- Bell pepper contains an impressive list of plant nutrients that found to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. Unlike in other fellow chili peppers, it has very fewer calories and fats. 100 grams provides just 31 calories.
- Sweet (bell) pepper contains small levels of health benefiting alkaloid compound, capsaicin. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. When used judiciously, it also found to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
- Fresh bell peppers, red or green, are a rich source of vitamin-C. This vitamin is particularly concentrated in red peppers at the highest levels. 100 g red pepper provides about 127.7 µg or about 213% of RDA of vitamin-C. Vitamin-C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant. Inside the human body, it is required for the collagen synthesis. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in this vitamin helps the human body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
- It also contains healthy levels of vitamin-A. 100 g of sweet pepper has 3131 IU or 101% of vitamin A. Additionally, antioxidant flavonoids such as alpha and beta carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin also found in them. Together, these antioxidant substances in sweet peppers help protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress and disease conditions.
- Bell pepper has adequate levels of essential minerals. Some of the main minerals in it are iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Selenium is an antioxidant trace element that acts as a co-factor for enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
- Further, capsicum (sweet pepper) is also good in the B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. B-complex vitamins facilitate cellular metabolism through various enzymatic functions.
- It is one of the very low-calorie vegetables; provide just 15 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
- It is an excellent source of potassium, an important intracellular electrolyte. 100 g of cucumber provides 147 mg of potassium but only 2 mg of sodium. Potassium is a heart “friendly” electrolyte helps bring a reduction in total blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium.
- Cucumbers contains unique antioxidants in moderate ratios such as ß-carotene and α -carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, zeaxanthin, and lutein. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes. Their total antioxidant strength, measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC value), is 214 µmol TE/100 g.
- Cucumbers have mild diuretic property, which perhaps attributed to their free-water, and potassium and low sodium content. It helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure.
- They surprisingly have a significant amount of vitamin-K, provides about 17 µg of this vitamin per 100 g. Vitamin-K has been found to have a potential role in bone strength by promoting osteoblastic (bone mass building) activity. It also has an established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.
- Tomatoes are one of the low-calorie vegetables; hold just 18 calories per 100 g. They are also very low in fat contents and have zero cholesterol levels. Nonetheless, they are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. On account of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists alike often recommend them in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction diet programs.
- The antioxidants present in tomatoes are scientifically found to be protective against cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic tumors. Total -ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) in this vegetable is 367 µmol TE/100 g.
- Lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant, is a unique phytochemical compound found in the tomatoes. Red variety fruits tend to possess more of this antioxidant. Together with carotenoids, lycopene may help protect cells and other structures in the human body from harmful oxygen-free radicals. Studies show that lycopene protects the skin from ultra-violet (UV) rays and thus offers some defense against skin cancer.
- Zea-xanthin is another flavonoid compound present abundantly in this vegetable. Zeaxanthin helps protect eyes from “age-related macular related macular disease” (ARMD) in the older adults by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.
- It contains very good levels of vitamin-A, and flavonoid antioxidants such as a and ß-carotenes, xanthins and lutein. Altogether, these pigment compounds are found to have antioxidant properties and take part in night-vision, maintenance of healthy mucosa and skin, and bones. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Additionally, they are also a good source of antioxidant vitamin-C (provide 21% of recommended daily levels per 100 g); consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.
- Fresh tomato is very rich in potassium. 100 g contain 237 mg of potassium and just 5 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium.
- Further, they carry average levels of vital B-complex vitamins such as folates, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin as well some essential minerals like iron, calcium, manganese and other trace elements.
- It is very low in calories. 100 grams of the fresh cauliflower head provides just 26 calories. Nevertheless, it comprises of several health-benefiting antioxidants and vitamins, also, to be low in fat and cholesterol.
- Its florets contain about 2 grams of dietary fiber per 100 g; providing about 5% of recommended value.
- Cauliflower contains several anti-cancer phytochemicals like sulforaphane and plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinol, which appears to function as an anti-estrogen agent. Together, these compounds have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers by their cancer-cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.
