LearnMeditation

ProutCollege


Subscribe NOW !!!

SIGN UP for our free newsletter.
"New Renaissance News" - an e-mail bulletin giving updates about the web site and news relating to the themes of our journal. Enter your email address here:

Letter:
Name:
Email:




Who's Online

We have 2 guests online

Nutritional Quality of Fruits and Vegetables and their Importance in Human Health

PDF Print E-mail

 

by Abha Khetarpal1 , G.K.Kochar2 , Dept. of Home-Science, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra.

Fruit and vegetables are packed full of goodness and often contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals that cannot be found in other types of foods or they may contain higher levels of these nutrients than other foods. They play a significant role in human nutrition, especially as sources of vitamins [C (ascorbic acid), A, thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folacin (also known as folic acid or folate) (B9), E], minerals, and dietary fiber. Their contribution as a group is estimated at 91% of vitamin C, 48% of vitamin A, 30% of folacin, 27% of vitamin B6, 17% of thiamine, and 15% of niacin in the diet.

Fruits and vegetables also supply 16% of magnesium, 19% of iron, and 9% of the calories. Legume vegetables contribute about 5% of the per capita availability of proteins in the diet as their proteins are of high quality due to their content of essential amino acids. Other important nutrients supplied by fruits and vegetables include riboflavin (B2), zinc, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

Fruits and vegetables in the daily diet have been strongly associated with reduced risk for some forms of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases. Although antioxidant capacity varies greatly among fruits and vegetables, it is better to consume a variety of commodities rather than limiting consumption to a few with the highest antioxidant capacity. There is increasing evidence that consumption of whole foods is better than isolated food components such as dietary supplements and nutraceuticals.

The Dietary Guidelines encourage consumers to:


  • Enjoy five a day, ie., eat at least 2 servings of fruits and at least 3 servings of vegetables each day.


  • Choose fresh, frozen, dried, or canned forms of a variety of colors and kinds.


  • Choose dark-green leafy vegetables, orange fruits and vegetables, and cooked dry beans and peas often.



If you generally do not eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and are finding it difficult to add a few more portions to your daily diet, here are a few ideas to start you off:

  • Start the day with a glass of freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice

  • Add sliced banana, strawberries, kiwi to your breakfast cereal

  • Have a fruit smoothie for breakfast made with banana, yoghurt and other fruit

  • Add lettuce, sliced tomato, cucumber to sandwiches

  • Add diced red, orange and green pepper to mayonnaise

  • Choose dried fruit snacks over chocolate

  • Add sliced fruit to yoghurt or other desserts

  • Choose healthy dips with vegetable crunchies over unhealthy snacks

  • Make healthy homemade vegetable soups for lunch or dinner

  • Always have a side salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomato and onion with your meal

  • Try different and exotic salads for a change

  • Try to eat 3 different vegetables with your main meal

  • Have fruit salad for dessert

  • Make healthy risottos with fresh vegetables

Some components of fruits and vegetables (phytochemicals) (Table 1) are strong antioxidants and function to modify the metabolic activation and detoxification/disposition of carcinogens, or even influence processes that alter the course of the tumor cell. They are required for maintaining good health.


Table 1: Nutritive constituents of fruits and vegetables that have a positive impact on human health and their sources


CONSTITUENT

SOURCES

ESTABLISHED OR PROPOSED EFFECTS ON HUMAN-WELLNESS

VITAMIN C

(ASCORBIC ACID)

BROCCOLI, CABBAGE, CITRUS FRUITS, GUAVA, KIWIFRUIT, LEAFY GREENS, PEPPER, PINEAPPLE, POTATO, STRAWBERRY, TOMATO, WATERMELON

PREVENTS SCURVY, AIDS WOUND HEALING, HEALTHY IMMUNE- SYSTEM, CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE

VITAMIN A

(CAROTENOIDS)

DARK-GREEN VEGETABLES (SUCH AS SPINACH, AND TURNIP GREENS), ORANGE VEGETABLES (SUCH AS CARROTS, PUMPKIN, AND SWEET POTATO), ORANGE-FLESH FRUITS (SUCH AS APRICOT, , MANGO, ORANGE, PAPAYA, PEACH AND PINEAPPLE), TOMATO

NIGHT BLINDNESS PREVENTION, CHRONIC FATIGUE, PSORIASIS, HEART DISEASE, STROKE, CATARACTS

VITAMIN K

NUTS, LENTILS, GREEN ONIONS, CRUCIFERS (CABBAGE, BROCCOLI), LEAFY GREENS

SYNTHESIS OF PRO-COAGULANT FACTORS, OSTEOPOROSIS

VITAMIN E

(TOCOPHEROLS)

NUTS (SUCH AS ALMONDS, CASHEW NUTS, , PISTACHIOS, PEANUTS, AND WALNUTS), CORN, DRY BEANS, LENTILS AND CHICKPEAS, DARK-GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES

HEART-DISEASE, LDL-OXIDATION, IMMUNE-SYSTEM, DIABETES,

CANCER

FIBER

MOST FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, NUTS, COOKED DRY BEANS AND PEAS

DIABETES, HEART DISEASE

FOLATE

( FOLIC ACID)

DARK-GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES (SUCH AS SPINACH, MUSTARD GREENS, BROCCOLI ), LEGUMES (COOKED DRY BEANS, LENTILS, CHICKPEAS AND GREEN PEAS), ASPARAGUS

BIRTH DEFECTS, CANCER

HEART DISEASE, NERVOUS SYSTEM

CALCIUM

COOKED VEGETABLES (SUCH AS BEANS, TOMATOES) PEAS, PAPAYA, RAISINS, ORANGE, PUMPKIN, CAULIFLOWER

OSTEOPOROSIS, MUSCULAR/ SKELETAL, TEETH, BLOOD PRESSURE

MAGNESIUM

SPINACH, LENTILS, POTATO, BANANA, NUTS, CORN, CASHEWS

OSTEOPOROSIS, NERVOUS SYSTEM, TEETH, IMMUNE SYSTEM

POTASSIUM

BAKED POTATO OR SWEET POTATO, BANANA, COOKED DRY BEANS, COOKED GREENS, DRIED FRUITS (SUCH AS APRICOTS AND PRUNES).

HYPERTENSION (BLOOD PRESSURE) STROKE

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS

1Lecturer, Dept. of Home-Science, D.A.V. College For Girls, Yamunanagar (Haryana)

. 2Chairperson and Prof., Dept. of Home-Science, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

 


 
< Prev   Next >