Common Vegetables in Nigeria – Plants or portions of plants that are edible by both humans and herbivorous animals are known as vegetables. Since the time of our forefathers’ hunter-gatherer lifestyles, several vegetables have been a staple of human nutrition. They could be mainstay foods or serve as supplemental additions to meals to add flavour and nutrients that are essential for good health.
Typically, vegetables are categorised according to the plant portion that is used for food. Beets, carrots, radishes, sweet potatoes, and turnips are some of the root vegetables. Vegetables with stems include kohlrabi and asparagus. Potatoes are one of the edible subterranean stems, or tubers. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, lettuce, rhubarb, and spinach are examples of vegetables with leaves and stalks. Onions, leeks, and garlic are examples of bulb vegetables. Artichokes, broccoli, and cauliflower are examples of vegetables with flowers on their heads. Cucumbers, eggplant, okra, sweet corn, squash, peppers, and tomatoes are fruits that are frequently used as vegetables. Legumes like peas and beans are frequently used as seed vegetables.
Modern vegetable farming encompasses anything from small-scale enterprises using the most recent automation and technology advancements for local sales to massive commercial operations. Vegetables can also be cultivated using standard agricultural techniques or organic farming practises. The majority of vegetables are sown as seeds on the fields where they will be cultivated, however on occasion seedlings will be moved to the field after germination in a nursery or greenhouse. Herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides are frequently applied during the growing season to prevent damage from weeds, insects, and diseases, respectively. In developed nations, harvesting processes are typically mechanised depending on the crop, although in some regions, hand harvesting is still practised or is combined with machine activities.
This is list of Common Vegetables in Nigeria:
The vine species known as fluted pumpkin, or Telfairia occidentalis in its formal name, is common in the southeast of Nigeria. In the South of the country, in particular, a variety of regional recipes are prepared using the young shoots of leaves. Additionally, this vegetable has therapeutic qualities. The term “fluted pumpkin” has numerous colloquial names in the Igbo, Ibibio/Efik, and Yoruba languages, respectively, such as Ugu, Ikong-Ubong, and Efo.
Water Leaf, also known as Talinum fruticosum, is a popularly cultivated leafy vegetable that was formerly native to Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, and parts of South America. In Nigeria, meals are prepared with water leaf, which is known to have a high vitamin A and vitamin C content as well as minerals like calcium and iron.
Scent Leaf is a leafy vegetable that is indigenous to Madagascar, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Scent Leaf, which is used as a spice in cooking and is known to produce a distinctive flavour and essential minerals like vitamin A, is a significant part of many indigenous Nigerian dishes. This leafy perennial plant is known as Ntong by the Efik/Ibibio people of the South-South, Nchuanwu by the Igbo, and Efirin by the Yoruba. The species is known by its scientific name, Cocimum gratissimum.
This is a Nigerian biennial leafy vegetable that, when consumed, has sedative and analgesic properties. When added to meals, such as soups and sauces, wild lettuce has a wealth of nutritious content. The scientific name for it is Launaea taraxacifolia.
Nigerian cuisine uses spinach, a green vegetable, to prepare several meals. It could be consumed immediately or put away for later. Along with minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, and folates, spinach also contains sufficient amounts of vitamins A, C, and K. Spinacia oleracea, the scientific name for the plant, is an annual.
Nigeria is home to the herbaceous plant thyme. Since thyme leaves have a strong flavour and high culinary value, they are frequently employed in cooking. Either fresh or dried versions of it could be employed. Thyme’s flavour lingers even after drying. The scientific name for this veggie is Thyme vulgaris.
In Nigeria, you can find curry leaves growing all over the country. Due to the flavour and scent it imparts to foods, it is mostly used in cooking as a spice and seasoning. Additionally, curry leaves can be bagged and dried for later use.
GNETUM AFRICANUM (AFANG/OKAZI)
The origin of this vegetable is tropical Africa. The tribes in Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, and other Southeastern states domesticated this perennial plant with papery-like leaves, which was once found as pine and was regarded as a wild vine and a wild vegetable. The Efik/Ibibio and Igbo, respectively, refer to it as Afang and Okazi. As a component of the identities of the aforementioned ethnic groups, the afang soup has cultural significance to them. Protein, amino acids, glutamic acid, and aspartic acid are all provided by the vegetable for consumption. The leaves of the afang tree are also used medicinally.
HEINSIA CRINITA (EDITAN LEAF)
The Efik, Ibibio, and Annang ethnic groups in particular, use the term “editan leaf” to refer to this plant. Meals like soup and sauce are made with the editan leaf. It is suitable for diabetics since it aids in the regulation of blood sugar, is nutrient-rich in iron, and increases the synthesis of red blood cells. The people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states take pride in their cultural tradition of eating editan soup.
Nigeria is one of the countries in Nigeria where bitter leaf is a native plant to the African continent. Bitter leaf, also known as Vernonia amygdalina in science, is used in food and medicine. Bitter leaves are a healthy food source of vitamins, minerals, and salts. In medicine, bitter leaves are used to cure a variety of conditions, such as skin infections, fever, diarrhoea, and general malaise. Bitter leaves are also useful in liver and kidney detoxification.
The Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups, respectively, refer to this as Utazi or Arokeke in common usage. This climbing shrub offers a wide range of advantages. Its bitter-sweet flavour gives delicacies such african salad (abacha), white soup (afia-efere or ofe nsala), sauce, nkwobi, isi-ewu, and unripe plantain porridge a distinctive flavour. It also provides protein, which is essential for bodybuilding. This herb is utilised as a temporary antidote for dysentery, catarrh, and congested chest and has other therapeutic uses as well.
This plant is indigenous to West Africa, and the Hausa, Yoruba, and Tiv peoples in Nigeria refer to it by various names, including gurguzu, isiapa, and ashes. The red variety of the capsule, known as sobo in Nigeria, is created by boiling and extracting the content, which is best consumed chilled. The leaves are utilised to prepare regional dishes.
ABELMOSCHUS ESCULENTUS (OKRO)
Okro is categorised as a fruit, but due to its use in foods or on its own, it can also be thought of as a vegetable. Minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and vitamins are all present in okro in good amounts.
- Amaranthus Hybridus
In Nigeria, this is referred to as “greens” locally. When cooked, the vegetable’s seeds and leaves can be consumed. Additionally, they work as tapeworm expellants and provide relief for pulmonary conditions.
Despite being classified as a berry under the fruit subsector, tomatoes can also be considered a vegetable because of their culinary applications. When cooked, tomatoes add a savoury flavour to a meal and are a fair source of vitamin C. It is known by the scientific name Solanum lycopersicum.