The human population in tropical Africa depends largely
upon a large number of edible leaves to meet up with shortages in minerals
and vitamins. Data base on the nutritional value of these diverse plant
foods is incomplete. Herein we report the nutritional components in four
species of non conventional vegetables. Vernonia calvoana var.
bitter, V. amygdalina, V. colorata and V. calvoana var. non
bitter have high levels of proteins [between 18.16 and 24.12 g/100g Dry
Weight (DW)]. Their amino acid composition compare favourably with that of
WHO protein standard with the exception of the s-amino acids being the
limiting amino acids. They also contain high levels of carotenoids
(between 30 and 41.5 mg/100g DW), vitamin C between 137.5 and 197.5
mg/100g DW and dietary fibre (24.9-30.1 g/100g DW). Comparatively, the
average nutritive value of the V. calvoana non bitter is superior
to those the other species analyzed. High levels of some anti-nutritional
factors like oxalic acids, polyphenols and saponins, were also found in
all the species analyzed thereby rendering some of the important nutrients
in the leaves less bio-available.
Richard Aba Ejoh, Djuikwo Viviane Nkonga, Gouado Inocent and Mbofung Carl Moses, 2007. Nutritional Components of Some Non-Conventional Leafy Vegetables Consumed in Cameroon. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 6: 712-717.