Vitamin content of f ruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any diet, providing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. The North Dakota State University Extension Service reports that eating five to nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables provides energy and reduces disease. Fruits and vegetables are convenient and colorful, and a wide selection is available that you can prepare in a variety of ways.
Fat-soluble vitamins are those that are stored in the fatty tissues for the body to use when needed. Fat-soluble vitamins consist of vitamins A, E, D and K. Fruit sources of fat-soluble vitamins include blackberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, grapes, kiwi and plums. Vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, turnip greens and Chinese cabbage are all sources of fat-soluble vitamins, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, and excess amounts are excreted in the urine. For this reason, it is important to have a diet with plenty of these vitamins for body growth and health. Water-soluble vitamins are the B-complex vitamins, such as B6, B12, folate, niacin and thiamine. Vitamin C is also a water-soluble vitamin. Blackberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, oranges, pineapples and strawberries are all fruits filled with water-soluble vitamins, notes the CDC. Some vegetable sources of these vitamins include asparagus, red and green peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
How much vegetables should be in our daily diet?
Eat at least 5-7 servings of fresh vegetables every day. Federal dietary guidelines now recommends at least nine servings of vegetable nutrition and fruit nutritions per day. Seasonal vegetables should be encouraged. Bring variety in the choice of vegetables in your everyday diet. Yellow and orange color vegetables are rich in Vitamin-A, a, ß carotenes, zea-xanthins and crypto-xanthins, whereas dark-green vegetables are a good source of minerals and phenolic, flavonoid as well as anthocyanin anti-oxidants.
Selection of vegetables
Whenever possible, go for organic farm vegetables to get maximum health benefits. They are not very expensive if you can find them from the nearby local farm owners. Organic verities tend to be smaller but have rich flavor, possess some good concentration of vitamins, minerals and loaded with numerous health benefiting anti-oxidants.
In the markets, however, always buy small quantities so that they should last within a day or two. There is no point in eating unfit greens!
Buy vegetables that feature freshness, bright in color and flavor, and feel heavy in your hands.
Look carefully for blemishes, spots, fungal mold and signs of insecticide spray. Buy whole vegetables instead of section of them (for example, pumpkin).
How to use vegetables?
First thing you need to do soon after shopping your choice of vegetables is to wash them thoroughly, especially green leafy vegetables. Rinse in salt water for few minutes, and gently swish in cool water until you are satisfied with cleanliness. This way, you ensure them free from dirt, sand and any residual chemical sprays.
Use them early while fresh because, firstly, certain vegetables have very short shelf life and secondly, the health benefiting properties of a vegetable declines with time. However, if you need to store them, then place inside plastic wrappings or in zip pouches in order to preserve their nutrition for short-periods until you use them.
1-Green beans are a good source of vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and potassium.
2-Dried beans provide protein, B vitamins, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
3-Cabbage is high in vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, potassium, and fiber.
4-Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and K, and potassium.
5-Yellow corn is high in beta-carotene and lutein.* It also supplies B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and folic acid.
6-Eggplant is high in fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamin B1.
7-Leeks are a good source of fiber, iron, and vitamins A and C, and they contain the cancer-fighting phytochemical diallyl sulfide.
8-Okra provides vitamin C and the B vitamins, magnesium, lutein, and potassium.
9-Peas pack plenty of protein, B vitamins, vitamins C and A, manganese, iron, potassium, and lutein.
10-Peppers have lots of beta-carotene; vitamins B6, C, and A; and potassium.
11-Potatoes, with skins, are a good source of protein, iron, vitamin C, and potassium.
12-Shallots are a good source of potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, and folic acid.
13-Summer squash is high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Both dark green and yellow squashes are excellent sources of lutein.
14-Sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and C, iron, fiber, and potassium. Plus, just 1 cup of sweet potato contains four times the recommended daily allowance of beta-carotene!
15-Lutein is an antioxidant that helps prevent blindness.