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Agrovetbuzz Articles
Leafy Vegetables-Nutritional and Medicinal Values

Shabir Hussain Khan, B. Afroza, M. A. Chattoo and N. Jabeen

Division of Vegetable Science, Sher-e-Kashmir, University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar,
Srinagar-191 121 (J&K) India

Vegetables are integral part of a balanced diet and are considered as “Protective foods” as their consumption prevents several diseases. They have a prominent role in combating malnutrition of human beings. Vegetables are rich and comparatively cheap sources of vitamins like β-carotene, vitamin B, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, etc and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, etc and dietary fibres. Vegetables also supply fair amount of carbohydrates, proteins and energy.

Vegetables are protective foods as their consumption prevents many diseases. Almost all vegetables are finding important roles in traditional systems of medicine. Several chemicals having therapeutic value were identified from vegetables. Antioxidants and flavonoids are the most important among them. Role of vegetables as a source of antioxidants in prevention of new generation diseases and delaying ageing is well recognised. Antioxidants like β- carotene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), α-tocopherol (vitamin E), amino acids and flavonoids present in various vegetables act as scavengers of free radicals which induce cancer development, brain disorders and arteriosclerosis.