Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3834

Full Length Research Paper

Nutritional assessment of a traditional local vegetable (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)

Mariga I. K.1*, Lutendo Mativha2 and Maposa D.3
1School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Limpopo, P. Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa. 2Limpopo Agro-Food Technology Station, P. Bag X 1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa. 3School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences, University of Limpopo, P. Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 November 2011
  •  Published: 09 February 2012


The leaf cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. acephala), is a traditional local vegetable widely grown in rural and urban areas and consumed mostly by the poor in southern and eastern Africa. It is easy to propagate and is highly productive throughout the year. Three lines of leaf cabbage were evaluated for their nutritional value against a commonly grown exotic vegetable, Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla). Swiss chard was superior to the leaf cabbage lines in protein, total ash, vitamin A, sodium and iron content. On the other hand, the leaf cabbage lines had significantly higher quantities of fibre, carbohydrate, fat, calcium, vitamin C and energy than Swiss chard. The leaf cabbage types tested have many good nutritional attributes that justify their genetic improvement through breeding in aspects such as protein, vitamin A and iron content.


Key words: Brassica oleracea, nutritional assessment, Swiss chard, traditional vegetable.