Some common staple roots and tubers (cassava, yam, sweet potato and yellow yam) were analyzed for selenium content level using hydride generation—atomic absorption spectrophotometry (HG-ASS) technique. Results for duplicate analysis revealed that sweet potato has the highest mean selenium content (19.2 ± 5.20 μg/kg), followed by yellow yam (18.3 ± 6.97 μg/kg), then yam (13.6 ± 7.12 μg/kg) and cassava the least (13.0 ± 5.84 μg/kg). In comparing our results with the literature values, most of the results obtained in this work such as <1.00, 1.09, 1.91, 2.35 and 11.0 μg/kg were lower while a few others like 52.6, 54.2, 72.3 and 81.8 μg/kg were higher than literature values. The variations could be due to the type of species/variety, geographical location, total selenium concentration in the soil and its bioavailability. In view of the importance of Se to human health and considering the levels found in the staples investigated, we recommend that sweet potato be popularized as a staple, much more than cassava as it is now the case in Central Nigeria.
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