Nutritional Content of Underutilized Vegetable Crops: A Source for Nutritional Security and Human Health

Kumaresan Marappan *

School of Agriculture, Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, Pallavaram, 600117, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Vijai Ananth Arumugam

School of Agricultural Sciences, Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan University, Samayapuram - 621112, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India.

Anbarasu Mariyappillai

School of Agriculture, Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, Pallavaram, 600117, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Murali Subramani

School of Agriculture, Vels Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, Pallavaram, 600117, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Vegetables are essential to a balanced diet and are the primary force behind the achievement of global nutritional security due to their presence of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Vegetable crops classified as underused are those that are neither widely traded nor farmed on a commercial basis. Underutilized crop species have the potential to boost the country's economy but have not received enough attention because of a decline in focus on their production, consumption, and utilization. An examination of the literature found that most underutilized crop species are nutritious, and some even have medicinal properties. Vegetables that are underutilized may be significant locally or regionally, but they are typically not valued or approved nationally. The plant species that are traditionally used for food, fiber, fodder, oil, or medicinal purposes are the underutilized vegetable crops. Nonetheless, such species have untapped potential to provide environmental benefits, economic production, nutrition, health, and food security. Using underused crops improves rural populations' health and contributes to the fight against malnutrition-related problems. Unused vegetables are a rich source of energy, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals. These nutrients can help prevent and treat a number of illnesses, including hypertension, cancer, kwashiorkor, marasmus, night blindness, anemia, diabetes, and hidden hunger. Important underutilized vegetable crops include kale, broad beans, asparagus, amaranthus, basella, moringa, ivy gourds, globe artichokes, and others. India's soil and climate are ideal for growing a variety of underutilised vegetables. As a result, the Indian government has started to promote the underutilized vegetables. In conclusion, underutilized vegetable production can help address the shortage of per capita consumption availability and address nutritional issues while creating jobs and raising rural residents' incomes, all of which have the potential to boost the national economy.

Keywords: Underutilized vegetables, nutrition, human diet, production, national economy


How to Cite

Marappan , K., Arumugam , V. A., Mariyappillai , A., & Subramani , M. (2024). Nutritional Content of Underutilized Vegetable Crops: A Source for Nutritional Security and Human Health. Asian Research Journal of Agriculture, 17(2), 233–241. https://doi.org/10.9734/arja/2024/v17i2442

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