new research illustrating America’s fruit and vegetable deficiency:The word “duh” doesn’t quite cut it. You only have to look at the state of obesity in The United States to see how cavalier we are about nutrition. For some people fresh fruit is only an ingredient in pie filling. Kathleen Doheny of HealthDay News covers
Despite the known health benefits of fruits and vegetables, too few Americans are eating the recommended amounts of these foods, a new study finds.Pretty unbelievable when you consider all the health supporting nutrients found in fresh plant matter. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman insists a plant-based diet is crucial for long-term health and prevention of disease:
Teenage boys are the worst offenders, with less than 1 percent of them getting the recommended intake. Children aged 2 to 3 do best, with 48 percent getting the recommended amount. But just 17 percent of women aged 51 to 70 meet the goal, and among other age groups, nearly 90 percent are falling short.
The findings are "not good," said study author Patricia Guenther, a nutritionist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
Phytochemicals, or plant-derived chemicals, occur naturally in plants (phyto means “plant”). These nutrients, which scientists are just starting to discover and name, have tremendously beneficial effects on human physiology. The effects of our not consuming sufficient amounts of them are even more astounding—premature death from cancer and atherosclerosis.
Eating a wide variety of raw and conservatively cooked plant foods (such as steamed vegetables) is the only way we can ensure that we get sufficient amount of these essential health-supporting elements. Taking vitamin and mineral supplements or adding some vitamins to processed foods will not prevent the diseases associated with eating a diet containing a low percentage of calories from whole natural foods.