Redefining Unusable Weeds to Beneficial Plants: Purslane as a Powerful Source of Omega-3 for the Future

Rania Agil, Chloé Gilbert, Hamed Tavakoli, Farah Hosseinian

Abstract


With global consumer demand shifting towards the consumption of healthier foods, it is crucial to discover new sources of edible plants with high nutritional value and low cost. Unique weeds such as purslane have the potential to be used as an untapped source of unconventional food with diverse nutrients and beneficial bioactive properties. Inflammation can cause oxidative stress related diseases including cardiovascular disorders, aging and cancer. One key nutrient of purslane is omega-3 with potential of inhibitory properties against inflammatory and estrogenic mediators. Purslane is known to be a rich source of a-linolenic acid, 18:3 ω-3, an essential fatty acid, carotenes, antioxidants and minerals. However, the precise mechanism of action of its individual components in disease prevention is unknown. This review provides a summary on the role of purslane bioactives, particularly omega-3 fatty acids as one of purslane’s main constituents with potential of anti-inflammatory and anti-estrogenic properties. The discovery of new sources of plants rich in omega-3 fatty acids may be a useful strategy in utilizing natural alternative sources of foods that can enhance human health and wellbeing.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jfr.v4n6p39

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