One of the important ingredients of a healthy diet we normally consume on a daily basis should include vegetables.
Increasing research about the importance of vegetables in a diet has proved that there exists a strong link between the vegetables and the decreasing risk of many diseases that might out turn-out to be life-threatening. It is primarily for this reason, the World Health Organization, or the WHO, has recommended that every person should consume a minimum of five portions of fresh vegetables, excluding potatoes, on a daily basis.
Why should one include vegetables in their diet?
Vegetables provide most of the nutritional value for the person. They are a good source of antioxidants that play an important role in boosting the defence system of the body and also helps in preventing diseases. It is these antioxidants that help in suppressing and blocking the harmful substances from entering into the body.
Vegetables contain the bioflavonoids, carotenes as well as important vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin E, and also vitamins beloning to the Vitamin B group. Also vegetables are the rich sources for a number of minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron.
Vegetables can be broadly classified in to three broad categories :
orange-fleshed and red varieties of vegetables
Green vegetables such as the spinach, chard, oriental greens, and brassicas that include cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, contain adequate amount of iron content, Vitamin C, folate and magnesium.
Red vegetables such as tomatoes supply the carotenes. Vegetables such as onions that belong to the oniion family which contain a number of sulphurous compounds that help in preventing gastric cancer.
Vegetables that belong to the family of root vegetables supply starch as well as natural sugars to the body for energy.
It is the vegetables in our diet that bring roughage to the diet as being a good source of dietary fiber, Most of the vegetables have relatively lesser fat content and also have less calorie content.
If one were to reap the benefits of vegetables to the maximum possible extent, it is necessary that some simple precautions are followed both during the purchase of vegetables as well as in storage of the same. One should look for plumpness and also a good, bright color while purchasing vegetables. If the vegetables look faded, limp or wrinkled, it is advisable that such vegetables are avoided in the first instance.
Many of the organic vegetables lose nutrients when kept in storage for a prolonged period of time. Hence, it would be advisable if the vegetables are consumed much before the freshness is lost.
You might be knowing that light and heat is capable of destroying the nutrients and the crispness of the vegetable containing vitamin C and vitamin B2. Hence it is advisable that the vegetables, if need to be stored at all, be stored in cool, dark place, and preferably the refrigerators.