Proximate composition of underutilized green leafy vegetables in Southern Karnataka.
In India, various types of underutilized foods are available seasonally but are not utilized to the extent that they should be in spite of their high nutritive value. Looking into the high prevalence of micronutrient malnutrition among vulnerable sections, the utilization of underutilized foods can be explored to overcome nutritional disorders. Practically, there is no information available on the nutritive value of underutilized foods, which may contribute significantly to the nutrient intake of rural population. Thus, an attempt was made to identify and analyse various underutilized vegetables for their nutrient content from selected region of south Karnataka. 38 less commonly consumed green leafy vegetables were identified, which showed a wide range of nutritional composition: protein, 0.7-3.6 g/100 g; crude fibre, 0.2-2.6 g/100 g; energy, 17-97 kcal/100 g; iron, 3.68-37.34 mg/100 g; calcium, 73-740 mg/100 g; oxalic acid, 10.76-121.09 mg/100 g; ascorbic acid, 3-157 mg/100 g; moisture, 68-93%; fat, 0.2-2.6 g/100 g; and carbohydrates, 0.4-21.0 g/100 g. Moisture content was highest in Amaranthus sp., Pimpinella sp. and Basella sp., protein content was highest in Alternanthera sessilis and Amaranthus spinosus, fat content was highest in Pimpinella sp., crude fibre content was highest in Gynandropsis pentaphylla [Cleome gynandra], iron content was highest in Portulaca oleracea, ascorbic acid content was highest in Brassica oleracea, and energy, calcium and carbohydrate contents were highest in Oxalis acetosella. It is suggested that these foods if consumed on a daily basis can take care of the micronutrient deficiency of the population.