A systematic review on the contributions of edible plant and animal biodiversity to human diets

D Penafiel, C Lachat, R Espinel, P Van Damme, P Kolsteren

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

    Abstract

    The sustainable use of natural and agricultural biodiversity in the diet can be instrumental to preserve existing food biodiversity, address malnutrition, and mitigate adverse effects of dietary changes worldwide. This systematic review of literature summarizes the current evidence on the contribution of plant and animal biodiversity to human diets in terms of energy intake, micronutrient intake, and dietary diversification. Peer-reviewed studies were searched in ten databases using pre-defined search terms. Only original studies assessing food biodiversity and dietary intake were included, resulting in a total of 34 studies. 7, 14, and 17 studies reported information in relation to energy intake, micronutrient intake, and dietary diversification, respectively. In general, locally available foods were found to be important sources of energy, micronutrients, and dietary diversification in the diet of particularly rural and forest communities of highly biodiverse ecosystems. The current evidence shows local food biodiversity as important contributor of nutritious diets. Findings are, however, limited to populations living in highly biodiverse areas. Research on the contribution of biodiversity in diets of industrialized and urban settings needs more attention. Instruments are needed that would more appropriately measure the dietary contribution of local biodiversity.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEcohealth
    Volume8
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)381-399
    ISSN1612-9202
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Nutrition
    • Food composition
    • Plants
    • Meat
    • Fruit
    • Fish
    • Diet
    • Energy intake
    • Micronutrients
    • Biodiversity
    • Review of the literature
    • Systematic review
    • Agriculture
    • Africa-General
    • Middle East
    • Asia-West
    • Pacific
    • America-Latin
    • Asia-Southeast
    • Asia-South

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