The Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture (CISH) is now making grafted plants of varieties that are rich in immunity-boosting nutrients like guava, aonla, bael, jamun and mango.
The institute is already producing more than one lakh plants for kitchen garden lovers and farmers following increasing demand in times of the pandemic.
The self-grown fruits and vegetables are also free from chemicals and pesticides.
The institute is also promoting other immunity-boosting produce like mushrooms, protected cultivation of tomatoes, capsicum, several exotic green vegetables, including broccoli, by providing technology for their commercial and home-scale cultivation.
According to CISH Director Shailendra Rajan, among the fruits available around the year, guava is one of the richest fruits in Vitamin C content.
The Lalit variety developed by the institute is not only rich in Vitamin C, but also has lycopene content.
Guava is the third most important lycopene source after tomato and watermelon. Animal based studies have shown that lycopene improves immunity and decreases the risk of cancer.
Similarly, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of bael, also known as wood apple, have been established by medical sciences, said the director.
The institute is working on identification of bael varieties with higher marmelosin and psorolin contents.
“Various products of aonla, specially its juice, are considered as important immunity boosters. It has a very high Vitamin C content that makes it more important due to several antioxidants and bioactive compounds. Recognition of this fruit through Ayurveda has increased the demand of its products,” he said.
The increasing popularity of broccoli is because of its high content of Vitamin K, Vitamin C folic acid, potassium and fibre.
Pac Choi is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A (as carotenoids), manganese, and serves as a good source of zinc.
It provides conventional antioxidants which include flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin.