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Valuable Vegetables

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  1. #1
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Valuable Vegetables

    Health Benefits of Vegetables

    Vegetables, like fruits, are low in fat but contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals. All the Green-Yellow-Orange vegetables are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
    Vegetables have many antioxidants that; help protect the human body from oxidant stress, diseases and cancers, and help the body develop the capacity to fight against these by boosting immunity.
    Vegetables are packed with soluble as well as insoluble dietary fibre known as non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) such as cellulose, mucilage, hemi-cellulose, gums, pectin etc. These substances absorb excess water in the colon, retain a good amount of moisture in the faecal matter, and help its smooth passage out of the body. Thus, sufficient fibre offers protection from conditions like haemorrhoids, colon cancer, chronic constipation, and rectal fissures.
    Amount of Vegetables Should Be In Our Daily Diet
    Eat at least 5-7 servings of fresh vegetables every day. Seasonal vegetables should be encouraged. Bring a variety in the choice of vegetable and colour in your diet. Yellow and orange colour vegetables are rich in Vitamin A, α, β carotenes, zea-xanthines and crypto-xanthine, whereas dark-green vegetables are a very good source of minerals and phenolic, flavonoid as well as anthocyanin anti-oxidants.
    Selection of Vegetables
    Organic verities tend to be smaller but have rich flavour, 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 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).

    Uses of Vegetables
    Immediately after shopping, wash the vegetables especially green leafy vegetables. Rinse in salt water for few minutes and gently swish in cool water until they are clean. So, that they are free from dust, sand and any residual chemical sprays. Should be used while they are fresh as certain vegetables have very short shelf life and the health benefiting properties of a vegetable declines with time.

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  3. #3
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Re: Valuable Vegetables

    Carrots nutrition facts

    Naturally sugary, delicious and crunchy, carrots are healthy vegetables. The root vegetables come with wholesome health benefiting compounds such as beta-carotenes, falcarinol, vitamin A, minerals and anti-oxidants in ample amounts.

    Botanically they are the taproots belonging in the Apiaceae or umbelliferous family of the genus; Daucus. Scientific name: Daucus carota. The other close Apiaceae members include Angelica, Anise, Arracacha, Asafoetida, Caraway, Carrot, Celery, Centella asiatica, Chervil, Cicely, Coriander, (including Cilantro and Culantro), Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Hemlock, Lovage, Queen Anne’sLace, Parsely, Parsnip, Sea Holly and the now extinct Silphium.

    Carrot plant is cultivated across the world and it is biennial and bears flowers during second year of life. In general, the whole plant is harvested much prematurely without wait for the bloom when its root reaches about an inch in diameter, tender and juicy.

    Carrots vary widely in colour and shape depending on the cultivar types. Oriental taproots are long, featuring flat upper end with tapering, tail like, lower ends. They are winter season crops in many parts of Asia.
    European carrots have more rounded ends with almost cylindrical body. European-variety feature bright orange colour while Asian one is saffron colour.
    Health Benefits

    Sweet and crunchy carrots are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fibre. They provide only 41 calories per 100 g, negligible amount of fat and no cholesterol.

    They are exceptionally rich source of carotenes and vitamin-A. 100 g fresh carrot contains 8285 g of beta-carotene and 16706 IU of vitamin A. The flavonoid compounds that found in carrots help protect from skin, lung and oral cavity cancers.

    Carotenes are converted into vitamin A in the liver. Beta-carotene is the major carotene that is present in these roots. Beta carotene is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant that helps protect body from harmful oxygen-free radical injury. It has all the functions of vitamin A as to maintain good eye health, reproduction (sperm production), maintenance of epithelial integrity, growth and development.

    Carrots are rich in poly-acetylene antioxidant, falcarinol. Research study conducted by scientists at University of Newcastle on laboratory animals has found that falcarinol in carrots may help fight against cancers by destroying pre-cancerous cells in the tumours.

    Fresh roots are also good in vitamin C; provide about 9% of RDA. Vitamin C is water soluble anti-oxidant. It helps the body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth and gum. Its anti-oxidant property helps the human body protect from diseases and cancers by scavenging action on harmful free radicals.

    In addition, they are especially rich in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamine, pantothenic acid, etc., that acts as co-factors to enzymes during substrate metabolism in the body.

