Fruits and Vegetables and Health
Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
- Blueberries are known for their very high antioxidant content and anti-aging properties. In recent experiments with aged laboratory animals, concord grape juice also improved short-term memory and neuromotor skills. Concord grape juice, a refreshing source of concentrated antioxidants, may also help retard mental and physical declines of aging.
- In an analysis of the antioxidant capacity of vegetables, fruits, and vegetable oils, it was found that spinach, peppers, asparagus and turnip tops had the highest antioxidant capacity among the vegetables; blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and olives ranked highest among the fruits; while soy oil and extra virgin olive oil had the highest antioxidant capacity among the oils tested.
- Risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal Japanese women was reduced about 40 percent for an increased intake of fruit.
- Cranberries, which are native to North America, are very popular during the year-end holiday season. Their high fiber content is useful in forming gels for traditional sauces. Cranberries are very high in antioxidants such as proanthocyanidins, which provide protection against cancer and heart disease. These compounds are also useful for fighting urinary tract infections.
- Middle-aged Finnish men with the highest consumption of fruits, berries and vegetables experienced a 41 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease-related death and a 34 percent reduction in death from all causes, compared to men with the lowest intake.
- Fruits and vegetables are known to protect against chronic disease because of their rich content of many phytochemicals, including the antioxidants. Cranberry was found to possess the highest antioxidant activity, followed by apple, red grape, strawberry, peach, lemon, pear, banana, orange, grapefruit, and pineapple.
- Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and French fried potatoes are the most commonly consumed vegetables in the U.S. However, only 3% of those surveyed consumed broccoli during the reporting period while consumption of dark, green vegetables averaged only one serving every 5 days.
- Health authorities recommend that one citrus fruit and one cruciferous vegetable be eaten daily. Less than 10 percent of Americans regularly consume these foods.
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