Vegetables are low in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are important to support life. Certain chemical substances present in vegetables have rich medicinal value. That is why vegetables are categorized as nutraceuticals by scientists because they are a mix of both nutrition and pharmaceutical.
Leaf vegetables are rich in protein, fibers, minerals like iron and calcium, phytonutrients like carotenoids, vitamin C, K and folic acid and have little or no fat. A variety of phytochemicals that are present in leaf vegetables protect our body cells from external damage. Vitamin A protects our eyesight and vitamin K regulates clotting of blood and keeps our bones healthy.
Flowering vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, calcium and have anti-cancer and anti-diabetic compound. Calcium contributes to healthy bones and nerve-related functions.
Root vegetables such as carrot and beet provide antioxidants, phytochemicals, roughage and various useful minerals to our body. High-fiber vegetables are less energy dense and require chewing which increases saliva and gastric juice production. This expands the stomach and helps to satisfy appetite sooner. Problems of weight gain or obesity can be controlled with a vegetable diet.
Read more on functional usages of each vegetable:
Fruit & Inflorescent Vegetables
Stalk, Root & Tuber Vegetables
"Vegetable is for filling hunger"
- Neijing, The Yellow Emperor's Classics of Internal Medicine