    They also have healthy levels of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

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  4. #4
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Re: Valuable Vegetables

    Carrots - 1

    Nutrients found in Carrots

    Carrots are an excellent source of carotenoids, especially beta carotene. Beta carotene is also known as vegetable vitamin A because it is converted to Vitamin A by the enzymes in the body.

    Nutrient Health Benefit
    Vitamin A Best known for maintaining healthy vision and normal cellular functions
    Vitamin B helps in converting food into energy and production of red blood cells
    Vitamin C a natural immunity booster
    Vitamin K helps in blood clotting.
    Potassium which is a natural remedy against stroke,
    Calcium for development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth
    Magnesium for energy production and normalizing potassium levels.
    Dietary Fiber Promotes regular bowel movement. Helps expel out toxins and waste in the body. Lowers LDL cholesterol levels. Prevents constipation.

    Some Facts –

    Carrots are the second most popular type of vegetable after potatoes.

    The biggest carrot recorded is more than 19 pounds and the longest are over 19 feet!

    There are over 100 species of carrots.

    Some are big. Some are small and they come in a variety of colours including: orange, purple, white, yellow, and red.

    The name “carrot” comes from the Greek wordkarōton.”

    The beta-carotene that is found in carrots was actually named for the carrot itself!

    Nutrition in carrots is tightly encased in protein sacs that have to be broken by heat (cooking) or mechanical action (grinding, juicing, proper chewing).

    Cooking the carrots in oils, or pureeing or juicingincreases the availability of carotenoids by 600 percent.

    An all-round vegetable used as a juice, a vegetable, a salad and for a face mask.

    To a finely grated carrot add half a teaspoon of sugar granules and gently massage the face and neck – it’s an excellent for exfoliation.

    Drinking carrot juice is very beneficial for eyes.

    Eating as a salad prevents constipation because of fibre content.

    Carrot pulp applied on sores and freckles gradually diminishes them.

    A short list of some of the more popular carrot varieties, categorized by colour:


    • Scarlet Nantes (especially valued for its sweetness)

    • Danvers (often raised for processing)

    • Camden (often raised for processing)

    • Other popular varieties include Navajo, Sirkana, Top Cut and Inca


    • Indigo

    • Maroon

    • Purple Dragon

    • Cosmic Purple

    • Purple Haze


    • Sunlite

    • Solar Yellow

    • Yellowstone


    • Creme De Lite

    • White Satin


    • Supreme Chateney

    • Red Samurai

    Last edited by wonder; 4th Jul 2014 at 05:20 PM.
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  5. #5
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Re: Valuable Vegetables

    Carrots - 2

    How to choose:

    Always choose well defined carrots-fresh, straight, firm, and no cuts. Look forlight orange carrots without any spots.

    How to store:

    They stay freshbest in the fridge for up to 1 week.

    How to cook:

    Best if consumedraw. Good choice for fresh juice and salads. It is one of the most usedvegetable in cooking.

    Historical Findings

    • Neolithic people savoured the roots of the wild carrot for its sweet, succulent flavour
    • Carrots were among the recognised garden plant at the time of Egyptian ruler Merodach-Baladan in the eighth century B.C.
    • During the first century B.C., carrots were cultivated for food by Greeks and Romans
    • The Greeks called the carrot "Philtron" and used it as a love medicine to make men more ardent and women more yielding
    • The Greeks had three words each of which could be applied to the properties of the carrot: "Sisaron", first occurring in the writings of Epicharmus, a comic poet (500 B.C.); "Staphylinos", used by Hippocrates (430 B.C.) and "Elaphoboscum", used by Dioscorides (first century AD)
    • The name Carota for the garden Carrot is found first in the writings of Athenaeus (A.D. 200), and in the book on cookery by Apicius Czclius
    • Greek physician Galen (second century A.D.) named the wild carrot daucus pastinaca (adding the name Daucus) do distinguish the Carrot from the Parsnip, though confusion remained steadfast until botanist Linnaeus set the record straight in the 18th century with his system of plant classification.
    • The name Carota for the garden Carrot is found first in the writings of Athenaeus (A.D. 200), and in the book on cookery by Apicius Czclius
    • By the eighth century people started using this plant as medicine
    • In the 10th century, carrot consumption is traced to the hill people of Afghanistan (ad 900)
    • In the 12th century Moorish invaders (from Morocco) and then Arabian traders brought seeds of purple and mutants yellow carrots to the Mediterranean via the coast of North Africa, along with spinach and aubergines
    • Subsequently cultivation of carrots was spread across Europe from Spain, into Holland, France and finally England
    • By the 13th century carrots were being grown in fields, orchards, gardens, and vineyards in Germany and France. At that time the plant was known also in China, India and the Far East
    • In the 14th century carrots were widely consumed as vegetables in the British Isles
    • In the 15th century these early varieties were introduced in England by Flemish refugees who grew them in quantity mainly in Kent and Surrey
    • By the 16th century, nearly all the botanists and writers on gardening, all over Europe, were familiar with the carrot
    • By the 17th centur, Holland was considered the leading country in carrot breeding and today's "modern" orange version is directly descended from the Dutch-bred carrots of this time
    • In the 18th century, carrots were widely cultivated in the walled gardens of country estates
    • As early as 1918, carrot was becoming more recognised as a healthy eating option
    • During the Second World War (1939-45), the carrot was widely used as a substitute for scarce commodities. It was also a major ingredient of the "Dig For Victory" Campaign.

