Abstract
NUTRACEUTICAL POTENTIALS OF WILD AND NEGLECTED EDIBLE LEAFY VEGETABLES (STERCULIA TRAGACANTHA AND SESAMUM INDICUM) IN AKWA IBOM STATE-NIGERIA

*Joseph E. Okon, Mary A. Christopher, Edward N. Okey and Inimfon A. Ibanga

ABSTRACT

The study encompasses nutraceutical compositions of two wild and neglected edible leafy vegetables (Sterculia tragacantha and Sesamum indicum) collected from Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Standard analytical methods were used to determine secondary metabolites, nutrient potentials, minerals and vitamins. The results of phytochemical screening confirmed that S. tragacantha contained: alkaloids (6.53+0.55), saponins (1.06+0.26), flavonoids (6.26+0.25), cardiac glycosides (7.36+0.88) and terpenes (5.72+0.28) while S. indicum revealed the presence of tannins (1.87+0.25), saponins (1.03+0.17), flavonoids (6.84+0.14), cardiac glycosides (7.80+0.05) and terpenes (5.91+0.47) in mg/100g samples. The tested vegetables showed the presence of very good amount of nutrients such as crude protein, fibre, CHO and caloric value whereas crude lipid, ash and moisture contents were relatively low. Mineral profile (Ca, Mg, K, Fe, P and Zn) were moderate and fell within the permissible limit. Vitamins A, B1, B2 and C concentrations were significant (p=0.05). The anti-nutrient (oxalate, phytate, tannins, cyanide and saponins) were detected in trace amounts ranging from 0.01-1.92 mg/100g. S. tragacantha and S. indicum possess high contents of useful metabolites and therefore could be excellent sources of antioxidant which have good medicinal potentials that meet the standard requirement for drug formation. Based on these, their consumption at any stage in life should be encouraged in our society to increase the nutritional needs in human diet.

Keywords: Sterculia tragacantha, Sesamum indicum, edible, wild, leaves, phytochemical screening, nutraceutical status, diets, metabolites, phytotherapy.


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