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Indigenous Ghanaian leafy vegetables with beneficial health properties

Vegetables are the cheapest and readily available sources of vitamins and mineral for most tropical African diets. Scientists at University of Health and Allied Sciences (Ho, Ghana) have determined the bioactive and proximate characteristics of four indigenous Ghanaian leafy vegetables namely Solanum macrocarpon (Gboma), Talinum fruticosum (Ademe), Corchorus olitorius (Yevogboma) and Amaranthus spp. (Atormaa).

Indigenous Ghanaian leafy vegetables: (a) Solanum macrocarpon (Gboma); (b) Amaranthus spp. (Atormaa); (c) Corchorus olitorius (Yevogboma); (d) Talinum fruticosum (Ademe).

The analyses show that the carbohydrate content of the vegetables studied was the major (59.22%–73.56%) constituent and the fat was the least (0.08%–2.65%). The total phenolic and flavonoids content ranged from 0.10 µg GA/g to 9.81 µg GA/g and 363.5 mg QE/g to 1296 mg QE/g respectively. Antioxidant activities of the different vegetables ranged from 1.4% to 70.3% for DPPH activity, ABTS (83%–93%) and FRAP (0.356–0.242).

"The leafy vegetables studied are good sources of proteins, carbohydrates and crude fiber. The presence of polyphenols and flavonoids in appreciable amounts in the leafy vegetables could contribute to their beneficial health properties. These leafy vegetables had good antioxidant activities which when consumed in large quantities and frequently would help fight degenerative diseases - the scientists highlight - These leafy vegetables if consumed in sufficient amounts would contribute greatly to the reduction of malnutrition in poor communities."

Source: Obeng E., Kpodo F.M., Tettey C.O., Essuman E.K., Adzinyo O.A., 'Antioxidant, total phenols and proximate constituents of four tropical leafy vegetables', 2020, Scientific African, Volume 7, e00227.

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