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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2000 May;51(3):195-208.

Energy and micronutrient composition of dietary and medicinal wild plants consumed during drought. Study of rural Fulani, northeastern Nigeria.

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Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


Two rural settled Fulani villages, northeastern Nigeria, were surveyed for dietary practices and use of edible wild plants (n = 100 households). Commonly consumed species of edible wild barks, fruits, leaves, nuts, seeds, and tubers were analyzed for protein, fat, and carbohydrate and for minerals. Kuka bark (Adansonia digitata) given to infants to increase weight gain was high in fat, calcium, copper, iron, and zinc. Cediya (Ficus thonningii), dorowa (Parkia biglobosa) and zogale (Moringa oleifera) were good sources of protein and fat and excellent sources of calcium and iron or copper and zinc. Fruits, leaves, and nuts of aduwa (Balanites aegyptiaca) were widely used during the dry season and during drought. Edible wild species available during the wet season generally were inferior in energy and micronutrient mineral content compared to dry season plants. Fruits commonly eaten by children were poor sources of protein and minerals but rich in carbohydrate and fiber. Tsamiya seeds (Tamarindus indica) were good sources of zinc and used to make dawwa (porridge) commonly consumed during pregnancy. Kirya seeds (Prosopos africana) contained the highest zinc concentrations. Shiwaka leaves (Veronia colorate) consumed by pregnant women to increase breastmilk production and to expel intestinal worms, were high in fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and were adequate sources of calcium.

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