    Classification of Western Carrots

    • Chantenay carrots: They are shorter in size than other cultivars, but have greater girth, sometimes growing up to 8 centimetres (3
      in) in diameter. These carrots are widely used in canned or prepared foods
    • Danvers carrots: Carrots from this category have a conical shape, having well-defined shoulders and tapering to a point at the tip. They are more tolerant of heavy soil but somewhat shorter than imperator cultivars.
    • Imperator carrots: They are the most selling carrots in U.S. supermarkets. Their roots are longer than other cultivars of carrot, and taper to a point at the tip

    Nantes carrots: They are somewhat cylindrical in shape and are blunt and rounded at both the top and tip. These carrots are sweeter than other carrots.

    Baby Carrots

    They are miniature carrots of approximately two inches (5.08 cm) in length, which are harvested before their roots develop or adult carrots chopped into smaller pieces. In North America, they are widely used as snacks, often eaten raw with ranch dressing or another type of dip.

    This concept was invented by a California farmer named Mike Yurosek, who wanted to find use for carrots that could not be sold whole due to their flaws and imperfections.

    Nutritional Value of Carrot

    As its name implies, carrots brims with beta carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A. Raw carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A and potassium; they contain Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, thiamine, folic acid, and magnesium. Whereas, cooked carrots contain four times the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A in the form of protective beta carotene, besides containing Vitamin B6, copper, folic acid, and magnesium.

    It also contains some amount of sodium, fluoride, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, and calcium. The 100g of carrot contains about 43 to 48 calories.

    Health Benefits of Carrot

    Carrot is the powerhouse of nutrients. They are quite helpful in:

    • Boosting immunity (especially among older people)
    • Reducing photosensitivity (beta-carotene protects the skin from sun damage)
    • Improving symptoms of HIV
    • Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms
    • Helping to heal minor wounds and injuries
    • Reducing the risk of heart disease
    • Reducing the risk of high blood pressure
    • Cleansing the liver, and when consumed regularly, can help the liver excrete fats and bile
    • Fighting bronchitis
    • Fighting infection (vitamin A keeps cell membranes healthy, making them stronger against disease-causing microorganisms)
    • Improving muscle, flesh, and skin health
    • Helping fight aneamia
    • Reducing acne

    Improving eye health, etc.

    Other Interesting Facts

    • The world's largest carrot was grown in Palmer, Alaska by John Evans in 1998, weighing 8.6 kg
    • The city of Holtville, California promotes itself as "Carrot Capital of the World", and holds an annual festival devoted entirely to the carrot
    • Several countries have an annual event to celebrate the successful harvest of the carrot. The popular carot festivals are Holtville (California), Bradford (Ontario), Ohakune (New Zealand), Croissy sur Seine (France), Aarau (Switzerland), Schenectady (County NY), Creances (France) and Beypazar? (Turkey).

    Last edited by wonder; 22nd Aug 2014 at 10:22 PM.
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  6. #6
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Re: Valuable Vegetables

    Carrots 3

    Carrot Juice vs. Raw Carrots:

    Carrot juice is better than eating raw carrots.

