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Evolution and InnovationSave Biodiversity...Rise

Vegetables

VEGETABLES :

Role of Pure vegitables in coming times is very crucial for future generations and health of any country.

In culinary terms, a vegetable is an edible plant or its part, intended for cooking or eating raw.

The non-biological definition of a vegetable is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition. Apart from vegetables, other main types of plant food are fruitsgrains and nuts. Vegetables are most often consumed as salads or cooked in savory or salty dishes, while culinary fruits are usually sweet and used for desserts, but it is not the universal rule.[1] Therefore, the division is somewhat arbitrary, based on cultural views. For example, some people consider mushrooms to be vegetables even though they are not biologically plants,[2][3] while others consider them a separate food category;[4] some cultures group potatoes with cereal products such as noodles or rice,[5] while most English speakers would consider them vegetables.

Some vegetables can be consumed raw, while some, such as cassava, must be cooked to destroy certain natural toxins or microbes in order to be edible. A number of processed food items available on the market contain vegetable ingredients and can be referred to as "vegetable derived" products. These products may or may not maintain the nutritional integrity of the vegetable used to produce them.

Etymology


 

Vegetables in a supermarket in theUnited States

The word vegetable was first recorded in English in the early 15th century from Old French,[6] and was in origin applied to any plant. This is still the sense of the adjective "vegetable" in biological context.[7] The word is taken from Medieval Latin vegetabilis "growing, flourishing" (i.e. of a plant), a semantic change from a Late Latin meaning "to be enlivening, quickening", a derivation of the verb vegetare "enliven", which is derived from vegetus "to be alive, active" (related to vigor), in reference to the process of a plant growing.

In 1767, the meaning of the term "vegetable" was specified to mean "plant cultivated for food, edible herb or root." The year 1955 noted the first use of the shortened, slang term "veggie".[6] As an adjective, the word vegetable is used in scientific and technical contexts with a different and much broader meaning, namely of "related to plants" in general, edible or not — as in vegetable mattervegetable kingdom,vegetable origin, etc.[7] The meaning of "vegetable" as "plant grown for food" was not established until the 18th century.[8]

 

Nutrition


 

South Asian style stir fry ipomoea aquatica in chili and sambal


 

Vegetables (and some fruit) for saleon a street in GunturIndia

Vegetables are eaten in a variety of ways, as part of main meals and as snacks. The nutritional content of vegetables varies considerably, though generally they contain little protein or fat,[10][11] and varying proportions of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6,provitaminsdietary minerals and carbohydrates. Vegetables contain a great variety of other phytochemicals, some of which have been claimed to have antioxidantantibacterialantifungalantiviral and anticarcinogenic properties.[12][13] Some vegetables also contain fiber, important for gastrointestinal function. Vegetables contain important nutrients necessary for healthy hair and skin as well. A person who refrains from dairy and meat products, and eats only plants (including vegetables) is known as a vegan.

However, vegetables often also contain toxins and antinutrients such as α-solanineα-chaconine,[14] enzyme inhibitors (of cholinesterase,proteaseamylase, etc.), cyanide and cyanide precursorsoxalic acid, and more.[15] Depending on the concentration, such compounds may reduce the edibility, nutritional value, and health benefits of dietary vegetables. Cooking and/or other processing may be necessary to eliminate or reduce them.

Diets containing recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables may help lower the risk of heart diseases[citation needed] and type 2 diabetes.[citation needed] These diets may also protect against some cancers[citation needed] and decrease bone loss.[citation needed] The potassium provided by both fruits and vegetables may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.[citation needed]

Dietary recommendations

The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming 3 to 5 servings of vegetables daily.[16] This recommendation can vary based on age and gender, and is determined based upon standard portion sizes typically consumed, as well as general nutritional content.[17] For most vegetables, one serving is equal to 1/2 cup and can be eaten raw or cooked. For leafy greens, such as lettuce andspinach, a single serving is typically 1 cup. Serving sizes for vegetable-derived products have not been definitively determined, but usually follow the 1/2 cup standard. Examples of vegetable-derived products subject to this standard are ketchup, pizza sauce, and tomato paste. Currently, there is no specific standard for measuring a vegetable serving in regards to its nutrient content, since different vegetables contain a wide variety of nutrients.

 

International dietary guidelines are similar to the ones established by the USDA. Japan, for example, recommends the consumption of 5 to 6 servings of vegetables daily.[18] French dietary guidelines follow similar guidelines and set the daily goal at 5 servings.

 

Color pigments

The green color of leaf vegetables is due to the presence of the green pigment chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is affected by the pH, and it changes to olive green in acid conditions, and to bright green in alkaline conditions. Some of the acids are released in steam during cooking, particularly if cooked without a cover.

The yellow/orange colors of fruits and vegetables are due to the presence of carotenoids, which are also affected by normal cooking processes or changes in pH.

The red/blue coloring of some fruits and vegetables (e.g., blackberries and red cabbage) are due to anthocyanins, which are sensitive to changes in pH. When the pH is neutral, the pigments are purple, when acidic, red, and when alkaline, blue. These pigments are quite water-soluble. This property can be used in rudimentary testing of pH.

Safety

For food safety, the CDC recommends proper fruit handling and preparation to reduce the risk of food contamination and foodborne illness. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be carefully selected. At the store, they should not be damaged or bruised and pre-cut pieces should be refrigerated or surrounded by ice. All fruits and vegetables should be rinsed before eating. This recommendation also applies to produce with rinds or skins that are not eaten. It should be done just before preparing or eating to avoid premature spoilage. Fruits and vegetables should be kept separate from raw foods like meat, poultry, and seafood, as well as any cooking utensils or surfaces that may have come into contact with them (e.g. cutting boards). Fruits and vegetables, if they are not going to be cooked, should be thrown away if they have touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. All cut, peeled, or cooked fruits and vegetables should be refrigerated within 2 hours. After a certain time, harmful bacteria may grow on them and increase the risk of foodborne illness.

Storage


 

"Vegetables"

Proper post-harvest storage aimed at extending and ensuring shelf life is best effected by efficient cold chain application. All vegetables benefit from proper post harvest care.[24]

Many root and non-root vegetables that grow underground can be stored through winter in a root cellar or other similarly cool, dark, and dry place to prevent the growth of moldgreening and sprouting. Care should be taken in understanding the properties and vulnerabilities of the particular roots to be stored. These vegetables can last through to early spring and be nearly as nutritious as when fresh.

During storage, leafy vegetables lose moisture, and the vitamin C in them degrades rapidly. They should be stored for as short a time as possible in a cool place, in a sealed container or a plastic bag.

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