All the plants were found to contain appreciable amounts of proteins (16.94 – 194.47 mg/g), carbohydrates (5.12 – 16.74 mg/g), vitamin C (8.10 - 44.07 mg/g), beta carotenes (2.67 – 5.89 mg/g), crude fibre (3.81 – 4.47 mg/g), ash (2.11 – 19.08 mg/g), calcium (35.3 – 384 mg/g), iron (6.71 – 74.61 mg/g), magnesium (19.19 – 31.10 mg/g), zinc (2.84 – 31.84 mg/g) and potassium (10.86 – 50.80 mg/g). The vegetables contained
alkaloids (except A. spinosus var. red), flavonoids, saponins, phenols, steroids (except A. viridis) and glycosides. Amaranthus spinosus var. green had the highest concentrations of 161.1 mg/g, 214.11 mg/g, 38.11 mg/g, 21.03 mg/g and 89.16 mg/g for alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, steroids and glycosides respectively while A. dubius had the highest concentration (18.03 GAE) of phenols. The considerable good nutritional and phytochemical properties of the vegetables make them highly recommended for inclusion in diets and food products. The results of the study also indicate that the plants could be useful for new drug development and managing various ailments.
Copyright resides with the authors in terms of the Creative Commons License 4.0.
Condition of use: The user may copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the work, but must recognize the authors and the Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology