Leaves of sweet potato plants and other tissues in sweet potato are found to have good amount of vitamin B6 and other water-soluble vitamins, in a new study.
Sweet potato is known to be a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and certain B vitamins that are considered essential to human health. Besides the commonly consumed root of the plant, certain tissues in sweet potato are also edible and high in nutritional value.
Wilmer Barrera and David Picha from Louisiana State University Agricultural Center analyzed a variety of sweet potato tissue types (mature leaves, young leaves, young petioles, buds, vine sections, and root tissue) in late October and again the following September. They conducted a third experiment to study water-soluble vitamin content among different sweet potato root tissues.
Analyses revealed differences in total ascorbic acid (AA) content among tissue types. Young leaves contained the highest AA content, followed by mature leaves and buds. Buds also contained significantly higher AA content than sweet potato roots, vines, and petiole tissues.
The results confirmed that sweet potato foliar tissues are a good source of ascorbic acid, and that young leaves have the highest foliar AA content, the scientists noted. The experiments showed no presence of thiamin in foliar tissues, a finding the authors say differs from previous studies.
Results also showed that riboflavin content differed with sweet potato tissue type, but was consistently higher in the leaves; mature leaves contained higher amounts of riboflavin than young leaves and other plant tissues, including roots.
They noted that the vitamin B6 content in sweet potato leaves compares well with fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, avocados, carrots, bananas, and cauliflower.
The research is published in HortScience.