    The one major difference betweencarrot juice and raw carrots is that carrot juice contains more nutrients thanraw carrots.

    Both carrot juice and raw carrots have nutritive carbohydrates andminerals but apparently, more anti-oxidants are released faster in condensingthe carrot into juice than plainly munching the carrot.

    Carrot juice can beeasily digested by the body enzymes as the juice consists of only half the dietary fibre in whole carrots and fibre takes a long time to break down.

    But the raw carrot is more nutritious as a fat-freesnack.

    Carrots can be eaten as raw, cooked, canned, chopped, and juiced or any other way as carrots will retain their nutritional value and fibre even when cooked.

    Cooking carrots actually releases and facilitates more efficient absorption of theanti-oxidants into the digestive system.

    Last edited by wonder; 24th Aug 2014 at 10:28 PM.
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  7. #7
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Re: Valuable Vegetables


    Basella or vine spinach is a popular tropical leafy-green vegetable commonly grown as backyard plant in the home gardens. In the true sense, it is different from English spinach (Spinacea oleoracea) in that the plant is a creeping vine, and its leaves feature glossy, broad, deep green, thick, and mucilaginous.

    Commonly found in the backyard gardens of many south Asian families, it is gaining popularity in some of the tropical and temperate climates of America, Australia and Europe for its succulent, nutritious greens, and tender stems.

    Vine spinach belongs to the Basellaceae family, and has two chief cultivars, Basella alba, which features green-stems and deep-green leaves, and Basella rubra with purplish-stems and deep-green leaves with pink veins.

    Vine spinach is noted by regional names in different regions in Asia. Some of the common names for this herb are Ceylon spinach, Malabar spinach, saan choy (Chinese), mong toi (Vietnamese), alugbati (Philippines), pui saag (Bengali), remayong (Malay), etc.

    It is native to south Asia, probably originated in the monsoon fed tropical regions of Malabar Coast of India and Sri Lanka.

    The plant is a perennial vine and grown as annual or biennial pot-herb. It prefers hot humid climate and moist, fertile, well-drained soil to flourish.

    Although, its seeds can be sown directly for planting, usually thick cuttings about the length of 20 cm are preferred for easy propagation, and fast growth. Being a vine, the plant requires trellising for its spread at a faster rate.

    It bears white or white-pink colour tiny flowers depending upon the species and deep-purple to black colour berries.

    Basella alba bears thick, fleshy, broad, oval to heart-shaped leaves all along its vine length. Basella rubra features pink or purplish stems and pink colour veins running in the leaves.

    In either case, leaves and terminal tender, 8-12 inches stems are ready for harvesting about 35 to 45 days after planting (about 50 days after seeding).

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  8. #8
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Re: Valuable Vegetables

    Basella (Vine Spinach) -1

    Health benefits

    Basella is one of versatile leaf green vegetable and revered in some East Asian cultures for its wholesome phyto-nutrients profile.

    Basella is very low in calories and fats (100 g of raw leaves provide just 19 calories). Nonetheless, it holds an incredibly good amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

    Fresh leaves, particularly of basella rubra, are rich sources of several vital carotenoid pigment anti-oxidants such as -carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin. Together, these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a healing role in aging and various disease processes.

    Its thick, fleshy leaves are a good source of non-starch polysaccharide, mucilage. In addition to regular fiber (roughage) that found in the stem and leaves, mucilage facilitates in smooth digestion, bring reduction in cholesterol absorption, and help prevent bowel movement problems.

    Vine spinach leaves and stem are incredibly rich sources of vitamin A. 100 g fresh leaves provide 8000 IU or 267% of recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this vitamin. Vitamin-A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin, and essential for good eye-sight.

    Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin-A, and flavonoids has been thought to offer protection from the lung and oral cavity cancers.

    Basella has more vitamin C content than English spinach.100 g of fresh greens contains 102 mg or 102% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C. Vitamin-C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

    Likewise in spinach, Basella too is an excellent source of iron. 100 g fresh leaves contain about 1.20 mg or 15% of daily intake of iron.

    Iron is an important trace element required by the human body for red blood cell (RBC's) production. Additionally, this element acts as a co-factor for oxidation-reduction enzyme, cytochrome-oxidase, during the cellular metabolism.

