Author(s): Oladejo Thomas Adepoju, Oyediran Emmanuel Oyewole
Fruits and vegetables are good sources of micronutrients, especially minerals and vitamins. Colocassia esculenta and Ocimum gratissimum green leaves, used indigenously fresh as vegetables were studied for their nutrient and anti-nutrient composition and micronutrient potentials. Samples of fresh leaves were studied using standard methods of analyses of AOAC. The results revealed that 100 g portion of the fresh leaves of Colocassia esculenta and Ocimum gratissimum contained 82.8 and 93.9 g moisture, 3.4 and 3.0 g protein, 5.8 and 4.0 g crude fibre, 31.2 and 23.9 Kcal gross energy, 6.0 and 11.3 mg sodium, 850 and 30.7 mg potassium, 240 and 15.7 mg Ca, 51.0 and 39.3 mg P, 3.0 and 0.6 mg Fe, 691 and 571.6 µg -carotene and 89.2 and 36.5 mg ascorbic acid, respectively. The levels of phytates, oxalates, tannins and saponins in the fresh leaves were very low and could not cause any health hazard even when consumed in large quantity. Colocassia esculenta and Ocimum gratissimum leaves were rich in -carotene and ascorbic acid, the micronutrients of nutritional importance because of their antioxidant properties. Their low sodium, carbohydrates and gross energy content qualify them as good vegetables for the hypertensive, diabetics, obese and normal people. Their antioxidant properties may have health-promoting benefits.