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1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria has rich genetic resources of cultivated, semi-wild and species of crops being used as traditional vegetables and different types are consumed by the various ethnic groups for different reasons (Mensah et al., 2008). Edible leaves from vegetable plants are eaten as supporting food or main dishes. They may be aromatic, bitter or tasteless (Eroarome, 2012) but are the cheapest and most. accessible source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids (Mensah et al., 2008). Also, possess certain hormone precursors in addition to energy (Eroarome, 2012). They contain valuable source of food ingredients that can be utilized to build up and improve the body successfully (Hanif et al., 2006). They also maintain alkaline reserve of the body. They contain high carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral contents (Hanif et al., 2006).

There are different types of vegetable and each group contributes in its own way to the diet (Eroarome, 2012). Local vegetables are useful contributors to rural and urban people’s dietsin Nigeria (Eroarome, 2012). They play prominent roles in the traditional food culture and various ethnic groups consume a variety of different indigenous types of vegetable for different reasons, some have medicinal properties reserved for the sick and recuperation and other (Mensah et al., 2008) and others natural sources of therapeutic agents (Roberts and Tyler, 1999). Non-starchy vegetables are rich source of dietary fiber used in the treatment of obesity, diabetes, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders (Iniaghe et al., 2009). Leafy vegetables alleviate the problems of micronutrient malnutrition dominant in tropical Afria (Ejoh et al., 2005). Mensah et al. 2008 posited that the use of green leafy vegetables for the preparation of soups cuts across different cultures within Nigeria and other parts of West Africa with similar cultural socioeconomic background. There are over 40 indigenous leafy vegetable eaten in Nigeria which kenaf leaves is part of them (Adeboye et al., 2003). Indigenous leaf vegetables are valuable sources of food, income and traditional medicine in Nigeria (Adeboye et al., 2003; Mensah et al., 2008).

In recent years, the consumption of teas from the leaves of indigenous plants has increased and became worldwide trend as its supplementation to human diet gives high antioxidant compounds, which has high health promoting properties towards human body (Quispe et al., 2012). Based on Pascoal et al., kenaf is well known due to its fibrous stem, which can be utilised and make into various useful products such as textiles, biocomposites, absorbent materials and more (Pascoal et al., 2015). Being cultivated especially for its fibrous stem, other part of the plant like the leaves will be left as crop residues. Nevertheless, studies on the kenaf leaves for industrial purposes such as in tea making are very limited at the present. Antinutrients, commonly found in plant food such as phenolic, flavonoids, and saponins, have both adverse effects and health benefit. By making the leaves into tea, oven drying process can destroys the naturally occurring antinutritional factors and is employed for reduction of anti-nutrients in the plant based foods thus enhances the nutritional value of isolated protein (Seena et al., 2006).

1.2 Statement of Research Problem

One of the common manifestations of living cells is the generation of harmful pro-oxidants and reactive oxygen species (ROS), produced either due to the biological dysfunctions or as a result of cellular metabolisms (Young and Woodside, 2001; Adnan et al., 2020a). Such free radicals may induce oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids and lead to several life-threatening conditions, including cancer, neurodegenerative disease, ischemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and other chronic diseases (Adnan et al., 2017). In regards to preventing oxidative stress, antioxidants with adequate scavenging capacity have been used for appropriate balancing through regulation of oxidation or auto-oxidation processes (Adnan et al., 2020). Commonly, many synthetic antioxidants, including butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) are widely added during food processing, preservation, as well as when preventing deterioration of color and texture (Anagnostopoulou et al., 2006). However, these antioxidants have emerged as hazardous for human health in recent times (Adnan et al., 2019). Hence, researchers have refocused on alternative sources of antioxidants, especially from plant-derived products, which are very common in traditional medicine. Since plants contain heterogeneous metabolites and biomolecules in their compositions, with potential defense mechanisms, their synergistic action in treating various chronic diseases is an area of intense interest (Bergman et al., 2001; Sahreen et al., 2010). Therefore, valuable plants that possess abundant phenolics and other bio-active compounds must be screened meticulously in search for novel bioactive and safe antioxidants.

1.3       Justification of the Study

Kenaf is a plant native to Africa and India, and has been identify in existence for nearly 4000 years ago. The kenaf leaves, have been used in Ayurveda medicine for blood, bilious, coughs, diabetes, and throat disorders (Khare, 2007; Alexopoulou et al., 2013; Jin et al., 2013). Besides, kenaf leaves has been reported to exhibit properties associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory medication, aperitifs, anodynes and aphrodisiacs (Khare, 2007; Kubmarawa et al., 2009; Alexopoulou et al., 2013). Chemically, Kenaf contains several active phytoconstituents namely polyphenols, tannins, steroids, alkaloids, saponins, lignans such as boehmenan K, boehmenan H, threo-carolignan K and threocarolignan H, essential oils, ethyl alcohol, isobutyl alcohol, limonene, phellandrene (Mozaina et al., 2001; Babita et al., 2014) and glucosides such as cannabiscitrin, cannabiscetin and anthocyanin glycoside cannabinidin (Gabriel et al., 2005a, Shivali et al., 2010). Kenaf seeds also has higher level of unsaturated fatty acid and high protein quality and it recently received attention in livestock industry as feed ingredient due to its nutritional profile (Olawepo et al., 2014). However, despite having such important biological properties of different parts of this plant, a few scientific reports have been found based on its pharmacological aspect. Hence, there is need to investigate the antinutritional content and antioxidant properties of Kenaf leaves.

1.4       Aim of the Study

The aim of the research was to investigate the antinutritional and antioxidants properties of Kenaf (Hibiscus Cannabinus) leaves in Gusau.

1.5       Specific Objectives of the Study

The specific objectives of the study where;

  1. To carry out preliminary phytochemical screening on the plant extract using standard methods
  2. To investigate the anti-nutritional composition of the leaves using standard methods
  3. To determine the antioxidant potential of the leaves using standard procedure


1.6       Research Hypothesis

Kenaf leaves found in Gusau contain antinutritional and antioxidants properties



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