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Nutritive Value of
Fresh Vegetables
Created by:
Vincent Mannino
County Extension Director
Fort Bend County, TX
Fresh Produce
Comes From:
 The Garden
 Farmers’ Markets
 Roadside Stands
 The Supermarket
Assess Your Knowledge
 Why is it good to eat fresh fruits and vegetables?
 How is it beneficial to your health?
Assess Your Knowledge
 Why is it good to eat fresh fruits and vegetables?
 Vegetable nutrients are vital for your health and body
 How is it beneficial to your health?
 People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall
healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic
Fresh Produce Quick Facts
 Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories.
 None have cholesterol
 Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients,
including potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin
A, and vitamin C.
 Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood
cholesterol levels and is important for proper bowel
Fresh Produce Quick Facts
 Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy
blood pressure.
 Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood
 Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to
protect against infections.
 Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps
teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C aids absorption.
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
~ Nourishment From 2 Sets of Nutrients ~
Energy producing
Carbohydrates, fats,
Vitamins, minerals
No Calories
Macronutrients vs. Micronutrients
(both are important)
Macronutrients are the major
nutrients derived from:
 Water
 Carbohydrates
 Proteins
 Fats
Micronutrients are the minor
nutrients derived from:
 Vitamins
 Minerals
 Bioactive compounds
Macronutrients = Major nutrients in foods
 The main component of fruits & vegetables
 Floats the nutrients where they are needed
 Regulates the temperature of the plants
 Regulates pH within the plants
 Maintains cell and tissue integrity
Macronutrients = Major nutrients in foods
 2nd main components of fruits and vegetables
 Classified into three groups
Monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, arabinose, xylose)
Oligosaccharides (sucrose, maltose, raffinose, stachyose)
Polysaccharides (starch, cellulose, hemicellulose)
 The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for is
130 g/day, except in cases of pregnancy
(175 g/day) and lactation (210 g/day)
Macronutrients = Major nutrients in foods
Necessary for building and repairing of body tissues
Act as transport nutrients
Act as enzymes and hormones
Supply energy to our bodies
Help in recovering from infections and diseases (strengthen
immune system)
 RDA for protein is 34-56 g/ day, depending upon age and sex
- During pregnancy and lactation it is 71 g/day
Macronutrients = Major nutrients in foods
 Supply energy 9 Kcal/g
 Essential for absorption of fat soluble
vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, K
Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods
 Fat soluble vitamins: Vitamin A, D, E, K
 Water soluble vitamins: Vitamin B complex, C
Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods
Essential for proper vision, healthy skin,
alimentary and urinary tracts
Reduces susceptibility to infections
foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of
lung cancer and certain oral cancers
Night blindness and
Essential for healthy bones
Helps in calcium absorption in body
Rickets (in children) and
osteomalacia (in adults)degeneration of bones
Possesses antioxidant property
Reduces risk of degenerative diseases
Prevents oxidation of lipids and maintains cell
Enhanced fragility of red
blood cells and increased
urinary excretion of
creatine indicating
muscle damage
Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods
Vitamin K
It is an antihaemorrhagic vitamin. It is necessary
for the clotting of blood, Necessary for liver
Prolonged blood
clotting time which may
lead severe bleeding
Vitamin B
Includes thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid,
pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin,
choline, inositol
Act as co-enzymes and therefore essential for the
metabolism and proper utilization of energy,
carbohydrates and fats
Deficiency diseases
involving the these
vitamins are multiple in
Vitamin C
Required for collagen synthesis, bone and teeth
Helps in absorption of dietary iron
Builds resistance to infection
Aids in the prevention and treatment of the
common cold
Gives strength to blood vessels
One of the major antioxidant nutrients
Scurvy: soft and
bleeding gums
Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods
Important Minerals
Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods
Formation and maintenance of skeleton and teeth
Contraction of muscles and normal functioning of heart
and nervous system
For healthy bones and teeth
Component of nucleic acids
Helps in cellular metabolism of nutrients
Essential for formation of hemoglobin of red blood cells of blood
and transport of oxygen
Necessary for various oxidation reduction reactions in body
In conjunction with sodium, it is necessary to maintain osmotic
. balance and keep cells in shape
Required for cellular metabolism
Present in bones along with calcium
Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods
Bioactive Compounds or Phytochemicals
 These are substances present in foods at low levels that
may have a role in health maintenance in humans
 Have antioxidant properties
Major Phytochemicals
Carotenoids: Lycopene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, -carotene
Polyphenolics: Flavonoids, Flavones, Anthocyanine
Glucosinolate: Sulphoraphane, Indole-3-Carbinol
Thiosulphides: Alliin, Methiin, Ethiin
Dietary fiber: Lignin, Pectin, Cellulose, Dietary fiber
Miscellaneous : Selenium, Phytosterol & stanol, Saponins
Content & Function
for the
Top 10 Vegetables
 Contain ‘lycopene’ pigment an vital
anti-oxidant that helps to fight cancer
 Rich source of vitamins and minerals.
