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Olericulture- Importance of vegetables in human nutrition.



Is one of the branches of Horticulture that deals with the vegetables. The word olericulture is derived from the Latin word Oleris which means pot herb and the English word culture which means cultivation. Thus olericulture means cultivation of pot herbs. However, in the present days, it is bradly used to indicate the cultivation of vegetables. The term vegetable gardening is more popular to signify olericulture in the present context.


The term vegetable is applied to the edible herbaceous plant or plant parts thereof, which are consumed generally in the unripe stage after cooking.

Importance of vegetables in human nutrition:

The balanced diet contain adequate energy source, nutrients and vitamins, mineras, carbohydrates, fats, protein etc. Vegetable are the reliable source for many dietary factors. As vegetable contain many of the dietary factors like vitamins, minerals and amino acids they are considered as protective supplementary food. They produce taste, increase appetite and produce fair amount of fibres. They maintain good health and protect against degenerative diseases. They can neutralise the acids produced during digestion of proteins and fats. Nutrients which are present in vegetables vary from crop to crop. Peas and beans are enriched with proteins.

Root crops like Tapioca, Sweet potato and potato are well known for carbohydrates, calcium K, Fe are the important minerals which are lacking in cereals and these are available in abundant quantities in the vegetables like peas, beans, spinach and bendi. Amaranth, cabbage, beans contain large quantity of cellulose which aid in digestion. All the leaf and fruit vegetables possess the required quantities of vitamins.

S.NoDietary factorssource vegetables
1Caloriessweet potato, tapioca, yam, colacasia corms, potato,BrusselsSprouts, onion and garlic, immature seeds of broad bean and peas Phaseolus lunatus (Lima bean), Pussia fada (Broad bean).
2Proteinspeas, double bean, winged bean (Psochocarpus tetragonolobus),Garlic, Brussels sprouts, cowpea, lema bean seeds, amaranthusLeaves, drumstick leaves and menthe.
3Vitamin A(Beta carotene)Carrot, spinach, turnip green, palak, mustard green,amaranth, coriander, colacasia leaves, sweet potato,pumpkin, tomato
4Vitamin B complexPeas, broad bean, lema bean, garlic, asparagus,colacasia and Tomato.
5Vitamin CTurnip green, green chillies, Brussels sprouts, mustard green,Amaranth, coriander, drumstick leaves, cauliflower, knoll khol Spinach, cabbage, bitter gourd and reddish leaves.
6Calciumcurry leaves, amaranth leaves, drumstick leaves,menthi, turnip,Mustard green, coriander and palak.
7Irondrum stick leaves and fruits, amaranth, menthi, mint,coriander,Spinach, palak and mustard green. Spinach, lettuce,cabbage
8RoughagesAmaranth and root vegetables.
9Vegetable milkPea pods and cabbage leaves


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