Food Security and Healthy Living in Nigeria

Determination of Growing Capability and Nutritional Contents
of Grain Amaranth for Food Security and Healthy Living in Nigeria

Grain amaranth has multiple benefits as complementary and supplementary food and medicine respectively. The study focused on determining the nutritional and medicinal properties of grain amaranth cultivar obtained from REAP in Kenya which was propagated in Kwara State, Nigeria; harvested after 65 days; and prepared as samples for the study. Standard procedures of Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, Flame Photometer, and Spectrophotometer. were used to determine the macro/micronutrients in the grains.

Results revealed that the grains contained good source of protein, lipid, Iron-66 mg/100g, Zinc-11.34 mg/100g, Calcium-78.7 mg/100g, Manganese-37.1 mg/100g, Magnesium-2845 mg/100g, Potassium-400 mg/100g; Thiamine-0.2756 mg (%), Riboflavin-0.734 mg (%) and Niacin-1.042. Zinc is reported to contribute to boosting the immune system of people with AIDS and iron is required by enzymes for oxygen metabolism that reduces anemia. Multi-benefits  of amaranth range from improved well-being to recovery of severely malnourished children; increased body mass index of people formerly wasted by HIV/AIDS; environmental adaptability, yield, and recipes development.

More research efforts are needed on growing, inclusion in diets, consumer behavior and market acceptability of amaranth based products in order to contribute to the efforts of addressing food security, poverty reduction, nutritional, and medicinal needs of vulnerable communities.

Abolaji, G.T.1  Olooto, F. M.1 Ogundele, D. T..2  and Williams, F. E.3
1 Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension Service, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemical, Geological and Physical Sciences Chemistry Unit, Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria
3 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.