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Vegetables, especially green vegetables, hold an important place in the diet, because they contain varying proportions of vitamines (such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 etc), enzymes, carbohydrates, provitamins, and valuable mineral matter. The nutritional content of vegetables varies considerably, though generally they contain little protein or fat. Some vegetables also contain fiber, important for gastrointestinal function.

Vegetables contain a great variety of other phytochemicals, some of which have been claimed to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties. They also contain a high percentage of water and considerable cellulose. Some vegetables contain important nutrients necessary for healthy hair and skin as well.

However, vegetables often also contain toxins and antinutrients such as α-solanine, α-chaconine, enzyme inhibitors (of cholinesterase, protease, amylase, etc.), cyanide and cyanide precursors, oxalic acid, and more. Depending on the concentration, such compounds may reduce the edibility, nutritional value, and health benefits of dietary vegetables. Cooking and/or other processing may be necessary to eliminate or reduce them.

In culinary terms, a vegetable is an edible plant or its part, intended for cooking or eating raw. They are eaten in a variety of ways, as part of main meals and as snacks. With few exceptions most vegetables should be lightly steamed for short time or eaten raw, because  the water-soluble nutrients and mineral salts, being soluble, are lost in the water in which they are cooked and because the cellulose serves its purpose best in the crisp form.

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Did You Know?

All fluids and tissues of the body contain large quantities of water, therefore water is regarded as one of the most important foodstuffs required by the body.

Practically all foods contain some water. Fresh vegetables and fruits provide the body with a high percentage of water.

Diets containing recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables may help lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. These diets may also protect against some cancers and decrease bone loss. The potassium provided by both vegetables and fruits may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

The word "vegetarian" is not derived from "vegetable," but from the Latin, homo vegetus, meaning among the Romans a strong, robust, thoroughly healthy man.

A person who refrains from dairy and meat products, and eats only plants (including vegetables) is known as a vegan.
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Learn to Eat Healthy by Maya Gavric

In this book you'll discover that preparing your own food is fun and easy and your healthy diet is delicious. In fact, the main reason why most of those quick fix diets will fail you from the start is because they ignore the way normal people want to live. This book is simply an easy to read and follow guidebook with over hundred, easy to prepare, healthy, and tasty recipes with full nutritional information, and step by step instructions. More...

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