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Revista chilena de nutrición

versão On-line ISSN 0717-7518


SANTIAGO-SAENZ, Yair O et al. Nutritional importance and biological activity of bioactive compounds from quelites consumed in Mexico. Rev. chil. nutr. [online]. 2019, vol.46, n.5, pp.593-605. ISSN 0717-7518.

Only 30% of households in Mexico present food security, which means a large percentage of households and the population does not meet their needs in terms of macro and micronutrients. Thus, quelites, which are defined as wild edible plants, are an accessible, continuous, economical and adequate source of nutrients. However, quelite consumption in Mexico has been decreasing in response to changes in food preferences and lifestyles, including increased exposure to hypercaloric foods. Therefore, the aim of this work was to discuss the value of quelites as a food source rich in nutrients, proteins, amino acids, minerals (Ca, Mg, Zn), vitamins (E, C) and fiber. We also discuss how quelites are good source of bioactive compounds, such as phenolic acids (caffeic acid, ferulic acid) and flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, spinacetin), carotenoids, α-linolenic acid and betalaines. There use have been mainly related to the anti-tumor, antihyperlipidemic and antidiabetic benefits. We further discuss topics related to the culinary traditions of Mexico and the incorporation of quelites in the raw and cooked form in regional markets. The revaluation and the reincorporation of quelites in the diet can help meet nutritional needs, in addition to possibly providing additional health benefits.

Palavras-chave : Cardiometabolic diseases; Food security; Quelites; Traditional food; Wild plants.

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