P0431_vegetables_various_57515159Vegetables are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, energy and phytochemicals. A balanced diet rich in vegetables reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, various types of cancers and type 2 diabetes. (1)Boeing H, Bechthold A, Bub A, Ellinger S, Haller D, Kroke A, et al. Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. European Journal of Nutrition. September 2012, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 637-663. Available here. (2)Ness AR, Powless JW. Fruit and Vegetables, and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review. International Journal of Epidemiology. 1997. Vol. 26, No 1. Available here. (3)Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Adv Nutr July 2012 Adv Nutr vol. 3: 506-516, 2012. Available here.
The culinary definition, which is mostly used in everyday life, is often confused with the botanic definition. We will only refer to vegetables in a culinary sense on this website which is dictated by a culinary custom rather by basing it on its anatomy.

The definition is not very strict as it differs slightly between societies, but it generally considers the edible savory parts of plants, including stems, leaves, stalks, roots, tubers, bulbs, mushrooms, flowers and non-sweet or tart fruit like (e.g. avocadoes, tomatoes).

Depending on the country, the definition may exclude some groups of foods by placing them in other categories. For example, it can include mushrooms (fungus), seaweed (algae) and corn (which is considered also as grain). (4)Smith SA, Campbell DR, Elmer PJ, Martini MC, Slavin JL, Potter JD. The University of Minneasota Cancer Prevention Research Unit vegetable and fruit classification scheme. Cancer causes and control 1995, 6, 292-302. Available here. (5)International Agency for Research on Cancer. WHO. Definitions And Classifications For Fruit And Vegetables. Available here.

References   [ + ]

1. Boeing H, Bechthold A, Bub A, Ellinger S, Haller D, Kroke A, et al. Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. European Journal of Nutrition. September 2012, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 637-663. Available here.
2. Ness AR, Powless JW. Fruit and Vegetables, and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review. International Journal of Epidemiology. 1997. Vol. 26, No 1. Available here.
3. Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. Adv Nutr July 2012 Adv Nutr vol. 3: 506-516, 2012. Available here.
4. Smith SA, Campbell DR, Elmer PJ, Martini MC, Slavin JL, Potter JD. The University of Minneasota Cancer Prevention Research Unit vegetable and fruit classification scheme. Cancer causes and control 1995, 6, 292-302. Available here.
5. International Agency for Research on Cancer. WHO. Definitions And Classifications For Fruit And Vegetables. Available here.