Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fruits and veggies

WSJ article on fruits and vegetables
  • The push to step up produce consumption is fueled in part by a growing body of evidence that fruits and vegetables offer even more health benefits than previously understood, and may play roles in preventing heart and eye disease, as well as stomach, colon and other cancers.
  • About 90% of the U.S. population does not meet the government's recommendation for fruit and vegetable consumption
  • People who eat fruits and vegetables more than three times a day reduce their risk of having a stroke and dying from cardiovascular disease by nearly a quarter, compared with those who eat them less than once a day, according to an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study examining data from a national epidemiological survey. Many other studies find a similar inverse relationship between various chronic diseases and fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • Scientists are increasingly exploring the benefits of compounds known as phytonutrients -- chemicals in plant pigment that can serve as antioxidants, battling free radicals that cause cell damage. Eating tomatoes and tomato products, which contain the phytonutrient lycopene, has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, and perhaps cardiovascular disease as well, according to several large epidemiological studies in humans.
  • People aren't eating enough dark green vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts, which contain lots of vitamin C and many phytonutrients, or citrus, which is high in vitamin C and fiber, nutritionists say.