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Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a well-balanced diet. The United States Department of Agriculture advises diners to fill half their plate with fruits and veggies at every meal. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk of many health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and certain kinds of cancers.
Can superfoods help with weight loss?
Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers , fruits , stems , leaves , roots , and seeds.
The alternate definition of the term is applied somewhat arbitrarily, often by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits , flowers , nuts , and cereal grains, but include savoury fruits such as tomatoes and courgettes , flowers such as broccoli , and seeds such as pulses. Originally, vegetables were collected from the wild by hunter-gatherers and entered cultivation in several parts of the world, probably during the period 10, BC to 7, BC, when a new agricultural way of life developed.
At first, plants which grew locally would have been cultivated, but as time went on, trade brought exotic crops from elsewhere to add to domestic types. Nowadays, most vegetables are grown all over the world as climate permits, and crops may be cultivated in protected environments in less suitable locations.
China is the largest producer of vegetables, and global trade in agricultural products allows consumers to purchase vegetables grown in faraway countries.
The scale of production varies from subsistence farmers supplying the needs of their family for food, to agribusinesses with vast acreages of single-product crops. Depending on the type of vegetable concerned, harvesting the crop is followed by grading, storing, processing, and marketing. Vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked and play an important role in human nutrition, being mostly low in fat and carbohydrates, but high in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Many nutritionists encourage people to consume plenty of fruit and vegetables, five or more portions a day often being recommended.
The word vegetable was first recorded in English in the early 15th century. It comes from Old French ,  and was originally applied to all plants; the word is still used in this sense in biological contexts. The meaning of "vegetable" as a "plant grown for food" was not established until the 18th century. The year saw the first use of the shortened, slang term "veggie". As an adjective , the word vegetable is used in scientific and technical contexts with a different and much broader meaning, namely of "related to plants" in general, edible or not—as in vegetable matter , vegetable kingdom , vegetable origin , etc.
The exact definition of "vegetable" may vary simply because of the many parts of a plant consumed as food worldwide—roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. The broadest definition is the word's use adjectivally to mean "matter of plant origin".
More specifically, a vegetable may be defined as "any plant, part of which is used for food",  a secondary meaning then being "the edible part of such a plant". In the latter-mentioned definition of "vegetable", which is used in everyday language, the words " fruit " and "vegetable" are mutually exclusive.
This is considerably different from the word's culinary meaning. While peaches , plums , and oranges are "fruit" in both senses, many items commonly called "vegetables", such as eggplants , bell peppers , and tomatoes , are botanically fruits. The question of whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable found its way into the United States Supreme Court in The court ruled unanimously in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is correctly identified as, and thus taxed as, a vegetable, for the purposes of the Tariff of on imported produce.
The court did acknowledge, however, that, botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit. Before the advent of agriculture , humans were hunter-gatherers. They foraged for edible fruit, nuts, stems, leaves, corms, and tubers, scavenged for dead animals and hunted living ones for food. Plant breeding through the selection of strains with desirable traits such as large fruit and vigorous growth soon followed.
Throughout recorded history, the rich have been able to afford a varied diet including meat, vegetables and fruit, but for poor people, meat was a luxury and the food they ate was very dull, typically comprising mainly some staple product made from rice, rye, barley, wheat, millet or maize.
The addition of vegetable matter provided some variety to the diet. The staple diet of the Aztecs in Central America was maize and they cultivated tomatoes , avocados , beans , peppers , pumpkins , squashes , peanuts , and amaranth seeds to supplement their tortillas and porridge. In Peru, the Incas subsisted on maize in the lowlands and potatoes at higher altitudes. They also used seeds from quinoa , supplementing their diet with peppers, tomatoes, and avocados.
In Ancient China , rice was the staple crop in the south and wheat in the north, the latter made into dumplings , noodles , and pancakes. Vegetables used to accompany these included yams , soybeans , broad beans , turnips , spring onions , and garlic.
The diet of the ancient Egyptians was based on bread , often contaminated with sand which wore away their teeth. Meat was a luxury but fish was more plentiful. These were accompanied by a range of vegetables including marrows, broad beans, lentils, onions, leeks, garlic, radishes, and lettuces. The mainstay of the Ancient Greek diet was bread, and this was accompanied by goat's cheese, olives, figs, fish, and occasionally meat. The vegetables grown included onions, garlic, cabbages, melons, and lentils.
