Nutritional contribution of vegetables

Vegetables may be classified into green leafy and yellow vegetables.

Two characteristics of vegetables that have an important effect on the nutritive value are color and the part of the plant that is eaten such as leaves and stems, fruit, flowers, seeds, roots, etc.

The major nutritional contribution of vegetables are as follows:

•Green leafy and yellow vegetables contain B-carotene which is converted to vitamin A for normal vision and smooth skin. The greener or the deeper yellow color, the higher their pro-  vitamin A content. They are the most easily available and inexpensive sources of pro-vitamin A. These include the leaves of alugbati, ampalaya, kalabasa, kangkong, karot, gabi, letsugas, malunggay, mustasa, petsay, saluyot and sili.

• Vegetables contain pro-vitamin A but the green leafy and yellow ones have more pro-vitamin A than the “other vegetables” like sayote, talong, etc. Other vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals, but in smaller amounts compared to the green leafy and yellow vegetables.

Malunggay leaves have more pro-vitamin A than petsay, kangkong, saluyot and kamote tops, and carrots than squash fruit.

• Squash, malunggay, kangkong, petsay, kamote tops, ampalaya leaves, have more pro-vitamin A than other vegetables like cabbage, okra, sayote and eggplant.

• Malunggay leaves, petsay, kangkong, camote tops are cheaper but more nutritious than cabbage.

• The leaves of malunggay, alugbati and squash are rich in Vitamin C for faster wound healing and absorption of iron, but the amount contained is not as much as that in citrus fruits like dalandan and oranges.#