Nutraceuticals from Fruits and Vegetables at a Glance: A Review
Amit Kumar Verma,
Earth is rich in variety of plant species including the beneficial
one having some medicinal properties. The use of herbal medicines for the treatment
of various diseases like hepatitis, arthritis, chronic heart diseases, skin
disorders, wounds and even cancer have been mentioned in our ayurveda
and proved scientifically by many researchers of modern times. Now-a-days, fruits
and vegetables are gaining popularity in medicine for treating mastitis, foot-and-mouth
disease, skin allergies, hypersensitivity reaction, tympany, food poisoning,
retention of placenta etc. These medicines are suitable for both the human as
well as animals being cost economic and without side effects. Out of 21,000
medicinal plants listed by World Health organization, 2,500 species are found
in India making India the largest potential producer of medicinal herbs. The
plant or herbs particularly the fruits and vegetables are the cheapest and most
common store of nutrients viz., carbohydrates, protein, vitamin, minerals and
essential amino acids along with dietary fiber and thus reducing the risk of
cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and obesity. Apart from this, fruits and
vegetables also supply additional vitamins and minerals to the diet and are
important sources of phytochemicals that play important role as antioxidants,
phytoestrogens and anti-inflammatory agents and through various protective mechanisms.
Fruits and vegetables have the potential to develop nutritional ingredients
and supplements, causing a change in the perception of horticultural crops and
products and helps in anaerobic digestion. The present review discusses the
role of fiber and health benefits of fruits and vegetables for humans and their
Received: December 26, 2012;
Accepted: February 12, 2013;
Published: April 11, 2013
In modern days, planet is having various problems like increase in population,
unemployment, loss of ethical values (Mahima et al.,
2012a; 2011), increase in the incidences of pathogens
and diseases like arcobacter (Patyal et al., 2011),
salmonellosis (Verma et al., 2007), foot-and-mouth
disease (Verma et al., 2008, 2012),
campylobacteriosis (Kumar et al., 2012a), development
of resistance to antibacterial (Verma et al., 2007;
Lambey et al., 2009; Kumar
et al., 2011; Kumar et al., 2012a,
b) and antiviral drugs. These problems have forced the
scientists and researchers to think about the natural or alternative medicines
and their applications (Hashemi and Davoodi, 2012).
Earth is rich in variety of plant species including the beneficial one having
some medicinal properties. Some of these have been used since a longtime for
the immunomodulation to prevent or treat the diseases (Mahima
et al., 2012b). Herbal medicines have always been a form of therapy
for livestock among resource poor marginal farmers (Tan
and Vanitha, 2004; Alamgir and Uddin, 2010; Mizaei-Aghsaghali,
2012). The use of herbal medicines for the treatment of various diseases
like hepatitis, arthritis, chronic heart diseases, skin disorders, wounds and
even cancer have been mentioned in our ayurveda and proved scientifically
by many researchers of modern times (Mathew et al.,
2010; Umashanker and Shruti, 2011). Now-a-days,
herbs are also gaining popularity in veterinary medicine for treating mastitis,
foot-and-mouth disease, skin allergies, food poisoning, tympany, expulsion of
placenta, etc. These medicines are suitable for both the human as well as animals
being cost economic and without side effects (Rahal and
Kumar, 2009). Out of 21,000 plants listed by World Health organization,
2,500 species are found in India declaring the tremendous potential of the country
as making India the largest producer of medicinal herbs.
The Plants, or herbs particularly the fruits and vegetables are the cheapest
and most common store of nutrients viz., carbohydrates, protein, vitamin, minerals
and essential amino acids (Murphy et al., 2012;
Bumgarner et al., 2012). Apart from that they
can also be helpful in treating various diseases (Mahima
et al., 2012b). Fruits and vegetables vary in their composition like
energy contents, vitamin and mineral contents, fibre contents. Their fiber contents
further aid in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity (Weingartner
et al., 2008). Fruits and vegetables are important source of vitamins,
minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial phytochemicals (Goff
and Klee, 2006) and at the same time of those phytochemicals that are having
antioxidant properties (Table 1, 2), thereby
having a beneficiary effect in patients having coronary heart disease (Hasler,
2005). They share their role either as a cooked delicacy or as a part of
the raw salad. The present review discusses the different scientifically validated
medicinal role of fruits and vegetables along with their major phytoconstituents
important health promotion and protection of human beings and their companion
animals (Kalra, 2003; Hui et al.,
In general, fruits and vegetables are the best examples of edible plant harvests,
with a potential to develop nutritional ingredients and supplements, causing
a change in the perception of horticultural crops and products (Khanuja
and Shukla, 2011). Fruits like berries, bananas (Musa spp.), grape
(Vitis vinifera), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), citrus fruits
like orange (Citrus sinensis) and lemon (Citrus limon) and vegetables
viz. tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), carrot (Daucus carota), bael
(Aegle marmelos), pomegranate (Punica granatum), ginger (Zingiber
officinale) etc., are having nutraceutical potential. Such lists are ever
expanding with emerging research leads across the globe (Tikunov
et al., 2010).
