50 Useful Chemicals Found in Fruits and Vegetables

“Mommy, I don’t like these greens!”

“You still have to eat it, dear. It’s good for your health.”

Well, that short conversation might sound too cliché for most of you. But did you know? What our mom said to make us eat all the fruits and veggies up isn’t wrong. Because the truth is, those plants aren’t just a simple round thing with a sufficient amount of water, it’s way more than that. Hidden inside, there are chemicals that are useful.

Every living things on earth work just like a chemical factory. They produce complicated chemical compounds, and delivered it, including plants. Some chemical compound can be harmful for human or surroundings, but some chemical compound also can be very useful. It can helps us in many different way, from the most simple one such as treating skin, until curing serious health problems like cancer.

Read also : Chemicals Used in Biotechnology

Chemical Contained in Plants

Here are the list of useful chemicals found in fruits and vegetables:

1. Corn

Being used in many cuisine as well as snacks creation, this yellow plant is widely known all over the world. It can be eaten as popcorn, steamed corn, pizza toppings, and so much more. This plant actually contain a lot of useful chemical, such as :

  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are chemical compounds that we can found in most fruits and vegetables, such as corn, spinach, and much more. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are good for eyes, it is believed that it could keep our eyes from blue light exposure that come from sunlight which is dangerous.

2. Oranges

  • Flavonoid

Flavonoid is a compound which we can widely found in fruits and veggies too such as, apples, oranges, grapes, dark chocolate, etc. Flavonoid has lots benefits that are good for our body, such as antioxidant, and of course immune system benefits. Flavonoid also good for diet program, because it will maintain our weight.

  • Pektin

Pektin was found by a chemist, Henry Braconnot on 1825. It is commonly found in fruits, such as apple, oranges, etc. Petin has lots of advntages to give. It is a great coagulant, it is also a great medication for lots of illness, such as, sorethroat, diarrhea, healing wounds, and much more.

3. Dragon Fruit

  • Betasianin

Usually after we eat a dragon fruit, we will throw the skin immediately after eating. But you know what, that dragon fruit skin is contain of  betasianin pigment which is good for food coloring or textiles coloring. It’s quite strong and has a beautiful, attractive color to appeal us. 

4. Mango

As we know mango is a delicious sweet fruit, can be eaten directly or after being cooked. But besides that, it’s also healthy with lots of vitamin and minerals in it, and much more chemical substances which is good for our health. So here’s one of the chemical substance which is contained in mango.

  • Mangiferin

Mangiferin is a natural polyphenol that we can find mostly in mango fruit. It’s usually used for traditional medicine, herbal tea, and for other traditional medication. It has antimicrobial ability and believed that it is also good for antioxidant ,analgesic and good for immune system.

You might also read : Nitrogen for Plants Growth

5. Pear

  • Quercetin

Quercetin is a chemical which classified into flavonol group. It is known as free radicals, because it does help us maintain our colon health. Based on some research, quercetin can prevents our allergic reactions, because it could prevents immune cells from releasing histamine. It is not just to prevents allergic reactions, it is also good for heart problems, hypertension, etc. 

7. Starfruit

Little little fruity star.. how I wonder what’s in you.. This unique fruit shaped like a star when sliced horizontally. It has a bright yellow and green color, looking so fresh just like how it’s taste, sour. What we don’t know is that although it contains toxin called camboxin, it also has a lot of other chemicals in it.

  • Pyridoxine (C8H11NO3)

This chemical also known as vitamin B6 , a type of vitamin that is used for preventing anemia. It is also used for heart and blood vessel disease. As it reduces blood levels of homocysteine. It prevents heart disease and stroke. For pregnant women, it is used for treating morning sickness. While for people with Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, down syndrome, autism, this vitamin can help. The other disease that can be treated or prevented by this vitamin such as :

  • Macular degeneration
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Kidney stones
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Movement disorders

8. Strawberry

  • Citric Acid (C6H8O7)

Ever saw a video of infant eating strawberry? They’d probably squinted from the acidity. That acidity mainly comes from citric acid. Citric acid is a weak organic tricarboxylic acid that’s usually found in citrus fruits. Beside its taste which is good for some, this chemical gives us benefits. Those are boosting renal health, fighting free radicals, soothing sore throat, as well as revitalizing the skin.

  • Furaneol (C6H8O3)

It is responsible for the sweet scents of strawberry that might already smells familiar to you. Furaneol has an antifungal and antimicrobial acitiviy that suggest its uses as a therapeutic agent.

You might also read : Chemicals Allowed in Organic Food in Everyday Life

More Useful Chemicals Found in Fruits and Vegetables

1. Grape

  • Resveratrol
  • Thiamin
  • Anthocyanins

2. Kiwi

  • Catechins
  • Actinidin

3. Peach

  • Glutamic Acid
  • Tryptophan 

4. Tomato

  • Geranial
  • Malate acids

5. Carrot

  • Beta-carotene
  • Riboflavin

6. Broccoli

  • Glucosinolates
  • Isothiocyanates

7. Banana

  • Cystine
  • Ethyl butanoate

Read also : Chemical Properties of Banana

Thus, that’s all the list of  useful chemicals found in fruits and vegetables for body health.

Out there, you can still find more chemicals in plants that gave you the premium benefits. Lately, many issues such as  banned agricultural chemical that are used in planting fruit and veggies, harmful chemicals in some of them, might haunt us and make us feel like we don’t really have to consume them any longer. But the thing is, there are a lot of useful chemical that will give you the benefits in many ways.

Also for you who think that they taste somehow terrible, maybe you just haven’t taste them it their best form. Try to do something with them, cook them deliciously, and try to like them as if they’re you’re favorite foods. However, they contains a lot of vitamin and mineral that your body need. Never leaves them on your plate uneaten!