Green and leafy vegetables
and roots, form important items in a balanced diet. The former supply
vitamin A and C and iron, and the latter supply calories and vitamin
For a well balanced diet a
daily consumption of 30 gms of green leafy vegetables, 100 gms of roots
and tubers and 100 gms of other vegetables is recommended.
A balanced vegetarian diet
reduces the risk of coronaty events while providing all nutritional needs.
The risk of obesity, high blood pressure.
A Vegetable is defined as a non-woody plant
cultivated for the table and of which the roots, tubers, stems, leaves
and fruits are consumed. Unlike cereals and pulses vegetables need
more amount of labour to grow and transport them; for they require
constant attention and frequent watering, and tend to perish on the way
to the cities if transport facilities are poor.
context of nutrition, vegetables can be divided into the following
and leafy vegetables: Cabbage,
cauliflower, coriander, lettuce, spinach.
Brinjal, cucumber, drumstick, bitter gourd(karela), parwar, white
pumpkin, tindola, tomato.
and tubers: Potato,
sweet potato, onion, beetroot, carrot, radish, yam.
Double beans, french beans, green peas, cluster beans(guar phali).
leafy vegetables and Other vegetables:
vegetables contain a high proportion of cellulose which human intestinal
juices (unlike those of herbivorous animals) cannot digest. It thus
remains unabsorbed and increases the bulk of the intestinal contents
vegetables are helpful in weight reduction diets as they give a feeling
of satiety but provide few calories. They bulk and water content also
helps in the treatment of constipation. They are rich source of
carotene, vitamin C and potassium.
C content of some green and leafy vegetables, and other vegetables
C per 100 g(mg)
The root of
a plant serves two functions:
A tuber is a
storage organ, and is a short thickened portion of an underground stem,
a common example being the potato. More calories can be derived from an
acre of potatoes than from growing most other crops.
and sweet potatoes are rich in starch. Potatoes contain 75% water,
20% starch and only 2% protein; It is rich in amino acid lysine. The
vitamin C content of freshly dug main-crop potato is high (30mg per 100
gms) but it is reduced to 8 mg after storage for 9 months.
Cooking unpeeled potatoes conserves most of the vitamin B and C, and
salts in the skin. Peeling a potato and cutting it into pieces before it
is boiled reduces its vitamin content considerably. If cooked potatoes
are reheated, there is a further loss of vitamins.
rich in carotene; the red variety contains 10 - 15 times more carotene
than the yellow variety.
are widely used in tropical countries. The white variety contains more
water than the brown or the red variety and can't be stored well.
Onions have a pungent taste, and as water evaporates during storage, the
pungency is increased. The principal chemical constituent in onion,
which gives it it's taste and pungent odour and brings tears to the
eyes, is the sulphur containing volatile oil, allyl ropyl bisulphide. If
uncooked onion is consumed the volatile oil is excreted through the
lungs and saliva giving a characteristic odour to the breath.
Vitamin C content is higher in green onions, especially in their central
parts than in the stored ones. Raw, fresh onion can be a cheap source of
vitamin C, paricularly for poor villagers.
legumes like gram, peas and beans are grouped as pulses. Green legumes
like green peas, french beans, and cluster beans are used as vegetables.
Green peas contain about 7% proteins, and supply about 100 kcal per 100
Guar gum made from cluster beans is frequently used as a thickening
agent as well as for providing dietary fibre. A dietary supplement of
guar gum crisp bread decreases fasting blood sugar.