Benefits of fruits and vegetables as green salad: Although all vegetables
are beneficial, but, interestingly, raw leafy vegetables, having highest levels
of vitamins and minerals, offer added benefits by adding roughage and bulk and
prevent the drying out of intestinal contents. Raw vegetables are generally
used as salad, which help to maintain the gastrointestinal motility and its
A plate of salad may include a large variety like cabbage, carrot, radish, tomato,
onion, turnip, arugula, broccoli, spinach, kale, cabbage, dandelion greens,
swiss chard and watercress. The other benefits of green salad include:
||Provide intense flavour, vivid colours and crispy rich texture
to the dine menu (Xiao et al., 2012)
||Helpful in weight management through controlling hunger (Ello-Martin
et al., 2005)
||Prevent constipation (as discussed above) and enhances gastrointestinal
function (Wagensteen et al., 2004)
||Reduce the chances of metabolic diseases viz., diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolemia
(Azadbakht et al., 2012).
||Rich source of vitamins (vitamin B complex) and minerals (Logendra
et al., 2002; Dahl et al., 2012)
||Reduces oxidative stress (Esfahani et al.,
||Enhance immunity (Gibson et al., 2012)
||Consumption of green salad reduces the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes,
cancer, central nervous system defects, neural tube defects (NTDs) in infants,
megaloblastic anemia and cardiovascular disease (Adams
et al., 2006; Vazquez-Prieto and Miatello,
2010; Esfahani et al., 2011; Wolfenden
et al., 2012; Imai et al., 2012;
Sun et al., 2012; Jin
et al., 2012)
||Mitigates the contaminant exposure and/or their adverse health effects
(Gagne et al., 2013)
Apart from all the medicinal benefits, the fruits and vegetables like carrot,
potato, soyabean, cowpea, can also be used as bioreactor, helping in anaerobic
digestion. This permits conversion of organic matter 75%easily biodegradable
matters like sugars and hemicellulose, 9% cellulose and 5% lignin to methane,
the conversion rate being 70-95% (Bouallagui et al.,
2005). Moreover, production of hormones, protein and even edible vaccine
against various pathogens of man and animals including anthrax, E. coli,
Japanese encephalitis, Helicobacter pylori, Hepatitis, corona pirus,
parvovirus, papilloma virus, Newcastle disease (Yoshida
et al., 2011; Ahmad et al., 2012;
Hayden et al., 2012; Huy
et al., 2012; Loza-Rubio et al., 2012;
Shoji et al., 2012; Wang
et al., 2012) are possible. These fruits and vegetables may be the
source of various pathogens like norovirus, salmonella, E. coli O157,
Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Shigella, Listeria, nematode, trematodes and
protozoa (Tunung et al., 2010; Schmid
et al., 2011; Mercanoglu Taban and Halkman,
2011; Santana et al., 2012; Castro-Rosas
et al., 2012); Huat et al., 2012);
pesticides, insecticides and herbicides residues, if they are grown in contaminated
water (Huat et al., 2012).
|| Fruits, their scientific name, active principle and health
|| Vegetables their scientific name, active principle and health
Therefore a due care is required, while consuming these fruits and vegetables,
especially the green one as salad (Knee, 2002).
CONCLUSION AND FUTURE PROSPECTS
There is an increased awareness among the people for the beneficial effect
of nutraceuticals in day to day life. Fruits and vegetables are commonly used
by us can serve an important prophylactic and therapeutic role ingredient of
food in our day to day life. Increase in their consumption is a potent practical
strategy to optimize health of human as well as their companion animals. For
a developing undernourished country like India, their plausible pivotal role
in promotion of human and animal health and well being can never be exaggerated.
Due to their multifactorial health benefits, they are designated as millennium
food of century. The present information is just the beginning, yet a large
volume of indigenous folklore and undiscovered values remains to be paved through.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to explore the beneficial and medical properties
of fruits and vegetables.
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