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What are Vegetables?

Updated on August 22, 2016

Vegetables are the edible parts of plants. They can be divided into two main groups:

1. Below the Ground vegetables:

Roots and tubers of plants such as carrot, parsnip, turnips, swede, potato, Jerusalem artichokes, radish, beetroot, onion, garlic, yam sweet potato, celeriac.

2. Above the Ground Vegetables

  • Leaves such as spinach, silver beet, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, kale
  • Flowers such as broccoli, cauliflower, globe artichoke
  • Stalks such as celery, asparagus, fennel
  • Pod such as peas, beans, sweetcorn, okra
  • Vegetable fruits such as aubergine (eggplant) capsicum, chilli, tomato
  • Vine fruit such as cucumber, squash zucchini, pumpkin, marrow
  • Fungi such as a variety of mushrooms.

How do we eat vegetables?

Vegetables are available raw, canned, frozen dehydrated and as a juice. They may be prepared and eaten in many ways:

  • Raw, baked, roasted, steamed, dried, microwaved, fried
  • Added to salads, soups, stews, cakes, breads, pies, stir fries.
  • Stuffed , mashed, torn or shaped, sliced diced.

Nutritional Value of Vegetables

Vegetables are generally:

  1. Low in fat
  2. High in fibre
  3. High in vitamins and minerals
  • Potatoes and green leafy vegetables particularly cabbage and Brussels sprouts, capsicum, tomatoes and broccoli are good sources of vitamin C.
  • Dark green leaves of leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli and yellow vegetables such as carrots and pumpkin are good sources of vitamin A in the form of carotene.
  • Green vegetables, dried peas and beans are good source of folate.
  • Vegetables contain small but significant quantities of iron, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Root vegetables such as potatoes sweet potatoes and taro are good source of carbohydrate.
  • Most vegetables contain little protein the exceptions being pulses and soya beans and to a lesser extent, potatoes, peas and beans. Soya beans are one of the few vegetables foods that contain complete protein.

Eat a variety of vegetables everyday including:

  1. Dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli
  2. Orange vegetables like sweet potatoes , pumpkin and carrots,
  3. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts
  4. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes taro and corn
  5. Salad vegetables like lettuce tomato, cucumber and capsicum.
  6. Legumes like dried peas, beans, lentils and chick peas.

Choose a wide variety of vegetables from week to week. Use frozen and canned vegetables as alternative to fresh as they are nutritious often cheaper, quick and easy to prepare. And easily stored. Try the no –added salt varieties.

With all the good things about vegetables, it is wise when you go shopping, why don't you pick some veggies for lunch or dinner, it is good for you !


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      Kabir mashi 3 years ago

      Nice write up tnx u so much.

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      jhada williams 4 years ago

      this is great info

    • profile image

      MELI CHRIS 5 years ago


    • profile image

      caroline 5 years ago

      well thanks a lot this has helped me do my assignment

    • profile image

      Theresa 5 years ago

      I love what read today and really help me to complete my assingment thank u very much

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      Akosua 5 years ago

      Good source of information for those who want burn off some body fat

    • profile image

      Tunji 6 years ago

      Nice info for my research need...keep it up

    • profile image

      Team~2 6 years ago

      This happens to be my Seminar Topic.I luv eating vegetables bcos of its Nutritional content!

    • profile image

      ZAKARI ABDULLAHI 6 years ago

      Vegetables are rich in protein,everybody should try to eat vegetable everybody week.

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      lucy fernandes 6 years ago

      very good information.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Hey, I like this. This is info that we all know, but we don't really pay attention to. When I saw the title, I thought, "what, who doesn't know that." But after reading it I realized that I didn't know as much as I thought I did. Thank you for giving us something to think. Digg time.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Nice resource - breaking veges into above and below ground is an excellent idea.

    • wavegirl22 profile image

      Shari 7 years ago from New York, NY

      MM - I love the way you broke this all down .. from below the ground to the ground! Excellent Hub! Rated up and deserves it own tweet!

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      Great information, although I cut down on starchy vegetables to really lose weight.