A single tomato can provide 40% of the
daily requirement of vitamin C which
is a natural antioxidant.
 High potassium helps to maintain
nerve health
 Iron helps to maintain blood health.
 Tomatoes are rich in vitamin K which
plays a major role in blood clotting.
 It also improves eye health and
prevents hypertension and urinary
tract infections
 Excellent source of vitamin C, E &
 High in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
 Natural cancer-fighter, particularly
relating to gastric cancer and
esophageal cancer.
 Considered heart-healthy addition
diets – particularly when eaten raw.
 Hot peppers contain a pain-reducing
 Squash is a rich source of Vitamin A
and C, magnesium, fiber, folate,
riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and
Vitamin B6.
 It is high in manganese, a mineral which
helps the body process fats, glucose and
 Summer squash contains negligible fat
and no measurable cholesterol.
 High in beta-carotene for eye health
 Considered a cancer-fighting vegetable
in that some nutrients reduce cancer cell
 Reduces symptoms of PMS in some
 One of the oldest vegetables know to
 Sweet corn is a starchy vegetable high
in carbohydrate content needed for
brain and muscle functions
 Corn has a moderate amount of
protein that functions to repair damage
cells and boosts the immune system.
 Good source of fiber, supports health
of intestines and fights colon cancer.
 High in antioxidants that decrease the
risk of cardiovascular disease.
 Low in calories, high in fiber
 Contains 3 important lignins that may
reduce cardiovascular disease as well as
several cancer types, including breast,
uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
 Contain both antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties.
 Research indicate cancer-fighting
properties particularly benefit women
 Good source of beta-carotene, Vitamin
C and manganese
 Easily digested
Green Beans
 Beans are low in sodium, and very low
in saturated fat and cholesterol.
 Good source of protein, Thiamin,
Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, calcium,
iron, magnesium, phosphorus,
potassium and copper
 Very good source of Fiber, Vitamins A,
C and K, Folate and Manganese.
 Good source of anti-oxidants which
fight cancer and heart disease
 The fiber in green beans is important in
intestinal health and the fight against
Type-II diabetes.
 Baked potatoes are healthy, French Fries
are not!
 Very low in saturated fat, cholesterol
and sodium.
 Good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6,
Potassium, iron and Manganese
 Great source of fiber, especially when
the skin is eaten as well.
 Lowers blood cholesterol, aids in
digestion, give the body an energy boost
Cabbage Family
 Large family – cabbage, kale, collards,
broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts…
 Good, very good, or excellent source of
a wide range of nutrients depending on
type of “Crucifer” and color.
 High in Vitamins K,C, B1& B6, copper,
potassium, manganese, fiber, folate,
copper & choline
 Rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory
products and glucosinolates.
 Excellent source of fiber, aiding in food
passage, digestion, healing stomach
ulcers, and cardio-vascular health.
Onions & Garlic
 Both for culinary & medicinal uses.
 Packed in flavor and nutrients
 High in vitamin C and B6, fiber,
manganese, molybdenum, tryptophan,
folate, potassium, phosphorus, copper,
the carotenoids and the flavonoids .
 Reduces the risk of heart disease,
lowering cholesterol levels and blood
 Balances blood sugar levels
 Contains anti-viral & anti-bacterial
 Members include mustard, radish,
turnips, lettuce and chard
 Low in calories, high in flavor.
 Contains Vitamins K, A, C , E, B1 & B3.
 Contains the nutrients – copper,
manganese, calcium phosphorus, iron,
potassium and manganese
 High in fiber and several anti-oxidants.
 Health benefits of the mustard family
includes: detoxification benefits; high in
antioxidant compounds; and both
inflammatory & anti-inflammatory
Parsley Family
 Members include parsley, cilantro,
celery, celeriac and carrot.
 Characterized by delicious and vibrant
tastes and wonderful healing properties.
 Highest level of Vitamin K of all veggies
 High in Vitamin C, A, B3 and B1
 High in folate, iron, copper, potassium,
calcium magnesium, zinc & manganese
 High in fiber and anti-oxidants and antiinflammatory products
 Considered to be heart-healthy, have
anti-tumor compounds, and protects
against rheumatoid arthritis.
 Peas are matured bean seeds and are
generally lower in water and greater in
 Highest level of molybdenum of any
 High in fiber, manganese, copper,
protein, Vitamin B1, phosphorus and
 Good source of cholesterol &
triglyceride-lowering fiber, reduces the
risk of certain cancers, and provides
energy, while stabilizing blood sugar
Nutritive Value of Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
Let us sum up  Food is composed of nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients
classified according to the amount required for a healthy body.
 Fruits and vegetables are called ‘Protective foods’.
 They are a rich source of sugars, vitamins, minerals and bioactive
compounds which help to maintain proper functioning of the
 For maximum nutritive benefits, both fruits & vegetable should be
eaten raw or with minimum cooking.