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Phytochemical Profile and Therapeutic Properties of Leafy Vegetables

  • Venu S. 
  • Khushbu S. 
  • Santhi S. 
  • Rawson Ashish Email author
  • Sunil C. K. 
  • Sureshkumar K. 
Chapter

Abstract

Consumption of fruits and vegetables is linked with health benefits like lowering risk of cancer, heart disease, hypertension and stroke. Combination of phytochemical and therapeutic properties of leafy vegetables makes them an ideal supplement in our daily diet. Leafy vegetables have high anti-oxidant capacity, which in some cases may be comparable to fruits. They are also rich in carbohydrates, high protein including essential amino acids, minerals including iron, calcium, high dietary fiber and phytochemicals such as vitamin C, carotenoids, lutein in leafy vegetables. The presence of phytochemicals such as alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, terpenoids, cardiac glycosides, and phlobatannins contribute to therapeutic property. From ancient time, leafy vegetables are used in our diet as medicine because of their ability to produce several secondary metabolites of complex structure having anti-microbial properties but no toxic affect to human. The bioactive components of leafy vegetables also have antidiabetic, anti-histaminic, anti-carcinogenic and hypolipidemic properties, which are helpful in growth and repair of human body. However, acute and chronic toxic effects have also been reported in certain leafy vegetable, which makes it necessary to appropriately process and store leafy vegetables before consumption. This chapter explains the classification of leafy vegetables, presence of bioactive compounds, their interactions with human health and processing methods to retain the health beneficial components.

Keywords

Leafy vegetables Health Phytochemical Processing 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Venu S. 
    • 1
  • Khushbu S. 
    • 1
  • Santhi S. 
    • 1
  • Rawson Ashish 
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sunil C. K. 
    • 1
  • Sureshkumar K. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Food Processing TechnologyThanjavurIndia

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