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Open AccessReview

Edible Leafy Plants from Mexico as Sources of Antioxidant Compounds, and Their Nutritional, Nutraceutical and Antimicrobial Potential: A Review

1
Recursos Genéticos y Productividad-Genética, Colegio de Posgraduados, Carr. México-Texcoco Km. 36.5, Montecillo, Texcoco 56230, Mexico
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CIIDIR-Oaxaca, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Ciudad de México 07738, Mexico
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Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Alimentos, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa-Enríquez 1090, Mexico
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CONACyT-Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Alimentos, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa-Enríquez 1090, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antioxidants 2020, 9(6), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9060541
Received: 15 May 2020 / Revised: 12 June 2020 / Accepted: 13 June 2020 / Published: 20 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant capacity of Anthocyanins and Other Vegetal Pigments)
A review of indigenous Mexican plants with edible stems and leaves and their nutritional and nutraceutical potential was conducted, complemented by the authors’ experiences. In Mexico, more than 250 species with edible stems, leaves, vines and flowers, known as “quelites,” are collected or are cultivated and consumed. The assessment of the quelite composition depends on the chemical characteristics of the compounds being evaluated; the protein quality is a direct function of the amino acid content, which is evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and the contribution of minerals is evaluated by atomic absorption spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) or ICP mass spectrometry. The total contents of phenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, saponins and other general compounds have been analyzed using UV-vis spectrophotometry and by HPLC. For the determination of specific compounds such as phenolic compounds, flavonoids, organic acids and other profiles, it is recommended to use HPLC-DAD, UHPLC-DAD, UFLC-PDA or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The current biochemical analysis and biological evaluations were performed to understand the mechanisms of action that lead to decreased glucose levels and lipid peroxidation, increased hypoglycemic and antitumor activity, immune system improvement, increased antibacterial and antifungal activity and, in some cases, anti-Helicobacter pylori activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: indigenous knowledge; bioactive compounds; malnutrition; wild edible plants; dietary diversification indigenous knowledge; bioactive compounds; malnutrition; wild edible plants; dietary diversification
MDPI and ACS Style

Mateos-Maces, L.; Chávez-Servia, J.L.; Vera-Guzmán, A.M.; Aquino-Bolaños, E.N.; Alba-Jiménez, J.E.; Villagómez-González, B.B. Edible Leafy Plants from Mexico as Sources of Antioxidant Compounds, and Their Nutritional, Nutraceutical and Antimicrobial Potential: A Review. Antioxidants 2020, 9, 541.

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