The “Vegetables” category in the World Crops Database includes edible plants that are grown as a food crop for their leaves, stems, roots, tubers, bulbs, corms, pods or flowers, but plants that are only grown for their sweet fruit or for seeds or grains are not included. Also plants that are consumed in smaller quantities, such as herbs or spices or medicinal plants are not included in this category.
Vegetables are usually cooked but some types can be eaten raw for example in salads or as snacks. They often form an important part of main meals because they contain many different nutrients that form part of a balanced diet. Depending on the type they may contain protein, fat, vitamins (e.g. Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6), minerals, carbohydrates and other natural compounds. Together with fruits they are a vital part of a healthy diet.
Important vegetable crops include potato, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes and beans.
The world crops database includes separate categories for leaf vegetables, stem vegetables, fruit vegetables, flower vegetables, root vegetables, tuber vegetables, bulb vegetables, corm vegetables and podded vegetables.