- What is selection and how it is related to a healthy diet;
- The success of breeding, or the most useful varieties of vegetables;
- Why do we need lycopene and where to find it;
- What is useful for beta-carotene and where is it contained;
- What is the role of lutein and which tomatoes are rich in it;
- About the value of betaine and the root crops containing it;
Recently, the issue of healthy human nutrition has become more and more urgent. And surprisingly, an important tool for solving this problem is the selection of vegetable crops.
What is selection and how it is related to a healthy diet
Selection is the process of breeding new varieties (hybrids) of agricultural plants. Selection is carried out according to a whole group of indicators for both the plant and its fruits:
- suitability for canning;
- keeping quality;
- resistance to diseases and pests and their complex;
- cold resistance;
- drought resistance, etc.
Everyone knows that various vegetables contain certain useful substances. But few people know that the amount of these substances depends on the variety or hybrid. The ability to accumulate more or less of certain substances in a plant is varietal, it is associated with the genetics of the plant. These traits are inherited, which means that with the help of selection, it is possible to control the mechanism of quantitative accumulation to a certain extent. That is, to make sure that new varieties and hybrids accumulate as many useful substances as possible and do not accumulate harmful compounds.
The success of breeding, or the most useful varieties of vegetables
A great contribution to a rational diet is made by vegetables of the Solanaceae group: tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. The success of breeding allowed us to create a new range of these crops with a unique combination of biologically valuable substances (lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, betaine and others).
Why do we need lycopene and where to find it
Lycopene is useful for the skin, strengthens the vascular, capillary walls, promotes the production of collagen. In addition, it reacts with ultraviolet light, improving the tan and reducing the risk of sunburn.
Lycopene is not synthesized in the human body, it can only be obtained with food. Most of it is contained in tomatoes — up to 80 mg/%.
What is useful for beta-carotene and where is it contained
The most powerful antioxidant, lycopene is a carotenoid responsible for the red color. However, it can be an allergen for some people, and here beta-carotene comes out as a substitute. Yellow tomatoes contain a minimum of lycopene and a lot of beta-carotene, which is simultaneously provitamin A, which is converted directly into vitamin A itself in the human body.
Among root crops, carrots are considered the leader in the content of beta-carotene. Its amount depends on the variety, the degree of maturity of the root crops, the harvesting period and is noticeably increased in bright orange root crops with a small core. Usually, the average content of provitamin A in carrots is 11-14 mg/%.
What is the role of lutein and which tomatoes are rich in it
Lutein is necessary for our body. It is present in the blood, in other tissues, but there is especially a lot of it in the retina of the eye. Lutein is extremely important for a healthy body, but the body itself does not produce it. Therefore, it is very important to enrich your diet with products that contain lutein.
About the value of betaine and the root crops containing it
Beetroot contains many vitamins and trace elements. This vegetable is a record holder for the concentration of boron and manganese. In terms of iron content, beetroot is second only to garlic. These trace elements activate hematopoiesis and regulate metabolism. Betaine, contained in the root crop, takes part in the formation of choline, which improves the functioning of the liver.
Varieties with a rich color of the root crop pulp are distinguished by a high content of betaine, in ordinary varieties or hybrids it is usually not more than 70 mg/%.
Healthy food is in our hands! And it depends, among other things, on the competent selection of the right varieties and hybrids.