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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 maintenance. 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 diseases. 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 function. Fresh Produce Quick Facts Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. 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 ~ Macronutrients Micronutrients Energy producing Protective Carbohydrates, fats, proteins Vitamins, minerals Calories 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 Water 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 Carbohydrates 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 Proteins 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 Fats Supply energy 9 Kcal/g Essential for absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, K Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods Vitamins Fat soluble vitamins: Vitamin A, D, E, K Water soluble vitamins: Vitamin B complex, C Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods Vitamin Functions Deficiency Vitamin A 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 keratomalacia Vitamin D Essential for healthy bones Helps in calcium absorption in body Rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults)degeneration of bones Vitamin E Possesses antioxidant property Reduces risk of degenerative diseases Prevents oxidation of lipids and maintains cell integrity Enhanced fragility of red blood cells and increased urinary excretion of creatine indicating muscle damage Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods Vitamin Functions Deficiency Vitamin K It is an antihaemorrhagic vitamin. It is necessary for the clotting of blood, Necessary for liver functioning Prolonged blood clotting time which may lead severe bleeding Vitamin B complex 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 nature Vitamin C Required for collagen synthesis, bone and teeth calcification 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 Calcium Phosphorus Iron Sodium Potassium Magnesium Zinc Copper Micronutrients = Minor nutrients in foods Minerals Functions Calcium Formation and maintenance of skeleton and teeth Contraction of muscles and normal functioning of heart and nervous system Phosphorus For healthy bones and teeth Component of nucleic acids Helps in cellular metabolism of nutrients Iron Essential for formation of hemoglobin of red blood cells of blood and transport of oxygen Necessary for various oxidation reduction reactions in body Potassium In conjunction with sodium, it is necessary to maintain osmotic . balance and keep cells in shape Magnesium 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 Nutrient Content & Function for the Top 10 Vegetables Tomatoes 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 Peppers Excellent source of vitamin C, E & carotenoids. 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 enzyme. Squash 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 carbohydrates. 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 growth. Reduces symptoms of PMS in some women Corn One of the oldest vegetables know to man 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. Cucumbers 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. Potato 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 pressure Balances blood sugar levels Contains anti-viral & anti-bacterial properties Mustard 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 system. 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 Peas are matured bean seeds and are generally lower in water and greater in nutrients. Highest level of molybdenum of any vegetable. High in fiber, manganese, copper, protein, Vitamin B1, phosphorus and potassium. 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 body. For maximum nutritive benefits, both fruits & vegetable should be eaten raw or with minimum cooking. Questions?