Unconventional leafy vegetables as a source of minerals.
Studies were undertaken to assess the mineral composition of the leaves and edible stems of 10 species of unconventional leafy vegetables (3 of them woody species) growing naturally in degraded forest areas or on agricultural waste land nearby at Dapoli [in Maharashtra], and compare them with 2 conventional sources (math, Amaranthus tricolor; and spinach, Spinacia oleracea). Math, drumstick (Moringa oleifera), takala (Cassia tora) and bharangi (Clerodendrum serratum) contained comparatively high amounts of phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and drumstick was rich in sulfur (179.35 mg/100 g). The quantity of micronutrients such as iron and boron was high in math, drumstick and ghol (Portulaca oleracea). Boron was maximum in drumstick (41.63 ppm). There was not much variation in copper and manganese contents of the species tested, but the zinc content was maximum in unconventional leafy vegetables, namely drumstick, takala, phodsi (Chlorophytum tuberosum) and dhandgi (Tricholepis amplexicaulus). The other unconventional species for which data are reported are katemath (Amaranthus spinosus), cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata), kawala (Smithia sensitiva) and kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica).