Kohima Noopur, Jitendra Kumar Chauhan, Lalit Kumar, Abhay Kumar Chandegara and Shivraj Singh Panwar
Vegetables have nutritional, and health benefits and are considered important for human nutrition. They are rich sources of proteins, vitamins, minerals, non-nutritive phytochemicals and fibers. Phytochemicals such as phenolic compounds, flavonoids, bioactive peptides etc. have shown health-promoting effects. But a part of the ever-increasing population especially resource-poor in India is still food and nutrition insecure. There is an inverse relationship between high consumption of vegetables and diseases a good reason for the inclusion of vegetables in the diet to reduce the risk of some diseases. Some vegetables like spinach, onion and broccoli are rich sources of health-promoting substances. Vegetables have shown anti-oxidative, anti-carcinogenic, cardiovascular lowering effect and antibiotic but the mechanism by which these compounds reduce the risk of diseases is still unknown. By taking advantage of different agro-climatic conditions, India is growing a wide range of vegetables round the year. These vegetables not only provide food and nutritional security but improve quality of life by providing eco-system services. Year-round production of vegetables provides income and employment also. Generally, 400-500 g carbohydrate is required for human energy. Protein 60-70 g is required for proper growth and development. While vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutriceuticals are required for a healthy life and vegetables are the chief sources of all types of food and nutrition. In spite of the single inclusion of vegetables, more than one is better for protection against chronic disease is recommended. For this purpose, 100 g each of leafy, fruit root and tuber crops may provide food and nutrition for a healthy life. Many states in India still produce food that is below the minimum requirement necessitating the need to increase vegetable production. c
Keyword: Hunger; Malnutrition; phytochemicals; Food and Nutritional Security.