Cucurbits: Potential Suppliers of Antioxidants

Sandip D. Tapkir, Sayali S. Kulkarni, Surekha K. Satpute*, Madhavi M. Kapatkar

Abstract


One of the necessities of a healthy life is to have adequate amounts of antioxidants in the body and neutralize the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are continuously produced in the human body, as they are essential for energy supply, detoxification, chemical signaling and immune function but their over-production due to exposure to external oxidant substances or a failure in the defense mechanisms, increases risk of different disease. Powerful antioxidants perform multiple functions essential for good health and help organisms deal with oxidative stress, caused by free radical damage.  Natural production of antioxidants in body decreases with time and age, so it becomes essential to include antioxidant rich food items in the diet. In the recent years, in the attempt to counteract the detrimental effects of oxidative damages is always more convincing the strategy of implementing the diet with antioxidants nutrients, especially deriving from natural sources. Literature survey illustrates that cucurbits like gourd, bitter gourd and cucumber are potential source of antioxidants. Thus considering the growing interest in assessing the antioxidant capacity of vegetables an attempt has been made to undertake this study to evaluate the potential of commonly edible cucurbits, as vegetables especially in Maharashtra, as a dietary suppliers of antioxidants by using the standard methods. A comparative and quantitative analysis would lead to determine the significant importance and ranking of various edible cucurbits. In the current study, Tondli has proved to be a very good dietary supplement owing to its high phenolic content, flavonoid content and reducing ability.

Keywords


Antioxidants; assays; cucurbits; flavonoids; free radicals

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