Nutritional Prospects and Phyto-Therapeutical Potentials of the Selected Indigenous Green Leafy Vegetables Commonly Used in Tanzania
Keywords:Leafy vegetables, Figiri, Cucurbita maxima, minerals, ipomoea, Tanzania
AbstractA purposive interview and laboratory analysis of green leafy vegetables commonly used in Tanzania was carried out to determine nutritive prospects as well as therapeutic value. Nine (9) common green leafy vegetables believed to have therapeutical potential on: dietary, anemia, stomach pain, blood pressure, diabetics and peptic ulcers were selected for this study. The micronutrients Ca, Mg, K and P contents were determined using extracts of fresh ALVs, where the effects of cooking were taken into consideration. Calcium level ranged from 496.0 to 1763.5 mg/kg, phosphorus ranged from 309.8 to 572.3 mg/kg, sodium ranged from 72.4 to 187.3 mg/kg and potassium ranged from 309.8 to 595.3 mg/kg. The ratio between Ca and P was 1.30:1 in Ipomoea sp while in Solanum sp was 3.14:1. These values are within the acceptable ratio for the people who are diabetic. The ratio of Na/K in all green leafy vegetables is less than one, hence consumption of these vegetables is beneficial to people with high blood pressure as they tend to reduce their blood pressure. It is recommended that future studies should consider other aspects of green leafy vegetables such as the biological evaluation of the nutrient content in order to determine the bioavailability of the nutrients. Also, it is important to determine the effects of food processing such as cooking on the chemical components and nutritive value of the green leafy vegetables.