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NUTRIENTS AND PHYTOCHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF LESSER - KNOWN VEGETABLES - PHYLLANTUS NURIRI AND MUCUNA PRURIENS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON IRON AND BETA CAROTENE STATUS OF RATS

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

 1.1 Background of the study
Green leafy vegetables constitute an indispensable constituent of human diet, especially in local delicacies. It is estimated that over 60 species of green leafy vegetables are used as food. Apart from the well-known and easily cultivated green leafy vegetables serving as sources of micronutrients, several wild and ornamental plants are traditionally 'important supplement sources of food nutrients. They are used for various purposes ranging from food for man and animals, to therapeutic and manure for plants. Some of the vegetables are underutilized. Seasonality partly precipitates micronutrient deficiency, especially during off-season when green leafy vegetables are unavailable. The anti-nutrient content of vegetables, limit the availability of micronutrient present in the vegetables. The issue of micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences on health, learning capability and productivity of affected people constitute a major public health problem globally and is of increasing prominence in Nigeria. The current rate of micronutrient deficiency is 24% among mothers and 48% among pregnant women in Nigeria (FMOH, 2006). There have been several attempts by Nutritionists the world over to proffer adequate solutions to this problem. Part of the efforts is to document the nutrient composition of some green leafy vegetables, which still grow as wild crop or semi-wild crop or unpopular vegetables in many areas in Nigeria ecosystem, which could contribute to the micronutrient intake of the populace. Mucuna pruriens leaves and Phyllanthus nuriri leaves are unpopular vegetables in Nigeria. Mucuna is a leguminous plant (NAS, 1979). A number of species are available in Nigeria for example M. utilis (“Agbara-orji ”), M. Flagellipes-(“ukpo’), M Sloanie (“ukpa ’). The leaf of Mucuna pruriens is commonly known as “agbara nkita” among the Ibos of Eastern Nigeria. The leaves of mucuna are used as medicine or for therapeutic purposes. In the local communities, these leaves are used for the treatment of anaemia (Ezekwesili, 2005). Phyllanthus nuriri leaf is another wild vegetable, which comes under the botanical family called Euphorbiaceae. The most common species of this family in most West African nations are Phyllanthus amaru and Phyllanthus nuriri popularly called “chancea piedra” in many parts of the world. Among the Ibos of eastern Nigeria it is called “okwonwa”. In the local communities, it is used in the treatment of anaemia and malaria (Uzoma, 2004).

Project detailsContents
 
Number of Pages124 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
ReferenceReference
QuestionnaireQuestionnaire
AppendixAppendix
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
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