Department of Biology

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Henrik Balslev

Nutrient and Mineral Compositions of Wild Leafy Vegetables of the Karen and Lawa Communities in Thailand

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DOI

  • Kittiyut Punchay, Chiang Mai University
  • ,
  • Angkhana Inta, Chiang Mai University
  • ,
  • Pimonrat Tiansawat, Chiang Mai University
  • ,
  • Henrik Balslev
  • Prasit Wangpakapattanawong, Chiang Mai University

Wild food plants are commonly used in the traditional diets of indigenous people in many parts of the world, including northern Thailand. The potential contribution of wild food plants to the nutrition of the Karen and Lawa communities remains poorly understood. Wild food plants, with a focus on leafy vegetables, were ranked by the Cultural Food Significance Index (CFSI) based on semi-structured interviews. Twelve wild plant species were highly mentioned and widely consumed. The importance of the wild vegetables was mainly related to taste, availability, and multifunctionality of the species. Their contents of proximate and minerals (P, K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) were analyzed using standard methods. The proximate contents were comparable to most domesticated vegetables. The contents of Mg (104 mg/100 g FW), Fe (11 mg/100 g FW), and Zn (19 mg/100 g FW) in the wild leafy vegetables were high enough to cover the daily recommended dietary allowances of adults (19-50 years), whereas a few species showed Mn contents higher than the tolerable upper intake level ( > 11 mg/100 g edible part). The wild leafy vegetables, therefore, are good sources of minerals and we recommend their continued usage by indigenous people. Further research on these wild leafy vegetables' contents of antioxidants, vitamins, heavy metals, anti-nutrient factors, and food safety is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1748
JournalFoods
Volume9
Issue12
Number of pages15
ISSN2304-8158
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • ethnobotany, food analysis, indigenous food, micronutrients, nutrition, WOODY PLANT DIVERSITY, AGED 1-6 YEARS, TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, NUTRITIONAL-STATUS, NORTHERN THAILAND, EDIBLE FLOWERS, FOOD, ANTINUTRIENT, HOMEGARDENS, FORESTS

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