Diabetes type 2, cancers, hypertension and obesity have become problematic diseases worldwide calling for more studies on their prevention and management. Antioxidant phytochemicals have shown potential to reduce cases of such chronic diseases therefore the present study quantified antioxidant phytochemicals in traditional dishes consumed in Zimbabwe. Traditional dishes are readily available therefore are cheap and accessible sources of food. Antioxidant phytochemicals were extracted using matrix solid phase dispersion and thin layer chromatography coupled to 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay and then quantified using high performance liquid chromatography. The levels of antioxidant phytochemicals ranged from 2 ± 0.5 to 620 ± 3 mg/g for the ethanol extract and 20 ± 3 to 377 ± 5 mg/g for the ethyl acetate extract. Type and amounts of antioxidant phytochemical present in a dish depended upon the thick porridge and relish combination selected. Combinations involving wild vegetables as relish consisted of better levels of antioxidant phytochemicals than meat combinations. No dish consisted of all the types of antioxidant phytochemicals therefore it is necessary to eat a variety.
Key words: Diabetes type 2, cancers, hypertension, obesity, phytocompounds.
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