The Romans grew broad beans, peas, onions and turnips and ate the leaves of beets rather than their roots. Vegetables play an important role in human nutrition. Most are low in fat and calories but are bulky and filling. Particularly important are the antioxidant vitamins A , C , and E.
When vegetables are included in the diet, there is found to be a reduction in the incidence of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments.
However, vegetables often also contain toxins and antinutrients which interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Some beans contain phytohaemagglutinin , and cassava roots contain cyanogenic glycoside as do bamboo shoots. These toxins can be deactivated by adequate cooking.
Green potatoes contain glycoalkaloids and should be avoided. Fruit and vegetables, particularly leafy vegetables, have been implicated in nearly half the gastrointestinal infections caused by norovirus in the United States. These foods are commonly eaten raw and may become contaminated during their preparation by an infected food handler.
Hygiene is important when handling foods to be eaten raw, and such products need to be properly cleaned, handled, and stored to limit contamination. Potatoes are not included in the count as they are mainly providers of starch. For most vegetables and vegetable juices, one serving is half of a cup and can be eaten raw or cooked.
For leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach , a single serving is typically a full cup. International dietary guidelines are similar to the ones established by the USDA. Japan , for example, recommends the consumption of five to six servings of vegetables daily. Vegetables have been part of the human diet from time immemorial. Some are staple foods but most are accessory foodstuffs, adding variety to meals with their unique flavors and at the same time, adding nutrients necessary for health.
Some vegetables are perennials but most are annuals and biennials , usually harvested within a year of sowing or planting. Whatever system is used for growing crops, cultivation follows a similar pattern; preparation of the soil by loosening it, removing or burying weeds, and adding organic manures or fertilisers; sowing seeds or planting young plants; tending the crop while it grows to reduce weed competition, control pests, and provide sufficient water; harvesting the crop when it is ready; sorting, storing, and marketing the crop or eating it fresh from the ground.
Different soil types suit different crops, but in general in temperate climates, sandy soils dry out fast but warm up quickly in the spring and are suitable for early crops, while heavy clays retain moisture better and are more suitable for late season crops. The growing season can be lengthened by the use of fleece , cloches , plastic mulch , polytunnels , and greenhouses.
On a domestic scale, the spade, fork, and hoe are the tools of choice while on commercial farms a range of mechanical equipment is available. Besides tractors, these include ploughs , harrows , drills , transplanters , cultivators , irrigation equipment, and harvesters.
New techniques are changing the cultivation procedures involved in growing vegetables with computer monitoring systems, GPS locators, and self-steer programs for driverless machines giving economic benefits.
When a vegetable is harvested, it is cut off from its source of water and nourishment. It continues to transpire and loses moisture as it does so, a process most noticeable in the wilting of green leafy crops.
Harvesting root vegetables when they are fully mature improves their storage life, but alternatively, these root crops can be left in the ground and harvested over an extended period. The harvesting process should seek to minimise damage and bruising to the crop. Onions and garlic can be dried for a few days in the field and root crops such as potatoes benefit from a short maturation period in warm, moist surroundings, during which time wounds heal and the skin thickens up and hardens.
Before marketing or storage, grading needs to be done to remove damaged goods and select produce according to its quality, size, ripeness, and color. All vegetables benefit from proper post harvest care. A large proportion of vegetables and perishable foods are lost after harvest during the storage period. These losses may be as high as thirty to fifty percent in developing countries where adequate cold storage facilities are not available.
The main causes of loss include spoilage caused by moisture, moulds, micro-organisms, and vermin. Storage can be short-term or long-term. Most vegetables are perishable and short-term storage for a few days provides flexibility in marketing. During storage, leafy vegetables lose moisture , and the vitamin C in them degrades rapidly. A few products such as potatoes and onions have better keeping qualities and can be sold when higher prices may be available, and by extending the marketing season, a greater total volume of crop can be sold.
If refrigerated storage is not available, the priority for most crops is to store high-quality produce, to maintain a high humidity level, and to keep the produce in the shade.
Proper post-harvest storage aimed at extending and ensuring shelf life is best effected by efficient cold chain application. There are temperature-controlling technologies that do not require the use of electricity such as evaporative cooling.
