Monday, August 6, 2012



"Mineral are vital and indispensable component of human diet. They are integral constituents of bones, teeth, hair, nails, skin and other body tissues and play a major role in various body functions such as food digestion, energy production and wound healing. Therefore, a diet containing sufficient amount of varied vegetables will be able to fulfill the demand of the body for various essential minerals," said the vegetable scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). According to health scientists, one adult should consume nearly 280 g of vegetables per day to get all the required nutrients for the body, disclosed they.

Highlighting that vegetables are rich source of macro-minerals, Dr Hira Singh said that these are the minerals whose recommended daily intake (RDI) is more than 100 mg/day for a healthy diet. Seven minerals including calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur constitute macro-minerals, told he. The human body of an adult contains more than 1 kg of calcium, as it is present in large amounts in the bones and teeth, said he, adding that vegetables including mustard, spinach, amaranth, okra, squash-melon, broccoli, turnip and various types of beans (French bean, cluster bean, etc.) are important source of calcium.

Informing that phosphorus is the second most vital macro-mineral, Dr Neena Chawla said that about 700-800 g of phosphorus is present in the body of an adult in the body fluids, bones and teeth. French beans are the richest source of phosphorous in addition to the spinach, carrots, peas and cauliflower. Dr Chawla told that the role of magnesium in the body is important as it is required for proper functioning of muscles, nerves and helps the body to fight against infections. Eating a wide variety of legumes like French bean, cluster bean, pigeon-pea and leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, fenugreek, turnip greens, etc. can help to meet the daily dietary need for magnesium, which is about 300 mg/day, emphasized she.

Elaborating, the PAU vegetable scientists revealed that about 2 to 2.5 g of sodium, the major component of body fluids, is required per day by an average adult. Vegetables like cabbage, carrot, cucumber, onion and beetroot are rich in sodium element whereas vegetables like peas, pumpkin, tomato, sweet potato, zucchini and spinach are good source of potassium, the major component of body fluids, tissues and bones, they told. Vegetables rich in sodium are rich in chloride too, they said, telling that celery, chickpeas, bottle-gourd and onion make-up the vegetable sources of chloride. Sulfur is present in hair, nails, blood proteins and hormones and the vegetables rich in sulfur include garlic, beetroot, radish and turnips, added they.
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