- Furthermore, Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a lipid-soluble compound present abundantly in Brassica group of vegetables, including cauliflower, has found to be effective as an immune modulator, antibacterial and anti-viral agent. This compound brings out these functions by its ability to synthesize and potentiate γ-Interferon receptors at the cellular level. DIM has currently been found application in the treatment of recurring respiratory papillomatosis caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and is in Phase III clinical trials for cervical dysplasia.
- Fresh cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin-C; 100 g provides about 48.2 mg or 80% of daily recommended value. Vitamin-C is a proven antioxidant that helps fight against harmful free radicals, boosts immunity, and prevents infections and cancers.
- It contains good amounts of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as folates, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3) as well as vitamin K. These vitamins is essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Further, It is an also good source of minerals in small quantities such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium. Manganese used in the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Potassium is an important intracellular electrolyte helps counter the hypertension effects of sodium.
- Broccoli is one of the very low-calorie vegetables; provides just 34 calories per 100 g. Nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants that have proven health benefits. Total antioxidant strength oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of broccoli is 1632 µmol TE/100 g.
- Fresh Broccoli is a storehouse of many phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, indoles, sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, and flavonoids like beta-carotene cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Studies have shown that these compounds by modifying positive signaling at molecular receptor levels help protect against prostate, colon, urinary bladder, pancreatic, and breast cancers.
- Fresh broccoli is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin-C; providing 89.2 mg or about 150% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant, and immune modulator helps fight against flu-causing viruses.
- Further, it contains good amounts of another anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-A. 100 g fresh head provides 623 IU or 21 % of recommended daily levels. Together with other pro-vitamins like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and zeaxanthin, vitamin-A helps in maintaining the integrity of skin and mucosa. Vitamin-A is essential for healthy eyesight and helps prevent macular degeneration of the retina in the older adults.
- Broccoli leaves (green tops) are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamin-A; (16000 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g) carrying these compounds many folds higher than that in their flower-heads.
- Fresh heads are an excellent source of folates; contain about 63 µg/100 grams (provides 16% of RDA). Studies have shown that consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits rich in folates during pre-conception, and pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in the newborns.
- This floret-vegetable is a rich source of vitamin-K and the B-complex group of vitamins like Niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), and riboflavin. Further, its florets also hold some amount of omega-3 fatty acids (Alpha linolenic acid-ALA).
- Furthermore, it is also a good source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus.
- Lettuce leaves are one of the very low-calorie green vegetables. 100 g fresh greens provide just 15 calories. Nonetheless, they are the storehouse of many phytonutrients that possess health promoting and disease prevention properties.
- Vitamins in lettuce are plentiful. Its fresh leaves are an excellent source of several Vitamin-A and β-carotenes. Just 100 g of fresh, raw-lettuce provides 247% of daily vitamin A, and 4443 µg of β-carotene (Carotenes convert into vitamin-A in the body; 2 µg of carotene is considered equivalent to 1 IU of vitamin-A). These compounds have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is a rich source of vitamin-K. Vitamin-K has a potential role in the bone metabolism where it thought to increase bone mass by promoting osteoblastic activity in the bone cells. It also has an established role in the Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
- Fresh leaves contain good amounts folates and vitamin C. Folates are part of co-factors in the enzyme metabolism required for DNA synthesis and therefore, play a vital role in the prevention of the neural tube defects in the baby (fetus) during pregnancy.
- Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant; regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
- Zeaxanthin (1730 µg per 100 g), an important dietary carotenoid in lettuce, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant and filter UV rays damaging the retina. Diet rich in xanthin and carotenes is believed to offer some protection against age-related macular disease (ARMD) in the older adults.
- It also contains healthy amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are very much essential for body metabolism. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. The body uses manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for red blood cell formation.
- It is rich in the B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), riboflavins.
The iceberg lettuce was first introduced in the market in 1945 and was the first variety of lettuce that survived travel without wilting. It was first called the crisphead lettuce because of its texture and shape. Its name, “iceberg,” came from the fact that this vegetable was often sent to other states and areas in trucks filled with large amounts of ice to preserve it and slow down its decay