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Saturday, April 4, 2015

The color of Lettuce specify the speed of antioxidant effect

Lettuce, one type of vegetable in the Mediterranean diet, which has health benefits, primarily because it is rich in antioxidants, but not all varieties of plants that have the same antioxidant effect.

Eat lettuce to gain maximum
health benefits. (Picture from: 
http://bit.ly/1CD6cRo)
As reported by Sciencedaily, according to a study led by Usue Pérez-López of the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology of Faculty of Science of the the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in Spain, the color of the leaves of the plant determines the speed of compounds acting.

So, lettuce with green leaves have antioxidant that reacts more slowly while red leaf lettuce that has antioxidant effects faster. The results of the study have been published in the paper "phenolic composition and antioxidant properties associated in different colors lettuce: a study by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) Kinetics" which was recently published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Antioxidants are substances that counteract the long-term protection of the chain reaction of free radicals, or molecules that can damage cells and cause various diseases. Free radicals harm our bodies by way of aging, and the worst is serious diseases.

Lettuce is rich in antioxidants, because it contains compounds such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and vitamins A and C, and so forth. To conduct the study, which began in 2011, researchers from the UPV/EHU and the University of Pisa (Italy) analyze three varieties of lettuce: green leafy lettuce "Batavia", semi-red lettuce "Marvel of Four Seasons", and red leaf lettuce "Oak Leaf".

By using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) techniques, they were able to observe the kinetic behavior of the compounds each variety. And the result shows green leafy lettuce contains antioxidant compounds that dissolve in water, which acts on the slow and medium speed, red leaves have a medium and fast kinetic compound, whereas red lettuce leaf spring has three kinds of compounds with fast speed, medium and slow.

As highlighted by Dr. Pérez-López, "The fact that the compounds act at different speeds, does not mean lettuce particular color is better or worse than others. If we consume foods that can trigger free radical activity, there will be a compound that acts to eliminate they are faster.

However, at the same time is important for our bodies to get to the food intake of antioxidants which have slow kinetics that will be in action for longer. That is why people say it's better to mix lettuce with various colors for different characteristics and complementary.

After determining the kinetics of antioxidants, research is currently continuing with the goal of complete "nutraceutical" of the three varieties of lettuce. The research group is currently trying to improve the effect of specific compounds within each variety by exposing plants to short pressure. These compounds show function in plant defense.

So if the condition is not normally applied to plants (like watered with salt water or expose it to certain lighting intensity or high exposure to Carbon Dioxide), the defense will increase and as a result will increase the quality of plant antioxidants.

"What is important in this process is not lost productivity, and that is why we apply the stress intensity short. The level of excessive stress, plant growth can be disrupted, and we are not interested in achieving good quality but the risk is reducing the size of the plant. The goal is to maintain production and achieve good quality in this production, "said Dr. Usue Pérez-López. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCEDAILY]
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