The irradiation of vegetables and other agricultural produce by ionizing radiation can be used to preserve it from both microbial infection and insect damage, as well as from physical deterioration. It can extend the storage life of food without noticeably changing its properties. The objective of preserving vegetables is to extend their availability for consumption or marketing purposes. The aim is to harvest the food at its maximum state of palatability and nutritional value, and preserve these qualities for an extended period.
The main causes of deterioration in vegetables after they are gathered are the actions of naturally-occurring enzymes and the spoilage caused by micro-organisms. Canning is a process during which the enzymes in vegetables are deactivated and the micro-organisms present killed by heat. The sealed can excludes air from the foodstuff to prevent subsequent deterioration. The lowest necessary heat and the minimum processing time are used in order to prevent the mechanical breakdown of the product and to preserve the flavor as far as is possible.
The can is then able to be stored at ambient temperatures for a long period. The enzyme action will merely be inhibited, and blanching of suitably sized prepared vegetables before freezing mitigates this and prevents off-flavors developing. Not all micro-organisms will be killed at these temperatures and after thawing the vegetables should be used promptly because otherwise, any microbes present may proliferate.
Traditionally, sun drying has been used for some products such as tomatoes, mushrooms, and beans, spreading the produce on racks and turning the crop at intervals. This method suffers from several disadvantages including lack of control over drying rates, spoilage when drying is slow, contamination by dirt, wetting by rain, and attack by rodents, birds, and insects.
These disadvantages can be alleviated by using solar powered driers.
List of spices and their uses pdf
Indian spices spices offer significant health benefits and contribute towards an individual's healthy life. The distillation of essential oils evolved over the course of at least 2, years; it is one of the many contributions made by alchemists in their search for health, longevity, and spiritual knowledge. Cinnamon is a pretty popular spice all over the world, with various cultures utilizing it in some form. You can take advantage of these simple ingredients to improve your overall health naturally. Curry powder is a blend of different spices, including cumin, turmeric, and coriander. Here are the suggested shelf lives of each spice category: Ground spices and blends nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric : 4 to 8 months Herbs basil, oregano, parsley : 1 to 2 yearsFor some recipes, the spices are tied into a cheesecloth sachet for cooking then removed before canning, others have the spices added loose.
It generally refers to nutrient-rich foods that may positively support health. As they are typically foods containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they may be beneficial as part of a healthy weight loss diet. The food industry largely uses the term to influence food trends and sell products. While the foods that people describe as superfoods are usually nutrient-dense, it is important to understand that no single food holds the key to good health or weight loss. Instead, people can try to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into a healthy diet plan, combined with regular exercise. However, many of the foods that people may classify as superfoods typically contain high values of the following nutrients and constituents:.
Health promoting and sensory properties of phenolic compounds in food. I Food Engineer, PhD. Department of Nutrition. Doctor of Science. Phenolic compounds have been extensively studied in recent years. The presence of these compounds in various foods has been associated with sensory and health promoting properties.
PDF | On Jan 1, , AR Vicente and others published Prunus (Health promoting properties of fruits and vegetables) | Find, read and cite all the research you.
Bioactive Compounds and Health-Promoting Properties of Berry Fruits: A Review
The Physalis genus of the Solanaceae family is home to many edible food crops including tomatillo, goldenberry, and groundcherry. These Physalis members have garnered more attention as consumer interest in novel fruits and vegetables has increased because of increasing awareness of the health benefits of eating a diverse diet. As a result of this interest, several preliminary studies were conducted of these Physalis to evaluate their nutritional and chemical profiles associated with health benefits. Results showed these crops contain many essential minerals and vitamins, notably potassium and immune system supporting Vitamin C, also known for its antioxidant activity. Beyond nutritional properties, these crops also contain a class of steroidal lactones called withanolides, which have been recognized for their antitumor, and antinflammatory properties.
Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers , fruits , stems , leaves , roots , and seeds. The alternate definition of the term is applied somewhat arbitrarily, often by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits , flowers , nuts , and cereal grains, but include savoury fruits such as tomatoes and courgettes , flowers such as broccoli , and seeds such as pulses. Originally, vegetables were collected from the wild by hunter-gatherers and entered cultivation in several parts of the world, probably during the period 10, BC to 7, BC, when a new agricultural way of life developed.
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