Beneficial or hazardous? A comprehensive study of 24 elements from wild edible plants from Angola
Angola suffers from a high child mortality rate and a prevalence of anemia due to malnutrition. The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview of the mineral content of 43 wild edible plants. A total of 24 different elements (aluminum, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, strontium, titanium, thallium, vanadium, zinc) were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy to identify nutritional beneficial and hazardous plants. For the majority of studied species (31 of 43) data lack completely. For the remaining, only macronutrient contents are published yet, determining their (ultra)trace element and heavy metal contents for the first time. None of the examined plants pose a risk to human health due to low heavy metal contents, seasonality, and low amounts of consumed plant parts. Iron and zinc rich plant parts, such as fruits of Canarium schweinfurthii, or leaves of Crassocephalum rubens, Solanum americanum, and Piper umbellatum could help combating deficiency syndromes. The genus Landolphia shows to be an aluminum hyperaccumulator with aluminum contents >1000 mg/kg. Results of this study serve as a database for upcoming research. The nutritional value of edible plants is evaluated.
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