Vegetables of every kind form the most nutritious component of our diet. Because of their high levels of minerals and vitamins, they are essential in maintaining good health. These nutrients are crucial to build teeth, bone, as well as other body functions. Indigestible cellulose as well as roughage in vegetables help maintain an adequate bowel. This helps to eliminate unwanted material from the body.
The presence of the green pigment Chlorophy II is the reason for the green color of leafy vegetables. Chlorophy II is influenced by pH. It transforms from olive green to bright green when exposed to acidic conditions. Certain acidic compoundswhole food veggie greens vitamins are released when vegetables are cooking especially if they are cooked without covering. The yellowing or orange coloration of vegetables is due to carotenoids which do not affect cooking or pH changes.
Root vegetables are essential to the diet due to their full of nutrients, and carbohydrate is the main ingredient in their diet. Soups and stews made from vegetables are the most commonly used method to consume green vegetables. To obtain the most potent nutrients vegetables, they must be consumed fresh as often as it is possible. A large portion of their valuable content can be destroyed completely due to poor cooking.
The Values of Vegetables
Vegetables are usually described as plants that are herbaceous and used for culinary uses. They can be used to enhance the nutritional value of soups but in addition for their potential for dietary benefits. They are comprised mainly of hemi-cellulose, cellulose, and pectic substances. Sugar, starch, minerals as well as vitamins are found in the vegetables. Along with roughage and vitamins in addition to minerals and water that include Calcium and Iron, as well as Sulphur and Potash. The only nutrients that are present in vegetables of the green variety are water, iron, Vitamin A, B, and Vitamin C. But, the amount of these nutrients differ with different types of vegetables.
Fresh vegetables are of vital importance to the diet due they are rich in minerals and vitamins. The cellulose helps to stimulate peristaltic motion that assists digestion and helps prevent constipation. On the other hand, aged and coarse vegetables can cause indigestion. Mature dry legumeslike Cowpeas from various varieties, Soya beans and Bambara nuts, as in all the dried peas and beans are rich in protein and moderately abundant in thiamine. In addition, groundnuts are high in niacin.
The compositions of vegetables average as follows:*Green vegetables water = 83% 92% – 83% Protein = 1.1% – 2.2 percent; Carbohydrates = 3% – 8%; Mineral salts equal 1% – 2 %; Vitamins = A, B, C, and k.
* Root vegetables: Water = 75%-85% Protein = 0.5%-2 Carbohydrates = 5%-18%; Mineral salts = 0.8%-1%; Vitamins = A B, C and A.
* Pulses: Water = 70%-78 5 % Protein equals 5% – 15% Carbohydrates = 14% to 18%; Mineral salts are 0.5 1 to 1percent; Vitamins = B.
Classification of vegetables
You can divide vegetables into these categories
1. Green Spinach (leaves) cabbage Spinach, green beans, cabbage.
2. Bulbous roots – Onions, Shallots, etc.
3. Roots or tubers – potatoes, Cassava, Yams, Carrots, Cocoyam, etc.
4. Flowers or Heads Flowers or Head Broccoli and Canliflower, Okro Pumpkin, Okro, Pumpkin, Isapa and more.
5. Fruits – Eggplantsand Cottonseeds Cashews Benniseed Sesame Benniseed, Cucumber. The beans and the nuts are also known as pulses and legumes.
The choices of vegetables:
It is important to select your vegetables with care. These are just a few things to think about to ensure that you get enough nutrition benefits.
1. Fresh, crisp vegetables should be of good quality and have a good color. Avoid wilted, damaged or bruised veggies as they could cause destruction and loss of nutrients.
2. Root vegetables should not be splintered or softened.
3. Consider veggies that are of a medium size. They are easier to prepare and provide the most flavor. Large vegetables can be tough to cook and are generally bland in taste.
4. Avoid eating mouldy or insect-infested veggies.
5. Make use of fresh produce from the garden or allotment whenever you can.
In the end, old methods must be eliminated and latest and better methods used when vegetables are to earn their rightful place in the diet.