Biological Sciences, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Dec  2017, Pages 62-74; DOI: 10.31058/ 10.31058/

Nutritional Qualities and Phytochemical Constituents of Two Neglected Wild Edible Leafy Vegetables in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Biological Sciences, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Dec  2017, Pages 62-74.

DOI: 10.31058/

Joseph E. Okon 1* , Inimfon A. Ibanga , Esenowo G. J. 2 , Okon Okon G. 2

1 Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, Akwa Ibom State University, Mkpat-Enin, Nigeria

2 Department of Botany and Ecological Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria

Received: 13 December 2017; Accepted: 27 December 2017; Published: 11 January 2018

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Domesticated and non-domesticated green leafy vegetables have numerous dietary and health benefits. Investigations on the nutritional qualities and phytochemical constituents of two neglected wild edible leafy vegetables [Microdesmis puberula (Mp) and Bombax buonopozense (Bb)] in Akwa Ibom State were carried-out. The neutraceutical investigations revealed that the vegetables contained bioactive compounds comprising alkaloids (5.824 and 7.23 mg/100g), saponins (1.08 and 1.94 mg/100g), cardiac glycosides (7.48 and 7.96 mg/100g), terpenes (6.20 and 5.27 mg/100g) in Mp and Bb respectively and tannins (1.05 mg/100g) and flavonoids (4.52 mg/100g) in Bb. The bioactive compounds were found in abundance and were significant (p=0.05). Anthraquinones and phlobatannins were not detected in any of the vegetables. Microdesmis puberula and Bombax buonopozense revealed high nutrient qualities in crude proteins, crude fibre, carbohydrates and caloric value with relatively low concentrations in crude lipid, ash and moisture content. The minerals profile; Fe, Zn, Ca, K, Mg and P of the leafy vegetables were high and fell within the permissible limit but significant (p=0.05) increase were noted in Mg, Fe and P (Mp) and K, Fe and (Bb). Vitamins A, B1, B2 and C were significantly (p=0.05). Also, the vegetables contained minute anti-nutrients which ranged as oxalate (0.003 and 0.00 mg/100g), phytate (0.45 and 0.81 mg/100g), tannic acid (0.00 and 1.05 mg/100g) cyanide (0.00 and 0.005 mg/100g) and saponins (1.08 and 1.94 mg/100g) Mp and Bb respectively. All neutraceutical qualities tested fell within the FAO/WHO reference daily intake. The two vegetables are neglected species though they have been described as valuable on account of nutrients, minerals and secondary metabolites they contain. Based on their neutraceuticals status, the consumption of these important food supplements should be encouraged and popularized as these could be beneficial resources for prevention, management and treatment of diseases, food security and improve the nutritional quality of human diet.


Anti-Nutrients, Bombax buonopozense, Microdesmis puberula, Minerals, Neutraceutical Status, Phytochemicals


© 2017 by the authors. Licensee International Technology and Science Press Limited. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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