Proximate, Mineral and Procyanidin Content of Certain Foods and Beverages Consumed by the Kuna Amerinds of Panama
The Kuna Amerinds reside chiefly in the San Blas islands (Kuna Yala) on the Caribbean coast of Panama. The diet of this population has not previously been described in detail and composition data for certain foods consumed by this population does not exist or is lacking for certain important nutrients. The protein, fat, moisture, fiber, sugar, mineral and procyanidin content was determined in foods selected because of the frequency with which they are consumed by this population. For that reason, emphasis was given to Tule Masi, a typical Kuna stew-like dish, and cocoa-containing beverages. The foods analyzed were generally low in fat and protein. Potassium and magnesium are present in Tule Masi, common beverages and certain fruits and vegetables at significant levels when considering the preliminary reports on the daily intake of these foods. In addition, preliminary reports indicate that salt use is common, an observation that is supported by the sodium content of the Tule Masi. The cocoa and cocoa beans used in the preparation of beverages are rich in several minerals and procyanidins, as expected. This analysis will allow for the estimation of nutrient intake and subsequent investigations into the relationship between diet and health in this population.