Nutritional and Antioxidant Potential of Common Vegetables in Pakistan
Keywords:Carrot, pumpkin, spinach, potato, nutrients, antioxidant, vitamins
Vegetables contain many important antioxidants and nutrients. Daucus carota L (carrot) is rich in hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidants and is a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals such as Ca, Mg, P, and Fe. It shows anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, and immune boosting properties. It also provides protection against muscular degradation and development of senile cataract and reduces the risk of many diseases in humans. The nutritional value of Cucurbita pepo Linn (pumpkin) is attributed to the high level of carotenoids, carbohydrates, vitamins, other minerals. Pumpkin due to the presence of vitamin B complex, Ca and P, provides protection against many acute and chronic diseases. Pumpkin peel and pulp are the good source of antioxidants, polyphenols, carotenoids, dietary fiber and minerals such as P and Fe. Pumpkin extract shows antioxidant, antimicrobial and other activities. Spinacia oleracea (spinach) is a good source of essential nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals (P, K, Mg). Its leaves contain carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid. Fresh spinach extract shows antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Solanum tuberosum (potato) is rich in starch, alkaloids, flavonoids, dietary fiber, and some other minerals (K, Mg, Fe). Potato helps to overcome chronic and acute diseases and has an impact on blood pressure and gut health.