New Food Pharmacies Filling Prescriptions for Fruits and Veggies
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According to a recent article in Mother Jones Magazine, there are a handful of food pharmacies popping up across the country. The food pharmacies are focused on recommended different fruits and vegetables to help those suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes. MJ reported that one in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure and 7% of the population has diabetes, which is up from 4.4% in 2000 according to the CDC.
How are food pharmacies trying to help?
In San Francisco, Silver Avenue Family Health Center is combining the resources of a farmer’s market and food pantry. They are using nutritional advice to help reduce high blood pressure and diabetes in those typically suffering from “food insecurity.” Food insecurity is defined as lack of affordable, regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
The food as medicine movement has been on the rise over the past 25 years as prescriptions, and other medical approaches have not resulted in lowering high blood pressure or diabetes for the masses. Nutritionists believe that food could be the answer and have long pointed out the medicinal benefits of different fruits and vegetables. For example, cherries bolster the immune system and strawberries for improving cardiac health.
Food Companies Looking for Ways to Add More Fruits & Veggies to Their Products
As the food as medicine movement continues to grow, food companies are looking for an innovative way to add fruits and vegetables to their products. Beyond Meat has taken an interesting approach to creating all plant-based meats from vegetables as well as adding back the beneficial nutrients from those veggies through the GrandFusion vegetable blend.
Consumers are actively looking for convenient, better-for-you products with the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Smoothies, premium juices, single serve veggie meals, and more are catching the attention of millennials and baby boomers as they look for new options.
According to the CDC, We Still Have a Long Way to Go
While consumer demand for fresh produce may be increasing, the CDC reports alarming stats that adults in the U.S. are still not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Only 10% of all adults in the United States are eating enough fruits and vegetables every year. It will be interesting to see how we conquer this uphill battle of getting more people to eat more fruits and vegetables for their health.
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