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Nutritional and Health Benefits of Fresh Vegetables - Past, Present and Future: A Literature Review

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Title: Nutritional and Health Benefits of Fresh Vegetables - Past, Present and Future: A Literature Review
Author: Zandstra, J.W.; Hovius, C.; Weaver, L.; Marowa-Wilkerson, T.
Abstract: This study outlines the importance of eating fresh, antioxidant-rich vegetables when possible. This is a review of relevant literature into production practices that focus on the importance of nutraceutical content in fresh vegetables. The end goal is to be able to give growers information on increasing the nutraceutical content of their vegetable crop. The vegetables discussed in this paper are sweet corn (Zea mays), onion (Allium cepa), tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum), kale (Brassica family), broccoli (Brassica family), garlic (Allium sativum), carrot (Daucus carota) and lettuce (Latuca sativa). Some vegetables, such as the tomato and onion, have an abundant amount of literature on them and have been the subject of numerous studies worldwide. Other crops, like sweet corn and spinach, have very little information on both agronomic practices and their nutraceutical benefits. There is indeed a need for more study in these areas. While there is available literature on the health benefits of garlic, work on identifying the optimal agronomic practices to assist the producer in producing a crop high in levels of antioxidants is limited.
Description: The end goal of this review was to identify methods known from existing literature information to increase the nutraceutical content in selected vegetables for the grower. For some vegetables like the tomato, carrot and onion the goal was fulfilled. Books and journals researched from all over the world yielded vital information on these vegetables. The information ranged from the health benefits to the agronomic factors that influence the expression of high levels of phytochemicals in the vegetables from the time of growth, harvest and storage. In this review, while most of the scientists seemed to agree on most aspects, their differences in opinion were highlighted.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/1983
Date: 2007-11-20


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