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In many parts of the world, a variety of edible wild or domesticated plants are exploited on a daily basis as rich sources of food and nutrition to the populations residing in these ecosystems (Aberoumand Nutritive Aspects 2020). These plants contain different nutritional and medicinal values, and hence the knowledge of their ingredients is of immense importance. The present paper utilizes five different plant ingredients to make a recipe that can provide a high nutritional value to pregnant and lactating mothers. Research is consistent that this group of the population requires high levels of potassium (1200 mg/day) and calcium (2000 mg/day). It also requires sodium (500 mg/day) and zinc (19 mg/day) (Aberoumand 150). The domesticated plants used to make the recipe include spider plants, spiny gourd, garden asparagus, piston, and coriander.
The spider plant, which is also commonly referred to as the air plant or ribbon plant, is a flowering perennial herb known within the realms of science as Chlorophytum comosum. The plant’s fleshy tuberous roots, known botanically as rhizomes, form the main ingredient in the recipe as they are rich in carbohydrates, protein, calcium, and fiber (Aberoumand Nutritive Aspects 2021-2022; Bereu 463-464). The spider plant is known to have originated from Southern Africa. However, it has been exported to other tropical regions with forested river basins, mountainous landscapes, and thickets (Alisha, Shoaib and Hankumar 546-547; Van Jaarsveld par. 6).
The spiny gourd or Kantola is a species of flowering plant known for its rich source of proteins, lipids, potassium, phosphorous, and iron. It is also rich in zinc, fiber, carbohydrate, and other trace elements (Aberoumand Nutritive Aspects 2022-2023). The available literature demonstrates that the spiny gourd is known scientifically as Momordica dioica (Aberoumand 148) and that the fruits of the plant contain high nutritional value (Aberoumand 151). This recipe uses the fruits of the plant known botanically as teasle gourds to achieve the high level of nutritional requirements needed by expectant and lactating mothers (“World Crops Database” par. 1). The plant species is native to the Indian subcontinent though it has become naturalized in China, Japan, Bangladesh, and other parts of Southeast Asia.
The common name of this spring vegetable crop is garden asparagus while its scientific or botanical name is Asparagus Officinalis. Available literature demonstrates that the flowering, perennial plant species is native to most of Europe, Northern Africa, Southeast Asia, and Western Asia. However, it is being domesticated in many other regions of the world due to its high nutritional value (Eland 1). The edible part of the plant is the stem or the young asparagus shoots. These stems or shoots, which are botanically referred to as asparagus in reference to the Greek name for “stalk” or “shoot”, are “a good supplement for some nutrients such as protein, lipid, potassium, zinc, fiber and carbohydrates” (Aberoumand 151). It is worth mentioning that this plant has found wide acceptance in the United States and Europe due to the high nutritional value of its young shoots.
Spistan or Lasura, scientifically referred to as Cordia myxa, is one of the most prolific plants when it comes to the production of vital vitamins and trace elements (Aberoumand 149-150). The fruits of the plant are good in making a tasty broth full of vitamins, thus their inclusion in the recipe. The mature fruits of the spistan plant are botanically referred to as sebesten fruits, gold berries, or clammy cherries. The plant is thought to have originated from Asia (e.g., China, Myanmar, and Afghanistan), though it has been exported to other tropical regions that have the right mix of geophysical environments for its survival.
Coriander, also commonly referred to as dhania, produces a variety of ingredients that can be used to spice food and also provide vital vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. The soft plant, which is scientifically known as Coriandrum sativum, traces its roots to southern Europe, Northern Africa, and Southwestern Asia (Diederichsen 7-19). This recipe uses the fresh leaves of the plant as well as its grounded seeds to achieve maximum nutritional value and also to make the food more appealing. The fresh coriander leaves are scientifically known as cilantro or Chinese parsley. The seeds and fruits, which may be prepared by grounding or roasting, are scientifically known as vittae or coriander.
This paper has discussed five different plant ingredients that could be used to make highly nutritious food for consumption by pregnant and lactating mothers. The primary learning outcomes revolve around the demonstration of adequate knowledge and understanding of the plant’s scientific names, place of origin, nutritional value, and the botanical names of edible components. These are the parts or sections of the domesticated plants that are usually consumed for their nutritional or medicinal value. Although the preparation of the recipe is outside the scope of this paper, it can be concluded that the ingredients selected provide immense nutritional value to pregnant and lactating mothers.
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World Crops Database: Teasle Gourd 2012. Web.