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Atuna, R.A., Djah, J., Achaglinkame, M.A. et al. Types of indigenous vegetables consumed, preparation, preferences and perceived benefits in Ghana. J. Ethn. Food 9, 38 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42779-022-00154-3

Indigenous vegetables (IVs) are rich sources of essential nutrients, particularly vitamins and minerals, and other non-nutritive phytochemicals. IVs play a critical role in the food culture of the Ghanaian people. Despite their importance, they have over the years been mostly associated with the resource-poor. In this study, the types of IVs, preparation preferences, frequency of consumption and some perceived benefits ascribed by some Ghanaian consumers (n = 1393) were investigated in a cross-sectional survey. Descriptive analysis and a chi-square test of independence were conducted to summarise and determine the relationship between gender, age and consumption frequency of the IVs. The study identified okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) leaves, jute mallow (Corchorus olitorius) and garden egg (Solanum melongena) as the popular IVs consumed by respondents. Among these, about 13.3% of women and 15.3% of men indicated they consume okra. Eight per cent of the women respondents and 6.7% of the men consumed jute mallow. Almost 57% of the respondents said the IVs were used to prepare stew and soup. More than a third (39%) of the respondents indicated that they consumed the IVs either daily or more than once a week. Women respondents’ frequency of IVs consumption was significantly different [X2 (4, n = 1393) = 30.11, p = 0.000] from the men. The frequency of consumption of IVs for the elderly was significantly higher [X2 (12, n = 1393) = 30.53, p = 0.002] as compared to the younger respondents. The main perceived benefits of IVs were nutrition- and health-related. The major barriers to the consumption of IVs were cost, non-availability, palatability and cultural. The IVs were largely wet-cooked and consumed as stews or sauces and soups. These findings form good bases for further empirical studies on the nutritional and other health-benefiting attributes of the specific IVs found in this study for sustainable promotion and utilisation in Ghana.