Nutritive Value of Fruits and Vegetables
As said earlier fruits and vegetables is the important energy giving material to the human body. Importance of the fruits and vegetables in the human diet is universally recognized. They are the major sources of vitamins without which the human body cannot maintain proper health and resistance to diseases. Besides they also contain minerals, salts, protein, cellulose which protects human body against various disorders, Extent of the Vitamins in various fruits / vegetables and how they are important can be judged by the following information.
A. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid):
It is responsible for sever pains in the joints, blooding of gums, tooth decay and the humanisms, Ascorbic acid, loss in energy, delay in wound healing, increased susceptibility to disease enlargement of heart and damage to heart muscles.
Anona 600, Guava 299, Citrus 63 – 68 mg/100 gms is the richer source of Vitamin C in case of fruits. Vegetables like Methi, Palak, Lettuce, Cabbage, Green pepper, Chillies contain appreciable quantity of Vitamin C. Potato and Sweet potato also supplies ascorbic acid.
B. Vitamin B -1 (Thiamine):
Deficiency of this causes Beriberi, loss of sensitivity of skin, paralysis, loss of appetite, loss of weights, and fall in body temperature fruits like Banana (150 mg / 100 g), Apple (120 mg/100 gms) and Cashew nut (630 mg/100 gm), Almond (240 mg/100 gms) are the good source of this Vitamin B – 1.
Apart from this Methi, Cabbage, Onion, Green vegetables, Lettuce, green chillies, carrot, peas and beans (in seeds) are also rich in Vitamin B.
C. Vitamin B -2 (Riboflavin):
This vitamin is important for growth and health of skin, its deficiency causes loss of appetite, loss in weight, sore throat, swollen nose etc. Papaya (200 mg/ 100 gms), Bael (191 mg/100 gms), Pomegranate (100 mg/100 gms), pineapple (120 mg/100 gms) More or less vegetables listed above are the major suppliers of this Vitamin.
D. Vitamin – A (Carotene):
Absence of this Vitamin in diet results cessation of growth in young ones, night blindness, drying up tear glands of eyes, eruption of skin, brittleness of teeth and susceptibility to disease.
Mango (4800 i.e., per 100 gm), Papaya (2020 i.e. per 100 gms), Jack fruit (540 per 100 gms) are the richer source of this vitamin. In vegetables carrot, peas, turnip, beats, tomato, Sweet potato green vegetables, cabbage are observed to be very good supplier of this Vitamin.
Though the Vitamins are quite important in maintenance of the human body, the role of minerals cannot be ignored also. Minerals like Calcium, Phosphorus, and Iron are required for living body.
Calcium is badly lacking in Indian diets. It is needed for healthy bones and for resistance to infections. In its absence children suffer from rickets, pigeon chest, ignitability and retarded growth. Their teeth become bad. It also acts as an coordinator among the mineral elements and helps to correct proportion of other elements.
Fruits viz. Litchi, wood apple, dried grapes, oranges, straw berry, are the source of Calcium. However, vegetables like cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, lettuce, onion, spinach, tomato also supply Calcium in minor quantities.
Regarding Phosphorus, which is essential for all active tissues of the body. It is actually required for cell multiplication of both bones and soft tissues the for the maintenance of proper liquid content of the tissues. It also plays an important role in oxidation of carbohydrates which liberates energy. Phosphorus in enough quantities in vegetables like potatoes, carrot, tomatoes, cucumber, pinch, cauliflower, lettuce than most of the fruits. However, almonds, cashewnunt and litchi are the more suppliers of the Phosphorus.
Vegetables are richer in iron than fruits and found in green leaves. Iron is essential part of the red blood carpusles and is the best known oxygen carrier in the body. It is essential element in the body and can be had from Spinach, truce, Cabbage, Peas, Bean and Tomatoes. In fruit crops karonda, Dates, cashewnunt, Raising etc. are the major suppliers of this element.