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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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
Volume71
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

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