Antioxidant properties and nutritional composition are important factors to consider when selecting vegetables for human consumption. Due to their numerous health benefits, leafy vegetables, in particular, are regarded as protective foods in the human diet. The goal of this study was to determine, assess, and compare the antioxidant activity and nutritional composition of Cucurbita maxima and Vigna unguiculata leaf extracts. The determination of the quantitative phytochemical composition of experimental plant extracts was also a goal of this study. Saponins (1.03 percent and 1.34 percent), tannins (3.49 percent and 2.60 percent), terpenoids (0.0 percent and 0.47 percent), flavonoids (2.81 percent and 4.11 percent), alkaloids (5.72 percent and 3.5 percent), and phenols (4.02 percent and 3.83 percent) were found in C. maxima and V. unguiculata, respectively. When ethanol leaf extract of V. unguiculata was compared to C. maxima, there was a significant (p=0.05) difference in radical scavenging activity. At 100mg/ml (range 0.40 to 0.5 absorbance) at 700nM, both plants’ extracts showed good antioxidant reduction potential in FRAP. The flavonoid and phenolic content of extracts is thought to be responsible for their antioxidant properties. Crude protein (11.58 percent and 14.83 percent), crude fat (0.47 percent and 0.61 percent), ash (4.11 percent and 3.72 percent), crude fibre (6.95 and 4.68 percent), moisture (1.03 percent and 1.38 percent), and carbohydrate (75.86 percent and 74.78 percent) were found to be the nutrients for C. maxima and V. unguiculata, respectively. This demonstrates that the leaves provide energy to both people and animals. Furthermore, both plants contained high protein percentages that can be utilised to supplement other protein sources.
K. K. Sha’a
Department of Science Laboratory Technology, School of Science and Technology, Adamawa State Polytechnic, P.M.B. 2146, Yola, Nigeria.