    It also contains good amounts of many B-complex vitamins such as folate, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), and riboflavin. 100 g fresh leaves provide 140 g or 35% of folates.

    This vitamin is one of the essential compounds for DNA production and growth. Folate deficiency in during very early stages of pregnancy might results in the neural tube defects in the new-born baby.

    Anticipating and pregnant women are therefore, advised to include a lot of fresh greens in their diet to help prevent neural tube defects in the offspring.

    Further, basella leaves are good sources of minerals like potassium (11% of RDA/100 g), manganese (32% of RDA/100 g), calcium, magnesium, and copper.

    Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

    Akin to spinach, regular consumption of Basella (Malabar spinach) in the diet helps prevent osteoporosis (weakness of bones), iron-deficiency anaemia. Besides, it is believed to protect the body from cardiovascular diseases and cancers of colon.

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  9. #9
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Re: Valuable Vegetables

    Basella (Vine Spinach) - 2

    Selection and storage

    Fresh Malabar spinach can be readily available in the tropical belt all around the seasons. However, in the US and European markets only selected groceries, specializing in selling Asian vegetables and herbs, display fresh basella types (green and purple).

    In the stores, look for fresh harvest featuring shiny, succulent leaves, and firm stems. The green has no special flavor of its own, however, once cooked, it mixes well with other ingredients in the food, in addition to conferring gel-like consistency to the food.

    Avoid sunken, dry, bruised, and discoloured leaves.

    Basella has a relatively good shelf life.

    At home, untie the bushel, wrap the leaves in a damp cloth and place in air-tight zip-pouch or plastic bag and store inside the refrigerator set at high relative humidity.

    Although the greens can be stored inside the refrigerator for up to four days, fresh leaves should be eaten at the earliest in order to get maximum nutrition benefits.

    Preparation and serving methods

    Wash the leaves in cold running water to remove any surface grit/sand. Mop dry using paper towel or soft cotton cloth.

    Trim away tough stems. Chop the leaves and stem for the desired length to add in the recipes.

    Basella is used in the same way as other seasonal greens like spinach, watercress, and purslane. However, being more mucilaginous, it adds thick, glue-like consistency to the recipes.

    Some serving tips:

    The greens are mixed with other popular greens to prepare "saag" in India and Bangladesh (pui shaak), with added lentils or seafood. Its flower and seed heads (pui seeds) are also edible, and being used to prepare recipes with seasonal seafood.

    In the southern parts of India, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and Sri Lanka, its leaves and stem are used in numerous variations to prepare curries, stews, soups, etc., and eaten with rice, bread (roti), and noodles.

    In the Philippines where the greens known as alugbati, are being used to prepare mouth-watering stir-fries, with meat, and vegetables.

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  10. #10
    wonder is offline Commander's of Penmai
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    Re: Valuable Vegetables

    Basella (Vine Spinach) - 3

    Safety profile

    Phytates and dietary fiber present in the leaves may interfere with the bio-availability of iron, calcium and magnesium.

    Like in spinach, Basella too contains oxalic acid, a naturally-occurring substance found in some vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people.

    People with known oxalate urinary tract stones are advised to avoid eating them.

    Adequate intake of water is, therefore, advised to maintain normal urine output.

    Malabar spinach (Basella alba), raw,
    Nutritive value per 100 g.
    (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
    Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
    Energy 19 Kcal 1%
    Carbohydrates 3.40 g 2.5%
    Protein 1.80 g 3%
    Total Fat 0.30 g 1.5%
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Folates 140 g 35%
    Niacin 0.500 mg 3%
    Pantothenic acid 0.053 mg 1%
    Pyridoxine 0.240 mg 18%
    Riboflavin 0.155 mg 13%
    Thiamin 0.050 mg 4%
    Vitamin A 8000 IU 267%
    Vitamin C 102 mg 170%
    Sodium 24 mg 1.5%
    Potassium 510 mg 11%
    Calcium 109 mg 11%
    Copper 0.107 mg 12%
    Iron 1.20 mg 15%
    Magnesium 65 mg 16%
    Manganese 0.735 mg 32%
    Selenium 0.8 g 1.5%
    Zinc 0.43 mg 4%

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