Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Nutrient Data Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #298007

Title: Nutrient composition of selected traditional native American plant foods

item PHILLIPS, KATHERINE - Virginia Polytechnic Institution & State University
item Pehrsson, Pamela
item AGNEW, WANDA - United Tribes Technical College
item Follett, Jennifer
item Lukaski, Henry
item Patterson, Kristine
item SCHEET, ANGELA - University Of North Dakota

Submitted to: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2014
Publication Date: 6/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Phillips, K., Pehrsson, P.R., Agnew, W.W., Follett, J.R., Lukaski, H.C., Patterson, K.K., Scheet, A.J. 2014. Nutrient composition of selected traditional native American plant foods. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 34(2):136-152.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Ten wild plants (cattail narrow leaf shoots, chokecherries, beaked hazelnuts, lambsquarters, plains pricklypear, prairie turnips, stinging nettles, wild plums, raspberries, rose hips) from three Native American reservations in North Dakota were analyzed to expand composition information of traditional foraged plants. Proximates, dietary fiber (DF), vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and folate vitamers were assayed using standard methods and reference materials. Per serving, all were rich in Mn (100-2808µg). Several provided >10% DRI of Fe (cattail shoots, steamed lambsquarters, prairie turnips), Ca (steamed lambsquarters, pricklypear, prairie turnips), Mg (cattail shoots, lambsquarters, pricklypear, prairie turnips), vitamins B6 (chokecherries, steamed lambsquarters, broiled pricklypear, prairie turnips), C (raw pricklypear, plums, raspberries, rose hips (204 mg/48g), and K (cattail shoots, chokecherries, lambsquarters, plums, rose hips, stinging nettles). DF was >10g/serving in chokecherries, prairie turnips, plums and raspberries. Rose hips, plums, lambsquarters, and stinging nettles were carotenoid-rich (total, 3.18-11.7 mg/100g; ß-carotene, 1.15-2.35 mg/100g; lutein/zeaxanthin, 0.920-6.16 mg/100g, lycopene (rose hips only, 6.80 mg/100g). Folate (primarily 5-methyltetrahydrofolate) was highest in raw lambsquarters (97.5 µg/100g) and notable in cattail shoots, raw prairie turnips, and blanched stinging nettles (10.8, 11.5, 24.0 µg/100g, respectively). Results, provided to collaborating tribes and available in USDA’s National Nutrient Database (, support reintroduction or increased consumption of foraged plants.