Botany

Uses of Vegetables and Fruits – Lady’s Finger

While walking through a market filled with fresh vegetables like stacks of lady’s finger, mountains of potatoes, pyramids of brinjal, tomatoes, cucurbits, we learn to choose the vegetables that is fresh, tender, ripe and those suit the family taste through experience and cultural practices. Why do we need to eat vegetables and what do they provide us? Vegetables are the important part of healthy eating and provide many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folic acid and vitamins A, E and C. The nutrients in vegetables are vital for maintenance of our health.

Lady’s finger / Okra

Botanical name : Abelmoschus esculentus Family: Malvaceae

Origin and Area of cultivation

Lady’s finger is a native of the Tropical Africa. Assam, Maharashtra and Gujarat are the important states where Lady’s finger is grown in abundance. Coimbatore, Dharmapuri and Vellore are the major cultivating regions of Tamil Nadu.

Uses

The fresh and green tender fruits are used as a vegetable. Often they are sliced and dehydrated to conserve them for later use. It has most important nutrients.

Fruits

Edible fruits are fleshy structures with a pleasant aroma and flavours. Fruits are sources of many nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid and vitamins.Depending on the climatic region in which fruit crops grow, they can be classified into temperate(apple, pear, plum) and tropical fruits (mango, jack, banana). In this chapter we will study an example of tropical fruit.

Mango (National fruit of India)

Botanical name : Mangifera indica

Family: Anacardiaceae

Origin and Area of cultivation

The mango is the native to Southern Asia, especially Burma and Eastern India. It is the National fruit of India. Major mango producing States are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Karnataka. Salem, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri are the major mango producing districts of Tamil Nadu. Some of the major cultivars of mango in India are Alphonsa, Banganapalli, neelam and malgova.

Uses

Mango is the major table fruit of India, which is rich in beta carotenes. It is utilized in many ways, as dessert, canned, dried and preserves in Indian cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, pickles, side dishes, or may be eaten raw with salt and chili. Mango pulp is made into jelly. Aerated and non-aerated fruit juice is a popular soft drink.

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