Minerals and Nutraceuticals in Vegetables and Their Human Health Benefits

Vegetables are important for a well-balanced diet since they provide minerals and nutraceuticals. Regular eating of a vegetable-rich diet provides proven health benefits due to their potential to prevent and treat disease. The process through which veggies reduce illness risk is complex and poorly understood. Minerals and nutraceuticals provide substrates for biochemical reactions, cofactors for enzymatic reactions, inhibitors for enzymatic reactions, compounds that improve the absorption and or stability of essential nutrients, selective growth factors for beneficial gastrointestinal bacteria, fermentation substrates for beneficial oral bacteria, and compounds that improve the absorption and or stability of essential nutrients. Selective inhibitors of harmful intestinal bacteria, absorbents and sequestrants that bind to and remove unwanted chemicals in the intestine, and so forth. Some phytochemicals present in vegetables are potent antioxidants that may reduce the risk of chronic disease by preventing free radical damage, modifying metabolic activation and detoxification of carcinogens, and even modulating mechanisms that influence tumour cell behaviour. Dietary fibre content may also play an impact in general health. Each vegetable has its own distinct mineral and nutraceutical profile. To guarantee that an individual’s diet contains a combination of minerals and nutraceuticals and to get all of the health advantages, a wide variety of vegetables should be consumed.

Author (S) Details

João Carlos da Silva Dias
Instituto Superior de Agronomia, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal.

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