The α-linolenic acid content of green vegetables commonly available in Australia

C. Pereira, D. Li, A. J. Sinclair

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Green vegetable consumption has long been considered to have health benefits mainly due to the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (such as vitamin C. folate, antioxidants etc) contained in a vegetable-rich diet. Additionally, green vegetables are known to contain a relatively high proportion of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), primarily in the form of α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3). However, there are no data available on the fatty acid composition and concentration of green vegetables commonly consumed in Australia. The present study determined the fatty acid content of l 1 green vegetables that are commonly available in Australia. The total fatty acid concentrations of the vegetables under study ranged from 44 rog/100 g wet weight in Chin ese cabbage to 372 mg/100 g in watercress. There were three PUFAs in all vegetables analyzed; those were 16:3n-3. 18:2n-6, and 18:3n-3 fatty acids. Sample vegetables contained significant quantities of 16:3n-3 and 18:3n-3. ranging from 23 to 225 mg/100g. Watercress and mint contained the highest amounts of 16:3n-3 and 18:3n-3. and parsley had the highest amount of 18:2n-6 in both percentage composition and concentration. Mint had the highest concentration of 18:3n-3 with a value of 195 mg/100 g, while watercress contained the highest concentration of 16:3n-3 at 45 rog/100 g. All 11 green vegetables contained a high proportion of PUFAs, ranging from 59 to 72% of total fatty acids. The omega-3 PUFA composition ranged from 40 to 62% of total fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acid composition was less than 6% of total fatty acids. The proportion of saturated fatty acids ranged from 21% in watercress and mint to 32% of total fatty acids in Brussels sprouts. No eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids were detected in any of the samples. Consumption of green vegetables could contribute to 18:3n-3 PUFA intake, especially for vegetarian populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

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